Tubbataha exhibit comes home to the Philippines

  BY Ayala Foundation       October 02, 2017       Tubbataha, UNESCO
tubbataha-photo-1 A sea turtle swims among the corals in Tubbataha. Photo credit: Maria Teresa Lara.

After attracting thousands of viewers in Monaco, an exhibition of stunning underwater photographs taken at the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is coming home to the Philippines.

“Tubbataha: A National Treasure” opens at Glorietta 4 on October 3. The public is invited to view the exhibit, free of charge, until October 31.

The exhibit was first mounted at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco last June, and was fully supported by the Consulate General of the Philippines in Monaco, under Honorary Consul Patricia Zobel de Ayala.

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A school of jacks at the Delsan Wreck, near the South Atoll in Tubbataha. Photo credit: Maria Teresa Lara.

“Tubbataha: A National Treasure” is composed of 22 large-scale underwater photographs featuring the exceptional beauty and ecological diversity in the largest marine protected area in the Philippines. The photos were taken by National Geographic photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes, and Filipino underwater photographer and Tubbataha advocate Maria Teresa Lara.

Declared a World Marine Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a 970 sq km natural park off Cagayancillo, Palawan. It is part of the so-called Coral Triangle, where over 70 percent of the known coral genera and 40 percent of all known reef fish can be found. In addition, droves of birds, turtles, and sharks consider Tubbataha a sanctuary.

Tubbataha also plays a critical role in ensuring the country’s food security. Studies have shown that fish and coral larvae from Tubbataha are carried by currents and enrich fish populations across the country.

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A red coral in Tubbataha.  Studies have shown that fish and coral larvae from Tubbataha are carried by currents and                                                      enrich fish populations across the country. Photo credit: Maria Teresa Lara.

“The exhibit is a celebration of the breathtaking beauty of Tubbataha,” says Patricia Zobel de Ayala. “At the same time it’s also our way of stressing just how important it is to protect this natural wonder. The protection of Tubbataha has an impact on the lives of all Filipinos, and therefore we all need to play a part in taking care of it.”

“Tubbataha: A National Treasure” is made possible with the support of Ayala Malls, Ayala Foundation, the Antonio O. Floirendo Foundation, the Department of Tourism, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, El Nido Resorts, Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Manila Water Company, Dévant TV, and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

The exhibition panels will also be available for sale. Proceeds from the sale of the panels will benefit the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.