The Philippines is blessed with a thriving marine
ecosystem, supported by reefs and mangrove forests. And
the Hundred Islands National Park, the first Natural
Park in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, is no
exception. Its alluring cerulean waters, strewn with 123
islets, is also home to the fragile and diverse jewels
of the Philippine Sea – the Coral Reefs. They shelter,
feed and protect a copious number of sea creatures of
the Park. They also aid the 123 islets in protecting the
city’s coast from the impact of waves. Their hard and
soft corals with awe-inspiring forms and interesting
hues that glistened mystically in the deep, creates a
magical underwater vista. Divers and snorkelers can have
the time of their lives gliding over it and beside the
many magnificent fishes and other sea creatures.
Sadly, these gems became endangered in the Philippines
and some parts of the world and started to sink in a
deplorable state, a trend that local and foreign
scientists believe maybe irreversible. With the
onslaught of dynamite and cyanide fishing, aggravated by
neglect and increase in population, the Park finally met
the same plight.
However, decisive programs that target the
rehabilitation and restoration of the splendor of these
beautiful and vital water resources have been
implemented. Artificial reefs were introduced in parts
of the Park, where the corals are quite depleted. Hope
became strong at the frequent visits of fishes, which
eventually settled in or near the area of the artificial
reefs. Just like the natural reefs, they will serve as
vital breeding grounds for the sea creatures, so they
could again flourish and replenish the Park’s resources.
And the City is committed in securing the protection of
these new treasures.
Now, the Park is on its way up to recovery and tourists
who would immerse themselves in a diving or snorkeling
underwater exploration beneath its revitalized waters,
would find it beginning to breath in the scent of its
old health and magnificence, supported by both natural
and artificial reefs.