Wednesday, May 22Multi-awarded Filipina blogger, ocial media specialist, publicist and content creator
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Blog Action Day 2011 – please, let us save our seas!

Truth be told, I felt so sad and embarrassed when news about the smuggling of black corals, turtles, rare seashells and other marine life here in the Philippines first broke out. Who wouldn’t be? The shipment that was apprehended last May 1, 2011 at Pier 15, South Harbor Manila was from the Port of Cotabato City, Mindanao.

The apprehended shipment included two 20-footer container vans declared as “rubber.” Obviously, the seized shipment was far from containing “rubber.” Instead, the vans yielded, among others, 134 bundles with 21,169 pieces of dried black corals, 161 turtles and roughly 7,340 pieces of rare sea shells. And to think that was just ONE shipment!

That signaled a lot of concerns — from the fact that my beloved Mindanao has apparently been the home of greedy individuals who shamelessly ruin our seas just for profit to the fact that the concerned government agencies have apparently been too lax in enforcing marine law (under BFAR administrative order 202, series of 2000, the harvest and trade of black corals are prohibited) to the fact that it took so many years and concerned netizens just to uncover this.

Then, my feeling of embarrassment became a feeling of anger and frustration especially when I learned that there are firms and unfortunately, Mindanaoans, who peddle endangered Philippine corals. These people have obviously forgotten the importance of ecosystems, biodiversity and marine life. They raped the ocean, destroyed coral reefs, deprived people of food, source of income and livelihood. They have committed grave crimes against nature and against all of US.

And this is the reason why I’m joining Blog Action Day 2011 today, June 8 (which also happens to be World Oceans Day!) There is no better time than TODAY to act — please, let us save our seas! Let us put a stop to this PLUNDER! Let us also adopt doable measures that can help save black corals and other Philippine corals.

I urge YOU to join me in this crusade to raise awareness and to remind people to protect and conserve our marine ecosystems. Let us also compel the Philippine government to do what they MUST.

rich marine life photo by trisha tamparong* photo by Trisha Tamparong

As a side note, I would like to say that my friend Trisha (the one who took the photo above) invited me earlier this year to go diving. I have always wanted to learn scuba diving and with all these happenings, I now have more reasons to go. Perhaps we can start a “scubasurero” type of activity soon. Ah, I still want to discover abundant Philippine seas!

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1 Comment

  • Irene, tara! Let’s go diving! Let me know once you decide to get your scuba certification, ok? I’ll introduce you to the best dive instructor in Davao.

    Thanks for mentioning Scubasurero — I’m currently planning a series of coastal clean-up dives in Davao Gulf, and we’ll be joined by groups from all over.

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