Returning to PH and Mother Earth


Moving to the Philippines was a life-changing decision for me. Now, as a graphic designer for the Haribon Foundation, I’ve been given a chance to get to know the Philippine’s ecological benefits far more intimately than any tourist or citizen of the country.

And by becoming a member, I’ve been given an even more intimate connection to our environment by participating in birdwatching activities, and meeting community members trained to protect the places we are working to conserve.

I just renewed my membership for a second year now, after having been Haribon’s graphic designer since 2012. As a graphic designer, I’m applying my love of art to help communities understand conservation better. As a member, I go on bird-watching activities and participate in other events to educate myself further.

I also enjoy biking, not only as a simpler means of transportation, but also as a statement. By biking, I feel I am further pursuing my goals as an environmental conservationist by reducing my carbon footprint while being healthier at the same time.

One of my biggest accomplishments as a Haribon member was when I visited Masinloc, Zambales during Haribon’s Blue Travel program. It gave me a better understanding of Haribon’s history and conservation work. It’s difficult for me to communicate and understand community members since I have yet to master Filipino or any other Philippine language. So sitting down and talking to community members was a great accomplishment for me.

I enjoy graphic design and am beginning to illustrate and edit videos as well, further expanding my abilities to communicate Haribon’s causes and Philippine conservation work in general. By biking, I see it as a personal contribution to conservation. And by moving to the Philippines to aid in development work, particularly in the conservation sector, I have not only enjoyed the natural beauty found here, but I am now applying my love for graphic design to preserve and protect it.

(Albert Balbutin Jr. is Haribon’s graphic designer and webmaster. Contact him at


Please follow our commenting guidelines.

Comments are closed.