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Turtle Island

When God spread jewels into the ocean, one must have landed in this part of the Sulu Sea.

The Philippine Turtle Islands is one of the very few remaining turtle rookeries (nesting sites) in the world. And the most special special island must be the Baguan Island.

But before you read any further, let me tell you that this island is off-limits to tourists and casual visitors. Only scientists and conservation partners of the government are allowed in this special, special island. DO NOT believe any travel operator that this is open to tourists. Only the other nearby islands can be visited by people.

There are two species of marine turtles that lay egg on this island. The Green Turtle (picture) and the Hawksbill Turtle. This mother now returns to the island to lay eggs at night where she was born maybe, 30 or 50 years ago.

When morning comes, the only evidence of her presence on Baguan Island would be her tracks on the white sand beach.

On some days, the number of mother turtles that laid eggs are revealed by the numerous flipper tracks that line up the entire length of the beach.

The wardens save the eggs that are in danger because of predators and sea water that may reach the nest during high tide.

Then the eggs almost magically turn into tiny hatchlings, each one eager to reach the sea.

The hatchlings then make a dash towards the sea. The scene can become both exciting, dramatic, and perhaps even spiritual. Specially if you would know that only one among hundred hatchlings may survive.

Many are eaten by predators such as birds, lizards, even crabs (ghost crabs), and fishes such as groupers and jacks. In this photo, there were three sharks that eat the unlucky hatchlings that swam into their direction. No matter how hard we think about it. we cannot meddle into the situation by denying the sharks of their right to also exist and get their sustenance. It is the natural order of things.

Yes, the Baguan Island is a very special place. It is a cradle of the few remaining turtles, a paradise even. A symbol that every living being deserves its rightful place in this world.

*note: studies are being done to determine the ecotourism potential of Turtle Islands (which is composed of 6 islands and islets). I will write another blog on the results of the studies. But in the meantime, for the casual tourist, this could be the closest thing you can experience the turtle island of Baguan.



  1. wow! amazing photography! i never been to turtle islands before and i hope someday i can visit their white sand beaches.

    great blog!

  2. The website one of the best travel and tourism related site; check out the travel directory section of the site that contains comprehensive travel resources to guide you in your search for the ultimate travel destination

  3. it is good to know that we have these kind of islands in our country. some places are just meant to be restricted to tourists to save it from degradation.

  4. it is good to know that we have these kind of islands in our country. some places are just meant to be restricted to tourists to save it from degradation.

  5. just wondering how you were able to go and take these photos? i would love to visit and observe the turtles, i hope someday they would allow limited visitors.