(PDI Southern Luzon Bureau) Dabal said he passed out while the dolphins were doing their slow chore of nudging him to shore, and woke up on the beach of Barangay (Village) Luzviminda where he was finally assisted by local residents there.
Dabal’s unique experience is made more special by the fact that aside from owning a small motorized boat which he uses mainly as his main source of livelihood catching tuna, he is a deputized dolphin warden on a part-time basis having been trained by the Palawan NGO Network and ABS CBN Bantay Kalikasan Foundation. The two groups are helping the city government in promoting dolphin and whale shark watching as a tourist attraction in Puerto Princesa.The cynic in me suggests this fish story is really a FAIRY TALE disguised as a news story.
“He is warden and a spotter, whom we tap to locate the presence of dolphins whenever there are guests on dolphin watching tours. He is also involved mainly in collecting garbage around the areas frequented by the dolphins to prevent the animals from eating them and being poisoned by plastics that float around,” Dr. Gerry Ortega of ABS CBN Foundation said.
Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn was so elated by Ronnie’s account that he vowed to ratchet up his administration’s support to the fishing communities around Puerto Bay that were helping promote dolphin and whales tourism by being volunteer wardens and spotters.
“Ronnie’s experience is the greatest proof that what we are doing to protect our marine environment is worth all the effort that we are putting into it. I’d like to think that this is the animals’ way of also thanking us for helping protect their habitat,” said Hagedorn.