Siquijor Island was once called “Isla de Fuego” which is translated to “Island of Fire” by the Spaniards during the Spanish era because the island glowed from the great swarms of fireflies that lived in Molave trees.
As its name implies, the Isla de Fuego MPA awards is a special event which caters to the locally established MPAs of Siquijor. The Isla de Fuego MPA awards is a smaller version of the national MPA awards “Para el Mar”, a biennial event which showcases the country’s best-performing marine protected areas (MPAs). The event was organized by CCEF, in partnership with Unico Conservation Foundation and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment.
Last June 17, 2019, the Isla de Fuego MPA awards was held at the Salagdoong Beach resort in Larena, Siquijor.
The event starts with several messages from the different stakeholders who have supported the siquijor MPAs through the years.
Lilibeth Cororo, Head Secretariat of the SPCRMA delivered first, her welcoming address to all who attended the Isla de Fuego MPA awarding. Followed by a short inspirational message the Siquijor Vice governor, Mei Ling Queon-Brown.
CCEF’s new executive Director, Auburn Patrick Samson was introduced to the SPCRMA members, and gave a short message on the importance of our coastal and natural resources.
Leni Marie Pasco, a representative of the Philippine Coast Guard, delivered her message about her experience on helping protect the coasts,
Lt. Col. Anthony Bagarinao from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and shared his experiences with the task force during their operations at the Tanon Strait and Bantayan Islands in Cebu.
Dr. Danilo Casalta, Municpal Agricultural Officer
Michelle Baird, CCEF Project ISDA Manager proceeded to present the summary of MPA MEAT (Management Effectiveness Assessment Tool) and the mechanics of choosing the winners of the best MPA awards, and the criteria of choosing them.
Dr. Aileen Maypa, CCEF Project ISDA Principal Investigator, also presented a short definition on what MPAs are and how they work. She also presented the state of the Siquijor MPAs and how the different MPAs have improved over time. A short video was then presented, showing underwater videos of the top three marine sanctuaries: Tuluapos Marine Sanctuary, Olang Marine Sanctuary and the Binoongan Marine Sanctuary.
Several awards were given during the event, including the Best enforcement team, Best enforcer, Top five Best MPAs, the Best MPA award, MPA champion and awesomeness awards.
The awardees of during the Isla de Fuego MPA awards are as follows:
Most Popular MPA for Ecotourism: Paliton Marine Sanctuary of San Juan
Most Enterprising and Livelihood-Generating MPA: Maite Marine Sanctuary
MPA with the Best Community Support and highest fish stocks: Binoongan Marine Sanctuary
Most Diverse & Largest Fish catch: Tulapos Marine Sanctuary;
Best Enforcement Team: Olang Marine Sanctuary
Best Enforcer: Rogelio Bayron Jr. of Olang Marine Sanctuary
MPA Champion of the Year: Danilo Casalta of Maria
LGU Champion of the Year: Enrique Villanueva Mayor Gerold Pal-ing
CRM champion : Dr. Aileen Maypa
The awardees for the top 5 best MPAs are:
3rd runner up: Candanay bay Marine Sanctuary
2nd Runner up: Tuluapos Marine Sanctuary
1st runner up: Olang Marine Sanctuary
Best marine Sanctuary: Binoongan Marine Sanctuary
The Binoongan marine Sanctuary has won the Isla de Fuego Best MPA award for the second time around, and has proven to have greatly improved through the years in terms of sustainability and increase in fish biomass.
Congratulations to all the Isla de Fuego awardees!