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Guests participating in the coastal clean up

Reef Philippines Promotes Responsible Travel in Baler

Reef Free the Sea Movement 2For the second time, Reef Philippines promotes responsible travel and environmental conservation. This time, the surf and lifestyle brand hosted “Free the Sea Movement 2” in Baler in partnership with WWF Philippines. The three-day event from September 29 to October 1 was such an awesome experience. I’m glad that was able to finally visit one of the top surfing destinations in the Philippines while supporting an advocacy that’s close to my heart.

I love traveling, and I know the importance of caring for our environment wherever we go. Although there are organizations that lead the way for such advocacy, the success lies in everyone’s hands. It’s great to experience the beauty of nature, but letting it deteriorate would mean eventually losing them.

Reef partners with WWF Philippines

Free the Sea 2 opened with a coastal clean-up and talk from WWF Philippines on sustainable tourism, a cause near and dear to Reef’s heart as it is in line with Reef’s global humanitarian outreach campaign “We Heart.”

Getting ready for the coastal clean up

“As travelers, we may be just passing through other beaches and cities but through our We Heart campaign, we want to educate people on the importance of leaving a positive impact on the local communities we visit,”

Guests participating in the coastal clean up

“With more and more travelers discovering the beauty of our islands and with the rise of local tourism, now is a good time for us to educate people on the environmental impact tourism has and how we all need to work together maintain our beaches so people can continue to enjoy them for years to come,” Marnelli Gaerlan, Marketing Head for Reef Philippines, shared.

Coastal clean up along the shores of Sabang Beach

Together with WWF, Surfari Philippines and volunteers, Reef Philippines spearheaded the coastal clean-up that aims to restore and preserve the beauty of Sabang Beach. This is not my first time to experience such an activity, hence I was not surprised to encounter garbage of different kinds. We picked everything that we could, segregating each trash according to classifications – biodegradable (paper-based trash), non-biodegradable (plastic, styropor, cigarette butts, etc), and other materials (can, bottles, etc.).

Guests listening intently to the surfing lesson

Instructors showing standing position on the surfboardAfterwards, guests got to enjoy what Sabang Beach was famous for – amazing waves and surfing! As a newbie, I really enjoyed the free surfing lesson, especially because I was able to stand on the surfboard even for just a few seconds. Kudos to the surfing instructors of Nalu Surf Camp who were very patient to me and the rest of the guests.

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We also got to check out the Reef items they brought along which was proudly displayed in the middle of Nalu Surf Camp. The global brand sells casual apparel and footwear – shirts, boardshorts, sandals, casual shoes. I was immediately drawn to their casual shoes because it looks nice and made of quality material.

Ann Clerigo performed in the evening

Reef Philippines donates Php30000 to WWF PhilippinesIn the evening, we were also treated to laid-back beach side music with performances from Soundcloud Philippines’ Ann Clerigo, the soulful music of Banna Harbera, and an open mic show which include the turnover of Reef Philippines’ donation to WWF, amounting to P30,000, which would go towards WWF’s environmental programs.

Witnessed the surfing competition The next day opened with even more to offer surfing enthusiasts, as they witness the Surfari Beginners’ Competition. This was followed by a festive After Party in the evening which capped the weekend.

Spectators of the Surfing Competition

Aside from receiving their well-earned awards, surfers alongside the volunteers jammed to the sound of indie rapper Eazyhead, party-starter remixes and originals from DJ Doms Badwolf & DJ CC – the perfect end to a beautiful beach day in Baler!

Surfari Beginners Surfing Competition“We are really excited for this year’s Free the Sea Movement. Baler is the perfect setting for us to promote responsible travel and environmental conservation, while at the same time, giving everyone a taste of what they can enjoy if we remember to care of our beaches – which is delicious local food and music, white beaches, clear water and of course, gigantic waves and surfing like no other!” Gaerlan said.

At the heat of the surfing competitionReef Philippines’ ‘Free the Sea Movement 2” in Baler was sponsored by Juan Light Studio, Bike King’s Kitchen, Madison’s Cafe Baler, La Patricia Hotel, Baler and The Shack, Baler with music partners Ann Clerigo, Banna Harbera, Eazyhead, DJ Domes Badwolf and DJ CC. Watch this short video showing snippets of what transpired at the event.

I hope to be back in Baler with my family. So I hope that travelers to this side of the island make it a point to be responsible and keep the beach and the waters clean.

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