New Dolphin and Whale Watching Destination in Asia (fwd)

From: Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Date: Fri Mar 03 2000 - 09:00:55 EST


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 03:22:44 PST
From: Joselino Baritua <jbaritua@hotmail.com>

Dear Friends;

Last year we have started the operation of the dolphin and watching in
Pamilacan here in Central Philippines. The people of the island used to
hunt bryde's whale, dolphins, whale sharks and manta rays. Now, there are
12 boats that engages in the dolphin and whale watching tours. We are
converting the hunting boats into a whale and dolphin watching boats.

Women's are now involved in the preparation of the food of the visitors. The
men serve's are spotter's and local guide in the dolphin and whale watching.
  Both men and women are rotated every trip in order to provide an equal
oppurtunity. This was made possible with the assistance of
WWF-Philippines, Philippine Department of Tourism and Citibank NA who
provided the funding for the 3 years which started in 1997.

But there are still 30 boats who are in the wait and see attitude. These
people is petitioning the government for lifting on the ban on whale sharks
and manta rays. As of the moment we need to show them that they still be
able to make living without the necessity of killing the animals through the
dolphin and whale watching.

We still need funds to train these people and to venture into a new form of
living. Trainings has already been conducted for the 12 boats but we still
need funds for the trainings of the 30 boats and it's 70 crews. An old
Spanish Fort will soon be converted into a cetacean's museum but still we
need some 3 million pesos to restore the structure. This will soon house
the artifacts of the whaling tradition of the fishermen.

We could not entirely depend on the Philippine Government. While we have
good laws already in place. The agencies task in the implementation of the
laws do not have the necessary logistics needed in the enforcement and
operations. Our Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is very
far. They do not patrol boats, the Philippine National Police - Maritime
Office station here do not have patrol boat, including the local government
unit or the Municipality of Baclayon.

Police work are done by the enlightened few fishermen, but we need to
sustain the momentum. We still need the following, hand held radio, GPS,
hydrophone and funds for the refitting of the 30 boats.

I hope you can help us dessiminate this information and encourage more
visitors to Pamilacan. Hopefully, we could encourage the others to join us
in this new endeavor and help conserve the endangered marine species.

Hereunder is a copy of our brochure:

SAVE THE MARINE ANIMALS!
HELP PAMILACAN!

A total marine adventure. Experience the excitement of seeing dolphins and
whales frolicking in their natural habitat. The waters around the Island of
Pamilacan, Baclayon, Bohol is a haven for at least 11 species of dolphins
and whales - from the playful spinner dolphins to the gigantic sperm whale.
Meet the people of Pamilacan and visit the historical fort built by
Spaniards 200 years ago. Enjoy the white sandy beaches and the bountiful
marine environment of Bohol Sea. Experience island-living in the
Philippines.

This tour is sure to become a memorable part of your visit to Bohol. Enjoy,
learn and help conserve whales and dolphins!

The Island

The small island of Pamilacan is nestled in the heart of the Bohol Sea, the
Visayas Archipelagos in the Philippines. Its name is derived from the word
pilak, which is a large hooked implement made and used by the islanders to
capture manta rays, whale sharks and bryde's whale. The Bohol Sea is said to
be a breeding ground of these mysterious but beautiful creatures. The
island in previous times, served as a watch station against the intrusion of
pirates and enemies of the Spanish colony as evidenced by the 200-year-old
Spanish fort on the northeast side of the island.

Today, 235 families live in the island. The people used to hunt dolphins,
whales, whale sharks and manta rays but these animals are now fully
protected by law in the Philippines.

The attractions on the island that may catch your interest is the ancient
Spanish fort, the Santa Cruz at the chapel's altar, the life within the
marine sanctuary and the white beaches around the island. Pamilacan is a
coral island and fossilised seashells can be seen on the island's rocky
hill. At present, the jaws and bones of marine mammals and whale sharks
still adorn a number of homes of the village. The blue waters surrounding
the island teem with lush and colorful marinelife.

Commonly encountered species

The marine realm in the vicinity of Pamilacan provides whales and dolphins
with the ideal refuge. There are no guarantees that one could definitely
experience the thrill of seeing dolphins and whales during the trip.
However, looking for these great animals has become a not-so-difficult task
given the fact that the area has for centuries been their natural habitat.
Furthermore, honed by experience, the keen eyes of the spotters on each boat
constantly check the surface for tell-tale signs: a sudden splash, a break
in the water, fins, tell-tale sea birds.

The marine mammal species most commonly found around Pamilacan Island are
the Risso's dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin,
long-snouted spinner dolphin, Fraser's dolphin, melon-headed whale,
short-finned pilot whale, sperm whale, and the Bryde's whale. Among the
species that are less frequently seen are the pygmy sperm whale and
Blainville's beaked whale. Other non-marine mammal species encountered in
the area are manta rays and whale sharks.

Dolphin and Whale Watching

Go watch whales and dolphins in the Bohol Sea with the locals of Pamilacan.
Ex-whale-hunting boats called canter have been refitted specifically for a
safe and comfortable trip. The boats, measuring 15 to 20 meters in length,
can accommodate up to seven passengers. Each of these crafts is furnished
with seats and roofing, and equipped with life vests . You will be
accompanied by skilled spotters whose familiarity with the area also makes
them excellent guides.

Best season is the months from March to June, but resident dolphins and
small whales can be found all year round. Tours are dependent on weather and
sea conditions. Getting there

Bohol in Central Philippines can be reach by 1= hour plane from Manila or
by 1= hour seaacraft ride from Cebu via the City of Tagbilaran, the gateway
to Bohol's Ecotourism destination. Pamilacan Island is accessible by boat
from mainland Bohol and Panglao Island. One can travel from Tagbilaran City
to the Baclayon Pier, the main pick up station, in just 15 minutes. Pick-up
by boat from Panglao can also be arranged.

The dolphin and whale watching tour itself starts at 6 AM and lasts for
about 3 to 4 hours. By lunchtime, you will be in Pamilacan where you have
about 2 to 3 hours to enjoy the island on your own or with a local guide.
You can leave the island soon after and expect to be back in Baclayon or
your pick up point between 2 to 3 PM.

Other sights and activities

A stone's throw away from the boat take-off point in Baclayon town is the
Baclayon Church. Considered as one of the oldest stone churches in the
Philippines, it was built in 1727 from coral stones. Beside the church is a
museum with religious relics.

A number of activities can also be facilitated, like the visit to the
Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Sanctuary, Hinagdanan Cave, Blood Compact Site and
a lunch with a floating restaurant along the Loboc River.

Arrangements for SCUBA diving in selected dive sites in Pamilacan may be
made through the various dive centers in Alona beach.

Essential things to bring

Wear light clothing preferably with a bathing suit underneath, soft-soled
flat shoes or slippers, sunglasses, sun hat and sun jacket. Expect a rough
ride and expect to get wet! So bring extra clothes, a towel and take motion
sickness pills. Others important things to bring include binoculars, camera
and film, skin lotion, snorkeling equipment.

You can contribute to conservation and help provide the people of Pamilacan
with a means of livelihood that is not destructive to the environment.

Rates January 2000 - March 2001)

Dolphin and Whale Watching Rates:

Php 3,500.00/big boat. Maximum of seven people per boat is allowed.
Php 1,800.00/ small boat Maximum of 3 people per boat allowed.

This is inclussive of the following: Round trip boat transfers from
Baclayon Pier to Pamilacan, dolphin and whale watching, spotters fee,
swimming on the beach and visit to the village.

Island Hopping Rates:

Php 1,800.00/big boat Maximum of seven persons per boat allowed
Php 1,000.00/small boat. Maximum of 3 people per boat allowed.

This is inclussive of the following: Round trip boat transfers from
Baclayon Pier to Pamilacan, swimming on the beach and visit to the village.
Boat charters are also available.

Food Services:

Taste the ambiance of a community managed restaurant. They cook native
chicken and fish and serve at the following rates:

Php100.00/person,Php 150.00/person,Php 200.00/person
Snacks, drinks, mineral water are also available.

Other Island facilities:

Beachfront Nipa Huts:
             Php 350/day/person with meals
             Php 150.00/day/person without meals
Picnic tables Php 100/day
Paddle boats for rent Php 100/hour

Souvenir items are also available.
Clean toilets (Male/Female)

Reservations are recommended.

For more details please contact:

PAMILACAN ISLAND DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING TOURS (PIDWWT)

Joselino "Jojo" S. Baritua
Dolphin and Whale Watch Booking Office:
Purok 3, Mahayahay, Taguihon,
Baclayon, Bohol 6301
Philippines

E-mail: jbaritua@hotmail.com
Telephone No. (63) (38) 540-92-79
Celphone No. (63) (918) 7736754

The ex whaling boat

Recommended for the whole family, except for expectant mothers, children
under 5 years, and persons in frail health.
Departure time is subject to change depending on weather/sea conditions and
arrangements with the guest.

What do others say of the Pamilacan Experience?

Dolphin watching in Pamilacan is wonderful and one of the best in the world.
   - Ulrike Kirsh & Ulrich Karlowski of the German Dolphin Conservation
Society and Delphinpost.

The best Dolphin Watching site - Mr. Shinji Yamato, WEB Japan.

One of the best of the 3 dolphin and whale watching destination in Asia -
Readers Digest October 1999

Enjoy your trip!

Pamilacan, Baclayon
Bohol, Philippines 6301

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