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Date Posted: 11/27/09

Visiting Apo Island (November 6, 2009)

By: Arturo Valdez

In the afternoon of Nov 6 DENR brought us to Apo Island to show us how the island residents preserved and protected it’s nationally- famous marine sanctuary.

The site is awesome. The coral reefs are teeming with all kinds of marine life. Apo Island residents showed that with passion and resolute determination we can preserve and re-create our marine environment. Leo Oracion and Mike Loyola spent most of the afternoon and the mornig after swimming with the giant sea turtles that abound in great numbers in the island.

By 11:30am we left the island to catch a waiting bus that will bring us to the ancestral home of our majorsponsor Tao chairman Jun Sy, and a luncheon hosted by his sister Congresswoman Limcaichong. It was her birthday and she brought along the local Dumaguete media for an impromptu press con. In the afternoon we motored back to the city and the solon even was game enough to ride at the Balangay in spite of windy and choppy condition at the docking area.

At night the Dumaguete Coast Guard Station under Chief Caro hosted a farewell dinner for the crew.  This time we were joined by the former top brass of the Coast Guard, former PCG Commandant Admiral Art. Gosingan, Commodores Herbie Escutin and Noli Flores who all now retired in the gentle environment of Dumaguete.

It was a good reunion for all of us especially Art Gosingan who absorbed the Everest summiteers in the ranks of the Coast Guard during his tenure, and Herbie Escutin, the officer who closely worked with me and risked his career during the transfer of the Coast Guard from the AFP-Navy to DOTC when no one believed it can ever happen.

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