The 8th Pawikan Festival with the theme “PAWIKAN… BIYAYA NG KALIKASAN KAYA BANTAYAN, PANGALAGAAN, PAKAWALAN” was held at the Pawikan Conservation Area in Barangay Labac, Naic, Cavite on February 08, 2019. Activities of the long day festival included a boat race, a poster making contest and a traditional game of Palo Sebo. The annual celebration of the Pawikan Festival aims to increase awareness and to encourage stakeholders for protection and conservation of marine turtles. The last activity and the highlight of the Festival, which is the releasing of the hatchlings, were conducted at around 4:30 in the afternoon.

Ms. Judaline A. Fabro, Supervising Ecosystems Management Specialist of PENRO Cavite stated that through their information dissemination drive, the public were given information and awareness regarding the importance of the conservation of the turtles. This resulted in higher population of turtles in their area. They also have 15 beach patrollers that are being reoriented every year. They conduct patrolling at the onset of the Nesting Season.

According to a 2010 report of Oceana, “sea turtles play an important role in ocean ecosystems by maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, providing key habitat for other marine life, helping to balance marine food webs and facilitating nutrient cycling from water to land.”[1] The importance of protecting and conserving the turtles were emphasized during the festival, as they are the “Ambassadors of the Seas”. They carry over many species on their carapace that benefit other marine species.  It also stated that the sea turtles are indicators of a good marine ecosystem.

Priority programs such as the Manila Bay Rehabilitation and the Tayo ang Kalikasan (TAK) Campaign were also explained briefly to the audience. The Municipality of Naic is one of the coastal towns of Cavite included in the Manila Bay Rehabilitation efforts of the DENR.  

There are several nesting and hatchery sites that can be found in the Region. Cavite has two (2) nesting and hatchery sites: in Naic and Ternate. Quezon has a nesting and hatchery site located in Brgy. Barra, Lucena City. Meanwhile, nesting sites in Batangas can be found in San Pascual, San Juan, Lobo, and Batangas City.

According to Manuel Mandocdoc, one of the Bantay Dagat at San Juan, Batangas, they prohibited the residents to take sea turtle eggs in  a specific area in their shore that has the most number of reported eggs. Outside those active areas, residents can take the eggs because they use the profit in selling the sea turtle eggs to provide food for their family. Mandocdoc said that the residents living in the area sell the eggs for P12 each and that the buyers were usually from Sariaya, Quezon.

According to the patrollers in Batangas area, there are still more than 50% survival rate per season.

The DENR is urging the public to help and support the agency in its initiative to reduce waste that end up in Manila Bay and all other bodies of water, and report other ENR related cases. For citizens who would like to report or share their concerns, you may send an sms to +639456215007/ +639083340224, email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send us photos, videos and other information via #ZeroWaste #DENRCalabarzon #TayoAngKalikasan


[1] Wilson, E. G., et al. “Why Healthy Oceans Need Sea Turtles: The Importance of Sea Turtles to Marine Ecosystems.” Oceana,