DAYS 2 – 3: MPA Activities and Visits to Caves

Hello everybody, this is Group 8 (Team Mabuti!) checking in! Mabuti means “good” in the dialect of Visayas.

Over the past two days (14 – 15 May), we have been very busy conducting the survey of coral health in two Marine Protected Areas – the Bingag and Tabalong Marine Sanctuary. During this time, we compared the difference of the coral ecosystem inside the MPA and outside it. This will help us establish the effectiveness of MPAs in conserving and protecting the reef systems. We surveyed the morphology and colour of corals in the area, as well as the number of fish, crown of thorns and the invertebrates present. To add to our experience, we were based at the extremely beautiful Panglao Island Nature Reserve.

We were also very fortunate to visit the Cambagat and Hinagdagan caves on Panglao island. Homes of breathtaking beauty, these caves not only included rock formations and features that many of us had never seen, but were also the homes of various species of animals, and many of us were excited to see bats for the first time! We also had the chance to talk to some of the shop owners, tour guides, tourists and villagers of the locale to understand the ecotourism that takes place near the Hinagdagan Cave.

Group 8 – Team Mabuti