March 8, 2017
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte viewed a four-minute video documentary about the Tubbataha Reefs located in Cagayancillo, Palawan province. After the viewing, he received a coffee table book entitled “Tubbataha: A National Treasure”, which also shows the beauty of the habitat for internationally threatened and endangered marine species.
The book was published by Maria Theresa Marissa Floirendo, an underwater cinematographer, of the Don Antonio O. Floirendo Sr. Foundation (AOF). The breathtaking photographs were taken by Maria Teresa Lara, an underwater photographer.
According to Lara, the book was produced to bring awareness on the Tubbataha. All the proceeds, she said, will be used for the conservation of the reefs.
The Tubbataha was inscribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 1993 and on the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance in 1999. It was recognized as one of the country’s oldest ecosystems.
According to Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park management, all 97,030 hectares of the park are home to 360 species of corals, 600 species of fishes, 13 species of dolphins and whales, the endangered green sea turtle and the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, and over 100 species of birds.
* * *