The Ateneo Wild Coloring Book Features Philippine Wildlife You Never Expected Exists in the City
Growing up in Metro Manila, it’s easy to think the only animals in the city are strays, maya birds, and the occasional pigeon. But over the past few years, The Ateneo Wild Facebook page has shown us that all kinds of species can flourish in urban green spaces like campuses, cemeteries, empty lots, parks, private gardens, pretty much anywhere with lots of trees. The page has gained a large following with its knack for sharing trivia about local flora and fauna in a way that’s interesting and engaging, sometimes with references to current events thrown in. If you need a break from all the negativity on Facebook, you should definitely check out The Ateneo Wild.
And now, they’ve come up with a new way for us to appreciate city wildlife with the Ateneo Wild Coloring Books. Featuring illustrations by Iya Regalario, the coloring books are available in four volumes: Resident Birds, Native Trees, Wildflowers, and Butterflies and Moths.
Each book contains 12 species, along with reference photos in case you’d like to color the subjects exactly as they appear in real life. They also include trivia and tips for spotting the featured animals, flowers, and trees in your own surroundings. There’s a nifty campus map so you can do your own nature walk in Ateneo once the campus opens up to students and alumni again.
The Ateneo Wild has also just released Dawn Chorus, a set of free-to-download flashcards that will help you recognize the calls of 27 urban birds. All you have to do is scan the QR code to listen to each bird call.
Illustrated by Tracy Monsod and Ponci Soliongco, each card includes the featured bird’s local name, common name, size, vocalization, and scientific name. They’re also color-coded so you can tell if they’re endemic, resident (meaning they’re not unique to the Philippines and can be found all-year round), or migratory. The flashcards are available in both digital and printable PDF formats.
In this pandemic, the outdoors are the safest place to be for both our physical and mental health. And as these resources from the Ateneo Wild show us, you don’t need to get out of the city to appreciate nature—you just need to look and listen a little more closely.