Turtle Love – Sipadan Malaysia

By Alya B. Honsasan

23 – 25 June  2009

N4 07.051 E118 37.655

I SHOULD have gotten the hint when I did my check-out dive the afternoon I arrived at the Sipadan Mabul Resort (SMART) on Mabul Island, one of the two islands within view of Sipadan. On that relaxed 40-minute dive in Paradise 2 and 3, two famous sites near […]

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Giant Clams Spawning, Seaweed Farming, Fisheries

11 – 15 June

Pulau Bohey Dulang
Seaweed farming community
Purse Seiner fishing grounds

Maybe it was our good vibes and positive aura.  We got lucky this time in Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia. On to the second leg of our expedition, we visited, with our WWF Malaysia companions, Pulau Boheydulang.  The Boheydulang Island is one of the islands in Tun Sakaran Marine […]

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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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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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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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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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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 […]