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          Comment on Downer’s unfortunate Pacific legacy by Frank Short      Cache   Translate Page      
Ironic that Mr Downer opposed any help to aid the Royal Solomon Islands Police in 1999, when requested, and when early intervention with a short-term transfer of military personnel and assets could easily have prevented the so called 'ethic tension' becoming the lengthy civil conflict that it became and which brought the Solomons to its knees, resulting in a total collapse of the economy, the loss of lives and the collapse of the SIAC government. The eventual intervention of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) which Mr Downer reportedly now has hailed, cost the Australian taxpayer many millions of dollars and the loss of two Australian lives needlessly. With Australian assistance to the local police force in early 1999 the uprising could have been quickly put down and the SIAC government have continued in office to carry out the reform programme it had begun to introduce before the internal conflict was initiated. "Policing a Clash of Cultures' (Amazon Kindle Book shelf)
          The Apo Reef - A UNESCO Nature Park      Cache   Translate Page      

Read on the web

The horrible typhoon "Haiyan" passed the Philippines and left chaos and disorder in a broad area. The last the Philippines needs now is a lack of tourists.

"Haiyan" made its way through the Philippines from the landfall in Leyte to its exit in the south of Mindoro. In occidental Mindoro, there is a small resort, the Apo Reef Club, which was fortunate to not have been hit that much. Maybe because of its tectonically beneficial location leeward of the hills and mountains and on the slight turn to the south of "Haiyan".

Whitetip Reef Shark

I spoke to the owner a few days after the typhoon and was happy to hear that nobody was harmed, and besides one roof and some fallen trees, no major damages occurred.

The same good news came for one of the best dive sites in the Philippines: The Apo Reef. It's a miracle that only minor damages occurred. Many mantas and grey reef sharks are around at the moment.

The Nature Park

In the Sulu Sea, 50 km from the west coast of Mindoro (Luzon Island) and in an area of 27.5 ha around Apo Island, lies a pristine reef. UNESCO has been protecting this amazing reef since 1996, as Apo Reef National Park. 158 square km is the core protection zone and 118 square km builds a buffer zone.


The reef is the largest atoll in the Philippines and the second largest single coral reef worldwide. It's incredible that not many divers have discovered this place already. Meeting a dive boat from another resort is quite rare. And the reef is healthy and has a high biodiversity.

Diving the Apo Reef

The Apo Reef is best visited on a two-day trip with the outrigger boat. There are also one-day trips with the speedboat, but, in doing so, you will miss the beautiful twilight or night dive – not to mention the wonderful night on the deck - as well as the very exciting early morning dive.

The reef itself is highly branched, offering dive spots for every weather condition. On the way to Apo Reef, we were accompanied by a group of pilot whales. Pilot whales belong to the family of oceanic dolphins. They are very social and live in family-like groups, led by a dominant female.

The Corals of Mabuti

Arriving in the morning, it's recommended to start with a dive at the outer side, for example at "Apo Out". There is a good chance for seeing big stuff there. As we jumped in, a nice school of tuna welcomed us.

Going inside, many dive places are worth a visit. The next dive we did was at "Action Point". The name says it all: there is action! A lot of sharks are cruising; barracudas, bumpheads, turtles, tuna and much more can also be seen along the reef. Sometimes, dolphins and mantas are there too. Stories about hammerheads are told.

"Action Point" is a place you should dive several times. The scenery in the evening is fantastic. The sun shines with green light through the surface. Trevallies are hunting, and you find yourself in schools of escaping fusiliers.

The next spot is a must, too. It's called "Mabuti" and offers similarly rich life like "Action Point." Not to mention there are huge corals in about 40m depths, and a school of bumpheads that frequently hang around Mabuti.


Two days trips are closed with a visit of the shipwreck in the southwest. The wreck offers shelter for a rich ocean life. You can spot sweetlips, glassfishes, stingrays, trumpetfish, crocodile fish and much more. Many cuttlefishes linger around the wreck especially in mating season.

Research and Protection at Apo Reef

The Apo Reef is located at the northern tip of the coral triangle, which includes the seas of Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.

It's not a coincidence that many research teams travel to Apo Island, for example ones from WWF, Greenpeace or the Haribon Foundation.

Local guardians protect the Island and the Nature Park. They collect the entrance fees and are forced to act against illegal fishing including dynamite fishing, which is still present near - or maybe sometimes in - the park.

The protection was quite lazy in the beginning, leaving certain areas not as pristine as described above. In 2007, fishing was completely banned after WWF convinced the local government to force a law. Since then, the Apo Reef has been recovering nicely. But still, there is a lot to do to preserve the beautiful reef.


Getting There

The best way is to fly to Manila and stay overnight. Yes, you have to get up early, as you have to take the short local flight to San Jose (Mindoro) at 6 a.m. And with a short bus drive, you can reach the Apo Reef Club.

The Apo Reef Club in Calintaan provides the most direct connection to Apo Reef. It's a nice paradise built by the Swiss owner Michael Roos. He pioneered this region and built this resort from scratch with a wholesome effort and love of detail. The staff is great, the atmosphere is relaxing, and you feel like part of a big family there.

The traveling distance to Apo Reef is about 50 km; the next resort is 160 km away from Apo Reef, and requires overnight travel to get there.

Further Reading

Overview of Scuba Diving in Philippines

All Other Articles By Henry Jager

Bokeh Photography

Subic Bay More than Just Wrecks

Cabilao, A Tiny Island for Tiny Creatures

Muck Diving

          Solomon Islands govt lawyers go on strike      Cache   Translate Page      
Government lawyers in Solomon Islands have gone on strike after a 28 day notice to improve their terms and conditions was not responded to according to their satisfaction.
          Solomons police clear bombs from Hell's Point      Cache   Translate Page      
The police in Solomon Islands are warning fishermen, farmers and hunters to stay away from Hell's Point while unexploded world war two bombs are detonated.
          Jawatan Kosong di Sime Darby Plantation Berhad - 28 Disember 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
Jawatan Kosong Kerajaan Dan Swasta Terkini Di Malaysia

Jawatan Kosong di Sime Darby Plantation Berhad - 28 Disember 2018

Jawatan Kosong 2018 di Sime Darby Plantation Berhad | Permohonan adalah dipelawa daripada Warganegara Malaysia yang berkelayakan dan berumur tidak kurang dari 18 tahun pada tarikh tutup iklan ditawarkan untuk memohon jawatan kosong di Sime Darby Plantation Berhad

Jawatan Kosong 2018 di Sime Darby Plantation Berhad

Company Overview

Sime Darby Plantation (SDP), the plantation and agri-business arm of the Sime Darby Group, is the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). It is also the co-founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

The company is fully integrated throughout the palm oil value chain with Upstream operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Liberia, comprising mostly oil palm cultivation, harvesting and milling. Its downstream operations are present in 17 countries, comprising the manufacturing as well as sales and marketing of oils and fats products, oleochemicals, palm oil-based biodiesel and other derivatives.

Cara mohon melalui

1. Sr Executive, Trade Execution

2. Senior Executive, Bulking & Warehousing

3. Child Care Provider

Close date : 27 - 28 December 2018

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