Category Archives: college!

Prieto Diaz: Our Marine Sanctuary Expedition

Prieto Diaz: Our Marine Sanctuary Expedition


Memories like these are the ones capable of making you smile…


Reminiscing them during post-graduation times is like travelling back in time…

But you know what’s best in this kind of travels?

You learn the best lessons life has to offer… 

‘Cause appreciating the beauty of God’s gift is just one thing…

Doing something for nature is another…

We only have to keep in mind that taking care of our home  should be our gift to Him…

The first moment that the Prietto Diaz tour was announced to our class, excitement and anticipation was an evident atmosphere in the room . We first heard of it during our third year and at long last, we finally had our chance to visit this marine sanctuary. We knew what we would be up against since there was a half-day lecture held specifically for our tour. We knew that we will be gaining new knowledge, that we will be learning about a different environment and experiencing a closer encounter with sea creatures for the first time.


But what we didn’t know was, everything that we had anticipated and expected was only a fraction, that all those photos of mangrove, sea grasses and coral species the speaker flashed to us during the lecture was nothing compared to the real thing. The place captured our senses, the knowledge we have gained were embedded in our minds and everything we saw, heard, felt and learned was held dear not just in our thoughts but also in our hearts.

August 2, 2012

19We planned to leave by 8:00 am, but plans can’t really be relied on too much. Not everything goes the way as planned, and usually the best experiences happen when they are the least bit expected. I’ve always wanted to travel, but I’ve never been the best traveler, not when I often experience motion sickness (especially on air-conditioned vehicles). I wasn’t able to talk much, every time I wake up from my forced nap I feel as if the bus was still going in circles. Dizziness set aside, I was glad when we finally stopped and arrived at our destination.

39We arrived by noon and we waited until the food was ready. We were even getting impatient though the wait proved to be worthwhile, it’s because the food tasted great. Having been told to unpack, we were glad that we decided to bring the tent with us. If we hadn’t brought it with us, we probably would also be one of those who had to draw sticks to determine if we will be sleeping in the quarters   or not.

Right after lunch I felt a little better, the dizziness was probably also caused by hunger. Everyone was so excited when the President of the Seamancor and Sir Roco said that we need to change and get ready for our first activity. One paragraph can’t describe what we encountered in Prieto Diaz.20 33

It was the first time that I went on an overnight tour and our destination is at sea. We left a cloudy Legazpi, but Prieto Diaz during our two-day tour was really sunny. That afternoon the sun particularly took a liking to our group.

8I’m a physical science major and all those talk of species and scientific names got my brain all worked up. It was a foreign language to me, but I could never deny the fact that what Sir Roco was sharing to us is unparalleled information, after all, everything around us is a gift from God.

2 1 437Behind all those scientific complexities of how each those sea grass species were named and what their characteristics are, each of them plays a vital role in the balance of nature. Who knew that because of these three marine ecosystems (sea grass, coral, and mangrove) the residents were shielded against strong waves and tides, a natural defense system against the wrath of the sea.

36Although I never knew that corals could be so sharp, almost all of us got souvenirs in the form of scrapes and cuts, a few even got pricked by sea urchins. Luckily, I wasn’t one of them and I had to give it to those sea urchins though, they sure have nasty thorns which you can’t possibly get rid of (my friend had to wait before the pain and swelling subsides, unfortunately there’s no way to remove the thorns). We were given a sneak peek of the coral reefs ecosystem, and we were even more excited when we were told what we have on our next agenda.

August 3, 2012


My friends and I only spent a few hours for sleep, but I don’t really care ‘cause that was the first time I get to camp under the stars. The moon shone bright above our tent, the sea breeze got its fill on blowing on our damp clothes (the ones we used when we visited the marine ecosystems), and our classmate’s singing voices were eagerly rising above the crickets’ chirp. We ate marshmallows and chips while we enjoyed a conversation with one of our professor, we were laughing and joking and sharing our past experiences with each other. What more could a college student on a camping-tour-trip ask for? We said we wouldn’t be sleeping, but that really didn’t happen, the instant I rest my head on my pillow I was immediately boarded towards dream land.

32The second day of our trip was even more challenging. I didn’t know that life vests were made of Styrofoam, I thought it would be made up of something else, a sturdier material I suppose. We all looked like a member of the marine’s while wearing those orange vests, surely an outsider would have thought us ignorant with our smiling carefree faces. I’ve always wanted to snorkel and look at corals while I’m swimming in the sea. We had to make sure though that our feet are nowhere near those group of sea urchins. If the hairs on my arms weren’t wet, I’m sure they would’ve risen from the sight of those black prickly thorns.

I was trying to remember everything while writing this, but I just can’t get rid of the feeling that the more days pass, the lesser details I will be able to remember from that tour. We may have all visited the same place, but I’m certain that we won’t be parting as the same person we once were when we arrived in that humble barangay.

34I never once thought that I would be walking on a sea grass bed which is almost one kilometer (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration). No, it’s not about how tired and hungry we were trying to ask each other how much longer are we going to wade through those grasses. Sure, we got tired while walking on sea water up to our knees with sea grasses that stick to your toes and unexpected mud holes that try to bring you down. Tiredness and hunger are just passing feelings, we were able to rest on our way home and we ate our fill when we had our chance. What I’ll never forget was how we tried to hold on to each other, our hands never losing their grasp with a nearby friend while occasionally shouting in surprise each time our knees or the sand holes give in.

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We spent hours under the sun (and we have the sunburns and skin darkened marks to prove it). It’s not really healthy to get burned by the sun. Although I don’t suppose that the sunscreen really did its job in shielding us while waiting for the second batch from the sea coral area to arrive. Still, all those make-shift gowns and get-ups are priceless. Not in a single day in my life will I ever forget how we became stylists with nothing but white sand as bronzer and our own clothing, scarves, cap and sunglasses as resources. Our usually camera-shy friend even transformed into a (camera-loving) confident poser person. Hmmmm, how can we call it again? Right, his poses were ‘epic’.

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Those cuts and scrapes? Really, those were nothing (although I can’t say the same for the sea urchin thorns). I would never trade those small cuts for a safe steady footing on ground, not when along with those cuts and coral slices, I was able to experience how to eat merienda on sea (while riding a boat).

26That was the only time in my life that I’ll ever see a bangkero throwing a glass of orange juice because the sea splashed its salt water inside the glass. I wish I was able to take a picture of that exact moment.  That was hilarious. Lucky for me my orange juice wasn’t as salty as the others.

Our hearts were all touched by those experiences, but I can never forget the solemn expressions of the people around me every time we see plastics entangled on the roots of those mangroves. I was astounded to hear that the sea urchins were indicator of pollutants, after hearing that, we finally understood its role in the environment. I also realized that despite the number of those fascinating sea sweepers they can never compete against the neglect that we humans have for our environment.

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We were all given the chance to catch a glimpse of the beauty of nature, and it’s in our hands if we will play blind while our own actions destroy these precious creations little by little. It’s up to us if we do something about what we saw in that marine sanctuary. And it’s also up to us which of these two things will we choose. Treasure the memories and just be contented in taking pictures of these beautiful places or… act and do what should really be done for these priceless gifts…



“Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, and leave nothing but footprints”… Let’s all hope that the footprints we will be leaving are footprints of changed persons, determined to become real stewards of the earth.



Misplaced Deadline…think first…


This is the first column i submitted for our school paper, and although i wrote something about it, it doesn’t definitely mean that I’ve perfected the art of time management, i get pretty schedule wrecked at times too… either way i still want you to enjoy reading this as much as i enjoyed writing it…

     We’ve always been particular to take notes of certain things we need to do. Reminders, just a flicker of recognition from a now distant memory.  No matter how  many times we try to let ourselves remember projects and homework to be done before that deadline, we always end up getting all crammed up with only one day left before the deadliest day we know of.

A friend once told me that she lost her flash drive, of course she got worried, more than just worried, and she wanted to be furious to someone just so she could put the blame to a concrete cause, a person. But she never really did get to put her blame to someone else, not because she was really one to blame and being too much furious with her flash drive getting‘stolen’??? from her, but because it was a huge misunderstanding (and to think she almost blamed for that). Her missing-slash-stolen flash drive was all but forgotten to have been placed on her bag’s secret pocket.                                                                                                                                  

It’s not everyday that a friend of yours would go on hysterics when looking for something. But it’s not uncommon too.

Two exams on Wednesday, an output to be submitted on Friday, a project on Tuesday, a group presentation on Thursday, and a seminar to attend to on Monday… Logically we are not superheroes to finish them all with a flick of a finger, Oh and also a ten paged reaction paper on the Climate Change Seminar, with 12 font size, Arial, and single spacing (talk about disaster-prone areas). It would take a lot of our eyebrows to finish them all in one go but it would only take a  few if we were able to plan and manage it all out in the first place.

It frequently occurs to students, and I am no exception to that. The two million dollar question is Why and How? I can’t advise about something I’m not really good at but here’s a point to ponder: If there’s a tiny part or a voice in your mind telling you to do this now and not later or take note of this so you won’t forget it in the near future. Trust me to trust that voice.

That’s your guardian angel trying to save you from mountains of work and loads of regret.  

ANyOne has A TiMe mAcHinE????



 What do you do when you realized you’ve wasted time, doing nothing, or worse complaining???

Feeling like the calendar has been literally ripped off its pages, time and time again we always have to remind ourselves that all of us have 24 hours each day, 7 days a week, 30/31 days a month (well February does have 28 days and 1 more every four years), and 365.5 days a year (the .5 makes up for the additional day in the month of love). So why is it that people always end up regretting things, well not things that they have done (actually, that too) but things that they could have done.

Being a student is tough, being a nurse is tough, being a teacher is tough, a police officer, a computer analyst, a writer, a (well, you get my point I suppose). Life is tough, that all boils down to that, but really do we have to always complain about it?

Let’s see, I last heard a schoolmate complain about all the school projects and exercises their professor told them to do… Really, that’s school isn’t it, you can’t change that… Complain, complain and complain.

What on earth is taking them so long, can’t they call my name sooner?” I heard someone complain in the cooperative, when we were paying for our electric bills (I even end up having the same thoughts as his, whew, good thing a book is always handy. What about you? what’s your time filler?) It’s true, there are a lot of people, but there’s no need to be hasty, that’s just how things run.

     “The weather’s too hot, this is so annoying” that’s what we’d always hear if the rays of the sun would show up behind those white clouds in the middle of the vast blue sky, but then again if it rained “Sheesh, why on earth is it raining? I’m soaked already”. Soooo, where do we go from there? Here’s another one, I bet it’s popular.

     “Ughh, that is one crappy voice,” I’d often hear that along contests, where the audience tend to become a real keen observer when pinpointing flaws. Being in front of the stage is frightening enough already, ever tried standing in front yet? Got the guts to complain, but none to  stand in front and do the same.

     “What a lousy leader she is, keeps on telling us what to do, but couldn’t run things straight as promised.” Some guts they have to complain, after voting for her. Okay, maybe you didn’t vote for her, that still doesn’t give you the right to complain. Have you ever contributed anything to help improve the situation?

     “Oh geez, look at the time, where did it all go?” It’s not time’s fault though, she doesn’t have the privilege to make choices and control her actions. Well, time’s duty is to tell us that another second, another minute, hour, day, week, month or year had passed; and she can’t stop. But we can stop, wasting time and complaining too.

Stop complaining, life had always been like that (why is it that there are people who can’t grasp that though?), time won’t stop when people complain. We can never make up for lost time, it had passed, you can’t bring it back. (Not unless you have a time machine lying around in the attic).

     Make up for lost time??? literally and technically impossible. How about, stop wasting time with too much complaints? At least that’s literally and technically possible.