UPDATE FOR PANAY EXPLORERS, INC.
December 2007 - January 2008
It is official. Panay Explorers, Inc. is an officially listed company in the Philippines (6 December, 2007- Securities and Exchange Commission # CS200731213). The company has procured approximately one hectare of land for the construction of its SCUBA Diving Hotel and Resort operation. The property has 140 plus meters of beach frontage. During the month of December the team procured an additional 400 square meters of land along the private access road route. The new acquisition of land totals to over one hectare now. Panay Explorers, Inc. has been granted a positive resolution from the Barangay of Caridad and the Municipality of Culasi for operations. The Municipality of Culasi has granted us PIONEER PROJECT STATUS as well. Panay Explorers, Inc. will register with the BOI to attain the benefits derived from PIONEER PROJECT STATUS. As of this writing, the team is working with the architects to finalize the construction drawings for the hotel. The team has completed the construction drawings for the private access road, foreshore lease survey has been completed, land survey (updated), further cleared the property, constructed a native bamboo bridge for limited foot traffic, conducted a preliminary survey of what trees to let stand, identified 18 different species of trees on the property, conducted dive boat maintenance, conducted SCUBA diving reconnaissance along the beach frontage of the property to a depth of 30 meters, discovered three new dive sites and much more.
It is important to note that we have been very successful in following our goal of being eco-friendly, socially responsible, and following good business practices. During the December - January timeframe we employed 25 locals for clearing operations. The team was able to provide additional contributions to the local community by purchasing food to feed 25 workers two meals a day and one marienda. Acting a business multiplier for the area, Panay Explorers used the services of many of the local tricycle drivers, purchased tools and equipment from local vendors, and even used local expertise to determine what area should be used for pier construction. The team worked with local DENR personnel to conduct surveys and foreshore determination. We were very concerned that the pier would interfere with local marine life. As it turns out, we do not have to be concerned with harming any marine life with our small pier construction project. The terrain is flat and sandy throughout the proposed area of construction for the pier. Through our contacts from within the LGU's we were able to further get the word out about our project and keep the local populace informed as to what our intentions are for our project.
As for the eco-friendly aspect of our project, we were able to use all of the natural resources that our clearing operations provided us. We had to remove 58 mature coconut trees. The trees generated over 6500 board feet of premium coconut lumber. The same trees provided enough ubod (coconut tree heart) to feed the workers and provided ample leftovers for their families. The trees generated over 500 young coconuts providing enough coconut milk for cooking, drinking, fresh meat for desserts and copra. We were able to use the coconut tree skins for several small temporary construction projects on the property (bamboo bridge, nipa hut, etc.). The property yielded enough hardwood to generate over 100 sacks of uring (cooking charcoal). The uring was made on-site by the workers using traditional techniques. The proceeds were split between the workers and Panay Explorers, Inc. We estimate that half of the limbs removed from the trees were used by local families for fire wood in their cooking stoves. The hardwood stumps were removed and trimmed to provide growing area for the over 500 orchids that will go on the hotel grounds. The hardwood trees standing will be removed and the lumber will be used in the construction of the 7 star rooms. The nipa palms that were cut for the right of way were recovered and used on the nipa hut headquarters that we have established on the grounds. The only mechanical device used on the property was the chain saw that was used to cut down the coconut trees and cut the lumber. All other work on the property has been performed with good old human power. We will continue to use human-power as much as possible throughout the project. Our municipality needs jobs and our citizens are not afraid to work!
Our new dive sites need to be further researched and mapped. We have discovered and named three new sites: Atoll, Nablag Sur, and Mararison North. The Atoll dive site is very easy dive at a depth of 16 meters. It is made up of three large rock and coral formations. The structures are sitting in beautiful white sand with no current. The dive site Nablag Sur is a cousin of Nablag Tugpo. We discovered one of its inhabitants to be a very large and wary Napoleon Wrasse. The site is covered with all of the "usual suspects" too. Mararison North is one of our dive sites that must be dived when the winds allow it. It faces open ocean (toward Batbatan Island) and is covered with healthy coral and the normal fish inhabitants. The site due West of the dive site Steps. We will provide more data as we dive these new sites.
What is our next step? The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) is the next hurdle for our team. We are working with the Local Government Units (LGU's) to establish the "standard" for future tourist development in the area. As we pursue our dream we welcome any comments or recommendations you might have as you follow our progress. We are still on track with our plan. Keep checking our website (www.panayexplorers.com) and see what is new. You can expect to see a completely new website within the month.
Maniguin, a small Island south of Boracay rises like a little Atoll out of the water. Locally called "Maningning" or commonly known as Hammerhead Island.
It is 48 kilometers southwest of the main island of Boracay. Though inhabited, only a few bamboo huts, owned by local seaweed fishermen are on the island. A lighthouse is also erected on the Island, warning big ships during darkness.
Big, fast dive boats only make the trip from Boracay to Maniguin, and it takes around 2-3 hours to get there. Due to the length of the journey it is always done as a day trip or as overnight stay. We plan to make this a weekly run for our divers.
12 miles offshore and surrounded by deep blue water, this place is regularly visited by large pelagic species. Jacks, tuna, wahoo, napoleon wrasse, turtles, barracuda, white tip and grey reef sharks are regularly spotted.
Mantas, eagle rays, whales and schooling hammerheads have been frequent visitors here. As an added bonus expect to see dolphins on the way on most trips.
ISLAND - NORTH FACE
Location: The northernmost point of the reef.
Conditions: Variable - can be rough in bad weather; in good weather it is calm with currents varying with the tide. Visibility can reach 100 ft; Average depth: 50 ft; Maximum depth: 150 ft.
Most of the reef-top is a gentle slope from 33 ft to 65 ft with a mixture of coral heads on sand. Here, you will find top-quality soft, leathery, stony and whip corals harbouring a myriad of reef fish.
These include most Pacific species of triggerfish, pufferfish, trumpetfish, cornetfish, parrotfish, batfish, catfish, Moorish Idols, angelfish, butterflyfish, Blue-spotted Lagoon Rays, cuttlefish, moray eels, garden eels, sand perch, nudibranchs, anemones with clownfish, sea stars and sea cucumbers. Every small hole seems to contain a Redtooth Triggerfish.
From 55ft there is a wall dropping to 150 ft though in some places it rises to 16 ft. Large spiny lobsters could also be seen. The wall itself is full of caves and crevices, many of which contain Whitetip Reef Sharks and Nurse Sharks. Overhangs are covered with large gorgonians and Tubastrea cup corals.
There are schools of surgeonfish, Midnight Snappers, jacks, sweetlips, batfish, Bumphead Parrotfish, bannerfish, pennantfish, fusiliers, barracuda, tuna, trevally, Eagle Rays, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, soldierfish, squirrelfish, sweetlips, parrotfish and Napoleon Wrasse. Hammerhead Sharks and Manta Rays have been seen here.
ISLAND - SOUTH FACE
Location: The south face of the reef; Access: By boat.
To find the greatest number of sleeping Whitetip Reef Sharks in caves, line up the lighthouse with the prominent large white rock while ovr the drop-off;
Conditions: Variable - can be rough in bad weather. In good weather it is calm, with currents varying with the tide. Visibility can reach 100 ft.
Average depth: 65 ft; Maximum depth: 150 ft. Drifting west with the current, it can be possible to cover most of the face in one very long dive.
The wall and reef-top are very similar to the North Face. Majority of the dive despite blast-fishing, is beautiful with abundant reef and pelagic fish life. There are caves, crevices and overhangs on the wall, many of the caves contain Whitetip Reef Sharks.
There are lots of large Spiny Lobsters and a large school of Bumphead Parrotfish, plus Napoleon Wrasse, large groupers, Eagle Rays, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, tuna, barracuda, snapper and trevally, as well as a myriad of reef fish, particularly in the center of the face.
At the western end of the face the top of the wall becomes shallower; the reef-top offers excellent snorkeling when there is no surf running
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