LAOAG CITY, April 5–Dr. Lemnuel V. Aragones, associate professor of UP Diliman’s Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology, has dubbed Ilocos Norte’s unique water shores as new favorite haven for endangered marine species which seek the warm waters of the Philippine Sea.
Dr. Aragones gave the comment following the surprise appearance of humpback whales off the water of Pasaleng bay in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte during the Holy Week vacation. The UP professor arrived in llocos Norte for a dialogue called by the Provincial Tourism Office in order to gain his insights and knowledge about the characteristics of the whales.
During the dialogue, Dr. Aragones said the provincial government must adopt protective measures to safeguard the whales as more tourists are expected to eagerly enjoy watching this unique marine phenomenon.
Aside from Pasaleng, the neighboring coastal town of Sta. Praxedes, Cagayan also claimed to have whales appearing off their shore. He urged local officials of both LGUs to have a dialogue to avoid feud over claims which territorial water is the whales’ haven.
He said Pagudpud should put up a hilltop station that can serve as a whale-watching site for tourists. It may also adopt San Francisco, California’s whale watching adventure using binoculars. This ensures that the whales would be free from any human harm.
Provincial Tourism Officer Ianree Raquel said the whale phenomenon is another attraction that would help boost Ilocos Norte’s tourism industry.
Likewise, noted environmentalist and marine mammal expert A. G. Sano arrived in the province to brief Gov. Imee R. Marcos and other local officials on marine conservation, especially on the whales’ safety.(Dianne Grace N. Rasquero/PGIN-CMO)