Sunday, November 6, 2011

Return to Cagabalete | A Seagrass Haven

I never expected that I will be back to Cagbalete Island too soon, my last visit was just last summer. I came back not as a tourist, but as a graduating student who's eager to finish his undergrad thesis about seagrasses.

Species Composition, Abundance and Distribution of Seagrasses in the Intertidal Zone of Brgy. Cagbalete I, Mauban, Quezon

Day 1 - 24th, October 2011

Me and my thesis-mate arrived at Mauban port around 9 in the morning. We're equipped with all the stuff necessary to conduct our 3-day field sampling. Thrilled and excited, we're the first passengers to embark the outrigger boat scheduled to leave for Cagbalete by 10:00 am.

It was already 10:45 am and we're still at Mauban Port - delayed trip.

Everything seemed so familiar as we reached the clear turquoise beach of Sabang port of Cagbalete Island. The swimming kids, the fishermen and the location itself, everything was still the same.

By 11:45, we started the 30 minutes trek to the east coast of Cagbalete Island. Surprisingly, the trail changed a bit, the dry sandy trail of Summer turned muddy, slippery and filthy.

muddy trail to Cagbalete
this kid guided us to Villa Celaofas, porter din sya
I thought the low tide will start at 11 am just like last May, but sadly the tide was already rising when we arrived at 12:20 pm (the tides did not go well with our time table, mahirap mag-conduct ng study kapag high tide).

We decided to stay at Villa Cleofas, and since we're on tight budget, we opted to take their Open Cottage (P1000/night). Semi-camping style at Villa Cleofas. First things first, our late lunch (sobrang gustom na ako sa mga oras na iyon). After the delata meal, we scouted the area for potential sampling stations. I'm truly amazed, seagrasses are everywhere.  

our house for the next 2 days

I spotted 3 different species of seagrass on site right away (based on the field guide provided by Dr. Fortes of UPMSI). Around 5:30 pm, the sun was setting, we just stayed inside our cottage for the rest of the night.

thriving seagrass meadow

Day 2 - 25th, October 2011

I woke up early to watch the sunrise. Sunrise in Cagbalete is one of the bests I witnessed so far.

Cagbalete Island Sunrise

We were just right in time, the tide was beginning to draw back (around 8:30 am) just after our breakfast of delata meal (again). The wide stretch of seagrass meadow was revealed. It's truly a haven.

We laid our 100 meter calibrated rope (our transect line) over our first substrate type which is composed of corals and sand. Using a 50cm x 50cm quadrat, we began counting the seagrass species along the transect line.

sand and coral substrate
Batang Lakwatsero is also a Biologist
my thesis-mate

Here are the seagrasses I met on our 1st sampling station:

Cymodocea rotundata
Halodule pinifolia
Cymodocea serrulata
Halophila ovalis

After 2 hours, we then moved to our second sampling station. Its substrate is composed of pure fine sand. We're half way through when the tide began to rise again.

seagrasses on sandy substrate

Day 3 - 26th, October 2011

We still have seven hours left in Cagbalete and we're not done yet with our sampling. We hurriedly conducted our field sampling on our 3rd substrate type which is a rocky substrate.

seagrasses on rocky substrate
laying of transect line over the sandy substrate

Here is the 5th species of seagrasses on site.

Enhalus acoroides

It's a success, we found 5 species of seagrass thriving on site. The area of study is considerably healthy, the seagrasses are growing with a number of other ecologically important species such us echinoderms and porifera. Many species of economically significant algae and crustaceans are also found on site.

mission success



  1. i don't see your snorkel gears in action! hahahaha...

  2. Ansarap siguro maging Biologist... If I could turn back time, gusto ko maging wildlife biologist.. Trademark na yung hat..

  3. @lakbay, haha.. e kasi nakatago yung cam kapag nag-iisnorkel kami.. wala kaming underwater camera e..

    @Dermin, sinabi mo pa.. i truly enjoy my life being a biologist.

  4. Nak, paghusayan mo ang iyong pag-aaral. =)

  5. i still have that PLM shorts ^_^

  6. now i wish im a student again, to do some "thesis" sa mga paraiso sa pilipinas. na-miss kong humingi ng baon

  7. @Robbi, sige po.. pagbubutihin ko!

    @marx, samantalang ako nabuburyo na.. wahaha

    @chyng, wow. haha gnyan na din pala ang PE shorts nung panahon nyo.

    @James, haha. paraparaan para makalakwatsa..

  8. just enjoy every moment of your college life, kasi pag graduate mo, "real world" na ang naghihintay sayo...nakakaaning yun :)

  9. I love every detail ng article mo sir Ivan, I love your stuff, future Leonard Co!!

  10. @blissfulguro, opcors naman. haha.. pagkagraduate ko mag-aaral uli ako e :P

    @joni, naku wag naman sana.. ayoko mamatay nang dahil sa mga rebelde.

  11. Hi! I was doing research about seagrass in that area too.
    available ba ang thesis nyo sa PLM Lib for public viewing?
    Hoping that you see this comment. It will be helpful on my study.



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