WWF Philippines has launched a capital campaign to raise P40M in order to build a new Tubbataha Ranger Station. They do so much for us. The least we can do is to give them the best facilities we can offer to help them do their job. Lafarge Philippines has committed to supply all the cement needed for this laudable, all-Filipino project.
One of the highlights of the Tubbataha Reef 25th Anniversary celebration was the unveiling of a 100% Filipino funded project, which was the construction of a “real deal” Ranger Station that would have proper capabilities to deal with imminent threats (such as another ‘Guardian’ incident that occurred just this week by a Chinese fishing vessel).
As you can see, the new Ranger Station spells ‘gwapo’ futuristic utilizing solar panels and modern day equipment + countermeasures to deal with illegal poaching of our marine life.
If you are interested to participate in the fundraising, check out wwf.org.ph.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Tubbataha Reef’s declaration as a world heritage site. I consider myself proud and honored to be one of the contributing underwater photographers participating in a roving photo exhibit around Ayala Malls.
The Tubbataha Reefs is considered one of the best dive sites in the world, and is one of the most biologically rich and diverse areas within the Coral Triangle, Earth’s epicenter of marine life.
With the support of Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc. and the Ayala Malls, WWF-Philippines and the Tubbataha Management Office formally opened the exhibit on Monday at the New Glorietta Activity Center.The exhibit will continue to run from April 10 to 13, at the Ground Level of Glorietta 3.
Through the photo exhibit, WWF and TMO aim to promote the Tubbataha experience and highlight the importance of protecting our Tubbataha Reefs and help raise funds to build a new Tubbataha Ranger Station, which will better protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Baby cuttlefish (1 inch in total length) shot in Secret Bay, Anilao November 15 2010 3.34pm
Lembeh Strait in Indonesia is famed for being the best — if not one of the best sites for muck diving globally. No corals, no reef fish, no plants. Instead divers are rewarded with the most bizarre creatures in muck sites: mimic octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish, garden eels, flounders … it’s the weirdest of the weird.
Although shot in 3 locations, most of this footage was taken in Secret Bay.
Foreigners who dive Secret Bay in Anilao say that it rivals Lembeh for the best muck diving experience.
I dove Secret Bay countless times. It probably ranks as the number one site I’ve frequented in my two years of diving so I got to see some of the best it has to offer. In addition to this, Secret Bay is home to several hot spring nodes that can burn your hand underwater. Above ground, the springs are used to boil eggs for surface interval time between dives.
I recall sometime in the middle of last year one trip we made to the area. After going down to about 40 ft I noticed that the water was silted up and not just in one area but across a whole stretch. We went deeper to 70ft and still didn’t see anything — it was as if the entire area was fished out. Bad dive. We didn’t see anything save for dozens of flying gurnards which were common to the area and patches of anemone with their respective clownfish residents.
After 50 minutes of bottom time and our 3 minute safety stop we made our way up. Getting on the boat, we noticed a small argument ensuing by the shore. There were men with very wide rakes tied to ropes. We found out from our boatman on that the man was another diver reprimanding the locals for raking up the ocean floor for fish entangling everything as by-catch. It was horrid. And tense. No wonder the bottom was all silted up.
A flounder’s “one half” hiding in the sand. Taken in Secret Bay November 15 2010 3:26PM.
Maybe I’m coming from a jaded perspective as a diver who comes once in a while to enjoy the dive weekend. Maybe I can’t relate to the fishermen who need to survive their day to day. But I also cannot ignore the fact that Anilao, which more emphatic divers call AniLOVE is struggling to stay beautiful. The newly constructed Korean resort fronting Secret Bay SHOULD protect the area (and the adjacent site called Toro Point) and turn it into a marine sanctuary. Sayang.
The truth is, Anilao charges a daily PHP 100.00 dive pass for recreational divers. The pass serves as a tax for the conservation efforts.
Where does this money go to?
Diving Secret Bay (starts at 1:39) in January 2010. This was the only sighting I’ve had of a rare baby flamboyant cuttlefish.
Last year, I was thrilled to have been chosen by Coca-Cola to become part of their Live Positively campaign for their Energy Management & Climate Protection program. After getting my open water SCUBA certification in 2009 I went all the way to disclose the beauty that lies beneath the Philippines. I have since then become a volunteer for the WWF for their coral triangle projects and now for Coca Cola. The Live Positively campaign is really more of a permanent movement that is engraved into the company’s mission more than anything.
If you would like to learn more about Coca-Cola’s Live Positively Campaign, check out their Facebook page +) .
(My friend Joanne made the flyer above and I’m kinda red from her description of me. Anyway .. 🙂 )
Hello! 🙂 As some of you may know I volunteer some of my time with WWF Philippines. Although mostly involved with projects relating to coral triangle efforts (I donate my dive videos to the organization), I’ve been asked to help organize a series of coffee conversations between the online community and the Worldwide Fund for Nature. The first of the series has to do with Earth Hour and how we can go beyond the hour.
I sent an email to a few online friends (guys, no need to re-confirm) but decided to post the invite here, in case others are interested to attend:
Although a huge success every year (the Philippines has the highest participation worldwide) it isn’t enough to switch our power off for one hour. Making a difference requires building habits. This year and so forth, we’re going to be doing things beyond the hour. But we need your help as well to create and spread these ideas.
For those who’ve always wanted a chance to dialogue with WWF Philippines (they are proudly the most active branch of WWF in the world because of their sustainable development projects and coral triangle efforts), this is your chance. This isn’t a one shot deal — we want to involve you for the long run 🙂