The Philippines is blessed with a thriving marine ecosystem, supported by reefs and mangrove forests. And the Hundred Islands National Park, the first Natural Park in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, is no exception. Its alluring cerulean waters, strewn with 123 islets, is also home to the fragile and diverse jewels of the Philippine Sea – the Coral Reefs. They shelter, feed and protect a copious number of sea creatures of the Park. They also aid the 123 islets in protecting the city’s coast from the impact of waves. Their hard and soft corals with awe-inspiring forms and interesting hues that glistened mystically in the deep, creates a magical underwater vista. Divers and snorkelers can have the time of their lives gliding over it and beside the many magnificent fishes and other sea creatures.
Sadly, these gems became endangered in the Philippines and some parts of the world and started to sink in a deplorable state, a trend that local and foreign scientists believe maybe irreversible. With the onslaught of dynamite and cyanide fishing, aggravated by neglect and increase in population, the Park finally met the same plight.
However, decisive programs that target the rehabilitation and restoration of the splendor of these beautiful and vital water resources have been implemented. Artificial reefs were introduced in parts of the Park, where the corals are quite depleted. Hope became strong at the frequent visits of fishes, which eventually settled in or near the area of the artificial reefs. Just like the natural reefs, they will serve as vital breeding grounds for the sea creatures, so they could again flourish and replenish the Park’s resources. And the City is committed in securing the protection of these new treasures.
Now, the Park is on its way up to recovery and tourists who would immerse themselves in a diving or snorkeling underwater exploration beneath its revitalized waters, would find it beginning to breathe in the scent of its old health and magnificence, supported by both natural and artificial reefs.
The following items should be prepared and followed:
1. The case of air tanks
2. Use of Area Flags
– Break off the team into smaller groups
– Align the clams on the ropes laid
3. Handling of the Tridacna
2 divers/ Clam
Firm footing of the diver (removal of fins)
Construction gloves, slates, fin clips
Snorkel and tags
Move the clams – DO NOT LIFT
Do not pick up Clams with corals on them
4. The dives
Max 20ft for 20 mins 1,500psi or 100 bar
Guides- snorkelers and divers
Silty bottom; slight current; 86F/30C
The Sites: o Coral Garden – 15 divers o Governor’s island- 10 divers