NOTE: Pawikan is a Tagalog term for sea turtle.
As we were walking outside of Stella Mariz Beach Resort we were asking people along the way on how we could go to the Pawikan Sanctuary of Morong, Bataan. One of the people said that it was still far away and if we wanted to visit a pawikan facility we should go to the Pawikan Conservation Area there in Bagac, Bataan as it is nearer.
I’ve known the existence of the Pawikan Conservation Center in Bagac when I was doing my initial research in Bataan for my 12 for 2012 Travel Project. It interest me because all that I have read are about the Pawikan Sanctuary of Morong but none on the Pawikan Conservation Area of Bagac. We asked on how do we get there and he told us that it’s inside a resort which we need to pay a not-so-cheap entrance fee to get in.
We quickly said that we could not get there because we only had a 1,000 Peso budget for our overnight trip in Bataan . This saddened me as I really wanted to visit the place. Maybe he noticed my slightly-macho-teary eyes when he said that he would take us there and we will no longer pay the entrance fee. I was happy and a bit hesitant about the good news. It’s too good to be true! Should we? Would we? But curiousity got the best of me and with a leap of faith we were on the back of a truck heading to the depths of Bagac.
And after 20 minutes of hitching a ride we were now on the gates of Montemar Beach Club. We went through their security check, passed by the beach which had waves that is conducive for surfing, and quickly went to their pawikan facilities.
Their facility was a house netted on the sides to prevent crawling and walking animals to get in and eat the eggs that they collected. Also it had a netted roof to let sunlight in and prevent the birds from eating the eggs and newly hatched pawikans.
Inside there are small circled net fence that according to one of their lifeguards were to prevent the newly hatched pawikans to go strolling around. This is also good so that they could count how many had hatched and check the conditions of the newly hatched pawikans before releasing them to the sea.
Unfortunately, there were no newly hatched pawikans when we visited. I wasn’t surprised as we visited their facility off season. If we would visit there around August to December there would been a higher chance of seeing eggs and newly hatched sea turtles. O well… a good reason for us to go back to Bataan.
They also had a small pawikan-shaped pool where they house 2 pawikans.
Since we couldn’t do anything else inside the resort, we went straight to their reception area, said our thanks and requested for a tricycle to take us to the Bagac-Balanga New Terminal. In 10 minutes and a hundred pesos we were now inside the transport terminal, which is actually in front of the Japan-Philippine Friendship Tower.
The truth is I’m not a fan of resorts but I’m glad that the Pawikan Conservation Area of Bagac, Bataan is located and managed by the Montemar Beach Resort. One of the main problems of conservation efforts like this is funding and with the Pawikan Conservation Area being backed by the resort, it is most likely to be sustainable.
Follow my Bataan 1,000 Peso 2-Day Challenge
- How much did I spend on our overnight trip to Bataan
- Bataan 1,000 Peso Overnight Budget and Itinerary (Helpful)
- Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) in Mount Samat, Pilar, Bataan
- Stella Mariz Beach Resort in Bagac, Bataan
- How to get to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan
- Death March Km 00 Marker and Japan-Philippine Friendship Tower in Bagac, Bataan
- Church of Balanga, Bataan
- Pawikan Conservation Area of Bagac, Bataan