I’ve never heard of a Mangrove Park until Olan took me to one. The first impression I’ve had when I first saw it was bewilderment. Olan forgot to mention what a Mangrove Park is. ..and before I get too much into details of how I felt when I saw it, let me tell you what it is.
A Mangrove park is a protected natural park. Mangroves are trees and shrubs that grow in saline coastal areas. The reason why it is protected is because it is an ideal habitat and breeding ground of several important species of fish and coastal birds. Magrove Park’s significant value to a coastal area is high because of its contribution to the coastal fisheries and the benefits it produces for the wildlife and ecosystem in general.
Guang-Guang Mangrove Park has low water that you have to wade yourself all through out the park, thus, pants is off-limits here. Wear light clothing and bring a volleyball because the water is shallow enough for you to splash around but not drown.
Do you remember that time when you were a kid and it rained very hard and you had this great urge to play at the puddle but your mom wouldn’t let you because it was dirty? well, you childhood wish to play at “water puddles” gets fulfilled here. As I mentioned before, when I first saw the park, I was bewildered. I thought Olan wants me to show a flood…then I looked closely, the water is clean…and children are playing.
There is a little “tower” in the park. From there, you can see the stretch of the Forest. It so you get a general view of how the park really looks like.
Other families would bring their own tables and chairs that they can assemble because the mangrove park is also an ideal place for a picnic. It’s like being in the beach without the trouble of leaving your own spot to check if your kids wandered around too deep in the water. Heck, kids can play at your knees and or run to the next twenty mangrove trees and still not drown…well except if someone holds them underwater (err..you know what I mean?)
And if I haven’t squashed your hopes of bonfire cooking by now, let me tell you this, Don’t even think about it. Do your cooking at home. That water stretches till forever.
Guang-Guang is located in the heart of Mati, Davao Oriental.
It is a 21,000 hectare park where 18 of the most rare and endangered species of Mangroves can be found. When we visited, the park had water because it was raining hard the past few days. When rain is scarce, you might find some parts of the park dry.
Olan Emboscado of Olanology.com
Guang-Guang Mangrove Park is actually Guang-Guang Marine and Research Center. Depending on who you are talking to. To the locals and tourist, it is a park. In DENR’s list it is called the latter. So if you go to any formal offices and cannot find Guang Guang Mangrove Park, the marine and research center would be it.
Mati’s Mangrove park, aside from being a fish and bird breeding ground, is also a nesting place of sea turtles.
When you come here, bring your binoculars as well for bird watching and maybe a 150-500mm lens to capture it in flight (hehehe — I hope BWL upon reading this note, gets to a realization that I might need it and decides to buy me one…or an iphone4 — iphone4 is a poor sub but it will do ^.^– I am into portraiture than in landscape anyways hehe)