A few months ago, me and my wife were invited to Palawan with the JCI’s from Manila to be the guest speaker at the launching of their Sea of ife Artificial Reef Dome Project. Once again we have been invited to Davao by the JCI’s as they are now launching a new Artificial Reef Dome Project which comes under their Sea of Life Project for this area and once again I have been invited as guest speaker!
The venue for the actual meeting itself was at the Hotel Vicente which I wrote about in my last article, a very pleasant place to stay.
All that I was told prior to the event was that I was invited but when I arrived I was asked if I could say a few words at the event. A few words for me, I can talk for hours if the subject matter is good and talking about Artificial Reef Domes is one of them subjects which I can talk about.
The start of the event was a bit delayed which is nothing unusual here in the Philippines but the reason for the delay was that the Guest of Honor, Senator Migs Zubiri was just finishing up at another event and had to get across the City to us!
Once the meeting got under way, it started with the usual formalities like the Singing of the Philippine National Anthem, an Opening Prayer and the introduction of the Guests and Senior JCI Members.
A very good introduction to the work of the JCI’s and their goals was read out by one of the members and it made a lot of sense to me as they were really following onto what we had started in the Gen San / Sarangani Area with our completed 5,000 Artificial Reef Dome Project.
I was the first Speaker and gave the reasons why we had decided to undertake our project and I also gave some details as to how the project had been completed so successfully. When I was asked about how we had managed to get around the Government Red Tape I told them quite honestly that we did not tell the Government about what we were doing, we just got on with the project!
Senator Zubiri spoke of his love of the oceans and really the environment in general and he well understood the problems that could easily slow down projects which were very necessary. He said very good things about our project and showed his appreciation for our efforts and success. He has hopes that similar projects will be undertaken throughout the Philippine Waters and if successful these projects will help to restore some of the ailing coral reefs around the shores.
Some MOA’s were signed between the JCI’s, Senator Zubiri, The Government of Samal stating that they would carry on with environmentally sound projects in the future, I really hope that such things can happen for the good of future generations!
Both me and the Senator were presented with Plaques of Appreciation, Sea of Life Shirts and very nice Solar Powered Flash Lights which I had not seen here before!
The meeting ended with a photo shoot of the group with 2 of the Artificial Reef Domes which were ready to be deployed the next day in the waters fronting Samal Island so that means a boat trip in the sun to the deployment site which I will wright about in my next article!
Chris Dearne, aka "GenSan Chris" is a long term resident of the Philippines. Chris has been living in General Santos City since 1992! Chris owns a hotel in General Santos called Cambridge Farm Hotel, and also the Cambridge Dive Center, formerly Tuna City Scuba Center. Chris' interests include Scuba Diving, Instructing, and Formula 1 Racing.