Haribon successfully concluded its “Blue Travel” through the San Salvador Island in Masinloc, Zambales for days of fun and knowledgeable experiences.
The event, organized by the Haribon Foundation, together with the San Salvador local government and people organization Samahang Pangkabuhayan ng San Salvador (SPSS), was joined by Haribon members and staff and the local community.
To kick off the activities, municipal environmental officer Olive Gregorio gave an orientation to participants about the Philippine marine biodiversity. He also taught basic fish and coral identification, mangrove seed planting, and an educational tour in the island’s eco-tourism projects.
For her part, Raiza Joy Elumba, Haribon Foundation member and event organizer, expressed, “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. ”
The activity then moved on to basic fish and coral identification. Underwater life in the island proved to be abundant with species of rays, eels, sharks and other fishes. It also enlightened participants that corals are not just corals, but have different classifications based on their exoskeleton and physiology.
Deeper into the day, members set out in a boat for another educational tour as they paddled towards several of San Salvador Island’s marine protected areas. This showcased participants what underwater rainforest truly is. They had a chance to see the kingdom beneath—the Taclobo farm (Giant Clam Farm), naturally made mangrove forest, and the Mangrove Island Forest where they planted mangrove seed with the help from the locals.
The Blue Travel was also organized to rekindle Haribon’s past partnership with the local government and people’s organizations. Revisiting past projects and activities and establishing marine protected areas show that public and private sectors are hand-in-hand in this common cause.