Age of Grim Ecological

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Negros Occidental

The grass is always greener

In this day and age of grim ecological mismanagement, the environment remains a cherished topic in Negros Occidental. We have a modest share of white sand beaches, but at least their true, not dolomitic nor “hakot” from a nearby island. Our thriving coral reefs account for more dive spots than commercially pushed destinations. And our mountains, which we proudly share with Negros Oriental, are avidly talked about. By bikers. Mountain climbers. Even coffee connoisseurs. So you see, at least in this neck of the woods, enterprise and ecology mix happily.
WADDY WATCHING. An Irrawaddy dolphin and her calf in the coastal waters of Bago City, Philippines.

And just like that, we’ve assigned June as the Environment Month here at Negros Season of Culture. We’re featuring natural attractions tucked in Negros Occidental’s less traveled paths, the kind that ordinarily do not get front page exposure. Like the forest canopy of Minoyan in Murcia. This is home to a cooperative of coffee growers that regularly supply beans to KapiPat, a coffee shop in Bacolod with a green platform. Owner Paul Jasper Javellana roasts, grinds, and brews only local coffee, an charming ceremony that is big in aroma and taste, as it is in mission.

It may look far from it, but this is the origin of your cuppa coffee. Coffee cherries turn red as they ripen, which signals that they are good for harvest. Negrense fine art photographer Aeson Baldevia captures a photo of his wife, April, swimming in the waters around Danjugan Island.

Offshore, many of you might already know Danjugan Island in the southern town of Cauayan. We also featured this 43-hectare reef and rainforest conservation project on our website last year. But just like many of you who cannot get enough of wildlife encounters, we’re bringing Danjugan back, this time through the lens of Aeson Baldevia, internationally featured, multi-award photographer and graphic artist. A product of Danjugan’s marine camps, in 2019 Aeson became a volunteer on the island. He shares with us his artistic captures of this heaven on Negros, through his ownphoto gallery that we launch this month.

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Should you decide in your next visit to spend more time on marine wildlife, Bago City will surprisingly delight you. Twelve Irrawaddy dolphins have come to town to make Bago River their own “Club Med”. Our editorial team visited with Mark de la Paz of the Lumba Project. Recently joined by the University of St. La Salle Centre for Research Natural Science Department, the city government of Bago, and the Province of Negros Occidental, the project aims to educate the local community on how to protect the dolphins. Responsible tourists are encouraged to visit to learn about the Irrawaddy dolphins and their ecosystem. Tourism economy is truly noble that way.

June Campaign Logo Centering around the theme of ecology, this month’s logo uses he main elements of a mountain and waves to tie together land and water forms. To complete the picture, the Irrawaddy dolphins of Bago are shown across the water, giving the image more life. The arrangement of elements takes inspiration from Aeson Baldevia’s use of wide shots and layers in his landscape photography. Overall, the logo aims to depict a harmonious and scenic view of nature all together.

Take nothing but pictures… (negrosseasonofculture.com)

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