VISIONS OF THE REEF
Manila, PhilippinesReef Check Fundraiser to Help Save Precious Coral Reefs in the Philippines
With Special Celebrity Hosts:
Angel Aquino and Paolo Abrera
On September 15, Reef Check Philippines organized "Visions of the Reef", a fund-raising photo and film exhibit held at the Rockwell Loft in Manila to help save Philippine coral reefs. The event aimed to increase public awareness of the dazzling beauty of the country’s coral reefs and the need to protect them; and to raise funds for Reef Check’s activities such as training divers and fishermen to monitor reef health and the establishment of marine protected areas.
‘Visions of the Reef’ featured the stunning and award-winning photos of underwater photographer Gutsy Tuason and the beautiful footage from cinematographers Marissa Floirendo and Carina Escudero. Ballet Philippines, Cynthia Alexander and Pinikpikan provided the musical performances of the event. Dr. Domingo Ochavillo, Executive Director of Reef Check Philippines welcomed the guests and presented their activities to conserve coral reefs. He also introduced the guest speaker of the event, Mr. Federico Lopez, President of First Gen. Mr. Lopez expounded on the need for corporate responsibility for marine conservation especially since the Philippines sits at the global center of coral reef biodiversity. The event was hosted by celebrity-host Paolo Abrera and actress-model Angel Aquino. Event presenters included First Gen, Studio 23, Conservation International Sulu-Sulawesi Conservation Program, DHL, Jewelmer, Aquamundo, First Philippine Conservation Inc., Newsbreak, Hewlett Packard, Manila Bulletin, The Radio Partners Inc., and Campaigns Social Response. Other sponsors were Sea Air, TechnoMarine, Tris-Star, Direct Aquatic, Cuervo, CPKelco, Davao Pearl Farm Resort, El Nido Resorts, Solana Bezo Resort, Alegre Beach Resort, Ocean Adventure, Captn Gregg's Resort, Taal Lake Yatch Club, Oceana Resort and Garden Spa.
The celebrities and public figures who lent their time for the event’s cause included Margie Moran-Floirendo, Richard Guttierez, Amanda Griffin and the environmental policy senator Jamby Madrigal.
Coral reefs are called the ‘rainforests of the sea’. These underwater treasures provide a home to thousands of species of fish, invertebrates and algae. They support the national economy through the tourism industry and the 350 million coastal people worldwide with food. The antiviral and antibacterial drugs that could save humankind someday are based on chemicals extracted from reef organisms. Today, these underwater wonders face an unprecedented crisis that has resulted in a coral reef loss of over 15 percent worldwide due to overfishing, global warming, blast and poison fishing. The recent oil spill in Guimaras also underlines the need to protect these underwater treasures. If nothing is done, an additional 30 percent will remain in a severely threatened state.
Pictures from the Event Below: