Pawikan Conservation Center
Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan
- 3 Reviews
- 19 Recommend
- 3 Reviewers
Most Recent Reviews
During a Bataan Bonding trip with my high school buds, we made sure to pass by the Pawikan Conservation site before heading home... We associate pawikans with Palawan, but Morong Bataan is one of the nesting sites for these gentle creatures...
We went into the volunteer run facility, which aims to raise awareness about the Pawikans... We were taught about their life cycle, what they eat, where they mate and we were shown baby pawikans swimming about in a small wade pool... We even go to touch and carry an adult pawikan, who was very heavy btw... But he was absolutely beautiful!️ we even visited the beach where the eggs were being laid... We also tried to adopt one, but it wasn't the season for such...
I'm happy that they are fighting the good fight and raising awareness to make sure these animals don't become endangered... They are being hunted by Chinese fishermen for their shell and their belief that the meat of these turtles brings one vitality and virility... I actually witnessed the murder of these creatures in Palawan... Our authorities seized a ship filled with pawikans, big and small, that was bound for China... Thousands of these animals died aboard the ship... Their remains littered a shipyard with the metallic smell of blood in the air... People were crying, unable to avert their eyes from the massacre before us... We all shed tears as more and more pawikans were brought out of the ship... I hope this is the kind of tradition that we eradicate because the world is a duller place without these beautiful animals...
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Morong Bataan is the nesting site for sea turtles. I went to the Pawikan Conservation Center last weekend hoping to adopt a pawikan. Unfortunately, nesting season is from October to February so there weren't any. However, there were two sea turtles under their care right now. I got to spend time with them and even hold them.
There's nothing to see here if you visit out of season. I still enjoyed my time there regardless.
Entrance Fee - PHP20
Adoption Fee - PHP300
Guests get to spend time with baby pawikans before they release them. It will be registered under the guest's name. Cool!
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Who knew that Morong in Bataan is actually a nesting site for pawikans (sea turtles)?? The Pawikan Conservation Centre is a volunteer-run centre that tries to increase awareness about this endangered species and protect eggs from predators until they hatch and the hatchlings are released into the sea. Impressively and interestingly, some or all of the volunteers here actually used to be poachers of sea turtle eggs - I was so happy to see that these (ex-) local poachers have grown aware of the danger of extinction that the pawikan faces, and that they are now proactively making sure this does not happen.
The centre itself is looking a little rundown but that's not surprising given that it operates based on donations and on any income it generates through the sale of souvenirs, arranged eco-tours etc. The volunteers are enthusiastic and passionate though, and that's the important part.
My friends and I went here one weekend in February during the hatching season. The head of the centre spoke to us briefly about the pawikan, the different types of sea turtles, and what they were trying to accomplish there. He showed us the protected nests within the centre grounds where they relocated the eggs that they found on the beach so that poachers wouldn't steal them or other animals wouldn't eat them. Afterwards we were able to release some of the babies that had just hatched that morning into the sea. There's a fee of Php10 per hatchling, which I thought was a small price to pay so that the centre could keep running.
There's a group that organises weekend trips during hatching season, where you get to stay in dorm-style accommodations at the centre. Activities include patrolling the beach at night to check for new eggs, and releasing new hatchlings to sea in the morning. A friend did it though, and was unhappy as she thought it was disorganized. So we decided to do a DIY weekend trip instead: we stayed elsewhere in Morong (there are heaps of resorts around) and then went to the centre by ourselves early in the morning for the hatchling release. No entrance fee, just the Php10 sponsorship per baby. We didn't have time to do the night beach patrol, but that's also an option if you wish, you just need to coordinate with the volunteer staff.
It was a great experience to see these newly hatched sea turtles squirming around, and to watch them swim for the very first time. It was like being a mom watching her baby take her first wobbly steps. Some of the sea turtles took to the water easily, as if they'd been doing it for years; meanwhile some of them had a harder time. We even made a game of it for a while, where we had a starting line where we each put down our hatchlings and cheered them on as they slowly made their way to the water (person whose turtle came into the water last is the loser and has to buy breakfast for everyone). All in all, it was a fun, exhilarating and slightly surreal experience. If you want something different from the usual beach experience, definitely consider this. You'll be helping ensure their survival as well, as this centre can only keep running if donations and income keep coming in. I think nesting season runs from November to February; call the centre to confirm.
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