The Philippines is a special place, for a number of reasons. Here are some numbers and facts (for citations you can email me):

-There are 7,107 islands in the Philippines archipelago.

-Half of the 1,100 known terrestrial vertebrates are endemic (found nowhere else on earth).

-An estimated 45-60% of plant species are endemic.

-79% of all amphibians here are endemic, with (1) species Critically Endangered, (15) Endangered, and (32) Vulnerable, as listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

-The above totals everything to about 22,000 endemic plant and animal species.

-The global peak of marine biodiversity is in the central Visayas.

-Deforestation continues at an average of 100,000 ha per year or 273 ha per day.

-The Philippines was once 100% covered by forest. Now only 17% of the original forest remains.

-Only 20-25% of 15.9M ha of public forest and forest lands are under some kind of effective forest and forest land management.

The Philippine Islands are currently facing an environmental catastrophe that arises from the combination of a number of other problems in the country, like over-population, poverty, and industrialization/urbanization, to name a few. In order to work towards saving the Philippines' endangered ecosystems, one must also understand this country through the lens of these other problems, in addition to understanding the country biologically, culturally, and historically.

As a Half-Filipino born and raised in the USA, I came back to the Philippines as a young adult with little knowledge of the problems described above, but a strong desire to help. Recognizing my ignorance on many of these issues, I embarked on a year of volunteering with different researchers and organizations around the country to learn from the people who are dedicated to changing the Philippines for the better.

Follow my experiences through my photography and blog to learn about the amazing people involved in conservation here, the constant adventure and beauty of such a diverse country, and the importance and gravity of its current environmental and cultural situation...