On February 14, 2023, Lake Manguao was the site of a special event celebrating two important occasions: World Pangolin Day and Araw ng Manguao. Pangolins, locally known as balintong, are an endangered species found in Palawan, Philippines. To raise awareness about these fascinating creatures and their plight, the Municipal Tourism Development and Management Office (MTDMO), DENR-CENRO Taytay – El Nido, MENRO, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), C3, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), Lake Manguao Community Indigenous People’s Agriculture Cooperative (LMCIPAC), USAID Safewater, and the UKAID Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) Balik Balikon Project organized an event filled with educational and fun activities for the community.

The event kicked off with a message from Municipal Mayor Christian V. Rodriguez, who expressed his gratitude and support for the event. Chairman of LMCIPAC and Sitio Leader Chito Edep also expressed his appreciation for the event. The highlight of the event was the ceremonial tree planting, which was followed by a series of activities, including zumba led by MTDMO staff, intermission numbers by the Danao Ladies and Ben and Nice, and the Pangolin Trail Race.

In addition to the entertainment, the event aimed to raise awareness about the importance of protecting endangered species like the pangolin. Ms. Chai Apale, ZSL Balik Balikon Project Manager, explained that environmental efforts should be a community-wide endeavor, not just the responsibility of individuals or organizations. Government organizations and NGOs set up booths where they conducted IEC’s and painted faces for free.

Overall, the event was a success in raising awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and endangered species. By choosing to have a date at Lake Manguao, visitors can celebrate love and nature while supporting conservation efforts. Let’s work together to ensure a brighter future for our planet and its inhabitants.