The Philippine Island of Danjugan:
An Idyllic Ecotourism Escape
On the Philippine Island of Danjugan, nature is fragile. Danjugan, a nature sanctuary, is part of an archipelago of 7107 islands that offers an incredible variety of landscapes and biodiversity.
At the same time, the region is often whipped by cyclones, drowned by floods, and rocked by earthquakes. And that’s not to mention the damage caused by human beings. Stories about polluted waterways and reckless deforestation in Palawan have recently made international headlines.
A journey through the Philippines can be a journey of environmental ups and downs, from pristine beaches to filthy rivers, from animal abuse to successful conservation projects. We managed to visit five very different islands, where we had some of the most memorable nature and wildlife experiences of our traveling lives. We dived with sea turtles near Apo Island, met the tarsiers of Bohol, and saw the thresher sharks of Malapascua circle the abyss at sunrise.
We also noticed the darker side of tourist development. We saw wildlife put on display for tourists in terrible conditions. We saw dive sites overcrowded with inexperienced divers, who damage the reef day after day. Families live in shacks right next to luxurious hotels and resorts.
Luckily, there are some success stories. In the case of Danjugan, it’s an uplifting story about nature-loving individuals that decided to making saving this small Philippine Island their entire life’s mission.