MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - CHRISTINE (TIN) MAE V. ALAGON
Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars! Our latest scholar post is from Christine "Tin" Mae V. Alagon who was part of our whale shark research team in Northern Mindanao earlier this year. Here’s what the Filipina conservationist had to share with us…
Christine Mae V. Alagon
Binuangan, Misamis Oriental
1. Where is home?
Binuangan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
2. Why are you excited to be working with LAMAVE?
I like working and meeting new people and the rewarding experiences that comes with it. As a marine biology graduate, I long for more field experiences and to know more about the ocean. So when my friend introduced me to this organisation, I immediately went for it!
3. Best LAMAVE moment so far?
My first whale shark encounter! It was pretty amazing to swim with a proper giant in the wild. Though my main task in the project is doing community interviews to expand our current knowledge about the whale sharks, I was also able to do boat surveys with the in-water team several times. To be able to be respectfully close and swim with the shark was incredible! Plus I had the chance to meet other large marine vertebrates such as the devil ray and lots of dolphins! The whole 3 months with the LAMAVE were just unforgettable and memorable.
4. One moment/experience/idea that made you want to get involved with marine conservation?
The ocean, a beautiful new world because of its unique life forms, needs protection. We also depend on the ocean so much. It is a major resource for food. We can’t survive without the ocean, but the ocean can survive without us.
5. One thing every Filipino can do for ocean conservation?
Through education, the message of marine conservation can be instilled in the minds of every Filipino. We never think about the impact of not properly segregating our waste, or dumping our trash into the ocean. The difference between doing and not doing the small things on a regular basis, like refusing single-use plastic or properly segregating our garbage, matters in conservation. We need to remember that there are still generations of Filipinos to come that will need the ocean and its natural resources.
6. Dream/Future job?
I’ve always wanted to do a SCUBA-based job, and it’s what I am doing now as part of my work. Currently, I am part of a project called Coral Restoration and Conservation funded by the LGU-Cagayan de Oro City as a Project Development Assistant. To be given the opportunity to dive in a different world under the sea, to be awed by its natural beauty, to be able to assist in marine conservation, and to share the wonders of the ocean with other people is just a wonderful opportunity!