RONELO. Soldiering through uncertainty.
“As any father would, I would do whatever it takes to feed my family – from electrical maintenance, some carpentry, and fishing. I think I have done a lot of side jobs on Malapascua island to get by.
But just about when you think that you got everything under control, came COVID-19. Life became even harder…
Work became difficult to find. When tourists were not allowed on the island, there were no jobs. We were not earning and we got nothing to buy our needs with.
To face the covid-19 crisis, I went back to fishing full time. While most people are sound asleep, I’d be on my way out to the sea. I slowly move out and drop hooks with bait attached on a long fishing line. It takes me hours to roll them out. Then I’d wait for some time to backtrack, retrieve the line, and collect the fish. Fishing is a game of luck and we don’t always get lucky. Some days, we get enough. Some days, we have nothing at all. I started to work with People and the Sea, and I was trained to collect data to assess fish population around Malapascua. If there is something COVID-19 brought out, it made me more conscious about my environment and how dependent we are on the sea.
The sea allows me to catch fish. It allows me to earn money by selling the fish. The sea allows me to look after my family. As challenging as it is, I trust that there is hope. I believe that in every crisis lies an opportunity. I hope this crisis reminds us to look after our sea better.
As challenging as it is, I trust that there is hope. I believe that in every crisis lies an opportunity. I am still here with my family, and it is all that matters. I hope this crisis reminds us to look after our island better.
I am grateful for this island. I am grateful for its people… and I am grateful to the sea.”
Throughout the pandemic, we have continued working with the people of Malapascua to help them build a sustainable future.
There are so many ways where you can make a difference. Simply like and share this post with a family member or a friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us.
For a lasting impact, you may also send your donations. With your help, we can continue our initiatives that can support Malapascua Island and people like Ronelo.
👉 GCash: SEND TO 09778037648 – People and the Sea Marine Conservation Foundation