Random

Oslob and whale-sharks

There has been much controversy about the whale shark watching at
Oslob recently. I was in Moalboal primarily for a diving holiday and
decided to visit to get a first hand experience. I reached Oslob after
a two hour drive and was a bit surprised at how amateur the operation
looked. Essentially it was a few fishermen with bangkas (outrigger
boats) and a few folks to manage the crowd. The fisherman throw food
(krill or other crustaceans) into the sea to feed the whale sharks who
surface to gobble it down between 6am- everyday. The briefing
mentioned marine biologists and water police who would monitor the
proceedings but it was difficult to spot anyone who kept either
tourists or whale sharks from coming to genuine harm.

The experience gave me rather mixed feelings. On one hand, it was
eerie and exhilarating to be close to such a magnificent animal while
on the other it was strange to see them reduced to essentially puppies
following a food trail. I don’t know why I particularly feel this way
– dolphins and other animals perform at various shows and this
domestication rarely elicits such a reaction. Perhaps it’s the fact
that whale sharks are considered ‘wilder’ than dolphins et all but
this seems far from a water-tight explanation.

The debate online has raged about the pros and cons of this behaviour;
I am not naive enough to think that this can just be stopped since
there is a huge economic incentive for the local community. However
would it be possible to limit the damage – real or otherwise? For
example, if these gentle giants migrate to Oslob for a few months in a
year anyway then could the feeding be stopped and visits arranged for
tourists only during this period? Assuming this happened then the fees
to see them could be jacked up considerably for the community to stay
revenue neutral – 1000pesos could easily be raised 3-4 times for
foreigners considering this is very much a unique experience? What if
the Philippines government invested in setting up a conservation
centre and actually looked to get the local community involved with
raising awareness combining forces with Donsol perhaps? While there
would be a significant startup cost, I am hoping that this would
change the landscape of interaction for future generations and
actually generate research grants and so on. I simply refuse to buy
the argument that there are only two options – status quo or the local
community returns to fishing.

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Milestones

Milestones are always weird. They make you a think a little more than you should and ofcourse you give in, evaluating the time spent often in tangibles. But when the three years of working for a company have been all about the intangible its a little tough to write something coherent. It probably wouldnt have been coherent anyway since I’m writing this half asleep while waiting to catch a flight.

A lot of my friends are looking for a way out from Singapore which seems a little strange. Another close one recently left for London. Despite spending seven years here I dont despise it as much. In fact, I quite like the place. Changi has this feeling of stepping back into home, the familiar. Despite all the incredibly irritating things in Singapore (people on the MRT, move to the CENTRE!), it has always been possible to have fun and find peace of mind. I still discover new places, recently found what looked and felt like a Victorian quarter with cobblestone streets and all walking distance from work.

Random

Bucket List

Since the quarter life crisis was inevitable this year, we decided to make it a little funner. Lots of plotting took place in the house to see the many different ways we could embarrass the friends we knew for so long. Or so we thought. Somewhere during the process, we decided to be mature and only have tasks that would ‘take us out of our comfort zone’.

So, the three of us housemates now have five tasks each to complete. Round 1 of the tasks has been released and there will be a new one every week till we finally (hopefully) get over quarter life denial.

Random

Nostalgia

I ran into someone today who shared atleast eight years of childhood with me. I didnt remember him and his feeble “your face is familiar” was the best we came to recognition. As we exchanged stories of parallel lives over the next hour, I realised just how contrasting our memories were. My broken, faded images were hardly a match for his sharp profiling.

He proceeded to narrate to a disbelieving audience the greatness of a school they could hardly appreciate. I remembered then that I also once felt like that. I wish moving on did not mean loss of memory.

Cricket, Random

Wishlist

These are the things I would like from the New Zealand test series

1) Balaji in the XI and swinging it

2) Rahul Dravid in ‘the wall’ mode eking out run after run while the likes of Sehwag and Gambhir flash away

3) The Zaheer-Ishant new ball combination bowling amazing spells

4) Less hype around Dhoni and his (apparently) wonderful captaincy

If all this doesn’t happen, I’ll settle for a glorious Laxman hundred.

Random

DJ Redd asked me what my message for a mushy t-shirt would be. Love is simplicity.

With two close friends leaving Singapore, a couple breaking up and others drifting away, the group of people i hung out with almost every weekend is pretty much disintegrated.

In university, the question was ‘how do you know if a girl is the one ?’. Now the question is, ‘how do you get rid of that feeling once you know ? ‘.