So my first post! I was very exited! I interviewed this woman who helps save the earth. Remember: When making a difference it all starts with YOU. (all answers are in color)
Why do you call yourself Chief Mermaid? Is it a ranking?
I'm officially the co-founder of Save Philippine Seas. I came up with the name "Chief Mermaid" because I wanted people to see that saving the seas can be light and fun. I got "Chief" from the title "Chief Executive Officer." A lot of people think kasi that being an environmentalist means being serious or boring. Mermaids are known to be beautiful (like Ariel), but they also live in the sea and experience what's happening to it.
How do you protect the marine sources?
I have two big projects now. One is a project with the Climate Change Commission (a government agency) called the Ecotown Framework. We're helping the town of San Vicente, Palawan to be ready for the impacts of climate change. Part of that is knowing their resources (like how much fish they have and what kinds, and determining areas that can be good for scuba diving) and teaching the communities how valuable those resources are to their lives. Like maybe these resources can give them jobs, like they can be tour guides or boatmen.
My other one is to establish a really big marine sanctuary in Cebu. This marine sanctuary will protect sharks and other kinds of fish, and make rules for divers to follow, like not stepping on corals or throwing big anchors to the sea which can kill corals and even harm divers.
Sometimes I have the chance to give talks to schools, government units, and conferences about our marine resources too.
But I try to protect the marine resources everyday with the choices I make -- the way anyone can, no matter what age or what job. For instance, I always bring a water bottle with me so that I don't keep buying bottles and throwing them away. I bring my own spook and fork and chopsticks in my bag, so that I don't use the kind made of plastic and the kind that will be thrown away. When I travel, I use reusable containers for my toiletries (shampoo, soap, conditioner) instead of buying sachets.
A lot of the things we throw away end up in the sea, which creatures mistake as food.
Why is it better to not use a plastic. Bag?
The thin kind of plastic (like the one we use for shopping) is very hard to recycle. They don't rot when they're buried in the ground, so they stay in the soil for hundreds of years.
Plus, these are often thrown away carelessly and end up in the canals, which lead to floods! I've also seen lots of plastic bags underwater when I dive.
Using paper bags is not a better option either. Although it's biodegradable, it takes a lot of electricity to make plastic bags. We also cut down a lot of trees to when we use paper bags.
The best option is to use a reusable bag. I have a small one that looks like a strawberry in my bag all the time. It unfolds to a bigger bag. Your mom told me that you have one too :)
Are whalesharks most oftenly attacked when its migratory season?
This is a very good question! In the Philippines, whale sharks are protected by the law, which means Filipinos can't hunt or kill them. But in other countries, they're not. Some countries still kill whale sharks for their fins (for soup), gills (for leather), and meat (for food). So when they swim from the Philippines to another country, there's no guarantee that they will be safe.
Do the people in the philippines say that they are reasearching when they are acctually going to kill them? Because i heard that in japan they tell the goverment that they are reasearching on whales when they are acctually going to kill them for blubber.
Also a very good question. You are very smart :) I didn't even know about this until I was 22 years old, and you're only 10 and you know about this already! Wow! I read recently that Korea is doing this also -- saying it's for "research" but actually for food.
In the Philippines, there are no known major cases of this so far. There are a lot of passionate people who are monitoring the whales. Other animals, like sharks and manta rays are killed everyday, but the Filipinos don't lie and call it research. They call it their livelihood, or their job.
Who do you try to make a difference in this world?
Hmmm, I never really thought about this. I hope to lead by example to everyone I meet.
Aside from trying to save the earth what else do you like to do?
I like to write! I'm a writer like your mom. That's how we met. I write for magazines, websites, and newspapers. I also like to travel a lot. I'm very lucky because my job lets me travel all the time. I also like to sing and dance. Before I was an environmentalist, I was a musical theatre performer. I was in plays like High School Musical, Cinderella, and Aladdin.