Visiting the Pawikan Conservation Center (Pawikan is Filipino for Marine Turtles) was really a part of our itinerary. Although we were clueless as to where and how far it really is from Mt. Samat, we thought of putting our entire trust to our Garmin unit and my iPad for Google Earth for maps :)
So when we saw this sign as we got near to Mt. Samat, we knew that we have to just follow the road when we get back out :)
We left Mt. Samat at around 11:30am since the signages said “Pawikan Conservation Center, Straight Ahead”, we thought that it was going to be a short drive (and the security guard in Mt. Samat told us that it will just be a 30-45 minute drive).
To our surprise, after 45 minutes and 10-15 signages of “Pawikan Conservation Center, Straight Ahead” have passed, still no Pawikan Conservation Center in sight. Haha!
We obediently followed the signs and after an hour and half of enjoyable drive, we have finally reached our destination! Yahoo!!!
Inside, you’ll see a few pawikans which are swimming inside a pond and learn about the lifecycle of a pawikan (really interesting!). I don’t really like turtles (or any other reptile) but they were kinda cute ;) They’re calm and really cute when they swim!
The ‘caretakers’ (if that’s what you call them) were really nice and they were willing to answer any question you may have :) My husband and I took our time (I think there were 2 groups who came and left and we were still there, haha!) in the center and asked all the questions we could think of, haha!
Some stuff we learned from this trip:
1. We know that pawikans are threatened for extinction — and the reason? Certain human activities which threatens the lives of these pawikans and other marine life like egg gathering, poaching, pollution, etc… Sad :(
2. We learned that the entire Bagac and Morong coasts are known as nesting grounds of three (3) out of five (5) sea turtle species. This includes the Hawksbill, Olive Ridley and the Green Turtle. (Information confirmed via this site) — No wonder we saw some newly hatched baby turtles by the Subic beach shoreline when we were there a few years back (Subic is just 45 minutes away from the conservation center).
It is really nice that we have centers like these. They operate on donations from people as they only charge P20 for entrance fee (which I really don’t think is enough). KUDOS to these people!
After an hour of staring at the pawikans and missing lunch (2:00 pm), we decided that it was time to go and head to Sisiman Bay (God knows where that is!).
Ps. We decided to skip lunch and just eat whatever chips and snacks we brought along with us — as we don’t know where we can stop and eat, eeeps!
Get more information about Pawikans here.
Don’t forget to check out Road Trip, First Stop!