Guimaras: Pawikan or Turtle Island

The third stop in my Guimaras island hopping tour was the popular Turtle Island which is known to be the sanctuary of sea turtles or pawikan. The island is located just across Ave Maria Islet but unlike it, Turtle Island is inhabited. 

Beach in Turtle Island, Guimaras

From Ave Maria Islet, we crossed to Turtle Island and docked on the beach in front of a local community where you register and pay an entrance fee or some sort of donation for maintenance purposes.

I expected to see lots of turtles at that time but didn't see more than one. Yes, it's Turtle Island where a lone pawikan lives. According to the caretaker, the island was a former sanctuary of sea turtles. I think some of the turtles were transferred to Lawi Marine Turtle Rescue Center found in the same baranggay. Brgy. Lawi in Jordan is the municipality's project area for the preservation of endangered species. I learned about the rescue center only after the trip so I wasn't able to visit it. Also, the community is managed by the Brgy. Lawi Tourism Council and it serves as the temporary feeding and caring station for green sea turtles and Olive ridley sea turtles.

Perhaps, I went outside the breeding season which is why only one sea turtle was present when I visited. They would release fully grown turtles to the sea and during mating seasons, sea turtles would return to the beach to lay their eggs in the sand.

The remaining sea turtle is being kept in a pond and would get to be transferred to the beach when there are visitors, just like what they did when I arrived. I really feel bad for the poor sea creature while tourists enjoy their up close and personal encounters with it.

Aside from checking out the turtle, you can swim and snorkel off the shore in Turtle Island. It has a short beach with sand not as fine as Ave Maria Islet (it's more of pebble) but they share the same pristine waters which are really inviting.

The lone sea turtle in Turtle Island

Read more about my Guimaras escapade:

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Maddzter said...

What beautiful clear waters :)

Pinoy Travel Freak said...

Beautiful indeed! :)

ian | going places said...

'Loved the seascapes and beach at turtle island... I also saw (I think) the same sea turtle during our visit. And I feel poor to the turtle because it seems grown enough to be freed and longs for the sea... Sana they release the turtle soon.

Pinoy Travel Freak said...

Yeah, hopefully they just release it to the sea or put it in the rescue center. said...

Wow, nice photos of the island. It's rejuvenating and I love the water. How I wish to visit the turtle island when I come back.

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