Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boycotting Tong Yang, Megamall

Yes, that label says BABY SHARK FILLET. And so Tong Yang restaurant in Megamall joins the ranks of restaurants I've decided to boycott until they make changes to their menus.

In case you live in Manila and you are want to join the cause this is the current running list of restaurants: Gloria Maris, Passion, New Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, and Emerald Palace.

We have sent letters to each of these requesting them to remove shark from their menu. Lend your voice to the cause by spreading the word and signing this online petition calling for the ban on shark's fin soup.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Keepin' It Real: Photos from the Weekend

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Say No to Shark's Fin Soup!

If you are new to the blog allow me to get you up to speed.

I know it's called TravelKage but lately, the blogs haven't been about going places. There is something much more important and pressing that requires blog space - the threat to our local shark population due, in part, to the practice of shark finning.

Organizations such as Save Philippine Seas have been vocally asking to stop this needless slaughter, going so far as to explain why shark's fin soup contains no curative or nutritional properties.

In this light we'd like to ask you to make the jump and sign this petition asking Gloria Maris to remove shark's fin soup from their menu. UPDATE: at the moment, this is an OPEN LETTER & not a PETITION but please feel free to repost both this blog entry AND the open letter. The more people we reach, the better chances we have of getting GM and similar restaurants to cooperate.

And if reading about the problem isn't enough then we hope that this photo will move you:

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Nominate your bets for the Tatt Awards

Social Media has made waves in recent years and it’s about time that someone rewarded the people who have effectively used this new tool to make a difference in the way we think and pass the time. The Tatt Awards seeks to identify those who have excelled and led the way in innovating the way Filipino netizens have used the internet and social media towards creative and worthwhile ends.

For more information make the leap to this blog entry.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Are You Eating Responsibly?

Before I begin, I have to warn you all that this is a little nerdy but not really that much fun. What with the reports on the illegal collection of reef fish and coral, I felt it behooved me to remind everyone that pelagic fish are just as important to the ecosystem as the pretty fish that make it to Disney/Pixar films.

It's always important to know where your food comes from. Just because an item is on your favorite restaurant's menu or in your local grocery's freezer doesn't mean it's sustainably farmed or environmentally safe.

Here's a list you should read and a few links to help you get started:

- Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch
- A guide to eating fish the sustainable way from The Guardian
- Recipes using Sustainable Fish

Most of these resources are from North America, I know. But they serve as a good guide. We will be publishing an entry on how to eat responsibly from a Philippine perspective very soon.

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Stop the Shark Slaughter

This is a heartbreaking photo of my fellow "Surfers for Dolphins" co-founder Guerrero Saño at the scene of a massive shark slaughter in the Philippines. Some of these sharks are practically juveniles, finned then left to die on the sand.

In his own words: "
I was with the humpback whale research team when we found sharks being slaughtered on the beach in Cagayan, near Aparri. there were about 16 of them.then in a few minutes, another boat came with about 32 more dying sharks.they were butchered in front of us and the fishermen told us the fins will be brought to Gloria Maris in Manila while the livers will go to Taiwan."


The finners had no idea why it was bad to do this when the research team confronted them. For them it is simply a source of livelihood. They don't know any better. So it's not enough to ban the finning or the trade... alternate means of livelihood need to be taken into account as well. The problem is bigger than just sharks lying dead on a beach, we are all well aware of that. One of the steps we need to take is to push for the passing of HB 174. And until we get legislation in place to protect our marine resources, I ask you to please stop patronizing restaurants known to serve real shark's fin on their menus. When the buying stops, the killing can too.

Feel free to repost this entry and spread the word. Follow #reefwatchph & @SavePHSeas on Twitter and join "Save Philippine Seas" on Facebook. Join the fight for conservation and preservation.

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Monday, July 04, 2011

Photos from El Nido, Palawan

Intro taken from my El Nido article published in the Philippines Yearbook 2008: Travel Issue. Photos are from my latest vacation there (June 2011).

If Palawan is the Philippines' "Last Frontier" then its town of El Nido is the vanguard of the frontier's borders. Flora and fauna are a premium draw here as there are only five islands where development for tourism purposes is allowed.

Majestic marble cliffs stand guard over sandy shores and glassy waters. Small villages co-exist a mere boat ride away from some of the most luxurious resorts in the area. There are lagoons filled with emerald depths and endless discoveries. Explore age-old caves and learn their whispered secrets. Or simply be on the look out for the multitude of wildlife both common and rare that make their homes on this enchanted place. There are 16 endemic and 10 threatened species of birds, 6 types of marine mammals endemic, and four species of endangered turtles that call the waters and forests of El Nido home.

Celebrated author Alex Garland is said to have drawn inspiration for his bestseller "The Beach" from his stay at El Nido's Bacuit Bay. One visit to this marine reserve and you will understand why.

My brother swims with the resident Jacks that come for breakfast at Miniloc.

Kayaking the Small Lagoon

Snorkeling Cove 2.5 off Lagen Island. (I dove down and hung on to a rock - not a coral - for this snapshot)

Sunset from Lagen Island.

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