Last sunset for our turtle friends

Did you know that turtles lift each other up? In a nest, the strongest hatchlings are on the bottom. With their eyes still closed, with no idea what sunshine is, they will push their brothers and sisters above so they can break through the sand and start their journey in life.

They will then make the climb themselves, sometimes days after everyone else is out, and brave the unknown that lies ahead in solitude. There is so much that we can learn from turtles. And from all of you, too, who have supported their comeback since December last year.

Thanks to your help, we have released 7,501 baby Olive Ridley turtles back into the sea from a total of 7,908 eggs that were laid along the coast of Pag-asa, Bagac, Bataan.

In behalf of the community and the volunteers, thank you very much for supporting the turtles!

It is hard to explain what it is like to release hatchlings. They are so tiny and fragile and the ocean so big and foreboding. Will they make it? Are they strong enough? How long will they last?

Countless times, I have watched these babies make their way into the water, their little flippers making these distinguished marks on the sand, and on my heart, too. All I can do is whisper a prayer every time and tell these turtles that I believe in them and deeply hope to see them again when they are grown and I am much older. If they focus on surviving, I will gladly wait 30 years until they come back again.

Life will be rough for these turtles. Only 1% will reach maturity. Still, each of these babies is a symbol of hope and courage, a small light that reminds us of what the ocean gives us and our responsibility to this Earth, and a kind reminder of what we are all capable of when we are able to look past our noses.

We honestly did not expect anything when we reached out to you regarding this grassroots community project but you responded with so much love and kindness and generosity that moved heaven and Earth, not just for the turtles, but for the community that took it upon itself to look after them.

To all our friends from 11 countries across the globe who adopted turtle nests, bought merch, and donated to the volunteers, we cannot thank you enough. You may be far from us physically but you are a part of our community. You shared our joys and sorrows and these turtles are every bit yours as much as they are ours.

This season has ended with the last nest hatching over a week ago, the final 62 hatchlings released into the ocean at sunset the same day. The hatchery is now empty. The coast is quiet. There are no more eggs or breeders.

Until September this year when the pawikan breeding season starts all over again!

As long as you believe in us, we will keep going. Save, empower, include. This is the plan. The turtles are doing their part. How can we not do ours? Thank you for all your support. Please come and see the turtles when the world allows!

65 thoughts on “Last sunset for our turtle friends

  1. Amazing! I’m a bit sad that this is going to be the last update for our baby turtles but I’m happy that they were able sail off to the sunset at all! 😊 Thank you again so much for allowing us to contribute!

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    1. Thank you for supporting the turtles, Juliette. Hopefully, we will see them return in a few months. My goal is to experience laying of eggs. Pretty sure it is worth the sleep deprivation. I will try not to cry when I see a turtle Mama.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These little hatchlings are so lovely. I had the chance of watching a turtle nest and these tiny creatures toddling towards the ocean. It was such a beautiful experience.

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    1. Yes, they are so precious. The fact that they were gone for years and have decided to return to our beach last year in the middle of the pandemic is beyond me. Truly, there are good things that can happen even in a pandemic world.

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  3. Such awesome sight of baby turtles walking the ocean shore! Must say you guys are doing a commendable job with these projects that work towards saying the environment and mankind! Looking forward to witness and be part of it someday.

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        1. The hardest part, if you can call it that, is making sure we are accountable for all the donations we received. Everything else, working with the turtles and ensuring their release, was a thing of joy. We hope you can experience it at some point.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, it is not a bad way to spend a pandemic. Actually, if not for it we would not be here. We spend most of our time traveling and staying home since the past year was full of surprises.

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    1. Thank you. The turtles started it. They just decided to come back and so we needed to help them. It was overwhelming, the number of people who also wanted to help them. It was a beautiful community effort, from the people here to everyone around the world!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve always wanted to see the turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean, but have never been lucky enough to witness it. Thanks for sharing these photos!

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  5. Oh how cute! Markus + Micah, I am very happy about this wonderful, sensitive and heartfelt article. Yes, our whole world is full of fascinating wonders, some big, some small. We only need to go through the world with open eyes and we will see it everywhere. We have to be more careful, more attentive and more level-headed with all the wonderful things that surround us and of which we are a part.
    Greetings from the wonderful Rhine-Highlands / Germany…
    Rosie

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    1. Beautiful thoughts, Rosie. Thank you. Cannot agree more. There is wonder everywhere for us to appreciate and nurture if only we make time for it and care enough. These turtles are the most precious and we will do all we can to help them succeed. We are lucky to be surrounded by family, friends, and blog friends that also support the cause of the turtles.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, they are. It is surreal, holding them. Like holding a possible 100 years in your hands. We will do all we can for these turtles. They deserve it! I honestly thought they were gone forever. The last I saw one was when I was 8, then just like that, they returned during the pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This makes my heart sing! I’m so thankful for all you and your group have done to give these hatchlings a chance at life, and grateful to have participated in my small but enriching way. Truly a win-win for all involved!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for supporting the turtles, Rebecca. We appreciate you. Hopefully, these babies will survive and do good things for the ocean. It always makes me smile, when I hear stories from fishermen saying they saw hatchlings from very far out into the water. These small babies are really impressive!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, thank you. We want to do our part. Our community is not rich. Everyone needs help. But they also help each other and the turtles so that is a plus. But also, we are lucky to be have family, friends, and blog friends who support us in helping others. It makes a big difference.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your support, Bubbles. We cannot wait to find the eggs again in the coming months. I am hoping to witness a mother turtle lay eggs this time! The experience was elusive this first season and I only watched videos from the rangers. I suspect I will cry when I get to experience it firsthand.

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  7. Wonderful post about turtles, who are always one of my favorite animals. They are good tempered, persistent, long-lasting. Now you are adding a new virtue: helping each other to climb the sand hole where they are hatched. I just love this.

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    1. Thank you. I learned a lot from working with these turtles the past few months. On some releases, I look baby turtles in the eye and wonder what could they be thinking heading off like that? I really wish the best for these hatchlings. I know very little will reach maturity but that is all the more reason to protect all the eggs and release as much as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good work. I heard that global warming and other change have affected many sea creatures that use beaches to hatch their young. Yes, they need all the help they can get. Good job. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‘

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        1. Thank you. The pandemic brought them back, oddly enough. I honestly thought they were gone forever but they returned just like that. We hope they will come back in September.

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  8. Little turtles, we wish them well! We also wish that those who helped to continue, to follow their future and hold their special lives close to their hearts. All I can do is help them, they are my cousins surely, and I owe it to them!

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    1. Big thanks to you and Carol again. We really appreciate your support for the turtles. Isn’t it amazing, how these turtles can possibly be swimming merrily in the sea long after we are all gone?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is just an amazing thought, but I say the same thing about my children who will be here after me and my grandchildren too. This reminds me, I must write to my grandchildren and tell them about these turtles, maybe they will continue to support them πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ

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