Cyclists Clean up Coastline to Protect Sea Turtles in Zambales

Posted by Junelie Velonta | Posted on October 25, 2021

Cyclists Clean up Coastline to Protect Sea Turtles in Zambales


When the pandemic commenced, public transportation was among the first sectors to shut down to lessen the transmission of the virus. To augment the lack of public transport, those who can, procured bicycles to be used in their daily errands, especially in going to work. Months later, when public transportation has slowly resumed, still with health requirements imposed, a lot of people would use their bicycles for recreational cycling or for working out.

A lot of cycling groups were also formed. While others are purely for recreational or working out purposes a group of cyclists in Zambales, Philippines has taken a different route.


The cyclists and the sea turtles

Last May 2021, this group of cyclists called Zambales Cycling Network along with Humanists Alliance Philippines International – Zambales Chapter, decided to not take the usual concrete road they use to, but chosen to go to the coastline of Zambales to pick up trash.

“We have decided to do the cleanup because thought that the trash we have collected [along the shoreline] can go to our oceans which will damage it,” said Garry Rabang, a cyclist and an active member of HAPI Zambales chapter.

“We have also sorted the trash we have collected to identify what type of trash is more likely to reach our oceans and to also know where are they coming from,” Rabang added in Tagalog.

Timely done in celebration of the World Turtle’s Day, Rabang said that Zambales coastline is among the few areas that are nesting grounds for sea turtle which are highly affected by the marine plastic pollution.

Around the world, sea turtle populations is declining due to various reasons and existing threats such as egg poaching, beach developments, climate change, and other reasons including marine debris such as trash.

In fact, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has classified three out of seven sea turtle species as “endangered” and “critically endangered” while the other three is tagged “vulnerable” and the other one as data-efficient.


Leaving no trace

Aside from cleanups, the group of cyclists are also conscious of the environment.

They have observed that tourists often leave nature spots with wastes so they decided that every time they go to a “nature spot” they would collect waste and clean up the area, Oscar Concepcion of the Zambales Cycling Network shared.

In another television interview, Anthony Van Catayong, lead convener of HAPI-Zambales encouraged everyone that the best thing everyone can do is to not litter.

“If we cannot clean up [our environment, at least] don’t litter around,” he said asking everyone to do their share in protecting the environment.

Catayong also encouraged everyone to donate  to  organizations pursuing efforts for the conservation of sea turtles especially in Zambales and emphasized that we need to have a collaborative effort in engaging in this endeavor.

“The environment provides us with food, shelter. This is where we live. It is very important that we take care of it because we live here and if is destroyed, we have nowhere to go,” Catayong further explained.

The cyclists are planning to do the clean-up in a monthly basis and also venture into mangrove planting to not only help the environment, but to also help in the revival or local sustainable tourism.

Other good reads...

HAPI joins first AdvenTURO

HAPI joins first AdvenTURO

AdvenTURO, a service project of Aral Pinoy and Making A Kinship with the Indigenous (MAKI), launched on May 26th of 2018 with a trip to Mariveles, Bataan. Making up the first group of volunteers are elementary and high school educators, corporate professionals, and humanitarians including McJarwin Cayacap who serves as the National Events Director and […]

Art in the Time of Corona

Art in the Time of Corona Written by Alvin John Ballares April 18, 2020 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia My title may ring a bell for those who have read Gabriel Marquez’ book, ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’. Good! You got my reference, that’s where I drew the concept… because why not? It’s catchy and that […]

Contagious Superstitions

Contagious Superstitions by Glemir Sordilla Bacolod City   As a pungent smell from a tiny insect engulfed our small living room, we already know what we will hear. A groan from my grandmother can be heard following with her statement, that we have heard countless times, “Ara na ang baho ka changaw. May aswang gid […]

HAPI-SHADE (Secular Humanist Advocacy Development and Education)

As a teacher it has always been my goal to teach to the best of my abilities, regardless of the present situation and the lack of materials. It is a sad truth that teachers have to dig deep into their own pockets in order for them to deliver proper lessons to their students. For many years, […]

HAPI treats Sudlon pupils

About 40 pupils of Sudlon Elementary School were in for a pleasant treat when Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) volunteer Ethan Yslam, along with friends, paid them a visit on January 22, 2018, during his short vacation in Cebu City, Philippines. Ethan was making a number of stops at Cebu’s tourist spots around the time. […]

Suiting up the Aeta kids of Mt. Haduan!

Mutya Valenzuela Bulacan “Giving is not just about making a donation. It’s about making a difference.” When you have something that you are no longer using, please donate it to someone else. When I heard that the children from the Aeta community of Mt. Haduan were in need of uniforms, I posted about it in […]

Coastal cleanup in Punta Taytay on April 26

SEVERAL groups will lead the coastal cleanup in Barangay Punta Taytay, Bacolod City on April 26. The cleanup drive is spearheaded by the local chapter of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International and its wing, HAPI Jr., whose primary purpose is to develop the youth’s ability in event planning and project creation. Their central advocacy focuses on […]

About The Author

Joshua Villalobos

Joshua Villalobos is a human rights and environment advocate working on various local environmental issues, and climate change, especially on issues thait directly affects the rights of vulnerable people to live in a healthy environment.


He is currently a Sociology student and a staff of a land and human rights organization in the Philippines.


Scroll to Top