Swim for life in Maitum’s pawikan sanctuary

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A baby olive ridley turtle at Maitum's beach
A baby olive ridley turtle at Maitum’s beach

The baby olive ridley turtle was heading its way to the beach, walking on the black sand, making fin marks behind its back as we observed it from behind. Within a few seconds, the foamy wave of the sea swept in and carried it away.

Maitum’s Pawikan Nesting Sanctuary, headed by its caretaker, Danilo Dequina has been overseeing the collection and keeping of turtle eggs for a few years now and setting them free when the baby turtles are hatched. The black sand beaches have been the nesting grounds of five species of turtles including the leatherback. Long been poached by locals, including Danilo, he has now become its prime protector.

Read more about Maitum’s turtles.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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