Our Team

“We are passionate about the Sea, we are passionate about People. We believe that most of us want to do something good, and that many small actions can generate a tremendous positive impact. Coastal communities are often at the low end of the educational, financial and social institutional systems. Volunteer tourism is a way to bridge this gap and show these communities that marine resources management make economic sense.”

Team trip to Kinatarkan to investigate conservation practices on the rarely visited island.
Axelle Jorcin
After graduating with a double degree in Management and International Business (double MBA) from highly ranked universities, Axelle spent the first part of her career working for British Petroleum, as part of the company’s Future Leaders programme.

She received structured training in project management, operational management, team building, and managing change in international environments.

She then chose to apply those skills to environmental conservation. In her role as Expedition Manager in Blue Ventures, she had the responsibility of running all operations of a remote research site in Madagascar. She was working with a team of 25 local and international staff to run the marine research projects and organise the training and participation of 15 to 25 volunteers.

On her return from Madagascar, she dedicated one year to studying marine and coastal management issues (MSc Integrated Coastal Zone Management). This Masters course strengthened her understanding of topics such as stakeholder involvement and the linkages between environment, economy and social issues in relation to development.

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Ian Mills
Ian has dedicated most of his working life to his love of scuba diving and the underwater world. After earning a degree in Human Geography, his professional life since then has involved a number of different and exciting projects – all of them revolving around diving.

Alongside the ownership and management of a successful scuba diving business in the UK, Ian has worked as a dive guide in Palau, led overseas university diving expeditions, performed safety diving work for a number of media companies including the BBC and acted as a diving safety consultant for one of the world largest water based shows.

Amongst all of this, Ian earned a Masters Degree in Coastal & Marine Resource Management. His decision to do this was driven by a desire to have a more in depth understanding of the marine environment and the competing demands placed upon it. His research project took a particular focus on the importance of, and value that people attach to Marine Protected areas in the UK.

Judith Almonacid
Community Liaison

Judith was one of the very first people to join the People and the Sea team. As a local of Malapascua, she has been at the centre of all the work we have done. She is the invaluable link between our organisation and the wider

Before working for People and the Sea, Judith worked in Kuwait as a Housekeeping Team Leader. After Typhoon Yolanda, she returned home and is now working to earn her Diploma Professional Education(DPE) to become a Professional Teacher.
"I have a passion to interact and to deal with people, and to kids and the local community how to protect and preserve their environment in coordination with our program."

Daff Binobo
Site Manager

Daff grew up in the province of Iloilo in the Visayas. His family came from a fishing community and so he spent his life around the ocean, developing a love for the underwater world.

He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has a long history in the environmental and the development sector. With a strong background in coastal resource management, he has also been involved in programs including, grassroots empowerment, coral reef monitoring and humanitarian efforts.
Daff’s career has taken him around the Philippines working with disadvantaged and remote communities, empowering and educating those who need assistance. In working for People and the Sea, he hopes to share his knowledge, learn more about the marine environment and the threats it faces.

Aleja Genisan
Project Manager

Aleja is a BS Biology graduate, and Msc (Biology) candidate of University of the Philippines-Visayas. She has about 6 years cumulative experience working as Research assistant for scientific research and

development programs involving the coastal and marine habitats, working specifically for the development of culture technology and seedstock production of sea cucumbers as well as conducting coastal resource assessments and monitoring.
She then applied her technical and scientific background in helping coastal communities in implementing effective and strengthened Marine Protected Areas by spearheading, as a Coastal Extension Officer, the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Province of Guimaras.
Aleja’s research experience with the coastal and marine environment and her extension work with the fisherfolk community, have provided her a holistic background in community mobilization while providing technical direction. These skills came in handy in her role as People and the Sea’s new Project Manager.

Kenneth Villacampa
Site Technician

Kenneth, more commonly referred to as RC, has recently joined the PepSea team. He started his time working as a Waste Collector and Educator in a program

sponsored by the BusinessAssociation and run by People and the Sea. He then slowly made the switch onto the permanent PepSea team. RC has a wife, Jhoana, and two little boys, JK and Zaickie.
RC’s work consists of compressor technician, maintenance man and general carpentry work around the office. RC says that PepSea is a nice organization because all the people here are like one family in one house. He does his best to be a good staff member because everybody here needs teamwork to make the project run.He didn’t have experience before in compressor work, as he was a bartender for some local bars on the island, but he is okay with making the switch because he is happy here in the PepSea family.

Evangeline Faburada
Fisheries Liaison Officer

Evangeline S. Faburada, known by friends as Vangie, graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Commerce, but her interest and heart belongs to the community.

She is very passionate to do community organizing, specifically in the farmer and fisherfolk sectors. Vangie has 13 years of solid experience working with various NGOs, PO (people orgniazations), IP (indigenous people groups), and religious institutions. She has conducted a variety of livelihood trainings on community enterprises relating to seaweed.

She has worked and lived in many places in the Philippines: Tawi-tawi, Caraga region in Samar, Iloilo, Antique, Coron, Palawan, and San Jose Mindoro. She has an in-depth knowledge of community engagement with skills in community organizing and capacity building.

In her free-time, Vangie prefers to be outside exploring and traveling to see new places.

Christel Rojo
Education Officer

Hello! my name is Christel, a mother of a 2 year old lovely gem. I left the urban jungle and has been enjoying the island life for more than 2 years now.

I graduated with a degree of Bachelor in Secondary Education back in 2006 and was able to impart this skill with People and the Sea Education projects that focuses on Environmental Science. Teaching the island kids and incorporating the lessons in their daily lives helps us secure a better future for them and the environment.
I have 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 toddler making life on the island more fun and worth the memories. I work part-time at People and the Sea reporting every Wednesday and Saturday, and working online at home for the rest of the week.
Being a single mother taught me the value of time and hard work, while my toddler taught me how to appreciate small things and to slow down. Watching my daughter grow with her daily little milestones is worth giving up the corporate world in the city.
I enjoy working with People and the Sea team, I learned a lot and have conquered my fear of the deep sea even better. The island has been good to me since I decided to move here. I am sure you too will enjoy spending your time with the team and on Malapascua Island.

Victor Pepito
Boat Captain
Victor spent many years as a fisherman on the island of Malapascua. He is also a long time member of the local 'Bantay Dagat' - or the 'Sea Police' around the island of Malapascua.

Having decided to move on from life as a fisherman, Victor is now the proud owner of two boats, both of which we are make regular use of in our ongoing survey work. Victors experience in the waters around Malapascua, and the wider municipality make him a huge asset to our team - we are happy to have him as our Boat Captain!

Elvira The Green Fairy!
Green Projects Coordinator
Hi! I’m Elvira and I am the Green Fairy and the Mother of all volunteers! I live on Malapascua and I have four children; one in elementary, two in high school and one college.

My husband is a Dive master. While I was working at Mike and Diose’s Resort (Aabana) I meet Ian and Axelle and Charline (their daughter). I am the one who took good care of Charline, and treat her like my own child. Later, I joined the People and the Sea team full time. I am very much thankful that I am working with “People and the Sea”. I am the chief in the kitchen and the care take of the composts and gardens. All of these projects are doing very well, and I am now officially the “GREEN FAIRY”. Thanks to God that he gave me strength and wisdom.

Marticela Pelayo
Green Projects Coordinator
Marticela, more commonly referred to as Mattie, has been working with People and the Sea for almost 2 years as a chef. During her time here, she has started to help in a lot of other aspects

including: composting, gardening, cleaning, and keeping a smile on everybody’s face! Mattie has 7 children – 6 boys and 1 girl. She really enjoys working in this small organization because it allows her to be with the PepSea family, who she describes as “amazing and exciting”. For her, PepSea is a big gift because of their love and teamwork. She has learned how to take initiative, creativity, politeness to other cultures, and of course practicing her English! We sure are lucky to have Mattie around.

Klaus Stiefel
Guest Scientist

Klaus was born and raised in landlocked Austria, but discovered his love for the underwater world at an early age, with a diving mask in the mountain lakes of the Alps.

Once grown up, Klaus graduated from the University of Vienna in microbiology and then did his doctoral work in zoology/neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt. He went on to research positions in California, Japan and Australia.

Since 2014 Klaus has been based in the Philippines as an independent scientist, nature photographer, popular science writer and scuba instructor (PADI Tech Deep instructor and IDC staff instructor). He is a visiting scientist at the marine conservation NGO People and the Sea and at the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (summer of 2017), as well as an affiliate researcher at the Neurolinx Research Institute.

As a photographer, Klaus loves to shoot birds and the underwater world. To him, nature photography is the ideal intersection between science and art.

Klaus’ blog:www.pacificklaus.com

Yuna Puech
Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Yuna grew up on the seaside in Brittany (France). She received an education that taught her the beauty of nature and her need to preserve and protect it.

With a strong Breton identity, she is keen to highlight the richness of cultures, exchange and sharing, for the benefit of a local economy. In order to validate her management studies in Sustainable Development, she joined the People and the Sea team and coordinated the homestay project.
Now graduated, she works from France and coordinates the expeditions of all our French volunteers. Yuna loves cooking, hiking and make 'eco DIY' ! After catching the diving bug and taking a close interest in marine conservation, she joins us again at the beginning of June 2019 in Malapascua!


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