Julius the Guide
Tectonic plates collide, the submerged rise, mangrove roots climb, bark grows rough but leaves stay spry. Mountains collapse above manganese mines, limestone scarred by acid rain, waste swallowed by the undertow, terminal conditions with nothing to gain. Let all living things flourish from flora to fauna, make protect the indigenous a part of your mantra. Envision lakes, lagoons, and estuaries with never ending clarity. Feel the grass between your toes that’s called ecotherapy. Don’t be an stone-faced cold-blooded sedimentary effigy. Don’t awaken the sleeping giant, because tranquility is the remedy.
Julius is a conservationist, a proud member of the band Kalinangan, and my tour guide during my time on the island of Coron. During my downtime on the boat he was eager to answer any of my questions. Aside from introducing me to the beauty of his homeland, he enlightened me on the effects of tourism as the island’s reputation as a popular tourist destination grows. He is an advocate for the financial benefits of tourism, but despises those who don’t uphold their duty to maintain Coron’s natural beauty.
Preserve the Kalinangan means preserve the culture in Tagalog. My format for this entry was to give the bad news first and the good news later, sort of like a poetic forest fire prevention commercial without Smokey the bear. After listing off the deteriorating local conditions like a doctor, the prayer for a greener tomorrow begins. Flora are indigenous plants and fauna are indigenous animals. The stone faced effigy is not a reference towards the Easter Island heads, but towards Coron’s name “The Sleeping Giant.” The island was given this title because it looks like a giant laying flat on the ocean.