BALANGA CITY, Bataan – It is all systems go for the Pawikan Festival in Morong, Bataan to be held on November 30, 2014. Mrs. Vicky Garcia, Bataan Peninsula Tourism Council Foundation, Inc. (BPTCFI) chairperson, and chief architect of the festival, said the celebration is focused at the Pawikan Conservation Center in the seaside village of Nagbalayong in Morong manned by former poachers and turtle egg collectors-turned conservation advocates.
As in every celebration, ceremonial releasing of day-old marine turtles or hatchlings mostly
from the Olive Ridley species will highlight this year’s Festival. Three out of the five species of marine turtles in the country have Bagac and Morong towns as their nesting places. These are Olive Ridley, Hawksville and Green turtles. More than 62,000 hatchlings have so far been released out to the West Philippines Sea since late 1999 when the Pawikan Conservation Program started, records showed.
The activity starts with a walk for a cause and zumba morning exercise before the opening program at the center and the ceremonial release of hatchlings. Colorful street dancing on the sandy beach participated by delegates from 11 towns and one city follows. Street dancers usually wear pawikan-inspired costume.
Other activities for the day include environment fair, mural, body and boat painting contests, nature’s camp and beach party. Quiz bee and sand sculpture contest await high school students, paddle painting contest for elementary pupils and pawikan amazing race for college students.