Grander feast for ‘pawikan’ set in Bataan
BALANGA CITY—A grander staging of the 14th Pawikan (Sea Turtle) Festival in Bataan province will greet visitors this year.
Once popular for turtle eggs that supplied restaurants in Olongapo City, Bataan has become the heart of Central Luzon’s environmental campaign.
Residents have become protective of sea turtles, which nest on the Morong town beach and which the province has been highlighting since 2001 through the festival, which is held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.
Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia said the Pawikan Festival was a unique occasion for environmentalists to advocate the preservation of Olive Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea).
This year’s festival will feature its most iconic activity—the ceremonial release of hundreds of baby sea turtles to the West Philippine Sea.
Manolo Ebias, head of the local Bantay Pawikan movement, said about 70,000 hatchlings of sea turtles had been released since 1999. Greg Refraccion, Inquirer Central Luzon
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