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Date Posted: 10/29/09

Guimaras Experience (October 13, 2009)

By: Arturo Valdez

We opted to paddle our way towards Guimaras, a 7-km stretch from Iloilo to burn some calories taken during our Tatoy’s restaurant visit. We left Iloilo port at 8AM and reached Jordan, Guimaras 20 minutes after 9AM. We were welcomed by representatives of the LGU, partner’s national agencies and the Philippine Coast Guard. Grade schoolers lined up the road waving the Philippine flag as we motored to meet Governor Nava of Guimaras province.

After the usual pleasantries, we proceeded to Barangay Tando in Nueva Valencia to revisit the site of the worst oil spill in the country caused by the sinking of a Petron tanker more than two years ago.

Gone were the blackened shoreline and mangroves that dotted the village when Team Everest visited the place last time. Instead, a two-room Petron school building stood in the center of the empty shoreline now appearing to look normally. We leave it now to the scientists to determine the long term damage by the worst oil spill in the country.

After participating in mangrove planting in Barangay Tando, we headed to Jordan to hold our regular symposium at the National High School. The youth bombarded us with questions showing their great interest in the voyage.

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