Bakhawan Eco-park: A local gem

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Life is so full of incredible surprises. Sometimes, what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all. I least envision that the road I have traveled on, paved with less expectation will lead me to this beautiful and exceptional paradise.

Less than 20 minutes by tricycle from my aunt’s house in Kalibo where I was staying for a vacation lead me to the discovery of this real local gem. It’s my first time to be in this place though I always spend my summer vacation in this town. It’s true enough that we take for granted the things around us, making it invisible.

The Bakhawan Eco-Park is a 220 hectare forest of mangroves in New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. The centerpiece of this mangrove forest is a 1.3-kilometer bamboo trail that takes visitors deep into the mangrove forest. It is actually a man-made reforestation project that transformed hectares of mudflats into a sustainable eco-park.

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This man-made mangrove forest is a solid proof that with the help of the community, nature can be nurtured and as a sign of its gratitude to mankind, it nurtures the people back.

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As you stroll on the bamboo trail, beautifully arranged mangrove will delight your eyes, the smell of fresh and clean air will fill your nostril as light wind caresses your skin that will leave a comforting feeling on your being, the swaying tree breeze and chirping birds’ sound music to your ears.

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This place is home to different species of mangrove trees and it serves as a sanctuary for various types of birds and marine species.

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Blue that illuminates the color of the sky and color the sea, green that painted the plants and forest, brown that gives a melancholic effect to the solid ground and yellow, the color of the sun that is the main source of light are the colors of nature that provides an antidote to the gloomy soul. This place will never fail to amaze the nature lover out there.

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At the end of this wooden bamboo trail, you will be greeted by the sea. You have a sandbar on the opposite side where you can walk or kayak for a fee.There’s a rest area for weary tourist after a long walk. A small store is also available for those who whose craving for something to eat or refreshments.

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Other features in the park includes a watchtower, souvenir shop, canteen, massage area, charcoal briquetting, picnic huts and a Center for International Mangrove Studies. This place is now considered as one of the must-visit spots in Kalibo. For those looking to have a quite time to commune with nature, the Bakhawan Eco-Park is the perfect place to go to.

What to do while waiting for God’s promises?

In this world where making a pledge means nothing and giving a vow just cause severe damage. How can you cling to God’s promise when the world is telling you that His promises are just nonsense and non-existing? People make a promise and dont keep, in the end it leads to trust issue, misgiving and fuss. It happens because its who they are. But not with God. With Him a ‘yes’ is a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ is a ‘no’, theres no place for ‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’ or ‘I’ll try’. With God his promises are sealed and are meant to be fulfilled.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. -2Corinthians 2:20

What to do while waiting for God’s promises?

1. Pursue God in prayer
Prayer is spending time with God while waiting for the fulfillment of His promises. God is a gracious and generous God, compassionate and abounding in love. He can just give everything that you need but He doesnt allow it. He wants you to see Him as ‘Panginoon’ (Lord) not just ‘pahingi-non’. Men have tendency to seek God when they are in great needs and problems or during bad days, and forget Him in good days. God wants to spend time with you in prayer. Talk to him, lay down all your concerns and worries, share the deepest desire of your heart in prayer. The joy of being with you in prayer is what matters most to Him.

2. Develop a child like faith
A child has a strong confidence in his father. Knowing that his father will do what he promised. A child like faith is crucial while waiting, it drives you to move forward and keep the faith. Put your trust and hope in the Lord for He wont surely fail you. I remembered when I was little, every time I want something from my dad, I ask him to make a promise. If he thinks what I want is good for me he will say ‘yes’. In the same way, God is a promise keeper, that’s who He is and he cant disown himself.

2. Trust his timing
A God given promise will be fulfilled, not in your desired time but on his perfect time. Learn to trust his timing for he surely knows what’s best for you at the right time under the right circumstances. He has made everything beautiful in its time.

3. Love the giver more than the gift
More than what His hands could give, or the blessings that will overflow, learn to love the giver more than just the gift. He is not just a magical genie that once your wishes are fulfilled, no strings attach and you can go on with your life. God wants to gjve you a gift that will last a lifetime and not just for a short while. Dont be so overwhelm with the gift that we neglect the giver. God sometimes put you in a waiting situation to make you realize that it is Him who gave you the gift and you’re ought to appreciate Him and not just the gift.

4. Enjoy the whole process of waiting
Maintain your enthusiasm and just enjoy the whole process. Waiting produces in you patient, endurance and faithfulness. Enjoy the whole process of waiting and dont complain and dont waver. Have a humble heart to be teachable before God. He is teaching you lessons from even the most mundane things.

5. Know your identity in God
As a child of God, your Father in heaven wants the best for you. He reserved great things for you to enjoy.  He doesnt want to see you suffer or be in deep pain because it doubles the pain that he feels. Know your identity in Christ, believing that all things work together for good for those who love Him.

6. Have a revelation of who God is
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19) The level of you faith will just depend on your revalation of who God is. Do you just see Him as a powerless man hanging on the cross, a display who can’t do anything or just a mere man who just preach the gospel? Or a great God who holds the world on His hands.