Twinkling Trees, Enchanting Fireflies

A romance to remember


Tiny bits of light glitter in a synchronized manner as if a Christmas song is played on the background. But these are not Christmas lights but a colony of fireflies taking residence in one of the trees along the riverbanks of Donsol River.


One of the many things a traveller to Donsol should never miss is the evening river cruise wherein one can romance with the fireflies. Though I have experienced it before, the charm of the cruise has never lessened in any bit. These bright tiny insects have a way of enchanting their audience with their stunning natural light.


We loaded our motorized boat near the Donsol River Bridge, where I had a tiny mishap of nearly being run over by a motorcycle loaded with sacks of rice. Although the driver managed to avoid me, his handle rammed into my left arm which left me bruised. Nevertheless, despite a slightly inflamed left arm, I carefully treaded the bamboo pier and got on the boat.


Our guide, Mang Bernard, said that fireflies emit three different colors: yellow, green, and pale red. These are chemicals found in the luminous glands of these lightning bugs. Mang Bernard briefed us on the nature of the fireflies, wherein they prefer to live near rivers and that they claim a particular territory for their colony. The male, after mating with the female, dies and leave the mother with hundreds of eggs, which become their offspring.


Enchanting Mayon. It seemed like a scene from a movie as darkness envelopes the river and Mayon peeks through the horizon. Photo by Claire Algarme.


We traversed through the expanse of the river while the sun was setting low. Ahead, Mt. Mayon’s peak was visible amidst the clouds. The scene was enchanting, as if I was transported to a different world. The moon was starting to shine brightly while the stars appeared one by one, winking down at me whispering a secret that is being reveled.


As the sun sets (upper part) fireflies light up the river (bottom part). Photos by Claire Algarme.


Under the Talisay tree, we waited until a tiny spark caught our eyes. As dark swallowed our surroundings, the luminous insects found their stage to show us their spectacle. Further on, a coconut tree was surrounded by the little lights. We moved from one tree to another until we came upon a group of trees with the sparkling bugs blanketing its leaves and surroundings. The picture was majestic. While we remained in the shadows, the fireflies held our attention, blinking their abdomens in unison.


The experience was breath taking. As I looked up in the sky thanking God for the beauty He created, the stars twinkled down on me as if they were fireflies stuck in the large dome of the universe. The fireflies sure know how to romance its viewers.


4 comments on “Twinkling Trees, Enchanting Fireflies

  1. Lane says:

    I’ve been wanting to go somewhere with fireflies. This looks like an ideal place to experience that! Do you have more close-up photos of the fireflies?

    • firsttimetravel says:

      It was difficult to take pictures because we can’t use flash photography so the photos were mostly dark. :( But the experience is good!

      • Lane says:

        Definitely gonna try this soon. It’s refreshing to hear about other things that Donsol has to offer aside from the awesome Butanding’s :) Thanks for the info!

      • firsttimetravel says:

        The experience is really enchanting. Yes, try this when you visit Donsol.

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