Pawikan Conservation Center in Bataan
Just a few minutes away from the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is the Pawikan Conservation Center. Also located in Morong, Bataan, the center started out as a community-based program devoted to rescuing, protecting, and propagating marine turtles or pawikan. It is currently headed by the Bantay Pawikan Inc., an organization composed of 17 members.
According to Manolo Ebias, one of the members of the organization, the best time to visit the Pawikan Conservation Center is between the months of August and February. During these months, female marine turtles go back to the shore to lay their eggs.
Members of the organization, together with volunteers, would roam and patrol along the beach’s 6-kilometer stretch to protect the hatchlings from the people and the animals that prey on it. These eggs would then be placed in the center’s “Hatchery” where they would hatch after 51 days.
Ebias also mentioned that these months are their “peak season” as many local and international tourists and students would flock to the center and volunteer in patrolling the shore and watching the eggs hatch. Some also join the center’s “Adopt a Turtle Program,” where people get to have a baby turtle that they release back to the sea for only Php 50/turtle.
To accommodate the surge of visitors who want to camp out and wait for the turtle eggs to hatch, the Pawikan Conservation Center has a number of air-conditioned rooms visitors can rent out for a comfortable stay in the area. They can accommodate 5 to 16 persons (Php 2500 – Php 4500); depending on the kind of room they want to avail.
The center has also been a home to the pawikan who were injured in the sea. Rescued by fishermen and some of the members of the organization, these marine turtles are treated and rehabilitated until they’re capable and strong enough to go back to their habitat.
Address: Purok VI-Aplaya, Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan
Contact number: 0930-657-8531