A Blue Travel at Masinloc, Zambales
Photos by Yna Molina, Cza Constantino and Allan Canare
Haribon Blue Travel surged through San Salvador Island, Masinloc, Zambales for days of fun, and knowledgeable new experience as they seek through wonderful activities the Haribon Foundation, together with the San Salvador local government and people organization Samahan ng Pangkabuhayan ng San Salvador (SPSS), had organized for members, staff and its local community.
Municipal Environmental Officer Ms. Olive Gregorio set the course as she showcased environmental and conservation initiatives that had happen alongside its partnership with Haribon Foundation, anchored away as she orients participants about the Philippine Marine Biodiversity and the fun activities to come for the rest of the day such as; basic fish and coral identification, mangrove seed planting, and an educational tour along San Salvador Island eco-tourism projects.
We know fish and corals when we see one, basic fish and coral identification takes us a step further into the submerge domain of underwater life as it enlighten us that; rays, eels, sharks, and other aquatic creatures are fishes, while cuttlefish, starfish, and jellyfish, despite their names, are not fishes. And the underwater rainforest – corals are not just “corals” but have different classification based on their exoskeleton and physiology. The activity teaches its members to see fishes and corals in a new light, that they will not say “It’s a fish!” but a fish with its own story.
Haribon members at the mangrove site for planting.
Deeper into the day, members set out in a boat for an educational tour as they paddled about several of San Salvador Island’s marine protected areas, to show members what underwater rainforest truly is – to shed light for their eyes to see the kingdom beneath - through the Taclobo farm (Giant Clam Farm), naturally made mangrove forest, and the Mangrove Island Forest where members experienced to plant mangrove seed with the help from the locals.
The purpose of the event was not only to be embrace that nature’s grace but was to form a bond as well with the local government and community, help refute the notion government is ill-efficient - they don’t know how to work, and people thinking that they are powerless and cannot do anything against those who are above them. Haribon, along with Masinloc local government aims to show that the government and local community are working hand-in-hand with preserving a common cause.
Haribon organized the event to rekindle past partnership with the local government and people’s organization. Revisiting past projects and activities such as the planting of Mangrove Forest, and lending a hand with establishing their marine protected area.
“Blue travel is an important event to show that the local government and the local community are not dissenting factions. People should realize that there is hope for the government, for the environment, for sustainability. And more importantly as an individual, the knowledge you get of yourself, and the knowledge you yet, have not discovered – you are no longer indifferent. ” – Raiza Joy Elumba / Member, Organizer