JEST Camp: Magaul Bird Park

One of the best moments in life is having a whole family adventure. I understood how our kids were very excited just hearing the word ‘field trip’. It meant not just going to places they can enjoy but more importantly, it’s knowing that Mommy and Daddy will be with them when that date comes. I have been constantly saying that this was so far our busiest year, both for me as a working mother and for my studying and working husband. That’s why I appreciated my husband that even if he was so tired from work and so occupied with his thesis, he was able to grant his daughters’ wish to be with us in their educational trip.

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Our destination? It was in Jungle and Environmental Survival Training (JEST) Camp in Subic. Subic was about 4-hour drive from our place. So, as early as 4:30, we were already on the road to be there by 9AM. Subic used to be the base camp of the Americans. It was one of the busiest places before but now that there were no more bases in the area, still, there’s a lot more going inside Subic. Slowly , they are rebuilding and reliving the place. One of the local government projects is utilizing the camp to breed, to care and to protect the variety of birds inside the Magaul Bird Park. Plus, it is also a great opportunity for their locals, especially the Aetas, to share with the flooding visitors some of the survival tips when caught inside a jungle.

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First stop, Family Picture Taking. This, I think, was a great idea. ‘Cause visitors will surely have a photo to throw back in time. You have to pay it, though, at P50.00, if you opted to, as well. Otherwise, it will just another piece of paper that can be trashed any time soon. They also offered it in frame for a higher price at P150.00.
Next, the Welcoming Part. And, so the official activities started.

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First activity, the Kids’ Rappelling.

I was quite uncomfortable for my kids, I was not sure if they were willing to do it. We had experienced before that my kids were not fans of heights. I was observing them if they wanted to back-out then, as some of the kids were already crying and some were not willing to do it. Meg and Ting were one of the cheering crowd. I was happy seeing them giving support to their classmates. At least, I was quite relieved that somehow they were not scared at all.

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Good job, Meg and Ting, our babies. You, absolutely, did it! Proud parents, here. πŸ™‚

The Team Activities went on next. The kids were divided into two groups. They decided to name one group as Happy kids, which where we belong, and the other, as the Eagles. Of course, the parents were more nervous than the kids. Even, if the games were as simple as relay, or ball rolling or catching balls, parents didn’t avoid to be more than competitive. I guess, it was a parent thing. You’ll do whatever you have to do, to boost the kids, to let them enjoy, to let them learn and to let them appreciate.

The Bird Watching.

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I didn’t get to explore much of the birds in camp. I was busy with Ting who were already starting to get tired. It was not as full attraction compared with the other bird paradise but in time, probably, they will get there. Being a photographer while baby sitting was not a good match, I can only took limited shots.

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After we had our lunch, it was time for the bird show. I tried as much to participate, so once a volunteer was needed, I immediately raised my hand, for the kids to enjoy, of course. Yet, not only the kids had loved it, I enjoyed it as much as the kids, too. I guess, it’s really not for the kids. The kid in me still lives.

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Then, it was time to tour around their different attractions. They have the View Deck where you can get to see the best view in Subic.

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Of course, parents didn’t go home without their own experience of the aerial adventures. It maybe short but definitely worth to remember.

Time to go home. It was indeed, a loooong tiring, yet, truly an amazing day.

We were able to get there by packages which I think is more reasonable choice. Several travel agencies can definitely offer a worthwhile experience as this. Enjoy yours, as well.

Getting ready for a sleep,
Emilie

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