So , okay, I’m an island girl.

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I was taken aback when a co-worker asked me where I was born…  I answered the Philippines, of course… then he said, ” I mean, on what island .?????” I thought for a minute before replying….Uhm… Luzon Island ???

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I  told him I’d  always thought of my birthplace  as a country and not an island   ( if that makes sense). Well, the Philippines is comprised of 7, 641 islands ( or 7, 107  at  high tide, ha ha ) , and though I find  his question  a bit strange, I have to admit it   makes  sense…  After all, the former name of the Philippines was  Las Islas Filipinas ( as a Spanish colony.. .. islas means islands ) , Philippine Islands ( as  American colony) , Commonwealth of the Philippines, ( still American colony) , then Republic of the Philippines ( after independence)

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So, I ran off to tell my Filipino co-worker and she was surprised, as well. I mean, we have the same mindset.  We don’t consider ourselves “island people ” .  Japan is an island.  Indonesia , Singapore… Come to think of it… England.   Here’s the thing… it’s A-Okay  to be considered an islander. I find it very exotic… it evokes images of  beautiful, tropical islands with white beaches, palm and coconut trees swaying in the breeze…

 

Most importantly,  Palawan Island ( which is on the video above) is the  location of TUBBATAHA REEF, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site, the most protected site in the world.    The biodiversity of  Tabbutaha Reef surpasses that of Galopagos’ and Hawaii’s  combined. Then , there’s Apo Reef, the second largest contiguos coral reef system in the world , and is a highly protected site ,located in the waters of Occidental Mindoro  in the Philippines. The reef is submerged, of course, but are marked by 3 uninhabited islands, Apo Island, Apo Menor, and Cayos del Bajo. Like Tabbutaha, it is a no- take- zone., and just like Tabbutaha, it is  patrolled  by the Phil. Navy  24/7. Despite that,  Chinese poachers still encroach  and fish illegally.  On one Chinese fishing boat, they found turtles , manta rays, sharks, etc.  ( maybe for their shark fin soups and turtle soups which the Chinese love ).  I know I’m being politically incorrect, but I;m just stating a fact.  I hope the Chinese people desist from consuming stuff  that come from endangered animals. . Stop eating shark fin and turtle soups ! ! ( and buying elephant tusks for ivory. It’s outrageous. )*whisper* I don’t even want to mention what’s going on in West Philippine Sea ( South China Sea) .. Palawan is located in that area. How should I say this …. well, the situation there is extremely intense. If you haven’t heard about it, start reading , I beg you. The Philippines is a very small country. This is like David and Goliath.

Anyway….

Here is TUBBATAHA REEF. The preservation of the reefs and Philippine biodiversity is not only for the Philippines, but for whole mankind.

 

 

Well,  * cough * I wasn’t really born on any of these islands shown above… I was born in Manila, on Luzon island, the biggest island in the Philippines.  The city of Manila, shown on the video below,  is the reason why I don’t feel like an island girl.  Still, I am an island girl,  and proud of it.  I think the Philippines is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

 

This is all for now.  I hope you can watch the videos.  Bye and peace.

31 responses to this post.

  1. Ooooooo! an island girl. cool!

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  2. Nice write-up about our country Ren. I still dream of going to Batanes someday!

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    • Yes, I want to see Batanes, too. My Mom, as well. She says Dad has been wanting to see Batanes .. he used to work with Philippine Airlines , and you know, it was free for him and family, so he’d always say he wanted to just board a PAL plane and see Batanes even for a few hours. His co-workers at PAL said the place was really stunningly postcard pretty.

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      • Does PAL fly to Batanes? The air fare going there is really more expensive than going to Hong Kong or Singapore.

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        • Used to… now I don’t know. On some of the videos, the airplane’s name is Jetstar. Maybe Cebu Pacific, too? More expensive ? Really ? Whoa ! My Mom used to go to HongKong to shop.. She said it was faster to go to Hongkong than to drive from Paranaque to Makati to shop, due to horrible traffic.

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  3. Be politically incorrect more often, why not! A lot of the stuff the Chinese want for medicine or whatever is just superstitious. Hopefully the younger generations will realise this but until then if it pays poaching will continue.

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    • Ste J…. how should I say this ( without being provocative ) …. it’s more about territorial poaching. The US has now been given rights to establish its military presence in the Philippines, ( about 7 or 8 bases??) …. my parents are ecstatic. Ugh.. it can’t be helped, I guess ?

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  4. Islanders are cool people. I have a boss once who takes pride in his birthplace Marinduque. All they do is sing and drink the days away. He landed in our office together with his islander ways and we sing and drank the Fridays away.

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    • Sing, dance, drink and karaoke the Fridays away. I hope your boss works hard the rest of the week. I heard Filipinos have good work ethics. ( though the drinking with the boss sounds more like Japanese culture )

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  5. I feel the same way, I don’t think of me being born on an island, as I was born in Manila as well. I guess my daughter who was born in New York City can be an islander too, as Manhattan, by definition is an island.

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    • If we were born in the Philippines, technically, we are islanders. and yes, your daughter is an islander, too, ha ha, though it’s Manhattan island, USA. ^_^ ” Oh, wait, they sometimes call England, British Isles. (~ ^ _^ ) ~

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  6. Well Island Girl. I thank you for checking into my blog. Your videos are very appealing.

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  7. Can’t help remembering the monsoon season in Manila! I kept thinking it was time to collect animals two by two….

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    • Oh , yes the monsoon season. It’s from June to November. Our summer vacation here in the US is from June to August, so when we were there on vacation, ( 3 weeks to one month ) we spent one week without electricity after a very strong, scary typhoon. It was a new experience for me. We couldn’t even go out because the streets were flooded. The candlelight dinners were nice , though. Ugh. They say Filipinos eat natural disasters for breakfast. Earthquakes, more than a dozen devastating off the charts typhoons every year, and volcanic eruptions. ( shakes head) I think they have already accepted their lot, hence , the “bahala na” attitude ( which means, come what may, whatever will be, will be.) That’s why Filipinos are always on the top 10 list of the happiest people in the world, despite everything, (that includes poverty) …Ooops, sorry for the long reply, ha ha.

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  8. I’ve always considered it a country; yes, island has an exotic ring to it as well. Beautiful country and people. 🙂

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  9. I agree – incredibly beautiful ❤!

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    • Thank you, DK Powell !

      But,I didn’t show poverty. I hope the Philippine government gets to solve that problem. T.T

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      • Yes, I got to see much of that in Cebu – even there though, it was still beautiful.

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        • Did you go straight to Cebu from UK? Cebu has an international airport ,I think. That’s the problem with big cities. Migrants from rural areas flock to the city to work, but most of them don’t own homes, and cannot even afford to live in apartments, so they just build shanties on public lands. If the Cebu government doesn’t solve this at the earliest possible time, Cebu will have the same problem as Metro-Manila.

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          • No I flew from Bangladesh via Singapore! Yes, there was a great deal of shanty towns. Very interesting seeing poverty rubbing shoulders with wealth…

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  10. You are very lucky. One day, I will your Island. I love the sea.

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  11. Lucky to be an island girl!!

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  12. Palawan is gorgeous!

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    • It’s been voted as the most beautiful island in the world two years in a row by the International Leisure and Travel Magazine . Before that, it was Boracay Island, also in the Philipppines, until the government closed the island from tourists for one year. Too many tourists !

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  13. Enjoyed the post. I was born on an island too but quite different from Asia or Caribbean: Staten Island, New York.

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