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Donsol Here We Come

29 May 2009

From summers 2000 to 2003, we prided ourselves in being the first to organize tours for European tourists to see whale sharks in Donsol. We stopped when we immigrated to Australia. We have not been back since, and tonight, we will make our long bus pilgrimage to the land of whale sharks and […]

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Aerials, Slash and Burn, Seaweed Farming, and Pearl Farmers After Office Hours

11 – 15 May 2009

Our pilot was none other than Jewelmer’s boss JB, as Jacques Branellec is fondly called. Upon hearing of approaching bad weather in the coming days, he immediately offered to fly us around the pearl farm and neighboring islands. He had the two back doors of the 8-seater helicopter taken out for better photos, […]

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The Magic of Pearls

11 – 15 May 2009

When we saw mariculture listed amongst the subjects WWF wished us to document, my first thought was Jewelmer. For many years, we have longed to photograph a pearl farm to see how the famed South Sea Pearls came to be. An organic jewel made by a living organism and fed by the ocean’s plankton is too […]

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More Underwater Life in El Nido

9-10 May 2009

Lunch in a resort such as MIR and LIR means you are spoilt for choice. When asked, “Where would you like to have your lunch, ma’am?” I’d scratch my head and ask, “Where would you suggest we go?” Every place sounds and looks like paradise, with palm trees, white sand, and turquoise waters.  Our first […]

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WWF Philippines in El Nido

7 May 2009

We first visited the El Nido Town to pay a visit to the dynamic Woman Mayor Leonor Corral. Mayor Corral took the time to give us an overview of her conservation efforts and initiatives and reiterated more than once the value of collaboration with NGOs such as the El Nido Foundation, the Philippine Rural Reconstruction […]

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El Nido’s Miniloc Island Resort

6 – 8 May 2009

Shifting gears from on-the-ground land subsistence activities to first class tourism, we travelled from eastern Taytay islands to the posh Miniloc Island Resort in the western part of Northern Palawan. We have had to rough it for a full month now, and being warmly welcomed by El Nido Resorts was just what we […]

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Live Reef Fish Trade

2 – 4 May 2009

The need or want to consume live reef fish is enormous for a Chinese. I talk from experience as I am Cantonese and have uncles and cousins who own Chinese restaurants in Manila.  Growing up, every lauriat or Chinese feast attended was a full meal of at least 9 viands per table always […]

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Typhoon, Fishing, Capiz, and Manny Pacquiao

2 – 4 May 2009

Typhoon Crising went past the Western side of Occidental Mindoro, causing a downpour in Taytay, Palawan. These were unusual times, the locals said. The town fiesta on May 1-4 had always been graced with sunny weather and Amihan (or northeast tradewinds) in the past. Now the rains dampened the festivities, with Habagat or southwest tradewinds […]

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Irrawaddy Dolphins of Malampaya Sound

2 – 4 May 2009

Finally, we have good Internet connection! We’re back in Manila, and can backtrack and report on the last three weeks of our Palawan adventure. We’ll start with rare dolphins . . .

We could not imagine going to Malampaya Sound for just a few days, thinking we would need a couple of weeks stay […]

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Reef Mother

By Alya B. Honasan

Angelique Songco manages the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan with a lot of passion

It’s late one summer morning, the sun is illuminating the crystal-clear waters of the magnificent Sulu Sea—and it’s a fierce war zone in the 4,737-hectare lagoon of the North Atoll of  the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan, the Philippines.

Above the water, […]