Advocacy | Travel & Culture

I went to Baler, Aurora to Join a Coastal Cleanup with REEF, This is What Happened …

10/07/2017

Last weekend of September 2017, I joined REEF on their Free the Sea Movement coastal cleanup drive with WWF.   Our coastal cleanup only transpired for less than an hour along the shores of Sabang Beach in Baler, Aurora.  We swiped about less than a kilometer of the coastal area but what we found was jaw-dropping.  We collected about 100 kilos of waste.   The bulk of what we collected in terms of volume was… CIGARETTE BUTTS!

Yes, we collected approximately 1,100++ pieces of cigarette butts mindlessly left by the irresponsible smoker.   I’m sorry if I am shaming you on this post but if you wanna smoke be responsible.  Don’t throw and leave your butts anywhere.  Be mindful and responsible smoker.  Don’t leave your butts behind (pun intended).   Go find a designated trash bin for it because it is also non-biodegradable!

coastal cleanup with reef

Next to the top garbage collected was of course plastics, composed of plastic candy wrappers, food containers, straws, disposable glasses, food wrappers.   The Free the Sea Movement’s main goal was to free the sea from all plastic and non-biodegradable.

It only took us less than an hour but the change we made on the coast of Baler, Aurora was visible.  We may not have totally rid the Sabang Beach of all the garbage, coz really there was more!!!  Our cleanup was sort of symbolic as it takes more than an hour to clean it up.   However, the data gathered from this will be added to WWF’s study as they monitor the top waste we need to rid off to save our environment.

This is the 2nd Free the See event by Reef as they globally advocate for sustainable tourism, a cause near and dear to Reef’s heart as it is in line with Reef’s global humanitarian outreach campaign “We Heart.”

coastal cleanup with reef

coastal cleanup drive with REEF and WWF

“As travelers, we may be just passing through other beaches and cities but through our We Heart campaign, we want to educate people on the importance of leaving a positive impact on the local communities we visit. “With more and more travelers discovering the beauty of our islands and with the rise of local tourism, now is a good time for us to educate people on the environmental impact tourism has and how we all need to work together maintain our beaches so people can continue to enjoy them for years to come,” Marnelli Gaerlan, Marketing Head for Reef, shared.

After the cleanup, we got reconnect with nature as we enjoy the beauty of the beach and learn how to surf with free surfing lessons by Nalu Surf Camp.  Surf instructors by Nalu were really helpful and fun!   

I was able to ride the waves a couple of times with the encouragement of our surf instructor!  Here’s some pics from my surfing lesson, thanks Kaycee for the Baby Shark winning shot! Haha!

coastal cleanup with reef

We were in Baler for 3 days and Nalu is definitely a great place to stay when in Baler.  If you are a beginner and want to learn surfing come here.  The rate is Php350 an hour with a surf instructor and a photo as a souvenir! Oh diba bonnga!

coastal cleanup with reef

Behind us is Nalu Surf Camp. With me are Ana Gonzalez and Kaycee Enerva.

I’ll share my poser surfer girl photos and adventures on another post. Meanwhile, here’s the video of want went down when we were there:

Meanwhile, thank you, Reef, for this opportunity, looking forward to join more cleanup drive with you in the future!

Stay gorgeous everyone!

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