by Mr. Brando Cabigas Razon

Sustainable Development Strategy for Coral Reef Resources
Part 2

Part 1 can be read here!

greengreengreengreengreenI left Japan and arrived in the Philippines on November 9th, 2010. Before proceeding to my hometown in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat in Southeastern Mindanao, I stayed in Manila for five days for the processing of the renewal of my Official Passport. All JDS scholars from the Philippines are required to use the Official Passport by the Philippine JDS Operating Committee. Holders of Official Passport have to renew or revalidate their passports with the Department of Foreign Affairs every time they leave the country.  

Japan International Cooperation Center – Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JICE-JDS) is a grant aid scholarship program of the Japanese Government under the umbrella of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This grant aims to support human resources development of the Philippines and to strengthen the diplomatic relationship between Japan and the Philippines. I am one of the JDS scholars now dispatched to Japan for a two-year Master’s Course in the Graduate School of International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University (IDEC, HU).

My research is now focused on the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Sarangani Province, Southeastern Mindanao, Philippines. I started my research activity on November 18th, 2010 with meeting of the concerned staff of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Regional Office 12 in Koronadal City, Philippines in which the management of marine resources is under its jurisdiction. The next day, I asked for permission to conduct research from the local chief executives of the three municipalities under Sarangani Province where my research areas are located.

The three municipalities are far from each other. It took me three days to secure the permits from the mayors of these three municipalities to carry on my field work. Basic information on the different MPA like the legal basis and some documentary aspects in establishing their respective MPAs were gathered on November 25 then followed by the interview of the fishermen around one of the said MPAs.

Interview with two fishermen

Local fisherman with his fishing gear (hook and line)

greengreengreengreengreenOn December 1st, I stopped the field work and traveled back to my hometown to prepare for my travel to Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines on the next day to meet my research supervisor Prof. Dr. Nobukazu NAKAGOSHI in the airport together with Dr. Jhonamie Mabuhay. Dr. Mabuhay is a former student of Nakagoshi Sensei and alumna of the IDEC, HU specializing in the relationship of microbial biomass as biodiversity indicator in the forest ecosystem. She is now a professor in the College of Science and Mathematics of Mindanao State University, Marawi City, Philippines.

Dr. Nakagoshi and Dr. Mabuhay are doing research collaboration under Hiroshima University Project regarding the urban green spaces of Iligan City, Philippines. It happened that I was on the same Mindanao Island during their fieldwork so I had a chance to join and assist them. The activity was beneficial to me because it gave me an opportunity to experience other areas of ecological research. After the activity, I traveled back to my research area on December 4th and arrived on December 5th to continue the field work.

Because of the Christmas season, government employees had the traditional Christmas party and so, again I stopped the field work on December 17th, 2010 because the employee who guided me in the area was not available since he was also attending the some parties. I resumed my research activity on December 20th, 2010. It was a very exhausting activity but I needed to do everything before I came back to Japan.

On January 3rd, 2011, I successfully completed all my research work. Target respondents from four MPAs were covered in this field research. I got all the necessary data I needed. People I encountered were very supportive and accommodating. They were all willing to provide the needed information for my research.

To Be Continued

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