When I started SCUBA diving in 1957, the Central Pacific
from Hawai'i to the Great Barrier Reef was the water wonderland. The vast
blue ocean was peppered with idyllic islands, colorful coral reefs and the
legends of ichthyologist Jeanie Clark.
The region's crown jewel was the 7,000 island newly-formed Philippine
On land, brutal Spanish colonialists ravaged both humanity and environment
for four hundred years, but the water wonders remained. Every 60's SCUBA
diver's dream was to explore Filipino reefs.
In 1988, with my SCUBA, sea cave kayaking and EMMY award credentials, the
Philippines Tourist Board asked me to produce a documentary on 9-kilometer
St. Paul's Underground River. A series of Makati coup attempts killed that
idea, but I became intrigued with S.E. Asia's Marine limestone. After
non-stop coups I ended up in Phang Nga Bay, but never forgot the frontier
island of Palawan.
By my 1995 exploration, Palawan still retained its untouched beauty. I
surveyed Palawan from Puerto Princesa to Coron, and I'm still in awe of both
locations - majestic yet delicate Coron Island protected by its original
Tagbanua culture, awarded the Philippines first Indigenous Land Rights Deed
in 1998; and Puerto Princesa by the world-renowned environmental
administration of Mayor Edward Hagedorn.
Some of the following images are from that original 1995 survey - even El
Nido, which didn't make the cut.
In Coron, Rannie Dulay is the ultimate survivor, lasting out a string of
uncaring partners, broken promises and a broken market that killed our
original company. Today this passionate and experienced sea
kayaker/environmentalist and his buddy Toto continue 12 years of Coron
kayaking with his company "Sea Trekker"
http:/www.sea-trekker.com You can
connect with Rannie for an excellent multi-day paddle around Coron Island at
In the Environmental Wonderland called Puerto Princesa, Ernie Lim and his
son are just starting their sea kayaking operation. Princesa's Renaissance
Man, Ernie constantly explores Princesa's unique wilderness, paddling long
rivers and both east and West Coastlines. Ernie's an excellent cook, and
makes his own kayaks.
Build your dream sea kayaking adventure around the schedule of the
Superferry from Manila. Overnight to Coron where you kayak with Rannie
and wreck dive with personable and professional
Gunter Bernert of
Divers, then cruise on to Princesa to explore St. Paul's, Sabang, Ulugan Bay
and Honda Bay - plus those great rivers - with Ernie.
That format is so hot that every February 1-14 we run our own Coron-Princesa
Adventure in concert with Rannie and Ernie, finishing by planting mangroves
at Puerto Princesa's Valentine's Day "Love Affair With Nature" celebrations.
See (link). For that one, send me an email -