Mati bays wow visiting int’l bay watch club | Inquirer News

Mati bays wow visiting int’l bay watch club

/ 04:54 AM January 13, 2020

IMPRESSIVE The Most Beautiful Bays of the World Organization recently visited Pujada Bay, along with nearby Balete and Mayo bays, to validate their inclusion in the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World. —GERMELINA LACORTE

MATI, Davao Oriental, Philippines — Not only Pujada Bay but also the nearby Balete and Mayo Bays have wowed the validators of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World because of their pristine waters and biodiversity.

“We visited the bays in the (last) four days and we were very surprised to see how clean the bays are,” said Guy Ettiene Rousset, treasurer of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World Organization (MBBWO) and one of the validators. “We were very, very surprised.”


“We were surprised by what we discovered here in Davao Oriental province,” said Bruno Bodard, MBBWO founder. “It is much more beautiful and clean than we expected.”


Rousset and Bodard were here to validate Mati’s bays formal inclusion in the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, after its application was unanimously accepted at the 27-member club’s general assembly in Japan on Oct. 18 last year.

The validation process will determine the bays’ listing during the club’s World Congress next year in Morocco.

Quality of mountain, forest

Rousset said that aside from the waters of the bays, part of the validation also took note of the condition of the mountains and the forests above them.

“We are validating the quality of the water but also the quality of the mountain and the forest (above) is very important for your bay, so, it’s part of our validation,” he said.

He said he and Bodard noticed some plastic wastes at a small privately owned island called Waniban, which stressed the need for the private sector to get involved in keeping the bays clean and pristine since they also formed part of the whole ecosystem.

“But as I said, the observation remains that the bays are remarkably clean,” Rousset said at a press briefing here.


3 things

Bodard said his group was looking at three things in validating Mati bays’ inclusion in the list: its recognition as a protected bay at the national level, the efforts of the local government to protect the place and the willingness to network at the international level.

“We got plenty of research. The mountains are already recommended by Unesco,” he said, referring to the inclusion of Mt. Hamiguitan in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s world heritage sites.

“The beauty of the place, the reefs, the mangrove,” said Bodard. “The mangrove is very important because mangroves are endangered in the world…If you have no mangrove, (there would be) no life. But we’ve seen what you are doing for the mangroves.”

On the map

Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat said the bays’ inclusion in the list would boost tourism in the area and would provide alternative livelihood for small fishers during the monsoon season when high waves prevent them from fishing.

“It will put Mati on the map. But my wish is that we be accepted and be included so that we can give alternative jobs to our small fisherfolk, [who] are still in a hand-to-mouth existence,” she said.

“You can’t ask them to go farming. So I guess the tourism industry can be an alternative,” she added.

Rabat also expressed confidence in Mati’s ability to draw visitors.

“Tourism-wise, we already have it,” said the mayor. “There’s the so called the ‘wow factor’ upon entering Mati. In the Badas area, when you reach the zigzag road, the first impression is, ‘Wow.’ That’s the first word that comes to mind. That’s the feeling that you get when you see the bay,” she added.

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“(While t)he strength of Mati is really its people, the jewel of Mati is the Pujada Bay because a majority, or 16 barangays, cover the bay. But they’re not only looking at Pujada Bay but also at Balete and Mayo Bays. So, maybe, let us call them Mati’s bays,” Rabat said.

TAGS: Mati bays

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