Gilutongan Island in Cordova, Cebu

Cordova literally looks like a land mass that had drifted away from Mactan.I was a bit hesitant to go there without my wife, but I couldn’t pass on the opportunity of being introduced to one of its off-shoot islets called Gilutongan.

Gilutongan island’s reefs were destroyed due to the poverty-stricken fishermen who resorted to dynamite fishing and cyanide use. However, after an ordinance was tailored in 1999 to declare it a marine sanctuary, hence such a law after its approval was disseminated well to the local community. The objective of involving them (the residents) in coastal management (of Gilutongan island) led to the gradual recovery of its endemic fish and coral species.

During the course of our seminar, we were made aware about the estimable accomplishments of the LGU to promote eco-tourism in Gilutongan island and at the same time saving the riches of its waters from total degradation.

The PCL (Philippine Councilors League) then tagged me along for a  quick tour to Gilutongan island by boat and to learn more about the remarkable history of the place. It was a life-altering process that made me a better person with a desire to promote environmental awareness and give further support to the cause.

Before chartering an outrigger boat to Gilutongan island, we first had our fill of “Talaba” or oyster. It was so fresh and good, providing a good intermission for the noble task at hand. We were also tipped that we could buy “Salawaki” or sea urchins directly from fisherfolks.

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Oyster dish

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30 minute seafaring

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Clear water

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Snorkeling in Gilutongan

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A swarm of sardine fish

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A lone orbicular batfish

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Our boatman

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Fisherman selling sea urchins

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Sea urchin gonads at P100 per bottle

 

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