No road leads to this place
Pawikan is Sea Turtle in tagalog, my native language here in the Philippines Pawikan is a living dinosaur, they have been swimming the ocean for over 100 million years Today only 1 in 1000 survive to adulthood We are on our way to Barombong, a remote coastal community only accessible by sea We depart Port Barton by bangka, the traditional Filipino boat We are in a group of scientists, educators, artists and volunteers This activity is part of the Port Barton Pawikan Project The trip takes only 1 hour and this is the regular journey for the people of Barombong They normally go to Port Barton for food, supplies and other needs I’m Charles Maquiso, a marine biologist here in Palawan, and a community coordinator within Atelier Aquatic NGO doing marine conservation and community projects Barombong is the furthest sea turtle nesting site we take care of Okay, so right now we've just arrived at Barombong Sitio We are just disembarking shortly Is this village somehow connected with the Palawan Island with a road? It's not This community accesses the main Port Barton area by boat We're transferring from the big boat to a smaller boat here, which will take us to a painting event that we'll show you later It's very heavy We are leaving food and some of our stuff in the main village, Sitio Barombong This is where we will spend the night For the rest of the day we are heading to another beach, where part of the Barambong community lives and elementary school is located It’s a truly picturesque spot with all you may need on a remote beach: nice sand, palm trees and transparent sea We are passing some houses and this is something that looks like a kitchen And we are going forward We have to walk through this little bridge here and i have this really heavy stuff that i'm carrying but i hope i'll make it Pass it to me if you want Yes I have to pass it to you Grab the camera And you can record me Yeah I think that I weight like a 150kg with this altogether Let's see how it works Did it! It's very hot i have to tell you One interesting observation: we live in Port Barton now and Port Barton is a remote part of Palawan where you really feel like you're outside of the civilization And then you come to a remote village like this when there is no road connection with mainland Palawan and here you really feel like far away from civilization and Port Barton seems like a big village to you It's truly beautiful and hot here Okay, so we came to an elementary school here in this village Here is a solar panel - as you can see - because there is no electricity here other than from generators or the solar power Here is how easily you can dry clothes: just put it on the grass and wait And this is the Barongbong elementary school as we can see I love the Barongbong Elementary School We are in front of one of the school buildings and you can see a huge solar panel there, so yeah it's a really ecological energy There is the entrance It's a classroom right? Yes For very small kids apparently There are lots of colors in the Philippines, so even the board is not black - because that would be boring. It's red It's green in Venezuela? Yeah I think in my country - in Poland - it's mainly black Can you record the universe? Wow, there is the universe, look guys! The galaxy The name: Romel! My brother is Romel Wow Igna is from Venezuela and her brother's name first name is the same as this little boy's They have many Spanish names here - just like in Venezuela So, as we can see: every kid has his own desk with a little seat And everything is lively and colorful And there we have a photo of the president Rodrigo Duterte So yeah, it's not a fancy, but a pretty well organized classroom as we can see There is a reading corner here and there are some words in English English is spoken widely by young people and all of the kids learn english in the Philippines Here we have a map of the Philippines and these are birthdays of some kids Talking about the colors in the classroom: it's kind of in the Filipino culture Filipino people - they like everything to be colorful and interesting, lively Even when you go to a disco here - normally they wouldn't like to listen to a song for like 3-5 minutes They listen to it for 30 seconds and normally the DJ changes it to another song They like changes, they like colors, they like variety - it's the Filipino culture And it's so different from our western-northern world, that I find Philippines really interesting and amazing We have the school map here and the feeding center There is a colorful door and as I told you many colors in the Philippines always This is a study shed - a place where you can... study, right? And take a rest Is there internet here? I'm just curious No Not at all or is it very slow? No Not at all But, as you can see, there is a computer here and a printer If anything needs to be printed out Cora has new friends here Cora is your dog? Yes He is from Port Barton Corazon He has a heart-shaped nose - like a heart on his nose So that's why we called him Corazon, which means "heart" (in Spanish) Basically there is no internet signal here? Even if you would put the telephone on a stick up high No signal So what do you do when you want to download some materials? We go to the place, where where there is a signal Then we are going to download all the modules and save it to the flash drive We print it in the computer Although there is no internet here, basically you use modern way, because you print the materials right? You don't need to buy the books, so still the internet somehow helps But lately we found the signal here Do you see that stick there under the mango? If we're calling, we are going to loudspeak the cell phone Can you hear me? Ok,ok Because if we are going to get away the cell phone - no signal This is the spot of the signal here, basically. Cause of the magic tree We discovered this only 2-3 weeks ago So it's a change, because to make a call or to write a text message you don't need to go somewhere else Last time when we had no signal, we had to go there, we ride on a boat Ah, to the open sea, so that you can get the signal Yes So this is how calling and sending text messages works It works sometimes, because sometimes there is signal - only at this spot here And when they want to download something or send something via the internet they get on the boat go to the open sea here and use the internet All of the electricity they use here comes from solar panels It's enough for them, enough to use the You're saying there's a plane? Yup, there is a plane I'm recording a documentary for youtube Yes Do you live here in this village? Yes Is it good? Yes Do you like to swim in the sea sometimes? Yes Do you go to Port Barton sometimes? Yes And when? Yes When you went there last time? Yes Okay Now i see what kind of conversation we are having here Yes So, yes, although English is widely taught and spoken in the Philippines, not everywhere kids know English well It's a little school so they maybe do speak english well, but they are a little bit shy Or maybe they don't, they will learn, but the chance that they will learn how to speak English is like 90 percent Based on what i see in the Philippines From what they told me: all of the electricity that they use here comes from solar panels and it's enough for them to have electricity Although apparently they wake up very early they wake up with the daylight and they go to sleep in the evening There is limited electricity here, which helps live close and according to the nature Drying clothes the Filipino way again, and the school Apparently it was open on 11th of November 1981 And what is happening here is called "pintura" Like in Spanish: painting Hello Bartek. This is the plan: Father Ocean, mother Earth and then they come together in the sand and the sea And the children are the baby turtles That's beautiful So they both look after the baby turtles - the creature of the sea and the land Sandrine is making different shades of blue and green And then when we put the color on there - it's like a section So then it's easy to enable lots of people to be part of the activity Because they can just paint it by blocks of color Before we fly the drone i want to tell you what i have just learned: what my name means in the ilocano language that they speak in Northern Luzon, Philippines So, Joey? Can you say what my name Bartek means in Ilocano? Bartek means "drunk" Completely drunk? Just drunk Just drunk, ok. Thank you
Wow... It's so freaking hot that actually for the first time in my life the drone told me that it's overheating and i need to turn it off So we're waiting for it to cool down, we didn't even take off And it's January - that's what I love about the southern countries There are the batteries for the solar power here And we can admire some trophies here in this little room Okay, now i get why our drone is overheating. It's almost noon and we are pretty close to the equator We'll cool it down a little bit and go to fly soon I think one can have an amazing childhood here in this scenery, being that close to the nature As you can see kids are enjoying outdoor activities - I think that more than our kids nowadays Hey, girls! Honestly: it's one of the most beautiful places i've seen. It's really amazing, this beach here
All of the trees and how clean it is actually There are not many products coming here, not many plastic bottles - so it's clean That guy agreed to get us some coconut and he went up like in 10 seconds and he goes down. And like in one minute everything is ready I really admire his skills We have coconut, fresh coconut that we will drink The girls are observing you. You look original to them Yes? No! Yes As a foreigner I asked them: "is she beautiful?" They said: "Yes" Aaaa, thank you It used to be a water pump? Yes Ah, this one But it's broken So basically there is no fresh water on this part How do you get fresh water? Do you bring it? You bring the container in the boat then we get water in some area there But the water there is for free, yes? Because it's a streak or something like that But it's limited still, because of the capacity of the boat Yes It's really crazy, the ladies have learned that we have a small boat - a bangka - and they said "yeah, come over here whenever you want, you're free to come here, your'e welcome" The only thing we'll have to do is bring a tent, because there are no places for rent here obviously Cora found his new home, he's really happy here We're walking to the beach now - we want to see how it looks Guys, it looks just [ __ ] amazing I mean: it looks like a paradise It's such an obvious thing to say and nothing really original but...
It does look like a paradise, doesn't it? Yeah! So we are invited to come here to this beach, which is actually mainland Palawan But it's so remote, it doesn't have any road connection, that it looks like a different island, like a completely different island The ladies mentioned that they don't have a ball to play basketball The one that actually Igna played with the kids didn't have enough air inside and i guess it's really old and worn out So yeah, we'll need to get a ball. We'll probably get a net and a volleyball from Puerto Princesa, which is the biggest city on Palawan And i think we'll be back here and we'll show it to you from a bangka /small boat/ trip perspective Fresh water here and apparently this is a place where the people here wash their clothes They have some fresh water from rains because it was a rainy season until more or less now They will need to start bringing water from other places: streaks and little rivers from other parts by boat soon, because the dry season is coming I am Anita Gardner Sharland, the founder of Atelier Aquatic - a small NGO that uses creative solutions to engage communities in education and marine conservation This project is called the Port Barton Pawikan Project It is based in Port Barton Marine Park, Palawan, Philippines, which is home to 5 of the world’s 7 species of marine turtle: Hawksbill, Green, Logger head, Leatherback and Olive Ridley all are listed as endangered by The International Union, Conservation of Nature (IUCN) This project is working with local government and conservation groups to monitor the nesting grounds of marine turtles in the area and create hatcheries to support their chances of survival, supporting the IUCN Strategy The project goal is education, awareness, creative participation, and conservation to raise the profile of the importance of marine turtles in the PBMP As a key stone species, the presence of Marine Turtles is vital to marine eco systems, by maintaining healthy sea grass beds and coral reefs, providing key habitat for other marine life, helping to balance marine food webs and facilitating nutrient cycles from water to land. The project aims to build community capacity through education and training, community outreach and engagement celebrated through environmental muralism and ‘Artivism’ Whilst at the same time establishing hatcheries and monitoring systems at all the nesting sites within the PBMP The monitoring data has been shared with Oceanic Society and local partners in government environment agencies: DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) PCSD - Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Municipality of San Vicente Barangay Port Barton At the end of the first year of the project we have established 12 sites in the Port Barton Area, 873 Olive Ridley hatchlings As a baseline project, we feel this is a huge success The communities we have worked with are really excited to be part of the project, and to work together to protect these amazing ancient sea creatures Do you wanna try? No, I don't have a one percentage of artistic talent for drawing, singing... ...and dancing Yeah, you have to tell them, huh? No, no, no So do I dance like Michael Jackson? Here we have a class for the kids led by a biologist and a teacher The color of parrot is green and also yellow green….Are they found here?
How about this one, what is this? Yes kuya? Baleen whale No Pawikan, Sea Lion Sea lion. No its not, we don’t have sea lion here Lets give a turtle clap to him…. 1,2,3 Ok, very good Just now there's been an outreach educational project about the pawikan, which is tagalog for the Sea Turtle It's engaging the outreach communities that have turtles that are hatching in this area to give information from the young and then It's been really great, the children seem really connected, the teachers are interacting in a really good way and it's best to come from locals and with the kids it's a fun activity But if it comes into the head from young they'll know in the future that it's not like a commodity, it's actually a part of the ecosystem that helps them live within that I am Charles Maquiso I was born in Sarangani Province, south of the Philippines We lived near to the sea and in our place we have also turtle nestings, so i'm already aware of We have 7 species around the world and here in the Philippines we have 5 In Port Barton and San Vincente we have 3 common, like: Green Sea Turtle, the Olive Ridley and the Hawksbill Turtle For now the the situation of sea turtles here is: endangered What is the danger for the turtles basically As i observe people are not much danger anymore for the turtles It's the predator: dogs, lizards, Those are the predators that eat the eggs of the turtles Although you say that humans are not the main threat for the turtles, you still have the the program to educate the young kids Yeah, because kids could be easily taught, So when the kids are taught about the awareness of turtles, they could bring it even they grow older It will not be lost in their memory And also they could pass on to the next generation Ultimately with the passage of years the survivors will increase in size With size comes some measure of protection The only truly worrisome predators now are some of the larger shark species: bulls, tigers and whites and the occasional killer whale Although recorded in places like Palawan, educational movies about marine life can not be seen in remote spots like Barombong, where marine protection is very important, but electricity and access to technology is limited The kids in Barombong have probably never been to the cinema Taking a mini electric generator to show a film was a game changer and a part of the kids’ memorable experience to learn about sea turtles It's 8 o'clock in the morning next day and we went to sleep early, around midnight and woke up early, around 7 And it was really cool to sleep in a tent, I forgot how cool it is to have this view of a beautiful starry night with the palm trees and the full moon from your tent Hello Looow tide Okay, so we are in the main part of the village, where we actually slept. We had a camping there We just had a breakfast We feel good. Just a little bit hangover, because there was some wine yesterday But everything is good There is a low tide as you can see It's a beautiful place Not really developed, what's good about it also I can't get to know, but the guys are... I think they are preparing the net to go for fishing Or maybe they went there in the morning Barongbong/Barombong is where we are I really love how people use the boats here, just like we use cars or motorcycles or buses in our world Because Philippines is more than 7000 islands, so in order to go home sometimes you take your boat - just like a bicycle Okay, 3, 2, 1 Cheeeeese And hamburger Thank you Cora almost got on the boat, but he's waiting for us here now Pretending that he's waiting, because he was actually almost on the boat Hey, what's up Cora? The bad thing is that he will try to dry himself up there. Sorry guys
Ah, cute Here, if you look in the green - there's three nesting sites Of the turtles Yeah... So Anita and the team are going to look at the three protected nesting sites for turtle eggs Maybe it's going to be successful Let's see That jump was a little bit unnecessary That's some beautiful sandy beach here Amazing sand And Cora likes it also So now question is: would you like to live here without the internet and without work, without stress And actually: would you? Because, you know, it has good and bad sides So cute So nice So this is one of the sites and it's a beach close to Barambong, the community we are in And this is a turtle nesting site, so we gave them some mesh to make like a protection around the nesting spot It's this thing, right? Yeah, it's this right here, so Usually it'd be a bit higher to protect it from dogs and from lizards But she's saying that her dogs don't like turtle eggs, so... I see So what she's done is when they've come up to nest then she's put down the date of when they came up to nest and then it's like 45 days to 75 days later They will hatch So when they begin to hatch, she will phone and we'll come back and then do the ID of the species and the number of different hatchlings If we can't come back, she needs to take a photo and then just count the number of hatchlings And let them go in the morning or the evening, so that it doesn't affect the energy of getting into the water Cause if they're kept for too long, they get really tired, so the idea is to release them as soon as possible I see So then we can monitor the different species, that are nesting in different areas Maybe people can support you somehow? Is there like a fund or something If there is donations it could pay for Charles' salary, that would be a way of extending...
He's the project coordinator, so he's working part-time on the project - like two and a half days a week After the end this funding /April 2021/ we need donations to carry on his funding Would you like to continue doing the project? Yeah, really! Very, very, 100% Thanks a lot for taking care of the turtles here on Palawan Thank you Only 1 in 1000 sea turtles survive to adulthood due to the many challenges they face on their epic journey in life In the Ocean their biggest threat comes from people, mainly bycatch from fishing by drowning in fishing nets, they can be fatally injured from boats and suffocate from plastic waste in the ocean On land their most dangerous time is at the beginning The eggs are eaten by dogs, monitor lizards and sometimes people and the hatchlings by birds and large predatory fish This project is designed to help them at their most vulnerable time, at the beginning of their life Our intention is to continue this project annually, to build on the community partnerships we have made so far, to include more nesting sites and remote island locations We are seeking funding to pay for project delivery by a local Filipino team, led by Charles Maquiso, carried out in communities where such activities are very much needed and appreciated Especially now, where schools are closed due to the covid pandemic Any donations towards this cause will be hugely appreciated You can make them on the Atelier Aquatic website or buy some of their cool art or products online All the links are listed in the video description Thanks for watching the vlog! Sorry, no English translation from now on. It is about video editing classes I took part in The classes are in Polish anyways ;)