Djilba 2019

Discovering Calataganda cont.

Beneath the salty waves, there is a project in coral restoration. Blocks of stone attract new coral polyps. These hard substances give the juvenile cephalopods a surface to grow on and thrive. Calataganda reinvests the tourism money into restoring the environment.

The Philippines is a brilliant matrix of islands spread in the Pacific Ocean. Holiday photos abound of its white sand beaches and luscious clear-blue waters. The seas flourish with macro wildlife, like the pygmy seahorse, and pelagic animals, like the world-renowned whale shark.

Calatagan is on the country’s largest island of Luzon, which is also home to the capital city of Manila. Outside of this city by an hour or so, Calatagan is not really a tourist town. But, in Calatagan you find Calataganda.
It makes it a good choice for people who want to lower their carbon footprint while getting a taste of the country. A Calataganda visit is perfect for an adventurous traveller after a transformative experience.

When I visited, the low tide revealed mudflats to the right of the small homestay. To my left was a series of buildings with colorful dolphins painted on the walls. 

Young children ran around my legs, kicking a half-inflated football and laughing with glee. Behind the trees, a fledgling solar farm powered the operation. Jessie greeted me as I joined a group of teachers from Manila on a Climate Change Camp.

We stepped onto the bamboo slats of a floating boat. Across the short expanse of the bay, we reached the mangrove forest. Jessie encouraged us to observe with our senses: The sounds, smells, and sights of a healthy wetland. We went into the water for a snorkel to the seagrass beds beneath us.

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