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TUKI

My Scholarship entry - A local encounter that changed my life

WORLDWIDE | Monday, 9 April 2012 | Views [81] | Scholarship Entry

Masking sleep with enthusiasm, braving long serpentine twist road and despite rainy state, we ventured into the opportunity of meeting the infamous giants in the south of Cebu Philippines, in a town of Oslob, famous for an old stone church, known jump off point to Sumilon Island, but not quite for the adventure we are about to partake.

In a childlike daze, I scoured the horizon upon arrival if they came out to play. We let the rain pour its' last drop and immerse in the welcoming sight for a swim. Though it was early, news of their presence have spread and lots came by to see. As we eagerly await to embark in this journey, I can't help but think, am I part of the problem or the solution of wildlife concerns.

I then realize the difference, of them swimming freely at sea and how we have set them up here today. The whole thing felt staged and we are not seeing them in their true nature. They are rather manipulated, continuously fed to attract tourists and like puppets being paraded into the culture of dependency. I was hoping to see them pass by while I was snorkeling one day but am now to be taken by boat and to witness a feeding frenzy.

I never made it off shore with influx of politicians and chaotic rules.
I later hang around the local fishermen who have lost interest in the scene. Chance encounters with these whale sharks should be a blessing not a sin.

A little boy remembered, how it all once has been. His father will take him fishing, and he will call out one day, "TUKI, TUKI". We have guests in our area and we should let them be.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2012

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