Calayan Group of Islands well known as Babuyan Group of Islands   

A perfect definition of what we called paradise.

    The Philippines Islands are comprised of more than 7,100 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. This diverse archipelago host a spectacular amount of marine and terrestrial biodiversity that is of great interest to the tourism industry. The popularity of the Philippines as vacation destination has spurred efforts to develop eco tourism  across the archipelago. However, promoting the twinned goals of coastal and marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable development present serious challenges for the country.

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Whale Watching is the practice of  observing whales  and other cetaceans in their natural habitat. Whales are watched most commonly for recreation (like bird watching) but the activity can also served scientific or educational purposes. A 2009 study prepared by IFAW estimated that 13 million people went whale watching globally in 2008. Whale watching generated $2.1 billion per annum in tourism revenue world wide, employing around 13,000 workers..

Babuyan map

The discovery of  Calayan Group of  Islands (Babuyan Group of  Islands) as a possible humpback whale breeding area is a milestone in the Philippine marine mammals research and a significant finding for the international marine mammal research community. For species classified as vulnerable by the IUCN, this area has a great conservation implication for the species stocks to which these whales belong. Since year 2002, WWF-Philippines with volunteers support has been conducting boat survey every summer. Since 2004 a humpback whales individuals were identified in the Islands of Babuyan. This species constitutes another biodiversity resources of the Philippines that has to be conserved for the long-term. Through the project’s initiative, the provincial government of Cagayan declared the humpback whale as protected species.

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According to  World Wildlife Fund – Philippines, whales and dolphins breed, feed and play in the seas around the Babuyan Group of Islands during the summer. 

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 There are 14 species of cetaceans  that visit the islands. They included spotted dolphin, spinner dolphins, rough tooth dolphins, bottle nose dolphins, Fraser dolphin, melon headed whales, pilot whales, pygmy killer whales, dwarf sperm whales, and the humpback whale ( the most common)

 Some of the activities of the humpback whales that made Babuyan Islands, great place for adventure seeker.

SPOUTING – BREATHING

Humpback whales breathe air at the surface of the water through 2 blowholes located near the top of the head. They spout (breathe) about 1-2 times per minute at rest, and 4-8 times per minutes after a deep dive. Their blow is a double stream of spray that rises 10-13 feet (3.1-4 m) above the surface of the water.

spouting

Breaching

Humpbacks are very acrobatic, often breaching high out of the water and then slapping the water as they come back down. Sometimes they twirl around while breaching. Breaching may be purely for play or may be used to loosen skin parasites or have some social meaning. 

Jumping_Humpback wikipepia

Spy-hopping

 Spy-hopping  is another humpback activity in which the whale pokes its head out of the water for up to 30 seconds to take a look around. 

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Lob-tailing

Humpbacks also stick their tail out of the water into the air, swing it around, and then slap it on the water’s surface; this is called lob-tailing. It makes a very loud sound. The meaning or purpose of lob-tailing is unknown, but may be done as a warning to the rest of the pod. Humpbacks lob-tail more when the seas are rough and stormy. Slapping a fin against the surface of the water is another unexplained humpback activity.

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VOCALIZATION

Humpback whales are the noisiest and most imaginative whales when it comes to songs. They have long, varied, complex, eerie, and beautiful songs that include recognizable sequences of squeaks, grunts, and other sounds. The songs have the largest range of frequencies used by whales, ranging from 20-9,000 Hertz. Only males have been recorded singing. They sing the complex songs only in warm waters, perhaps used for mating purposes. In cold waters, they make rougher sounds, scrapes and groans, perhaps used for locating large masses of krill (the tiny crustaceans that they eat).

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LIFE SPAN

Humpback whales have a life expectancy of 45-50 years. 

POPULATION COUNT

It is estimated that there are over 10,000-15,000 humpback whales world-wide. Humpback whales are an endangered species. 

 

Research 

Every summer the Balyena at Lumba sa Pilipinas (Balyena.Org) are inviting volunteers to be a part of cetacean  research team and experience to see dolphins and whales in the wild.

 

The Calayan Group of Islands 

The group of island are composed of four islands, namely: Calayan Island, Camiguin Island, Dalupiri Island, and Babuyan Claro, but it cuddles varied eco-tourism activities, thousand of unexplored wildlife and vast natural forest. 

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 Each of the islands offers varied water sports activities that leave enthusiasts and nature lover  crave no more. The stretch of white sand and coral beaches outlined each of the island, speckled by amazing rock formation, cascading water falls and unexplored caves. never recorded in tourism book and journals. As the island open its doors to eco-tourism, it like wise unlocks opportunities for investment and business venture. 

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For other details of activities in Calayan Island, please click the following blogs: 

Calayan Island – A Paradise 

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Calayan Island Adventure

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How to get there:

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Calayan Island is the main island of Calayan Group of Island (Babuyan Group of Island), it can be reached by Lampitaw (motorize boat) from the town  Claveria for about 4 hours, or via Aparri for about 7 hours. The most convenient is by Ferry Boat via Sta Ana. From Manila take a Florida Bus going to Claveria for abot 12 hours, Aparri for about 14 hours, Sta Ana for about 16 hours. Another option is a 45 minutes plane ride going to Tuguegarao then take a 3 hours van ride going to Sta Ana. 

 

Source of photo’s and information:

  • EnchantedLearning.com;
  • isla.org.ph;
  • flickr;
  • balyena.org;
  • Wikipedia.
  • WWF-Philippines
  • whoa.org.com