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Bataan: Turtle Releasing Program at Pawikan Conservation Centre in Morong

Pawikan Conservation Centre in Morong Bataan

From Pilar to Orani to Morong, we went on a scenic drive to reach to the other side of Bataan to visit the Pawikan Conservation Center, a humble but important sanctuary.


Route to Pawikan Conservation Center

It was about one hour and forty minutes' drive from Barangay Tala in Orani to Nagbalayong in Morong passing winding roads lined with tall trees and lush greeneries

On our way to Morong

Tree-lined roads to Morong Bataan

I have always wanted to participate in the turtle releasing program but never had the chance until the day we visited the Pawikan Conservation Center.

I am always keen on finding extraordinary things to do with my kids and family. Special experiences I hope they'll never forget. This was one of those precious moments.

Releasing turtles to the sea

The kids were so excited to participate in this activity. We all listened attentively to Mang Manolo while he explained to us the importance of the pawikan and the work Bantay Pawikan team do to protect them. Pawikan Conservation Center opened the Turtle Releasing Program to the public to create awareness while boosting tourism in Nagbalayong in Morong Bataan.

Mang Manolo explains the importance of Pawikan Conservation Center

It wasn't always the case in the beginning. The townspeople of Morong including Mang Manolo used to collect the eggs of the pawikan and sell them valued twice the price of chicken eggs. Until such time that the government stepped in to curb such practice and taught them about how and why they must protect these wonderful creatures. They showed them alternative ways to benefit from conserving them while educating others. Since then, Bantay Pawikan vowed to save and protect the turtles that come to their shores to lay eggs.

Mang Manolo-Head of Bantay Pawikan team

Turtle hatching season is from November to February hence there were available turtle hatchlings for release. Each one is 50 pesos. You can release as many turtles as you want to, depending on the availability. The money generated goes to the conservation fund to keep this project sustainable.

Our family with Mang Manolo of Pawikan Conservation Center

Pawikan Conservation Center Facility

Souvenirs

The kids gave each of their turtles a name. I just don't remember any of them.

We were told by Mang Manolo that turtles use magnetic fields like GPS to find their birthplace.

Kids about to release some turtle hatchlings

With that in mind, the kids released their turtles to the ocean with the hope that after 25 years or so, provided they survived in the ocean, they will come back to the same shore where they hatched to lay their own eggs.

Turtles released to the sea

Nagbalayong Beach Morong Bataan

If you happen to be visiting Bataan, this is a wonderful activity to participate in. There's also a Pawikan Festival held every end of November if you're interested.

Ferald and I at Nagbalayong Beach Morong Bataan

Before visiting, be sure to text or call Mang Manolo to make sure there are pawikan hatchlings available for release. His number is +63 921 630 2842.

Nagbalayong Beach Morong Bataan

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Cheers
Carla