Incidental Marine Life Lessons

Danjugan Series 2

(Danjugan Island Marine Reserve & Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately-owned island under barangay Bulata in Cauayan Negros Occidental. It is open to those who pass the application process to experience conservation work for species and habitats.)

WEST VIEW. A view deck at the Typhoon Beach on Dajugan island allows guests to watch the sunset.

“DANJUGAN is not a resort. It is a conservation project offering activities that will awaken your senses and inspire you to be a responsible and conscious global citizen who contributes to the sustainability of future generations.”

This is what is written on the cover of the primer to Danjugan Island (pronounced ‘danhugan’) produced by the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PRRCFI). Thus, visitors who get the foundation’s approval to visit or stay on the island are given a briefing about what that island is all about in the training center right after arrival at Moray Lagoon.

KILL NOTHING. Site manager Precious orients us after our arrival at Danjugan. With me are my college buddy James Kho and our reliable companion Glenn and son Glade.

Aside from an overview of what the island is and has, the briefing includes the do’s the don’t’s on the island summed up in the nature lover’s creed: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”

LEARNING. Educational materials on fish and bird identification at the Nudibranch Bar.

At the Nudibranch Bar on Typhoon Beach, guests can browse and read books and pamphlets about marine resources. Decors are upcycled beach debris.

UPCYCLED. Napkin holders are made of driftwood and coconut shells, while random decors are also made with stuff picked along the beach.

But the most fun lesson was the toilet doors.

Rushing for a leak during the afternoon’s activities at the Nudibranch Bar, I noticed that the “he” and “she” signs were different.

RESTROOMS. They’re your regular restrooms until you notice the door signs.

I just figured out that the one with the baby in its womb is the toilet for women and went in, only to be stumped.

Right before me was male uniral. I backed out and looked at the door sign again.

MEN’S. The drawing may obviously be a pregnant critter, but this is the male’s toilet.

That was when I realized, the drawings are those of seahorses!!!

MALE AND FEMALE. Male seahorse on the left and female seahorse on the right.

Now comes the lesson: Female seahorses lay dozens if not hundreds of eggs in the brood pouch of a male seahorse. It’s the male that carries and incubates these eggs in his brood pouch near his tummy for 45 days. Once hatched, the baby seahorses float around in groups, attached to each other with their tails, and it’s all about survival from there. No one else will protect nor feed them.

And that’s the story of why there’s a urinal in the toilet cubicle with the icon of an obviously pregnant critter.

THE VIEW. Another view from Typhoon Beach.

For more details about Danjugan Island or if you want to apply to experience the island, go to


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