The Pawikan Experience (Pawikan Festival 2015)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pawikans going to the shore
I’m from Bataan but this is the first time that I went to the Pawikan Festival. Why? Who goes to their own festivals right? I have been to different tourist spots here because I had to promote my own town to others when I go to different places. Although I’m not a tourism officer but I am glad to have lived here and boast to others what a good province Bataan is.

I was amazed how the day turned out, I thought it would just be an in and out program but I enjoyed it a lot. There’s a lot to see and a lot to do. So first off. Why is there a Pawikan Conservation in Bataan? Some of the care takers and advocates of this center are past Pawikan poachers. When they realized that the Pawikan are one of the endangered species in the planet, they had to stop and help save the Pawikans.

Pawikans to be released
The festival started 14 years ago, officially… hahaha well those are the words I’ve been hearing the whole morning. The conservation is at Brgy. Nagbalayong in Morong, Bataan, there is a small swimming pool at the entrance for the Pawikan. Although they do not encourage to keep the Pawikans in the center, they had no choice because the Pawikan itself keeps coming back to the area whenever they release him. Beyond the pool is the hatchery where the eggs are buried for their incubation period. Although they can be released anytime they hatch, the ceremonial releasing of them is during the festival where lots of people are able to watch. When you go here during the festival there are no entrance fees, if you have to spend something, they are for the souvenirs and food that you want to buy.

Kid touching the Pawikan
The crowd watching the release
There are many activities to watch during the event, there are body painting exhibition, boat painting contest, sand sculpture contest and of course the much awaited street dancing competition which is performed at the beach. (hehehe should’ve changed it to beach dancing competition but anyway…) I looked forward to swimming at the beach of course! And when we are hungry, there are a lot of food stalls and souvenir stalls along the beach of Morong.

There are also photo booths and Pawikan painting backdrops where you can take a lot of pictures and store it with the enjoyable and jam packed activities you had all day.

Photo op with the body painting models

Activities for the day
You can visit the Pawikan Center anytime when you visit Bataan. Here is the Map, You can take Manila to Bataan bus, either Genesis or Bataan transit to Balanga then ride a mini bus from Balanga to Morong at the Terminal, you can ask the conductor to drop you off the Pawikan Conservation Center.

For more info about Bataan you can Like their FB Page

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