Are you doing your part in taking care of our seas and oceans? If you are to live in this world, then such responsibility should be inherent in you. Your acts of love for the blue world doesn’t have to be monumental. Not using single-use plastics and not throwing garbage carelessly into the ocean are first simple yet significant acts of preserving Mother Nature.
A few weekends ago, we acted on such love of Mother Nature. Through the invitation of Project BLUE, Sweetie and I joined the Scubasurero 2018.
We arrived at the Bluewater Maribago Resort, one of our favorite places to relax and have fun. Surrounding the resort are really cool dive sites that harbor a lot of marine gems. Definitely worthy of preservation and protection.
While waiting for the event to start, we met both old and new friends, including Princess, a lively Filipina diver who came all the way from Seoul, South Korea just to attend Scubasurero. Now, that’s dedication!
Familiar faces from Project BLUE, Camp Red, Scuba Star Dive Services, Dive and Trek, and the Lapu Lapu Government all congregated for a concentrated effort in saving the environment.
(Photo credit: Princhess Shang Tori)
As mid-morning approached, the Scubasurero event started. Welcoming words from the Maribago Bluewater Management team, inspiring words from the LGU, and dive briefings from the Philippine Coast Guard all buoyed us to undertake this noble activity.
Once the briefing was done, everyone went back to their stations to suit up and prepare for the cleanup.
Like an army on the prowl, a team of environmentally concerned divers scoured the shallow seabed for plastic waste, cans, metals, and other debris. We are an army yes—an army for Mother Earth.
Many divers brought old sacks of rice. We use this to keep the trash we collected from the seabed. Unlike snorkeling or free-diving, we cannot sink or float to the surface as we please so we could haul our trash to a waiting boat. We need to stay underwater at a certain level for a pre-determined time for safety purposes.
Not all human-made stuff is bad for the environment. Yes, it’s true that they sometimes look ugly and out of place. However, Nature always finds a way and adapts to the situation sooner or later. These blocks and water pipe have become artificial reefs that are teeming with seaweeds, algae, corals, and barnacles that provide fish a home.
Just like any individual or group, divers may have their own peculiarities in terms of character, attitude, preferences, morals, and more. Sometimes, these differences cause rifts, disagreements, and even bad blood.
But when it comes to preserving the environment, everyone in the scuba diving community unites. No matter what our differences are, we are one in helping Mother Nature.
A few anemone fish peeked out of their protective home to inspect our work. A healthy reef signifies a consortium of healthy marine life, interacting and engaging with each other. This bio-synthesis benefits every organism in the reef—prey, predators, parasites, and everything in between. Ultimately, this benefit spills to human society.
Take care of our reefs, and the ocean will take care of us.
Two pipefish, their colors perfectly blending with the sand, cautiously kept their distance as divers searched the nooks and crannies of the reef with garbage. Many of the things that humans use, from common consumer goods to rare medicines, come from the reef. And scientists believe that we have barely begun to scratch the surface.
Like these two camouflaged pipefish, healthy reefs harbor a lot of secrets that can save and improve human society.
It is important to understand that everything in this world is interconnected. Each fish, each coral head, each strand of seagrass has a function that is essential to the survival of the ecosystem.
We should not see ourselves as beyond the marine ecosystem. In fact, we should change our outlook about ourselves, and we should see humans as part of the ecosystem.
Cleaning is fun as well! Smile bubbles galore, Sir Boo and Princess!
Non-scuba divers swam on the surface of the water, collecting floating garbage.
With our tanks running low, it was time to go back and weigh the garbage that the team collected. It was a bittersweet moment.
On a positive note, we collected a whole lot of garbage as you can probably see in the photo below. Sacks upon sacks of plastics, bottles, soda cans, utensils, and more that were unceremoniously dumped into the ocean are now recovered. It means that the reef, at least in the places where we were doing the cleanup, was now free from debris.
On the other hand, the presence of so many sacks of trash was disheartening. It meant that people still continue to treat the ocean as if it was a dump.
Although they did not go scuba diving, the Camp Red team collected pieces of rubbish that were floating in the water. They hauled some of the biggest garbage catch!
With all the garbage weighed and collected, it was time for a well-deserved reward. Thank you Maribago Bluewater for the wonderful boodle lunch. And thank you Project BLUE for allowing us to join this endeavor.
Best of all, at the end of the cleanup, Sweetie and I became honorary members of Project BLUE! What a great honor! It’s with pride and privilege to wear these royal blue shirts that speak volumes of our advocacy.
Take care of our ocean. Remember that the ocean is no less than the planet’s lifeblood. If we destroy the ocean, then we destroy ourselves.
Such a wonderful initiative! And kudos to you and the entire team for taking it up for Mother Nature. I absolutely love what you say about is being a part of the ecosystem and every creature having a role to play in the interplay of life. I really hope people be more careful, conscious and vigilant about what they are giving back to the environment. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post!
about *us being a part
Hi 22arti, thank you! We always do whatever we can to protect and preserve the environment.
I stayed in Maribago last October and I wasn’t aware of such initiatives. Great work for the oceans. Keep it up
They do this twice a year, I think. There’s no fixed schedule though, so during the days when you stayed in the resort, there may be no cleanup drive scheduled.
This looks like an incredible adventure! I tried diving once and I am very eager to try it another time, and make a course to be able to dive by myself. I appreciate that some brough the bag to pick up the trash, that’s brillinat!
Hi Anita, please do try scuba diving. It’s a fun and relaxing adventure. 🙂
This is a great piece of responsible tourism that you guys were part of. I have often thought about the tonnes of garbage lying on the seabed and the effect that they could have on our future generations. It is so good to see that we still have hope with saviors like you.
Thank you very much! We always do our part in preserving and protecting Mother Earth in every adventure we take. 🙂
I love this initiative! I need to get my scuba diving license to participate in ocean cleaning events like this! Everyone affects their environment and surroundings in some way. There needs to be more awareness that the oceans and rivers are not the dumping grounds and create more ways to process trash. Thanks for sharing this!
Hi Jackie, thank you! We actually have activities like these with Project BLUE every year. Of course, we always practice and observe responsible diving every time dive in all dive sites we visit. 🙂
Scuba diving is one of my favorite activities and I’m crazy about it! 🙂
Nice to know there are more people into it especially when you’re doing some good thing about environment 🙂
Hi Travel Optician, we should dive together sometime! 🙂
Yes, why not, great idea! 😀
I love this post. What an amazing thing that you did and the photos were really awesome. I love spending time in and around the ocean and you are right, I should be contributing more to help keep the ocean clean and beautiful for everyone (like collecting garbage on the beaches where we live). A good reminder.
Hi Nicole, thank you! How beautiful and wide the ocean will be in the future depends on our actions today. That’s why we are advocates of responsible tourism and environmental protection/preservation.
This is a great project you have. Many people both educated and non-educated that have no heart to our surroundings. The only solution is to have a higher and strict penalty. Money does hurts nowadays.
Hi Blair, we certainly agree with that. And for long-term solution, a continuing education about environmental protection and preservation. This should be taught in all levels of society.
I love that you guys are doing this! I’m all the way in London (and Italy) and feel so detached from this, but really support the cause. As always, your photos are incredible and show how beautiful life is under the surface. Thank you for helping keep it that way!
Hi Lisa! Thank you! Hopefully, you can visit the Philippines and check out our awesome marine paradises. 🙂
This is awesome! We love it! This is so incredible and it has me all excited to go out and something to help the earth. We love reading your posts!
Thank you very much! We are truly humbled.
What a lovely initiative and how kind of you to participate in Scubasurero 2018 to clean the ocean. It’s good to know that not all human waste is harmful to the sea life, that nature sometimes adapts to it and makes it a part of it’s home. Yet, it is our responsibility to make sure that we do not pollute the ocean with garbage, especially plastic!
Hi Medha! Oh yes. Even if it’s not a cleanup event, it’s our standard practice to bring net bags during our dives so we can collect garbage from the seabed. The sea is beautiful, and it’s important that we keep it that way for future generations.
I am proud of how you guys have shown responsibility to the Mother Earth. It is so important to be aware of what we have done to the nature and how we need to tackle it now. I was watching the Plastic Ocean documentary the other day and my heart sinked, but this post share really made me hopeful. Thanks.
Thank you very much! You should also watch “Chasing Coral.” It’s an awesome documentary about coral bleaching.
I am from the PH, and I didn’t know this exists! I’m glad that it does though! We really need to protect the Philippines. It’s a paradise that deserves our love!
Hi Jusztravel! We definitely agree with you. The Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle, and it’s crucial that we protect our marine resources.
This looks like an incredible adventure! I did it only a couple of times but it’s a very fun activity. It’s amazing that you brought the bag to pick up the trash! Great job!
Hi Passport Symphony! Yes it’s fun. But more importantly, we were able to protect Mother Nature in our own small way.