Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Save Turtle Bay Marine Sanctuary

Click photo to enlarge.
Turtle bay is a one of a kind marine sanctuary. It is a mangrove nursery for fish and other sea life. It is home to the already vulnerable Asian Small clawed otter. Down one of the fresh water rivers running into the bay, is an old growth mangrove forest. It is a real gem of nature. The corals in the cove are just now recovering from past cyanide fishing. There will not even be enough food for the imported captive dolphins they propose to house in the bay. The bay is shallow and brackish and full of silt from the mangroves.

Now a large company, Seven Seas properties did not give full disclosure on the extent and scope of the development. They conned our city Government and local barangay officials into signing the permits for them to build a monstrosity which will totally disrupt, if not destroy this sanctuary.

The company has already started an Ocean park in Boracay on Puka beach, which has come under the scrutiny of environmental groups. There is nothing in their proposed design plan, accommodations, activities etc is environmentally sane or safe for the marine sanctuary, called Turtle Bay and Binunsalian Bay.  I believe the city of Puerto Princesa, and PCSD (Palawan Council for Sustainable Development) were mislead to the scope of the development. Nor made aware damage to the existing flora and fauna, the buildings touted on their website would do.

I believe, that since this bay is an important part of the native ecosystem of Palawan in general, a broader and larger participation by those living in Palawan and or wishing to visit its pristine nature, should be informed and encouraged. I believe the permits were given prematurely for the scope of the project and impact on the environment.

The corals in Turtle bay are in recovery mode from past cyanide fishing and perhaps, improper casting of anchors by fishermen seeking safe harbor from storms there. Yet it hosts a wide variety of sea life. Dugongs once fed on the sea grasses at the mouth of the cove, but are no more. Otters live along it's mangrove habitat and frolic in the moonlight, chattering away.



Pristine Binusalian akaTurtle Bay. Lined with mangroves that give life to fish, crabs and other sea life. Can you imagine Villas over this. Many of the mangroves will have to be cleared to give access to them. I know it sounds delightful...but no, leave it alone, Come visit it in a kayak and enjoy the peace and quiet.
This is one of the ATTRACTIONS ON SEVEN SEA WEBSITES; "Aviary Section

Meet formidable coastal raptors called Brahminy Kites and feed them by hand as they glide near you. Take a leisurely stroll in the Lorie Canopy Walk and let friendly lories rest on your shoulders while feeding."  Under the ACCOMMODATIONS they say, "Aviary Hotel
A bird paradise themed accommodation featuring a bird enclosure where you get the chance to see and feed brahminy kites in the comfort of your room's balcony." http://sevenseasproperties.com/properties/puerto-princesa/
Would you rather see the pristine mangroves or this hotel with captive wild birds to feed from your balcony? Although tempting, they don't need to be captured to for real bird watchers to see. They already ARE wild..DO NOT NET THEM IN.
This is Turtle bay as it is today. Pristine and peaceful.
This is the depiction of a room on Turtle/Kamia Bay as they propose. This bay is not deep enough without dredging!
This is the vision of Turtle Bay from their website for Turtle Bay. Which would you want to see?
 They offer an Oceanarium - "Witness the best of marine life with an awesome display of manta rays, whale sharks, dugongs and sun fishes." (There are no more dugongs in Turtle Bay. I am in that bay many times a week in our native banca and there are no dugongs there. Where will they get the dugongs? Sun fishes? Are you kidding me? The brackish water in the bay will kill them and it's certainly not deep enough, nor food naturally food occurring for it. WHALE SHARKS? Now they are dreaming and living in a fairy tale.Talk about hell on earth for any of the aforementioned sea creatures forced to live in that bay.)
Peaceful and important marine sanctuary, where fish go to lay eggs and otters frolic.
The resident Asian small clawed otters of Turtle/Kamia, Binunsalian Bay.
This baby otter was already a victim of human encroachment into Turtle bay. Dogs killed it's siblings. This little guy was only a day or two old, and although he gave it his best shot, he died after 5 days. Asian small clawed otters mate for life! The parents remain Alpha and each subsequent liter of pups raises each other until. They can form family groups up to 10 or 12 members. They do not leave the parents until one of the parents dies, up to 10 years, or is killed.

A one or two day old Asian small clawed otter of Turtle bay.
Poor one or two day old Asian small clawed otter pup.
The photo below shows this Ocean Park in Boracay and how much damage they have done to the last green and pristine areas. Only now the residents are finding out AFTER they have already done great damage to the mangroves and pristine areas.  Environment groups are now questioning this move. Are we to trust them not to destroy Turtle/Kamia Bay as well?
The author of this post on Facebook said about this; "The beginning of the end of our beloved Puka Beach. This aerial photo was taken by Mar Schönenberger last may 13, 2015. Its the on going construction of Ocean Park 426 rooms Resort at the entrance of Puka beach in Yapak. . Do Boracay really need another resort at the expense of last remaining untouched Puka Beach? We have been sleeping while they sneaked in. Wake up LGU of Malay. No more Greed more Green (not the color of money). To all Puka Beach lovers, pls Share this post!"
This is obviously a developer who thinks he can do what he wants for profit. Although the words on their website sound good, they seem to not have one care for the environment or nature.

This is a photo of Puka beach in Boracay, BEFORE the Ocean park development. Too late, it is being scrutinized by environmental groups.

The photo below shows Kamia Bay Resort, the original developer as it stands today. How can all the buildings Seven Seas is touting on their website without destroying the whole little peninsula Kamia Resort is on. The roads are narrow and so steep, they made people park at the entrance, and had their own vans take people to the restaurant shown below. At the bottom of the hill, there is only parking for two or three vans, with a tight space to turn around.

Where will they put the shopping malls, world class marina, croc viewing area, dolphin cages, large 400 room hotel with balconies that face and are open to a huge area with captive native raptors?

Why put up a FAKE ocean park when nature in Turtle bay is already a NATURAL MARVEL. I say leave the bay alone.
The sad part is that Kamia Bay Resort as it stands was just lovely and not invasive to the environment. I feel it was not properly marketed or managed.
http://www.mypuertoprincesa.net/2013/03/kamia-bay-resort-luzviminda.html

The little peninsula that Kamia Resort is on, is quite small. The roads, steep and and narrow. Try to Imagine a shopping mall, world class marina, captive dolphins viewed from guest rooms. A 400 Room hotel with caged in aviary. It all just simply won't fit without completely redoing nature as it is.

Let's just say, PCSD did not give permits for CAPTIVE imported dolphins, whale sharks, sun fish and dugongs. THEN WHY does Seven Seas property have photos of such on their website? Isn't that FALSE ADVERTISING in the least?

The Life in Turtle Bay


Otters of Turtle bay
The mangroves around Turtle/Kamia bay are habitat for Asian small clawed otters which are already vulnerable from human encroachment.
 Click the link to read about the rescued otters from this bay: http://otters-of-palawan.blogspot.com
Turtle bay/Kamia bay marine sanctuary, is rife with life.
A stylish fiddler crab on the opposite shore of proposed development, in the mangroves.

This is one of the great trees in the mangroves on the Kamia Bay resort property.

This was a very big blue jelly fish in the mangrove area.
Another pretty jellyfish in the mangroves.
Mangroves dotting all the shores of Turtle bay serve as nurseries for fish and other sea life.
A huge monitor lizard in the old growth mangrove forest in Turtle bay.

This is a photo from Seven Seas Properties for the Kamia bay Ocean Park.

Oceanarium -  according to Seven Seas, "Witness the best of marine life with an awesome display of manta rays, whale sharks, dugongs and sun fishes." (There are no more dugongs in Turtle Bay. I am in that bay many times a week in our native banca and there are no dugongs there. Where will they get the dugongs? Sun fishes? Are you kidding me? The brackish water in the bay will kill them and it's certainly not deep enough, nor food naturally food occurring for it.

This is the view of Turtle/Kamia bay from the south highway.
Turtle bay is a small shallow marine sanctuary under threat.
Kiss this lovely view goodbye. Just imagine all their buildings replacing the green mangroves and habitat. Imagine yachts and motor boats on a "WORLD CLASS MARINA" instead of this. A "PLACE TO SEE AND BE SEEN". What? Who cares...go away.
At the mouth of Turtle bay.
HERE IS A FULL LIST OF ACCOMMODATIONS THEY WANT TO BUILD IN THE tiny, shallow cove of Turtle bay.
http://sevenseasproperties.com/properties/puerto-princesa/
Aviary Hotel
A bird paradise themed accommodation featuring a bird enclosure where you get the chance to see and feed brahminy kites in the comfort of your room's balcony. (Why do that when beautiful birds already live in the mangroves?)

Copper throated sun bird by Rommel Cruz



Oceanarium Villas
Surrounded with azure crystal waters, these deluxe accommodations make a truly vibrant island feel to your vacation.

Shark Villas
A two level elegant room with lagoon views on the upper floor and a breathtaking underwater view on the lower floor

Hillside Villas
Have a scenic view on top with hillside detached villas fronting the bay.

Mangrove Hotel
Bask in exceptional views of the sea and mangrove forests in this opulent set of rooms

Mangrove of Turtle/Kamia bay
Click to enlarge
Mangrove Villas
Elegant rooms on stilts provide a perfect holiday charm to your stay.





PROPOSED ATTRACTIONS

Croc viewing in Turtle bay? Please, no!
Croc Cage"Immerse in an exhilarating crocodile diving experience with some the largest saltwater reptiles in the world. An acrylic, cylindrical shaped cage will let you have an up close session with crocodiles in a 360 degree clear view. See these prehistoric creatures like no other."http://sevenseasproperties.com/properties/puerto-princesa/

No Thanks! We already have the Crocodile farm in Irawan. No need to destroy a marine sanctuary which should be left as a natural park for tourists to enjoy, as is.

Oceanarium
"Witness the best of marine life with an awesome display of manta rays, whale sharks, dugongs and sun fishes."
View captive wild dolphins from your guest room.
View captive imported dolphins? From your guest room?
http://sevenseasproperties.com/properties/puerto-princesa/

Mangrove Exhibit
Forest mangroves are one of the most productive and complex ecosystems in the world. Known to have originated from Southeast Asia, these biological marvels are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna.
Aviary Section
Meet formidable coastal raptors called Brahminy Kites and feed them by hand as they glide near you. Take a leisurely stroll in the Lorie Canopy Walk and let friendly lories rest on your shoulders while feeding.
Croc Cage
Immerse in an exhilarating crocodile diving experience with some the largest saltwater reptiles in the world. An acrylic, cylindrical shaped cage will let you have an up close session with crocodiles in a 360 degree clear view. See these prehistoric creatures like no other.

Dolphin Cove
"Swim with these lovable marine mammals in the open sea. Take a photo and have a memorable time together." ( Yes there are dolphins OUTSIDE of Turtle/Kamia bay. It's a seasonal thing, but they ARE NOT held captive!)


Stingray Cove
Go beyond the waves and as you touch and take a dip with friendly stingrays in an engaging and cool attraction.


WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR TURTLE BAY

1.  Write to Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and ask to see the permits given to Seven Seas. They are public documents. Ask them to reconsider the scope of the project and keep Turtle bay protected from large motorized yachts and boats.
  • Here is there official website http://pcsd.gov.ph/
  • Write on to PCSD there is a contact form on their website. Tell them what a bad idea is and to learn Turtle bay as a natural marine sanctuary and park.

2.  Write on the contact page of Seven Seas Property and tell them you don't want this type of development in Turtle/Kamia bay.  http://sevenseasproperties.com/properties/puerto-princesa/


3.  SHARE THE LINK  TO MY BLOG on your social media pages.

4. Share this with any media, or environmental organization and ask them to help stop this.


I cannot say whether is infographic is true, but it is indeed alarming for such a developer to be remotely associated with a habit of capturing dolphins for his developments. It was posted by Sea Shephard Singapore







Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tourists be aware- Palawan is being destroyed to accommodate you

UPDATE- May 30, 2015

COAL FIRED PLANT APPROVED! But the fight is not over till it's over. Sign this petition to ask higher powers to rescind the permits.
http://palawan-news.com/pcsd-oks-narra-coal-plant/

To accommodate tourists who come here for the pristine beauty and wildlife, Palawan is literally being raped. Forests are being cut for building materials, as well as rivers, rife with life. A coal fired plant is being shoved down our throats with lies upon lies.  Be a responsible tourist. I have listed the agencies you may contact so you can write to them with positive suggestions. Tourists if you come here, make sure to make your voices heard so you will not be the cause of it's destruction. Tell hotels to put in solar, and water harvesting solutions. We are already rationing water!

This company wants to put in an Ocean Park in a protected bay in Puerto Princesa. http://sevenseasproperties.com/properties/puerto-princesa/

Otters and other environmental species live in this bay called Turtle bay, and renamed Kamia Bay by a developer...the name is an anacronym of the names of three of their daughters. They want to put in Manta rays and captive imported dolphins!! The water is brackish from the fresh water estuaries flowing into the bay. Only recently a day old otter was a victim of human encroachment into Turtle Bay, aka Kamia Bay!  Dogs from immigrant fishermen making homes near or on the mangroves in this bay, killed the siblings of the otter pup pictured below. This little guy was given to me to try to keep alive. He was maybe a day or two old. He was a real fighter but his little body just could not survive without his own mother's special milk, which is contains 6 times more fat than cows milk. He died after 5 days.
A baby otter killed by domestic dogs from human encroachment into their territory.

Seven seas corporation proposes to put captive whale sharks and dolphins view from guest rooms in Turtle bay/Kamia bay. This will totally destroy the marine sanctuary and the whale sharks will die. This is a very shallow and brackish bay! The whale sharks and captive imported dolphins will all die.
The river pictured below is continuously raped to harvest rock and sand to make building and roads without proper environmental studies. You come to Palawan to see it's pristine beauty and wildlife, but the very beauty is being destroyed to accommodate you!
This was our favorite river to go to, it's just 8 minutes from our home. It is now raped for gravel, rock and sand to build tourist hotels.
Forests are being raped of hardwoods to put of exotic huts and resorts.
Photo by Demto Anda - A combined enforcement team led by Supt. Benjamin Acorda on the way to Naglayan Island on 10 Apr. 2015 to serve two search warrants to the Sunlight Ecotourism Resort. The mangroves surrounding the resort were raped and white sand from other beaches was brought in to fake you all out to it's "pristine" beauty!
Photo by Demto Anda - That this beach used to be a mangrove area till it was covered with white sand and planted with coconuts. The all done by Sunlight Ecotourism Resort. the Eco in their company name is a joke! Disgraceful. The white sand you see is from another beach with white sand that they raped to put in in there for you tourists.
Wildlife is being poached and sold to the illegal wildlife trade for food or as pets.

The Palwan pangolin is being poached out of existence before people even know it was here.
It is THE single most poached animal on the planet now to feed the palates of Chinese and Taiwanese. They think the scales have medicinal value. The are made of Keratin, the same as your fingernails. Tell them to eat their own fingernails instead!

The icing on the cake of horror, is a planned Coal fired plant in a barangay in Narra.  You can sign this petition to try and help stop this. http://act.350.org/letter/save_palawan_stop_coal/
You can read more about the issues surrounding the planned coal fired plant at this link: http://coalisbusted.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-paleco-dmci-palawan-government.html

What YOU can do to stop this!

Write to our local agencies and tell them you do not want a commercialized Palawan that will compromise it's natural beauty and wildlife. Make POSITIVE suggestions for change and what you would like to see happen instead!
Here is the ordinance declaring "Kamia" (a fake name) a protected area: READ IT.  http://lts.puertoprincesa.ph/SearchDetail.aspx?ID=1490  It's really Turtle Bay also known as Binunsalian bay.



23% of all species in the Philippines live in Palawan.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Beach Shack-Corong Corong El Nido Palawan

We drove from Puerto Princesa to The Beach Shack, in Corong Corong in El Nido, Palawan, for the fist time and it was such an enjoyable drive. It took about 5 hours from our place in Luzviminda, Palawan.

Here is an updated photo of the Beach Shack, May 8, 2016
The Beach Shack
They have grown since we were there!!

If you are a tourist, you fly into Puerto Princesa, and can hire a van (quite expensive unless you share) or take a commercial RoRo bus, in which case it can range between 650. to 850. php. The Barangay of Corong Corong is just outside the city of El Nido.

We got to the Beach Shack and the views took my breath away. The views of the karst limestone islands were truly spectacular from anywhere in this cove. The Maremegmeg Beach, where we stayed in the cove was so clean and the sand was baby powder fine.

The building on the left is The Beach Shack. They have cottages (small white building, upper left) you can stay in which are clean and they all have little private terraces. They are very comfortable. The Café is only a few steps away and you are on the beach in a few seconds.
You don't have to stay in the cottages, to enjoy their beach front as long as you order food or drinks from them. They serve cold beer, cocktails such as piña coladas, as well as delicious fruit slushies. The Beach Shack cottage rooms are spacious and clean, each with a little veranda. Although because everything is run on generator, there are no hot showers.  The good thing is that they do run generators 24 hours a day so there is constant electricity, unlike some places in El Nido where they only run the power a few hours at night.
This is early in the morning at The Beach Shack Café. The place starts getting full of foreign tourists around 10AM till 5PM. It's not a place to get away from the crowds. You will have the beach to yourself before and after those times though. Being a morning person that was fine with me. If you like to mingle though and you're in your 20's to 30's, you will have lots of others your age to mingle with.

The Beach Shack Café. Left and right are the three beach cottages.

This is the sunset from the Beach Shack the first night we were there!!! Spectacular and magnificent are the two words that come to mind when I saw it.

Just a friendly reminder...there are NO ATM MACHINES in El Nido and they don't take credit cards, so you need to bring enough cash to last your stay.

This is after 10AM! Lots and lots of young tourists in their 20's to mid 30's.

The views are nothing short of spectacular no matter what time of day. The karst limestone islands are beautiful.
We went in January when it is windy. This is right in front of the Beach shack. It's lovely to see the play of light on the islands at different times of the day.

I haven't been to other beaches in El Nido, but I don't think you can beat this one at the Beach Shack! Try some of their frozen fruit shakes or delicious cocktails! We sure did.


The Beach Shack Resort has a Facebook Page. Check it out.

Contact Cell is: 0917 518 0529


Monday, January 12, 2015

Coopers Beach Resort

Coopers Beach resort rooms. Click photo to enlarge.
We stumbled upon this place looking for a friend a little further up the road. Our daughter was with us and she wanted to swim in a pool because the waves at the beaches were too strong for her to swim in.

We had eaten lunch at the previous resort so we asked how much would they charge us to just let our daughter swim. They were very nice and accommodating, after first making sure we would watch her and that she could swim, since there was no lifeguard and they didn't charge us anything.

We didn't spend the night since we live an hour or so away but I thought I'd post for those who want an off the beaten track adventure. It is quite out of the way, so Coopers Beach resort  is more for those seeking a peaceful place. It's about an hour out of Puerto Princesa city and off a dirt road..so it's not easy to get around if you want to go elsewhere.

I must say though, they certainly had a very good set of diving get and supplies for rent.  The room I saw was clean. Apparently though, if you like hot showers, there are issues which you can read in Trip Advisor. But it shouldn't really stop you if you like a quiet place.

I have read mixed reviews on Trip Advisor from the guests who have stayed here and they run to most excellent to horrible. It all really depends on what you want or expect on a holiday.

If you want to stay there, I suggest reading the mix reviews and then contacting the owner or manager to get things right for you. The gardens are pretty and they have a bar set in a coconut grove on sand. There is no beach to speak of but there are beaches close by.

They were very nice to us though.

Km 50, Barangay Lucbuan
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Email: coopersbeachresort@yahoo.com
Contact nos: +63 912 5411 398 or +63 915 7428 571
Website: http://www.coopersbeachresortpalawan.com/en/

Here is the review page on Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Hotel_Review-g294257-d2554053-Reviews-Cooper_s_Beach_Resort-Puerto_Princesa_Palawan_Island_Palawan_Province_Mimaropa.html



The restaurant at Coopers Beach resort.