Name: Ruperto Apilado
Country: Phillippines
Location: Candelaria, Sinabacan, Luzon Island

Ruperto, or “Ka Raffy,” is from Sinabacan in the municipality of Candelaria on the west coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines. An engineer by training and former communications technician for Voice of America, Ka Raffy also served on the parent-teacher’s association for the local school and is very active in community affairs. He is Chairman of the Candelaria Bantay Dagat (Fish Wardens) and President of the Sinabacan Fishermen‘s Association (SFA) in Candelaria. In addition to his municipal leadership roles, Ka Raffy is also heavily involved at the provincial level, as Chairman of Pampangisdaang Reforma Samahan ng Mangingisda ng Zambales (PRSMZ, which is the federation of fisherfolks for Zambales Province) and Chairman of Pampangisdaang Lokal ng Zambales (PALOZ, which is under the provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council, or FARMC). Although not a fisherman by profession, Ka Raffy has a background in fishponds (he has one in his backyard), and has concern for the welfare of his community and its resources. He continues to work hard to lobby for legislation protecting Candelaria’s marine habitat and resources. Read more about Candelaria.
Photo by Toni Parras