Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 1: Romblon Island

Oct 20, 2008. My Day 1 started at 1 pm, after a really long sleep. My brother, and Joel, one SIKAT staff, and myself rode the motorcycle to one of the communities of Romblon Island. (Talk about overloading :-) ).

We headed to Agpanabat, which is about 30 minutes away from Romblon proper. There, I interviewed Chris and Job, two of the officers of Pawikan Inc, a community based organization advocating marine conservation. Pawikan is the Filipino name for sea turtle, which is now close to being extinct. Agpanabat, being one of the nesting place for the sea turtles took the responsibility of ensuring that the eggs hatch, and of taking care of the hatchlings until they are ready to be released to the sea. It is very heart warming to know that people, who are hard up in life, are giving their time and resources to make sure that the sea turtle lives.

After the interview, Chris and Job showed us some of the beautiful places in Agpanabat. They took us to the mouth of two caves.I would have wanted to go inside but it was getting late.

We then went to the reef where the concrete turtle aquarium is located. From there you would see a really good view of a beach on the right side, and more reefs on the left side. And below it, is the fish sanctuary, which Pawikan Inc. is also protecting.

By the reef, they showed us the fossil giant clams. These were big clams with diameters ranging from 29 to 41 cm. And these were fossils! This could mean these were from millions of years back. Sadly, these are the only ones left from the hundreds of fossil giant clams. The townsfolk sold most of it to a German national in 1998. Now, they are making sure that nobody takes the remaining 9 fossil giant clams.

We then walked to the nearby Agpanabat lighthouse, which we didnt have the heart to climb. We were contented to watch the view of the ocean, and the reefs.

It was simply beautiful.

And it was time to go home. But not after Job and Chris gave us 2 whole fried chicken. :-) What can I say, they were simply nice.

And then it was dinner time. With our chicken, and with the other SIKAT staff, we went to Romblon Plaza Hotel, which is the biggest hotel in the island.

And it was time to sleep. Again.

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