lifetime landscapes

Bhakti Issa Urra
3 min readJan 30, 2023

Returning to our island in the sun after being away for four years is a bittersweet experience. We are glad to be back but sad about the urban developments that have taken over and obliterated the lush green nature we grew up in.

rainbow after heavy rain

Gone are the endless waving fields of sugarcane. Replaced by huge swaths of cemented construction. Slow meandering drives through empty roads lost to the press of too many folks pushing their way around roads too tight for this amount of traffic.

Matab-Ang is the place we have come back to — replacing our base in Bacolod where we were born and raised. We are lucky to have an enclave for our present sanctuary — away from the rush and noise outside.

January 2023 tropical depression

Interest in the environment has never been greater yet how much do each of us understand and engage with it? Do we love the land we live in enough to protect it from harm and greed?

Geography and geology are easily forgotten in the mad rush to plant our stake in a paradise of our own unmaking.

finally, skies are clearing up

Most of us admire the landscape yet remain blind to the many visible clues of the four billion years of history that formed it. Our human lifespan a mere blink in its long existence can overwhelm or make us dismissive.

Discover how a basic understanding of geological timescales, plate tectonics and landforms can help to ‘read’ the great outdoors.

lush greens after the rains

These illustrated books contain accessible texts that beautifully illuminate the landscape around us.

Supported by color photographs and illustrations — extracts from their authors add actual examples of the environment described.

by Robert Yarham

Opening How to Read the Landscape is like opening a window on a whole new way of seeing the living world around us.

by Patrick Whitefield

Originally published at



Bhakti Issa Urra

canvassing consciousness, constantly curious — ever challenged & changed