• A day in a life of . . . A researcher for the Darwin Initiative Project

    The author interviewing an elderly fisherman from the community

    The author interviewing an elderly fisherman from the community

    6:30 a.m.—Woke up, prepared, and reminded myself of the task for the day: to interview the fisherfolk of one island barangay of Burdeos, Quezon.

    7:30 a.m.—Enjoyed eating danggit, a local variety of dried fish, and sinangag for breakfast.

    8:15 a.m.—Checked to see if everything was prepared. Questionnaires, ballpen, field guide, drinking water, umbrella check! Waterproof all belongings, check!

    8:30 a.m.—Boarded a fishing boat going to the fishing community.

    9 a.m.—Adored the fantastic scenery while on board. Saw halfbeaks
    (Hemiramphidae), locally known as siliw, jumping out of the water and skipping across the surface.

    9:30 a.m.—Arrived at the fishing community. We walked to the shore from our boat since it was low tide.

    Looking at the variety of fish the fisherfolk catch from the waters of Burdeos, Quezon

    Looking at the variety of fish the fisherfolk catch from the waters of Burdeos, Quezon

    10:30 a.m.—Together with the research team, we talked to the barangay captain and introduced the Darwin Initiative Project; what is it about, and why are we doing this. We gave a copy of the questionnaire to the barangay captain so he’ll have an idea on what the interview is all about.

    10:45 a.m.—Started to go around and looked for fishermen who are willing to be interviewed.

    10:50 a.m.—While walking, I finally found a fisher fixing his gillnet in preparation for the following day. Helpful information such as the time when fishers usually arrive, where most fishers live, were also asked to help the team make most of the day.

    12:15 p.m.—I wrapped up the interview with the two fisherfolk, then headed back to the designated meeting place and have lunch with the team. Usually, it’s fish again for lunch.

    1 p.m.—Siesta time! It’s best to do this near the shore while taking in the cool breeze from the sea.

    1:30 p.m.—Interviewed fisherfolk again; went from house to house and prayed that they did not go out fishing!

    3:30 p.m.—Started looking for old fishermen aged 63 years old and above since they are the ones able to tell a story about the fishing situation of the past.

    3:45 p.m.—I was lucky to find an old man in his 60s, staring blankly into the sea, sitting alone in an empty boat parked in the shore. As soon as I saw him, I approached him and asked if he was willing to be interviewed. Luckily, he was very interested to share his stories from the past.

    4:45 p.m.—After an hour of interview with lolo, I began looking out for fishers who just arrived. It was also interesting to check out their catches for the day. Names of interested fishers who claimed to be busy were noted and scheduled an interview with them the following day.

    5:45 p.m.—To end the day on a good note, I walked along the beach and admired the sunset while waiting for fellow researchers to finish with their last interview for the day.

    6 p.m.—All researchers convened and updated the team on the age groups of fishers that were interviewed. We also planned for the next day.


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