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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, […]

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Out in the Blue: Tubbataha Reefs, Sulu Sea

2 May 2009

By Alya B. Honasan

The sting

It’s been over a week since I got back from the first leg of the WWF Coral Triangle Initiative Photographic Expedition of J�rgen and Stella Freund to Tubbataha in the Sulu Sea, but it took a while to type out the tale.

You see, I was a casualty of war – that is, the […]

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Life in a Fishing Village

27/28 April 2009

We spent an enlightening day and night on Green Island, Palawan. About 2,000 people, children included, live there. There are 360 households, and if you do the math, that’s about an average of 5.5 people per household.  One family has 14 children!

You could walk this small, elongated fishing village from end to end in 5 minutes, […]

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Roxas Fisheries

26 April 2009

Many thanks to Boy Bonoan and Ofie Rondina of the Palawan Provincial Government, our land transport to Northern Palawan was all organized.

Once in Roxas, a scenic two-hour coastal ride north from Puerto Princesa, our guide Albert Ladica met us at our Pension.  Albert is the Fisheries Technician of the Department of Agriculture. His job […]

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COTS Once More and So Long Ranger Station

21 April 2009

The guests onboard Oceana Maria joined in gathering COTS. Among them was Luli Arroyo, the Philippine President’s daughter and Southeast Asia Policy Officer for WWF Coral Triangle Programme. The fervor did not abate and as the stabbing sticks were not enough, rangers watched as we all gathered. Alya and Angelique were casualties of […]

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Rangers and Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

20 April 2009 

Order of the day was an early morning group picture of the rangers with manager Angelique and WWF expedition visitors Alya, Yogi & I. After breakfast, we photographed WWF ranger Choy and TMO ranger Manny diving a coral reef near the station. They monitored through transects the health of the reef.  In this […]

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Oh no! Rain!

19 April 2009

Woke up at 5:45am – gee it’s overcast. By 6:30, while I was using nature’s toilet, the heavens opened. We all thought it was a good thing the rains didn’t happen at night!

Equipped with raincoats, we continued shooting after breakfast. Secille and Choy found a dead brown booby tagged with bird banding.  Choy […]

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Finally, Tubbataha Bird Islet

18 April 2009

Woke up at 3 am. Outside the station, the sky was bright with stars and a quarter moon. It was peaceful to spend a few minutes outside with Yogi and the rangers creating a cacophony of snores inside. After half an hour, the winds picked up.

It was time to go back to sleep.

A […]

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Re-scheduling Tubbataha Bird Islet

17 April 2009

Today was a day of helplessness and frustration. It was flat, calm, and full sunshine yesterday. We left the boat Stella Maris with all the guests and crew wishing us a not-so-scorching hot visit to Bird Islet, and warned us to wear lots of sunscreen.

At about 3 or 4 am, while sleeping at […]