Global Understanding

On March 10th 2019, I went on a 6 day trip to the Philippines for a diving and service experience in Anilao, Batangas. Throughout the trip and the journey leading up to the trip, I was able to learn a lot about the life underwater in the country. Some of the major takeaways for me during this trip was seeing the pollution by the shore, in the ocean itself, amongst many other harmful effects done to the life underwater due to human activities. While I was diving, seeing the impact human activities has on the environment underwater has definitely changed my perspectives in some of the things I do in my day to day life. For instance, during the dive, I saw a lot of plastics laying and floating around. Knowing how harmful this can be to the life underwater, I collected some of them, to ensure that they will be disposed ethically.
Moreover, going there with an intention to take part in the coral propagation service experience, I was taught about some of the things that I can do to help preserve the corals and of course learning about coral propagation itself. I learned that corals take hundreds and hundreds of years to grow, but due to its fragility, it can be damaged in just a matter of seconds. Therefore, in order to prevent any damage done to the corals during my dive, I was taught on ways to correct my trim. I was also told to not wear the normal sunscreen as some of the ingredients in them can be harmful to the corals thus would defeat the purpose of us going there and trying to preserve them. Therefore, we were provided with some sunscreen that is safe for the corals.
I’ve learned a lot from this trip and it has definitely helped me to become more aware of my actions on land because after seeing the impact it has, I wanted to at least do my part in conserving the environment. However, I know that issues like plastic pollution is not easy to overcome because many countries depend heavily on the power and privilege they have over their access to resources like plastic. But often the way people dispose them is unethical and is overlooked which explains the amount of pollution I saw near the shore and in the ocean. But realizing that some people are making an effort in helping making the environment better shows me that I should do the same.