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Training of the Pawikan Watchers


Last January 2015, I had the rare opportunity to join a project done by Save Philippine Seas to help a Pawikan Conservation group in La Union. We called ourselves Pawikan Watchers. It was a one month project and indeed it was full of realizations, learning and enjoyment. I had the opportunity to work with 6 volunteers coming from different parts of the Philippines just to help out in the conservation program of CURMA in La Union.

I learned, if no one would take action, there is a high chance Pawikans could only be seen by our future generations in books and probably their story will be like a legend, as we hear dinosaur stories nowadays. While in La Union, we heard stories from locals how there was such abundance of fish 10yrs ago. They could catch nets full of fish. And now, allow me to quote one fisherman, he said, “Now, we can hardly fill a bucket.”

I remembered the founder of CURMA, she mentioned seeing whales pass by the front of their house. (Their house is by the seashore. Overlooking the ocean.) Now, they’ve never seen a whale for quite some time. I loved what Ms. Sachi Tamayo, the founder of CURMA, said. “As human beings, we are meant to be caretakers, not exploiters.” I hope this penetrates in our hearts on how we view nature, our home and these creatures are our co-inhabitants.

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