6 September 2014
Learning about Sharks in Montserrat!
‘Sharks’ was the topic for this week’s CCC Montserrat event at Brades library; the first library session for new Education Officer Helen Russell joined by new volunteers Josh and Alice. The session began with an interactive presentation about sharks encouraging students to learn about the anatomy of the shark, how they are different to whales and about the sharks found around Montserrat. The kids already knew some key facts about sharks, but were surprised to learn how they were so different to whales: there was also much enthusiasm for the competition to see who could recall the different types of fin with kids coming up to the screen in pairs to point and share what they had learnt.
The presentation then moved on to discuss why sharks are so important to Montserrat. Kids were interested to learn about aquatic food webs and the sharks’ role as apex predators helping to remove weaker and diseased fish. There was also a lot of discussion about why sharks are in danger from humans due to their continued use in some foods, the use of fishing nets and their relatively slow breeding cycle. Many kids arrived thinking that all sharks were aggressive but were pleased to learn about the reality and how rare injury from sharks are worldwide and that aggression is normally linked to human activities in the sharks’ vicinity. Finally the session finished with a question and answer session reviewing what kids had learnt and how their perceptions of sharks had changed.
Following the presentation and questions students took part in a craft session, making shark mobiles with templates for the most common sharks around Montserrat: the Nurse shark, the Caribbean reef shark and the Hammerhead. 18 students attended this week, showing that the library sessions continue to remain popular and thanks goes to both the Brades library and the local radio station ZJB for their continued support with the promotion and hosting of the sessions.
30 August 2014
Presenting the beauties of the reef to Nueva Estrella Norte Barangay Council
On the 30th August, a team of Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) staff and volunteers photographed the coral reef of a current survey site, Nueva Estrella Norte. Charlie Wiseman (Project Scientist) and Amy Gosney (Science Officer) then attended a meeting with Sir Nario (Municipal Agriculture Officer of Pintuyan), Sir Lito (Agricultural Technician of Fisheries) and Nueva Estrella Norte’s Barangay Council. The photos obtained on dives earlier that morning were used to show the people of Nueva Estrella Norte the status of their coral reef. The majority of the barangay community have never snorkelled their reefs before and so have never seen their coral reefs.
They were shown photos of their coral diversity and reef complexity and they exclaimed at how pretty it looked. They were also shown photos of the different fish species observed on their reef and explained. Populations of butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) observed on their reefs indicated healthy live coral cover, as butterflyfish are dependent upon live coral as a food source. Unfortunately photos of large and commercially important fish species were not obtained. Preliminary observations of the reef indicate a lack of large fish and a lack of targeted fisheries species, such as groupers (Serranidae), snappers (Lutjanidae) and parrotfish (Scaridae). This likely indicates overfishing of the reef.
The implementation of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) would allow for the recovery of commercially important species and would provide juveniles with a safe habitat within which to grow to larger, more fecund sizes. These fish would then “spill-over” into the waters surrounding the MPA, providing surrounding fisheries with a sustainable supply of fish. The barangay council were excited by this prospect and cannot wait until surveying of their reefs has finished so that they can begin MPA establishment.
When Charlie and Amy returned to the dive boat after the meeting they discovered that the local children had taken over; entertaining CCC staff and volunteers with their swimming and diving skills!
23 August 2014
Seabirds of Montserrat
This week’s CCC educational workshop at Brades Library focussed on the ‘Seabirds of Montserrat’ and was presented by Science Officer Duncan. We had 7 children in our audience for Duncan’s presentation, and several more turned up a little later for the arts and crafts session. The local kids learned about which seabirds they can expect to see around the coast as well as some fun, gross and gruesome facts! We discussed how to identify certain species as well as several of the threats facing seabirds worldwide, and what can be done to help them.
After the presentation Duncan was joined by Project Scientist Shawn, Field Base Manager Kenny and Assistant Field Base Manager Anne who got stuck in to some arts and crafts with the kids. Some spectacularly flamboyant and colourful tropicbirds and pelicans were produced. The kids’ ones were pretty good too!
09 August 2014
An Introduction to Scuba Diving
This Saturday’s CCC workshop at Brades library introduced the audience to the wonders of SCUBA diving! Sparing no effort to make the experience as authentic as possible, EO Orlane Van Erps even dressed up in her wetsuit to talk to the children about the history, background and applications of scuba diving. Assisting her were volunteers Alex Merrington and Kim Littlewood, and Field Base Manager Kenny McDonald.
There was no crafts session for this workshop; instead the children were invited to try out breathing from a real life SCUBA unit while underwater! They did this with their heads submerged in a large barrel of water outside the library, and our young audience enjoyed the experience so much we had to practically tear them away from the regulator by the end of it. Some kids went back for second, third and even fourth tries!
This slightly different workshop went really well as it gave the children a chance to do something a little more ‘hands on’.
09 August 2014
The Mountain Chicken Project Visit the Taj
CCC recently welcomed the team from the Mountain Chicken Project, who visited the Taj to tell us all about the Mountain Chicken (Leptodactylus fallax), and the work they’re currently doing to help conserve this critically endangered amphibian.
Project Manager, Laura Bambini, delivered a very interesting and insightful presentation on the Mountain Chicken, and threats currently being faced by this species (primarily the Chytrid fungus) which is now only found on two islands – Montserrat and Dominica. Laura explained what survey work they were doing presently, and showed us some of the equipment they use when out in the field. They are hoping to start doing some surveys of Cane Toads (Rhinella marina) in the near future to monitor background incidence of the Chytrid fungus, something which CCC might be able to help with having assisted with a few surveys last year.
09 August 2014
Youth Camp Weekend on the Philippines Site
On the weekend CCC’s Education Officers Liz and David, in conjunction with the Peace Corp, ran a youth camp weekend for students of Pintuyan National Vocational High School. The aim was to raise awareness of marine fauna and flora found in the local area, to make the students aware of the anthropogenic issues that South Leyte marine habitats face, and to explain the importance of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). It was a two day event that culminated with the students actually going out snorkelling to identify fish and corals with Coral Cay staff. It was a truly magical weekend of learning and inspiration (inspiration to both the children and the staff who were involved).
04 August 2014
Open Day at the Taj!
We held our very first Open Day at the Taj Mahal -our CCC Montserrat Field Base- this week, to familiarize the local community more with CCC and our work on island. This day was mainly aimed at promoting our local scholarship scheme, but we happily welcomed a very mixed audience. From the Saturday morning Library kids to our favorite community dignitaries, several familiar faces and few more new ones showed up.
The whole team of staff and volunteers put in a significant amount of effort and enthusiasm over the weekend to have the Taj and our programme’s activities perfectly ready for the big day. While children enjoyed the educational craft session with Education Officer Orlane and some of our current volunteers, we put on a couple of lectures for the adults and older children starting with project Scientist Shawn Daniel presenting CCC and the Montserrat Ridge to Reef Project. This was followed by a lecture on endemic species which was very well received by all, and an introduction to Scuba equipment before the delicious lunch break: pizzas, bread scrolls and salads prepared by our best cooks on site!
Anyone aged 8 and older was then invited for a Scuba Try Out in the Taj’s swimming pool, soon joined by the younger children showing off their dolphin swimming skills. Some of them even tried breathing from Scuba Instructor Andy’s Octopus and now can’t wait to be old enough to experience their first dive.
Throughout the day staff and volunteers also stood by to answer the many questions our guests had about coral reefs, local endangered species, our scientific work and everyday life on site.
This first Open Day was a success for our Montserrat team who is looking forward to having this type of awareness day happen on a regular basis as part of the Education and Community side of our project.
30 July 2014
San Francisco Rescue Jamboree
CCC were recently invited to the San Francisco Rescue Jamboree, a local event designed to raise awareness about accident prevention and disaster preparation. Alongside various demonstrations of rescues from buildings, traffic accidents, and first aid, the CCC team were asked to give a demonstration of sea safety and rescue. Given that several CCC staff are trained lifeguards or rescue divers, it was the perfect opportunity to help.
Unfortunately the rough sea conditions made it unsafe to give a practical demonstration in water, but not to be perturbed our team headed to the gymnasium, where local rescue groups and medical teams from all around the island and beyond attended our modified lecture.
The session began with an introduction from Charlie (Project scientist), who then went on to be our ‘drowning victim’. Liz (Education Officer) and Amy (Scuba Instructor) then alternated between narrating and demonstrating how to rescue both active and unresponsive swimmers from the waves. The session covered how to approach swimmers, basic towing techniques and administration of rescue breaths where required. It also contained information on how to secure suspected spinal injuries: the local staff clearly found this useful as they were practicing on each other as they left! At the end of the session Richie (Education Officer) demonstrated some lifts used to remove victims from the water, then the group finished with a reminder of basic on-shore first aid and the importance of medical attention for any suspected drowning.
After a long round of photo taking, including many from our volunteer photographer Charlie, the CCC staff were invited to judge the results of an 'on-the-spot' disaster management poster competition held the evening before. Both of the submitted entries were excellent, and the winning poster will be displayed in the municipal office the raise awareness of the actions we can all take to help prevent disasters.
Overall it was a really successful morning, with CCC and local staff greatly enjoying it. It is always useful to further strengthen links with the municipality, and the free snacks provided were an unexpected treat!
29 July 2014
Joining in on the fun at Liloan Festival, Philippines!
On July 29th Education Officer, Liz, and volunteer, Charlie, attended a special event that was part of the week long fiesta celebrations in Liloan- a competition between the three high schools to tell the story of the history of Liloan. Himayangan, Estela, and Liloan Technical Vocational High Schools are all participating in CCC’s education programs to learn about coral reefs and conservation. Liz has worked extensively in all three schools and has seen them working hard for the last month to prepare for the competition. All that practicing
26 July 2014
CCC talk Open Days and Puppet Shows on ZJB Radio!
CCC staff members Shawn (Project Scientist) and Orlane (Education Officer) were fortunate enough to be guests on Rose Willock’s Saturday morning cultural show. Rose was a major collaborator and huge help during CCC’s preparation for the previous week’s puppet show at the Montserrat Calabash festival.
Shawn and Orlane spoke a bit about CCC’s puppet show, but mainly discussed Coral Cay Montserrat’s upcoming open day, scheduled for Monday August 4th at the Taj Mahal in Old Towne. Although everyone would be welcome to attend it would be especially useful for people considering applying to be a part of CCC’s Local Scholars programme. Planned activities for the day include a tour of the site, presentations from science and education staff, a demonstration in the use of SCUBA and try dive, plus a crafts session for younger children.
Rose was very enthusiastic about this, saying she would be encouraging people to attend and would personally do her best to swing by the Taj on the day!
22 July 2014
Puppet Show at the Calabash Festival!
The Montserrat Calabash Festival celebrates African heritage and Montserratian culture through local music, food and craftwork. This year, our CCC Montserrat team joined the celebrations with “Danny’s Dilemma” – a CCC Puppet show that highlights some of the threats to local reefs.
After an early morning start to set up the stage, create our very own coral reef décor, and rehearse our lines and voice-acting one last time, the team was ready to go. The first show went down so well, the team was asked to perform a second showing! Over 80 children and young-hearted adults enjoyed Danny the Damselfish’s quest to help out his friends and protect the reefs of Montserrat. The next performance is already scheduled for the Alliouagana Festival. Until then, remember that everything happening on land, also affects the reef!
11 July 2014
Montserrat Ridge to Reef Project
Check out our new video to get a taster of what it is like to volunteer as a terrestrial or marine volunteer in Montserrat.
Edited by Tristan Brown
Music: "Stealth Groover" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
09 July 2014
CCC Review: A Volunteers' Perspective
My impacts and memories from NapanWOW:
I was at the Philippine site last year, whilst there I met my best friend (a fellow volunteer from France), who has been amazing to me since and I have attempted to be the same to her although I'm sure I would never be as good a friend as her.
My time in the Philippines reinforced my love of animals. My career goals, although the same, have adapted somewhat to hopefully start my own colony of hard corals to help the conservation in the wild. Meeting with a Filipino scholar who has similar interests, has been a start to that and I will hopefully return to the Philippines.
Personally, travelling and learning to dive was tough suffering with bi-polar and I had to stay out of the water more than I would have liked but now when I have bad days I'm trying to push through because every day is taking me one step closer to returning to the Philippines.
By a UK volunteer.
8 July 2014
CCC attend an Information and Education Campaign Training day
On the 8th July, Charlie Wiseman (Project Scientist) and Liz Scheimer (Education Officer) were invited to attend an Information and Education Campaign (IEC) training day at the Pintuyan Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) by US Peace Corp member Tom Sanborn. Tom works closely with Pintuyan MAO assisting with marine conservation efforts, IECs and the establishment of Unified Fishing Ordinances (UFOs).
The IEC in this instance was designed to educate local fisher folk around Pintuyan about the importance of marine protected area (MPA) establishment and management. Tom had designed a presentation in the local language, Visayan, which Pintuyan MAO could continue to use after his departure. The training day was designed to give Pintuyan MAO and Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) staff the opportunity to practice the presentation’s delivery. The presentation included a detailed explanation of laws from Pintuyan’s new UFO, some fun “Energiser” activities designed to keep everyone focussed and a round of the Peace Corp’s infamous MPA game.
Pintuyan’s new UFO included some innovative new legislation that would encourage the fisher folks’ cooperation. Each time one fisher sees another fisher illegally poaching from an MPA, the first fisher may call the local authorities with the details of the illegal fisher (e.g. provide a photo of the fisher or the name of the boat). The illegal fisher is then fined, relieved of his fishing gear and potentially imprisoned, depending upon the severity of the case. Half of the money obtained from that fine will then go towards future MPA management, whilst the remaining half of is given to the whistle-blower. The penalties greatly discourage illegal fishing within the MPA, whilst the monetary incentive greatly encourages the cooperation of fisher folk.
The MPA game utilises different sized sweets to represent fish in the ocean. The participants are then asked to “fish” the ocean by removing sweets. Any large “fish” (or sweets) left in the ocean produce offspring (small sweets), whilst any small fish left in the ocean grow into larger fish for the next round. A common occurrence during the MPA game is complete overexploitation. Participants remove all fish (sweets) from the ocean, leaving future generations unable to fish. The game, therefore, is able to clearly demonstrate the implications of overfishing. A modified version of the game includes the implementation of an MPA (an area from which participants are not allowed to take sweets). When participants abide by the MPA rules and do not fish within the MPA, they are able to see the importance of MPAs for replenishing surrounding waters, which they are allowed to fish.
The training day was a great success and Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) look forward to assisting Pintuyan MAO present the IEC to fisher folk throughout Pintuyan.
01 July 2014
Measuring the Montserrat Anole
24 June 2014
CCC Volunteer, Lydia Tivenan, spreads the word about Manatees!
This week's Montserrat workshop was all about the marine mammal, the manatee. CCC was pleased to be able to benefit from our on site aficionado CCC volunteer, Lydia Tivenan. Lydia, had previously volunteered at a manatee rehabilitation centre and was excited to be able to teach the kids all about these beautiful sea creatures. Manatees have been extinct in the lesser Antilles for a number of years but with the neighbouring Island of Guadeloupe interested in re-establishing them it was the perfect opportunity to learn more. The kids were their usual excited and eager selves and made some fantastic manatees of their own during the craft session, letting their imagination go wild with rainbow manatees and secret service manatees!
13 June 2014
Coral Cay Conservation Review- a volunteer and staff members' perspective.
I've been both a volunteer and a staff member with CCC at the Cambodia and Philippine bases. These experiences were quite simply awesome and have been a life changer for me. It's not just the
focus on diving - which I'm addicted to - and the soulful pursuit of supporting marine conservation and the local community, it's also the shared experience and camaraderie between the folk on a
Generally these expeditions attract like-minded, fun loving adventurous people who are passionate about nature and learning. Staff members are vetted by HQ so you can expect positive professionals who ensure the bases are run safely. You need to appreciate that the bases are quite basic and there can be challenges, e.g. intermittent electricity, equipment failure, bad weather, and ill health. This is to be expected, it's an expedition in a developing country in the tropics, it's not a holiday camp. But to be sure there is also a lot of fun to be had too.
I was initially sceptical that you could take volunteers who had never dived before and have them surveying within 3 weeks. However, it is entirely possible if the students are enthusiastic and
willing to work hard in the time scale. I say 'hard' but when you're enjoying the work it's hugely rewarding and feels easy. The survey methodology that is taught and used globally is built around
the idea of citizen science - anyone from any background can learn the required knowledge and skills to support surveying of coral reefs.
If you want to get hands on experience in marine conservation in the tropics I'd heartily recommend Coral Cay Conservation.
By Jerry Slater (Science Officer, Cambodia 2014. Volunteer, the Philippines 2013)
06 June 2014
The Montserrat team hold their busiest workshop yet!
Shawn (Project Scientist) and Orlane Van Erps (Education Officer) held a ssssuper ssssuccesssssful snake workshop in Montserrat last week, with 21 kids attending! The very keen students were eager to learn and already had a great foundation of knowledge on which the CCC staff could build. The craft session involved fashioning snakes out of toilet rolls and paper- and very colourful they were too!
29 May 2014
Coral Cay Conservation Review - A Scholars Perspective
Before I started out at Coral Cay Conservation, I was just equipped with the fervour to learn more about the ocean and the passion for marine conservation. In all honesty, I didn't quite know enough to actually make a substantial difference in safeguarding our seas. It was about two years ago since I started getting into skin diving/free diving. And it was during that time I found out about the Philippines’ immense marine biodiversity. The beauty and splendour of the water and marine organisms surrounding our country was (and still is) vastly taken for granted and mistreated. Gradually knowing more about conservation only showed how little I actually knew about it all. Coral Cay moulded me to become more aware, informed, and most of all involved in saving our reefs, which likewise included making livelihoods involved with the sea more sustainable.
I have nothing but good things to say about my whole experience. I am eternally grateful to everyone, the staff and the other volunteers, for being so accommodating and encouraging. From learning
scuba and surveying, doing chores and instilling a sense of discipline, to Saturday night socialising and commonplace goofing around, everything was just so fun, worthwhile, and memorable. Now, I
could say I'm somewhat well versed with marine life. I've learnt a sizeable amount throughout my whole stay. This amazing opportunity opened up even more doors and prospects for me. I'm primed and
ready to make a dent in the world of conservation!
By Mary Elizabeth Ting (Philippines scholar, April 2014)
9th May 2014
CCC Scholars in Action!
This week the team here at CCC were delighted to hear about the Rapid Biodiversity Assessment Project in Saint Bernard and Silago, Southern Leyte, Philippines. This local initiative, funded by the Leyte Center for Development Incorporated, PLAN International and BMZ, aims to characterise the coral reef ecosystems in the target areas with a view to informing sustainable management. The underwater survey team consisted of Ryan Tomol, Junil Canañes, Marlon Managa, Swet Brillantes and Jerome Napala, four of whom completed their ecological survey training through CCC’s Scholarship Scheme.
Jerome Napala said: “We are a bit proud to show it off to CCC UK folks that the resources and time you spent in training all of us are not wasted. We are excited to contribute on conserving our marine environment as what Coral Cay Conservation has been doing in Southern Leyte for the past decade.”
CCC’s Scholarship Scheme aims to equip nationals of our host countries with the tools they need to implement conservation action within their communities. The scheme is open to any resident national of the Philippines, Cambodia or Montserrat who has an active interest in conservation. To find out more about the scheme visit or scholarship page.
Here at CCC, we couldn’t be more excited to see such important conservation work taking place. Keep up the good work guys!
7th April 2014
Marine creature of the Week
Today we are looking at this amazing Jellyfish spotted by our team in Cambodia. Can you tell us what is happening in this shot? (Tip: look at the other creatures in the picture.)
Top marks for the correct answer!
2nd April 2014
A WHALE of a time!
Every other Saturday, CCC Montserrat is at Brades’ Library for the Environmental Kids Workshops and this week we had a whale of a time!
Humpback whales, or Big-winged new englanders as their latin name Megaptera novaeangliae describes them, travel thousands of kilometres each year to come and spend the winter months in the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean. Three of those gentle giants were spotted last week by our CCC Montserrat team while breaching loudly and happily out of the water. This was inspiration enough to have “Whales” as topic for this week’s Library Workshop.
Did you know that the hippos are the closest living relatives of whales or that whales are the only mammals that have adapted to live in the open oceans? Did you know that whales are amazing animals and remarkable record breakers: that the Blue whale has a heart the size of a big cow, the Sperm whale has the largest brain of any animal on Earth or that the male Humpback sings the longest and most complex songs of the animal kingdom?
Kids at this week Library workshop learned all of this and many more informative facts about whales: their evolution as hooved land mammals; the difference between baleen whales and toothed whales; and between dolphins and porpoises; why Humpback whales come to the Caribbean and what they do while they are here; how they feed, breed, sleep as well as some of their most common surface behaviour; why so many are endangered and what threats whales are facing today.
The kids and adults showed great interest during the presentation, asked many interesting questions and enthusiastically joined the crafts session for the making of paper whale puppets. The result was a very detailed Grey whale, one Beluga calf, couple of Humpback whales, a Sea monster-whale and few more very colourful new whale species. Once our creative whale pod completed, the group enjoyed the delicious snacks provided by the Library.
31st March 2014
Happy Birthday SBSMMA!
CCC would like to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Sogod Bay Sustainable Marine Management Alliance (SBSMMA) in the Philippines. It was the 2nd anniversary of the founding of the alliance at the end of March and CCC’s project scientist was pleased to be in attendance at the celebrations. The alliance was established to unify the management of marine resources within Sogod Bay. Since its inception in 2012 it has accomplished some notable achievements such as developing the Unified Fisheries Ordinance (UFO) to consolidate fishing regulations in the bay. Present at the celebrations was the Honourable Governor Roger Mercado who is a big supporter of the alliance’s work.
On this special day, the SBSMMA was proud to donate to the municipalities around the bay, 50 boat engines, wet weather gear and demarcation signs to be used for MPA management. This new equipment in combination with on-going training, community awareness, and resource allocation will undoubtedly lead to sustainable and effective management initiatives. Over the coming years the SBSMMA hopes that Sogod Bay will become the healthiest bay in the nation and the number one eco-tourism destination in the Eastern Visayas. CCC is proud to support the alliance with all of its work and is looking forward to the future!
25th March 2014
A Wheely Good Cause!
In November this year our very own Ben Thorne, Field Base Manager on the Cambodia site is embarking on a true adventure in support of the International Childcare Trust (ICT). In an effort to protect the rights of the worlds most marginalised children, Ben, his brother and many other dedicated fundraisers are cycling 538km over 8 days from Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam to Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Since he started working on our site a year ago, Ben has seen first-hand how tough life can be for children from impoverished communities. Inspired by these experiences he has opted to take on this tough physical challenge and help support the work of ICT to care for the world’s most vulnerable children.
We at CCC are very proud of Ben’s efforts and pleased to be able to spread the word about such a good cause. If you would like to offer a donation, however big or small, please visit the donation page. Anything you can spare will be greatly appreciated!
For more information on the ride check out ICT's website.
Good luck Ben!
17th March 2014
Reef Restoration in Napantao
Following the recent storms of late 2013 and early 2014 in the Philippines, CCC staff members have noticed an increase in coral damage within the Napantao MPA. Storms bring large waves and strong currents, which can break existing reef structures and may reduce recruitment of new corals to the area. With the approval of the local Mayor, CCC staff and volunteers have begun re-attaching recently broken-off and still living coral to free substrate within the MPA.
The chosen method to attach coral fragments to rock is relatively cheap, easy, and has been used in other locations both in Sogod Bay and on coral reefs worldwide. A concrete nail is placed in free substrate, then living coral fragments are attached to the nail using a cable tie. As the coral grows onto the rock it will cover the nail and gain enough stability to support itself in the water. CCC members have recorded the location of these “recruits” and will measure sub-samples monthly to determine their growth and success. This is an excellent, natural way to restore the reef following storm damage and will provide useful data on coral growth here in Sogod Bay.
13th March 2014
An unexpected day in Napantao
Often there are times in the Philippines when one gets invited to unexpected events or celebrations. Stakeholder’s Day 2014 at Napantao Elementary was one such event. For a couple weeks in February, the students had been raising funds for a new computer room for their school. In order to celebrate the donations they had raised, the teachers, Parent Teacher’s Association (PTA) and the students had 2 days of celebrations. Josephine and Kelly, our Education Officer and one of our volunteers attended the opening ceremonies on February 28th. Complete with a school marching band and baton twirlers, the school, PTA, and barangay officials paraded through the village to begin the celebrations. The ceremonies were followed by messages from the principal, PTA president, and Coral Cay’s EO, and then a raising of banners for the Yellow Team and Red Team. The two teams then competed in an exciting Cheerdance competition to end the opening ceremonies.
That evening, Josephine and Kelly returned with Olly and Beatrice, our Scuba Instructor and another volunteer, to behold the Coronation Night. The top fundraisers were crowned the Napantao Elementary School Prince and Princess 2014, while 7 runners up were named their damas. After the runners up and Prince and Princess marched to the stage, the evening proceeded with a Literary Musical Contest. The children’s parents had been divided into two teams and competed in five competitions: vocal solo, duet, doble kara, modern dance and folk dance. Olly and Beatrice were invited to be judges for the contests. The students in the coronation procession were absolutely adorable in their formal dress and the parents put on a great show. The whole day concluded with a disco that lasted well into the night! It was a fantastic evening and a real pleasure to be involved in such a truly unique Filipino experience!
10th March 2014
Fred's Anabelle shown for the first time!
Since the end of last year CCCs Science Officer, Josephine Chenghas been working closely with students from Estela High school to complete their SEAS programme. This three tiered programme teaches the students about marine conservation and actively requires them to create an environmental committee and further promote conservation in their local community.
With this in mind Estela High’s environmental committee decided to put on a puppet show to engage their school in environmental issues. As part of the SEAS program, the school was required to plan an open day or community event to educate others about environmental issues and promote marine conservation. To achieve the Silver Seastar Level, they decided to put on a puppet show that exhibited some of the threats faced by a coral reef and the benefits of an MPA. The students were very eager to start their work towards Silver Seastar and to put on a great show. They had the honour of performing the first-ever showing of Coral Cay’s new puppet show, “Fred’s Anabelle,” in which Anabelle, the daughter of Fred and Fiona the anemone fishes, ventures outside of the MPA to see the marine world. She makes some new friends along the way and learns some of the ways the sea creatures in the coral reef are threatened by human threats. In the end, Anabelle asks the audience for their help in protecting the coral reefs and the MPA.
In just one week, the students had rehearsed, created a set and puppets, and were ready to show it to the rest of the school. Josephine, attended their dress rehearsal and helped them put together the final touches to the puppets. The students proudly showed off their hard work and put on a fantastic show which was thoroughly enjoyed by all!