When a man approaches and offers you a boat ride to “see some pawikan,” think twice.
My friends and I were disappointed with our stay at Phi Phi Beach Hotel and Island Resort, so we thought we could give in to a boatman’s offer. For Php 1,500, we can enjoy the sight of sea turtles. Plus, we can go snorkeling.
Our 10-minute boat ride was filled with expectations of seeing some tortoise swim and perhaps swimming with them. But the minute we realized it’s not at all what we expected, I turned to my friend and said, “at least you helped a boatman make money.”
Here’s what you should know about the Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong.
– The boat ride leads to a conservation center, so you will NOT swim with any sea turtle.
– At the center, there’s a hatchery and a small concrete pond for the sea turtles. We saw three marine turtles: two adults and one young / baby. See images below.
– There are stuffed turtles for sale. Depending on the size, each toy costs 200, 250, and 350 pesos. This is quite expensive. I saw one at a dollar store and it costs only Php 100.
– Snorkeling is just for the fun of it. Don’t expect to see beautiful fishes and corals.