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Pawikan Sanctuary, Morong
Town/City:  Morong
Province:  Bataan
14° 39.146N   120° 17.692E
Listed in Gallery:   Conservation Site

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Located in barangay Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan is the site of a community-based Pawikan Conservation Program which started in late 1999. Manned by former poachers and turtle egg collectors who turned into marine turtle conservation advocates, the Program's mission is to secure the eggs laid during the nesting season (between September and January) and transfer them into the hatchery to facilitate breeding and to contribute to the regeneration of the fishing grounds.

Many tourists go to this sanctuary during the nesting season and especially during the Pawikan Festival to be able to get a chance to see turtles come up to shore at night to lay their eggs. During the Pawikan Festival, tourists are even able to "adopt a turtle" and personally hold and release a baby turtle into the sea.

Waypoint narrative by: EPPGarcia 2005     follow EPPGarcia on Facebook

Additional narratives or blogs:
Bataan Beaches are known for nesting marine turtles (Pawikan) coming in the evenings. It is said that people from poor communities used to come to collect the eggs for food or trade, and sometimes hunt the female turtles to eat the meat, then sell the shells and skin to traders who resell them as illegal by-products (stuffed pawikan,ornaments for guitars,comb, eyeglass frames,etc). Fortunately, Bantay Pawikan,Inc initiated a community-based conservation program with the help of the provincial government and UNDF-GEF-SGP. Soon,other communities and groups followed suit, and their collective efforts ensured the protection of nesting marine turtles, collection and hatching of eggs, and releasing all hatchlings back to the sea. To promote consciousness on the importance of conserving the Pawikans, the Center welcomes visitors. No entrance fee is imposed, though local residents say a donation of P15 per person has been traditionally encouraged... For all the unselfish/ altruistic efforts of the volunteers of Bantay Pawikan, Inc., wouldn't it be worth giving P100 or more? You can also "adopt" a turtle and pledge your support. For inquiries,contact Nida at 09287185721, and Manolo at 09267158543.

By: Cyndy_Coronado 2008