Meeting the Volunteers of Tubbataha Reef

Th‎is post is a story about meeting great people during my travels which will then make me meet more great people.

I met Val de Guzman at the top of Mount Sto. Tomas in Baguio City during the Pilipinas Akyathlon. At the end of the race, along with other people in the race we exchanged numbers which eventually led to adding people on Facebook.

I then learned that she will be moving to Palawan to be a volunteer in one of the most amazing places here in the Philippines, the Tubbataha Reef.

When I arrived in Palawan, I called her and she invited me to their office at Puerto Princesa. I met for a brief moment some of her fellow volunteers. I told her that I was currently doing my 12 for 2012 Travel Project and for the month of February I will be visiting Taytay, Palawan. Guess what? Their group will also be visiting Taytay, Palawan to present to people what they are doing in Tubbataha Reef.

Ang Tubbataha ay A.T.I.N.

Ang Tubbataha ay A.T.I.N. is their presentation to educate people on what they’re doing in Tubbataha and how it affects the different environment around it. A.T.I.N. means Alagaan, Tuklasin at Isaling Ngayon (take care, discover and share now).

Their presentation is well suited for different audience and for the time that I attended it was in an Elementary school.

The presentation included

A short skit about Pao Pawikan and the bad effects of human pollution to the environment


Val while she does her lecture to the elementary students


Question and answer portion where they will get free notebook when they get the answers right. Which I think was very effective to encourage the children to listen and take notes.

The Tubbataha Volunteers

What I am impressed with the efforts to protect Tubbataha Reef is that the people that benefits from their efforts are usually the ones that think they are selfish for not letting them fish inside the reef. But they play an important part in providing fishes and corals to many places here in the Philippines.

To Glenda, Emma, Val, Sherwin, Jasmine, Ethel, JR, Anton & Weng, keep up the good work!

The US Peace Corps

I met 2 of them during the Tubbataha ay A.T.I.N presentation. Namely Ryan and Lia. Both are American Citizens but they talk straight Tagalog, especially Lia who I first thought was a Filipina. They’re an inspiration to me as one of my goals is to speak the different dialects of the Philippines so that when I travel I would be the one adjusting to the people and not them adjusting to me.

Ryan and Lia swimming at the basin of Caniqui Falls

After the presentation we all had a great time in Caniqui Falls! 🙂

Did you know? Tubbataha is a Samal word that means long reef exposed at low tide. Samal are fishermen from the region of Sulu.

For more information about Tubbataha Reef you can call them at (048) 5759 or you can visit their site at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.