Pawikan + White Beach + Responsible Locals = PARADISE.
Call it perfect timing! It was my second time visiting Dahican Beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental (4hours bus trip from Davao City) and all I really wanted was surf and see for myself what’s locals are always teling me- pawikans/green sea turtle laying eggs right there in the beach where we are staying.
So the 55th Day of my journey around the Philipppines, I was one lucky traveler to have witnessed what I would say the most unbelievable event in my life as a traveler: a rescued pawikan laying egg just below my hammock.
I wish to tell you the whole story but the video would be enough to explain what really happened.
I hope that through this video, people would be aware that these creatures are to be taken cared of. May I also add that I got interviewed the next day by ABS-CBN Southern Mindanao?
Now let me share with you some important lessons about Green Sea Turtles.
1. Don’t smoke. Pawikans don’t like the smell of cigarette. That’s the reason why smoking is prohibited in that part of the beach.
2. Turn off the lights. Pawikans don’t want white light, everyone is asked to turn off their lights. We used red light to monitor the turtle.
3. How to know the gender of the future turtle. Based on Kuya Jun’s experience, when the pawikan lays under the shade, it will be male turtles. Female if its under the sun. Amazing! (Short story: We placed the pawikan not in the shade and it took her about 2 hours to look for a place to lay her egg, just below my hammock. Kuya Jun told me that maybe there are only few male pawikans in the wild so the mother turtle made sure that there will be more male turtles in the next generation. Amazing!). Therefore it is wrong to move the eggs from its original nest. I always see this kind of situations on the news.
4. Turtles indeed return to their nesting ground. The mother turtle will go back twice to that same spot: after 15 days to lay more eggs and then after 15 days again- same reason- lay more eggs. Unless of course the turtle is caught by people without hearts.
5. Patience is a virtue. I noticed the mother pawikan slowly but surely and precisely digging her nest (about 2 feet deep for 30 minutes). Yes, turtles are indeed slow.
6. The mother turtle made another nest, a diversion to protect her the real nest from danger. About a meter away from the real one.
7. It feels good to be doing something for nature. Do I have to elaborate on this?
Kudos to Kuya Jun Plaza and the Amihan Boys for taking good care of the eco-system. I hope many locals from around the Philippines will follow their example.
After almost 2 hours, the turtle went back to the sea. Bye Pawikan! Ingat!
It was paradise! I wish everyone can experience this.
A very rare opportunity for someone who lived all his life in the city. But I was thinking you can also do something for the environment:
1. Plant trees.
2. Minimize the use of plastics.
3. Share this blog. Make other people aware.
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This amazing event happened during Day 55 of my #ISANGDAAN journey while I was in Dahican Beach, Mati City, Davao Oriental. The next time I go there I want to see some eggs hatching.
#ISANGDAAN is a personal journey and challenge to backpack around the Philippines the cheapest way possible for 100 days.
If you want to follow my steps, I have an interactive map- ISANGDAAN Journey map.