PAWB, PIA and DENR on Biodiversity: What's NextPhilippines? #WhatsNextPh

Whenever I go to other countries, I get happy when I see a National Park somewhere and a nature activity near the city in the map. I would visit a park if it's accessible and doesn't entail that much hardcore trekking. This year because of my visit to Mt. Pulag and Wildlife in QC, I actually was thrilled to learn that there was such an agency as the PAWB (the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau) in the Philippines. Maybe I haven't paid much attention or I'm just starting to appreciate climbing mountains from that brief encounter early this year... National Parks just aren't top of mind when I think of the Philippines.. Thankfully, I was given the chance to talk a bit with Director Dr. Mundita Lim of PAWB and Director Mari Oquinena of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) at the launch of #WhatsNextPh

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One of the things I love about the Philippines is that we have a lot of places and experiences (which are completely different) to explore. Want beaches, caves, lakes, mountains, volcanoes, cities, highlands, animals, etc.? We have those and many more (mula Aparri hanggang Jolo hehe). As I said, I'm pretty thankful that I can knowingly add National Parks to that list now. =)

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I think it's a good thing to note that since tourism is one of the major things happening in our country today, understanding (and discovering) biodiversity and protecting it shouldn't be left behind.

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I got to hear from someone as passionate as Dr. Mundita Lim of PAWB short mentions like sightings of Rafflesia manilana in the Philippines (I only ever saw them in Tourism Malaysia TV ads) and about the Mt. Iglit-Baco National Park where one can see the endangered Philippine tamaraw.

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If we were to break down the intricacies of the Philippine ecosystem, we would have to look at a whole lot of things.

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For now, I really got the part that nature is able to provide us with food, water, fuel, medicine and many more basic necessities.

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It can affect whole communities and the livelihood of many Filipinos.

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Even those sharp mangroves that I encountered in Caramoan are very important.. Biodiversity is also more than just animals and wildlife.

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Admittedly, I only look at things on the surface, especially in those hurried and short trips. Just take a quick picture here then go because we have to rush somewhere else.

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I did appreciate taking time to sit through the required Mt. Pulag National Park briefing and actually listen hard to the PAWB Park Officer Ms. Mering before that epic Mt. Pulag climb early this year. 

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With that said, I've also realized that we can't just keep on pushing just tourism for growth. I hope that the #WhatsNextPh Campaign sparks something big and great. 

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We can all start by following the WhatsNextPH Campaign website, on Facebook and Twitter as well as the PAWB and PIA to know more about the Philippines, what's happening around us and the beauty of Philippine biodiversity! =) I'm so excited to find out that the Taal Volcano area is also a national park and there is actually somebody from the PAWB there (and in every National Park in the Philippines). Director Mundita Lim told me about kayaking there so that's got me psyched! Hehe. Let's see what these new discoveries will do to me and the way I travel. I have a few more months to plan my next nature adventure! =D Thanks to Director Mundita Lim of PAWB and Director Mari Oquinena of PIA for the insightful evening.

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