siquijor mangroves: sentinels of the sea
I have always been fascinated with mangroves - they are sturdy and resilient against the harsh waves and winds that sometimes battered them. They stood there silently, as if watching guard.
So one hot afternoon I hopped on a tricycle and "toured" the north eastern and north western parts of the island of Siquijor scouting for a place to shoot sunrise or sunset. I was particularly on the look out for these large mature trees. I was amazed to see how healthy the mangrove population at these parts, away from the resorts and commercialized zones of the southern part.
Found the twin beauties above just on the edge of Tulapos Mangrove Sanctuary. A local struck a conversation with me while I was shooting. (I speak the Binisaya/Cebuano dialect but Siquijor's version is a little different, but I managed)
I was amazed how environmentally aware the folks are. In fact a couple of weeks ago they just voted to make the area in front of their sitio as "marine and mangrove sanctuary". This has a direct effect on them, like for instance they would not be allowed to fish on the area, but they understood the long term significance.
I love bonsai trees, so I was amazed to see these beauties thriving just beside the coastal road. Bonsai trees are perfectly formed and shaped because they were deliberately trained to be that way, but the real master in "training" trees is Mother Nature herself.
The one above is just a stone throw away from where I was staying in Sandugan on the north western part of the island (near the tip already). Its one of the few mangroves thats out on the sea and a few meters away from the shore
There used to be a time when locals cut down the trees for charcoal or strip them of their leaves for feeding livestock. Now they have recognized the importance of these trees and they have taken an active part in protecting them. Mangrove sanctuaries like Tulapos are thriving, but the way I see it, the whole northern part of Siquijor is one big mangrove protected site.