Philippines Vote Yes for Thresher Sharks Malapascua Island
In perfect timing for this advocacy, I voted yes for Thresher Sharks Malapascua Island. Monad Shoal on the island of Malapascua in Daanbantayan, Cebu is the only place in the world where scuba divers can see the thresher sharks almost every day. This experience, I was so happy it’s off the bucket list after getting my Open Water Dive Course. Indeed, a dream come true.
The Philippines is the only country that can boast to having an established pelagic thresher shark dive industry. Monad Shoal near Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan remains to be the only place in the world where scuba divers can see pelagic thresher sharks almost every day.
The scuba diving industry accounts for most of Daanbantayan’s economy, securing the livelihood of many in the municipality and its neighboring communities. The presence of thresher sharks has turned Malapascua Island into a major dive tourist attraction, helping the local residents to recover after the devastation that tropical typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) brought to many parts of the country in 2013.
How to Support this Advocacy?
Please go the website to sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/philippines-vote-yes-for-threshers
You can help make this happen by doing the following:
1. Signing our petition!
2. Pledging your support to our Thunderclap campaign!
3. Visiting Malapascua Island to see the thresher shark and support the community.
4. Sharing our thresher shark posts on social media while using #SaveThresherTala #StoptheThresherHunt #PHsayYes
YOU CAN HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Follow this campaign on Facebook at Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines
Watching the Sunrise
Here’s the most highlighted part of my 6-day trip on the island of Malapascua. Finally, achievement unlocked, I’ve seen the thresher sharks underwater. I was very nervous and excited at the same time after Max and Frankie told me that I could witness the thresher sharks. After I was done with all the quizzes for PADI Open Water Dive Course, next was my first adventure, deep diving.
Call time was at 4:45 AM so I had to wake up at 4 AM. Everyone gathered at the shop already and fixing all the gears. It was also the time I witnessed such beautiful sunrise while on the boat.
Related Article: Scuba Diving Experience with Thresher Shark Divers Malapascua
The Thresher Shark Malapascua Island Experience
I was the last diver who got into the water. At 5 meters depth, my ears started to get painful so it took me time going underwater. I equalized but it was a forceful one so it was really uncomfortable. In my mind, there was a chance I would just quit and not see the thresher sharks. There was even a time I almost stop breathing underwater but I reminded myself to stay calm, relaxed and breath continuously.
We slowly descended to the water until we reached 22.8 meters as what I saw from his dive computer. We were just waiting for the thresher sharks to appear. Suddenly, the dive instructor signaled me about a thresher shark getting visible. So we found a sandy area to kneel down and stay steady. I hurriedly grabbed my diver’s instructor’s arm because there was a chance that I would float and also found a rock to hold on to. We saw two thresher sharks swimming around.
To be honest, I wasn’t blinking when I saw the thresher sharks and I even literally stopped my breath in order to avoid bubbles.
Definitely, this is one of the most treasured moments I will never forget. Please support, sign the petition and go to Malapascua Island to experience scuba diving with the thresher sharks!
A Closer Encounter of a Thresher Shark the Second Time Around
In August 2018, I was able to visit Malapascua island again. This time with an underwater camera. I had trouble getting into the water because of my right ear. The moment I had the right moment to equalize, in just five meters, a thresher shark welcomed us right away. I started to panic and hurriedly grabbed my camera. I’ve never been this close to a thresher shark before. Indeed, an exhilarating moment.