Friday, December 25, 2015

Images of Tañon Strait: Looking Back to An Incredible Journey

Hard to believe that it was six months ago when I, along with a team of conservationists from Oceana Philippines, and fellow photographers went on an almost week-long expedition across Tañon Strait in the Visayas to document life and sights along this important, though largely under-recognized, body of water.

What a week it was.  We rode inland from Cebu City to Bantayan Island to the north and sailed down south to Bais Bay.  In between, we got serenaded at Aloguinsan before going through the mangrove-bordered Bojo river; marveled at the seascape of Moalboal, even spending two days on a liveaboard and overnight on a reef station in Mantalip.

What made it extra memorable for me was that I was suffering from two infections at the time.  How I wished I was able to see the sardine run at Panagsama beach or even just take a dip on the warm, inviting waters off Virgin Island instead of being feverish and land- and boat-locked.  Still, looking and reading this book, I am transported back to those days where  we wake up to wonder each morning, praying for good weather and retiring to bed each night filled with new experiences.

My profuse thanks to Yassie Arquiza, communications director of Oceana Philippines, for inviting me to participate in this expedition.  To echo Yas's foreword, we collectively hope that through this book, the people that live along the coasts of Tañon Strait as well as the public in general, will be made aware of what they have, and what they stand to lose if wanton destruction of this marine habitat is not stopped.

About the book: Images of Tañon Strait is published by Oceana Philippines International • Text by Criselda Yabes, photographic contribution by photographers, Ferdz Decena, Tonee Despjo, Ferdinand Edralin, Candeze Mongaya, Danny Ocampo, Gutsy Tuazon, and Oggie Ramos. • Copies of the book may be requested by mailing to PO Box 255, UP Post Office, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City 1101 or email Philippines@oceana.org

About Oceana Philippines:  The Philippines office of Oceana, the world's largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation.  Oceana Philippines seeks to restore the healh, richness, and abundance of Philippines oceans.   By working closely with civil society, academics, fishers, and government, Oceana Philippines will promote the use of sound science-based policies to help ensure sustainable fisheries and vibrant marine ecosystems.

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