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 is TG Bonjuana Cañal who has just finished her placement with our whale shark research team in Northern Mindanao. Here’s what the Filipina conservationist had to share with us…

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TG Bonjuana Cañal

Talisay City, Cebu

1. Where is home?

Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

2. Why are you excited to be working with LAMAVE?

Knowing that I got to volunteer for LAMAVE is already very exciting for me because during my college days our professor always made mentioned LAMAVE and other conservation organizations and I say that I should be part in one of those organizations and now I’m a part of it. Working with LAMAVE means working with the gentle giants in the sea like the whale sharks. It became more exciting for me since it was my first time to swim with the whale sharks (a very exciting and beautiful experience) and getting to know them.

3. Best LAMAVE moment so far?

My best LAMAVE moment so far is during our in-water surveys for whale sharks (locally known as Tawiki/Taloki) in Northern Mindanao. It is because I can never tell what we are going to see aside from whale sharks in the wild. Some days are quite boring but some days are so full of surprises - like for instance, that we get to see a large pod of Spinner Dolphins traveling, Risso’s Dolphins sailing their flukes, Melonheaded dolphins resting and a few breaching Mobula rays.

4. One moment/experience/idea that made you want to get involved with marine conservation?

I was inspired to involve myself in marine conservation through my Bachelor’s Degree - Bachelor of Science in Fisheries. As a fisheries graduate, I get to know a lot of things under the sea. I get to know the fishes, their habitats and so much more. I also learned that our marine environment is getting so sick because of the development and modernization. Through these times, it has always been in my mind as to what I can do about it? My thoughts have been answered, still through my studies in which our professors introduced us to some government and non-government organizations that are doing things to protect the marine environment and animals. And that is why I am now getting myself involved in marine conservation.

5. One thing every Filipino can do for ocean conservation?

One thing every Filipino can do to for ocean conservation is to keep their ocean clean and healthy. To stop making the ocean their trash bins. Instead, treat it how they want to be treated. Handled with care and love.

6. Dream/Future job?

I wish to see myself in the future as a Fisheries Scientist. To be able to discover and solve the problems in the marine fisheries sector and help sustain the fisheries for the future generation through research.

TG and LAMAVE research Gonzalo Araujo searching for whale sharks off the coast of Northern Mindanao. 

TG and LAMAVE research Gonzalo Araujo searching for whale sharks off the coast of Northern Mindanao. 

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