The surface of the water lay like a sheet of silver velvet smoothed out toward the horizon. Numerous small islands dot the vista, whispy palm fronds adding bits of greenery to the blue-gray panorama. The sheer size of the water area is impressive – Hinatuan Bay is like a small sea in itself, stretching some 360 square kilometers (roughly 140 square miles).
Gemma Gades is a mother and active leader of a local fisherfolk group protecting Hinatuan Bay. Located in the province of Surigao del Sur on the eastern side of Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines, Hinatuan Bay is made up of small island ecosystems abundant with marine life.
To welcome 2004, I thought it would be nice to go for a dive. Little did I know that my New Year dive would go off with a bang! The last time I dove in Nasugbu was 3 years ago. Just as I was marveling at the recovery of the reef around the tip of