Saturday, July 20, 2019

KPub BBQ Elevates Korean Samgyeopsal Experience with Tiendesitas Branch

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Our Friday dinner got extra-special when we attended the media launch of the newest and largest branch of KPub BBQ Korean Samgyeopsal located just at Tiendesitas in Ortigas East.

Partnered with Samsung for their huge wall display offering audio visual entertainment, plus with Tsingtao beer for several kibds of beer from Light to Premium, then a Korean buffet, the feast at KPub BBQ has elevated to greater heights.

My wife and I enjoyed every minute of our stay, though she had to caution me for over-eating, but I really can't resist the yummy offerings infront of us. It was so tempting to keep on ordering for our meat all you can night.

Ending the night with Melona Frozen Dessert Bar (Mango and Honeydew Melon) as a final hurrah before going home and back to reality, enduring the traffic, and other problems we face everyday, it is somewhat relieving there is a restaurant where you could feel like a king with its unlimited offerings at very affordable prices.

Below is the official press release from the event:

The pioneering K-Pop-themed, meat-all-you-can concept celebrates six years and its 1,000,000th customer with a sprawling, state-of-the-art new branch at Tiendesitas

Marrying Korean cuisine and K-Pop—inarguably South Korea’s greatest exports—in a country deliriously obsessed with anything and everything Korean is just one of the many reasons why KPub BBQ, the biggest meat-all-you-can, K-Pop themed dining concept in the Philippines, continues to be a mecca for Korean pop culture fans and foodies alike.

What KPub BBQ brings to the table is not only unlimited heaps of thinly-sliced, gloriously marbled meat, grilled to perfection on a built-in grill and refillable plates of Korean side dishes, also known as banchan.

It offers an unlimited K-Pop experience that triggers happy memories of your first-ever trip to Seoul, bouts of nostalgia for your all-time favorite K-Drama, and the mild hysteria you feel when you watch your fave K-Pop music videos and K-Pop idols performing their top songs from a full HD LED video wall display. Surely, for any K-Pop fan, a Korean barbecue lunch/dinner can’t get any better than this. Unsurprisingly, however, it actually can.

A Pioneer in Korean Barbecue Dining

Since opening its iconic first restaurant at The Fort Complex in BGC in 2013, KPub BBQ continues to push the envelope in providing the best Korean food and the most advanced music entertainment to its growing clientele.

In celebration of its sixth anniversary and 1,000,000th customer mark, KPub BBQ is introducing new dishes, new amenities, a soon to be announced a loyalty program, an exciting new partnership, and an even more impressive video wall display in its biggest, most state of the art branch yet—KPub BBQ Tiendesitas.

The sprawling, 500-seating capacity Tiendesitas branch introduces a “Korean Favorites Festival” buffet where guests can sample some of the best known Korean dishes to complement KPub BBQ’s unlimited servings of quality cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. Apart from the usual plateful of kimchi and assortment of Korean barbecue sauces, a special cheese dip for meats, which is all the rage in dining concepts in Seoul, is also available here to delight the cheese-loving set.

A Korean Entertainment Mecca

Thanks to mega idol group BTS and fast-rising female groups like Blackpink and Twice, K-Pop is taking the world by storm, one Billboard hit at a time. The social media-fueled, second-generation Golden Era in K-Pop can be felt reverberating off the postered walls of KPub BBQ Tiendesitas and seen, so clearly it’s as if you’re at a K-Pop concert, on a massive Samsung 4K Ultra HD video wall display—the biggest video wall in the Philippines.

For non-K-Pop fans, there will be live performances, from Mondays to Sundays, where you can sing along with different local bands live on stage. For big groups and private parties, there are two VIP rooms in this branch.

The Great Wall of Tsingtao

Another exclusive feature in KPub BBQ Tiendesitas is the Tsingtao “wall,” a wall of refrigerators filled with bottles and cans of Tsingtao Beer (a German style Pilsner using traditional German technique, high quality European raw brewed with mineral water from Laoshan spring), the number one beer in South Korea.

Just walk over to the “wall” and grab any of Tsingtao Beer’s six variants that you would like to try: Tsingtao Lager Beer, Tsingtao Pure Draft, Tsingtao Wheat Beer, Tsingtao Strong Beer, Tsingtao Light Beer, and Tsingtao IPA Beer.

All these in one satisfying, affordable fixed price Korean barbecue pass. Indeed, when it comes to jjang food and daebak K-Pop experience, there’s only one place that hits the spot. And you still wonder why it’s so hard to resist your KPub BBQ cravings.

Get your Korean barbecue fix today at KPub BBQ Tiendesitas is located at Building B, Level 2 Food Village, Tiendesitas, Ortigas East, Pasig City. Operating hours are 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 12:00 MN. For reservations and other inquiries, contact 0917 866 8346 / 234 9943 / 234 9953 or email us at

For more information, follow @kpub_bbq_tiendesitas on Instagram and @KpubTiendesitas on Facebook or visit Other branches can be visited in Top of the Glo in Glorietta, Garden Restaurant in TriNoma, The Fort Complex in BGC, and The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu.


On Sunday, July 21, watch the livestream of the Pacquiao versus Thurman Welterweight World Championship fight for free when you dine or avail of the unlibeer for 2 hours.

Activities That Will Keep You Fit While on Holiday

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Traveling is something many people love doing when they have the time to do it. And going to another country for your holidays is great, it’s an ideal way to spend your free time because you get to interact with people from around the world and learn more about them.

You also get the opportunity to see beautiful scenic sites when you travel to somewhere
totally different. Work-related duties may be another reason for your travels. You might be sent to a different country for a specific job assignment. Staying fit during your trip is essential too, and it is one thing people often ignore. Many treat holidays as a time to relax.

Well, this shouldn’t be the case because you can gain a lot of weight in just a short period.

There are a variety of practices you should observe to stay fit during your trip. They include:

Gym Exercises

You can visit the gym while on holiday and try out some light exercises. This is possible if you book a hotel with a modern gym. Don’t strain yourself too much because you also need to have fun during your holiday. Utilizing supplements from Musclesfax will also help you get the best from your workouts. Look for a hotel with a high-quality gym to train in. Hiring a trainer during such a period is also essential. The trainer will guide you through the ideal

Healthy Eating

Sticking to a healthy diet also keeps you fit while on holiday. People can consume lots of junk as they try to sample dishes from various countries. This is likely to lead to an increase in weight. You should come up with a proper diet plan before traveling, so that you have an easy time choosing the right foods to consume.


This is an excellent way of staying fit as you also have fun while doing it. Swimming helps in working out both the upper and lower part of your body. It is also great for your flexibility, as you get to exercise your joints in the process. You should book a hotel with a good swimming pool that will let you enjoy this activity the best you can.


Getting some quality rest is essential while on holiday. This is the perfect time to relax,
especially after a long working period. Sleep longer so that your body can be rejuvenated and you will also refresh your mind. Do not engage in activities that may cause you strain or stress you out. You will go back to your regular activities re-energized if you get some quality


You should go hiking during your travels. Look for a destination with beautiful spots where you can try out this activity. Through hiking, you will burn a lot of calories and thus shed off some extra pounds, which is good for your cardiovascular health.

Observing these practices helps you maintain a great fitness level even when on holiday.

Ms Tourism Philippines 2019 Press Presentation

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Travelfoodmovie together with WP founder Ross del Rosario said "Paminsan-minsan ay nabubuo rin for offline meetups after an event We may not be that big, but our hearts are big enough to care for our followers. 

This is why we value everyone's contribution, big or small, because when everyone chips in, it becomes bigger than all of us.. maybe not immediately... but in the long run will forever be at your service! 

Friday, July 19, 2019

The First Kiddie Party Expo is Happening Soon!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

We know how difficult it is for you to get the hang of being an awesome parent and
we want you to be the expert in making the best Kiddie Parties ever! Who wouldn’t
want that right?

Kiddie Party Expo is the first one-stop kiddie party planning expo in the Philippines with different suppliers giving discounted on the day booking rates! You will be provided with checklists to help you with all the preparations.

The first leg would be in C3 Events Place Greenhills on July 20, 2019 from 8am to 3pm at the heart of San Juan. This event will also feature a food tasting with our event partner, Cravings Catering who will be having 2 batches of food tasting from
10am-12nn and 1pm-3pm.

They will also feature awesome event partners from Kiddie Party Coordinators,
Photobooth, Photo and Video Team, Event Stylists, Basic Party Needs, Grazing
Tables, Technical Teams and other fun stuff for kiddie parties! Watch out cause
we’re also giving away raffle prizes and special entertainment sessions on the day of the event!

Tickets are for available for FREE for the first 150 participants who will reserve via
eventbrite: KIDDIE PARTY EXPO.

Let’s have fun and make the best birthday parties ever!

Do the Dowell Move: Active Healthy You Edition

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Are you fit, active and healthy?
Calling all licensed zumba instructors for the search of “Do the Dowell Move: Active Healthy You Edition”

Get a chance to win P50K when you join this dance contest.

Form at least 3 members with 1 licensed zumba instructor. Create you zumba dance steps. Take a video of you dancing to the full song of Dowell Jingle. You can download the song thru or you may visit the Dowell Facebook page. Send your entries at with the following details:

group name, name of licensed zumba instructor, member’s names, contact number and email address.

What are you waiting for?

Talk to your friends now and let’s Do the Dowell Move.

Please visit our Dowell Facebook page at for more info.

#Dowell #BringGoodnesstoLife

PH Cinema Celebrates 100 Years in Biggest Int’l Film Festival in Mexico

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The world continues to join the Philippines in the celebration of its One Hundred Years of Philippine Cinema, especially as the Philippines has been announced as this year’s Spotlight Country at the 22nd Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF). The festival will run from July 19 to 28, 2019 in World Heritage sites Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

Led by the Philippine Embassy in Mexico, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will help spearhead the Philippine Spotlight Program and the Philippines’ Guest Country participation at the GIFF in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), ABS-CBN Films (Star Cinema), and Cinematografo.

“The selection of the Philippines as the first Southeast Asian Spotlight Country in the Guanajuato International Film Festival is a great honor and perfect opportunity to bring the best of Philippine cinema and our culture to Mexico, a country which we share a long history with. FDCP is pleased to spearhead the participation of the country at such a big film festival,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.

Aside from films, GIFF will be a celebration of Filipino culture which will spotlight the country’s music and food. There will be a conference on the History of Philippine cinema: Cinema, Colonization, and Culture by University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) film historian and educator Nick Deocampo; a Mexico-Philippines Bilateral Forum in collaboration with Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía (IMCINE); and a musical concert which will be attended by 1,000 expected guests. FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño, who is also a chef, will prepare an 8-course dinner to treat VIPS to Filipino-Mexican fusion cuisine, together with Mexican chef Marcela Bolaño, the chef and owner of Marsala, Cocina con Accen, and MB Catering by Desing in San Miguel de Allende.

A total of 30 films will be screened at the GIFF in different sections, including Philippine Cinema Retrospective: Cinema, Colonialism, Culture, Kidlat Tahimik, QCinema/Contemporary Films, Short Films from Philippine Archipelago, and In Special Program/Section.

The selection consists of luminaries of Philippine cinema, such as Kidlat Tahimik, Lino Brocka, Lamberto Avellana, and Fernando Poe, Jr. Other Filipino filmmakers who will showcase their works at the GIFF are Brillante Mendoza, Mario Cornejo, Sheron Dayoc, and Khavn De La Cruz. ABS-CBN, the country’s largest media company, will also participate at the GIFF.

Philippine Cinema Retrospective: Cinema, Colonialism, Culture

1.    A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino - Lamberto Avellana, 1965
2.    Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Light) - Lino Brocka, 1975
3.    Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (As we were) - Eddie Romero, 1976
4.    Pagbabalik ng Lawin - Fernando Poe Jr., 1975
5.    Batch ‘81 - Mike De Leon, 1982
6.    Oro, Plata, Mata - Peque Gallaga, 1982
7.    Himala (Miracles) - Ishmael Bernal, 1982
8.    Noli Me Tangere - Gerardo de Leon, 1961
9.    Karnal - Marilou Diaz Abaya, 1983     

Kidlat Tahimik

1.    Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmares) - 1977
2.    Turumba - 1981
3.    Bakit Dilaw ang Gitna ng Bahaghari? (Why is Yellow the middle of the Rainbow? - 1994 (Documentary)
4.    Lakbayan - 2018, with Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz
QCinema/Contemporary Films

1.    Matangtubig - Jet Leyco, 2015
2.    Apocalypse Child - Mario Cornejo, 2015
3.    Manananggal sa Unit 23B - Prime Cruz, 2016
4.    Women of the Weeping River - Sheron Dayoc, 2016
5.    Pag-ukit sa Paniniwala - Hiyas Bagabaldo, 2018 (Documentary)

Short Films from Philippine Archipelago

1.    To Siomai Love - Remton Zuasola, 2009
2.    Boca - Zurich Chan, 2010
3.    Sanayan lang ang Pagpatay - Gil Joseph A. Sanchez, 2011
4.    Ang Pagpukaw sa akong Damgo - Arbi Barbarona, 2014
5.    Happy Fiesta - Joe Bacus, 2014
6.    Aliens Ata (Maybe Aliens) - Glenn Barit, 2017
7.    Bawod (Bent) - TM Malones, 2017
8.    Tembong - Shaira Advincula, 2018

In Special Program/Section

1.    Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon - Lav Diaz, 2014
2.    Alipato: The Very Brief Life of an Ember - Khavn Dela Cruz, 2016
3.    Eerie - Mikhail Red, 2018
4.    Yellow Rose - Diane Paragas, 2019

National Artist for Film and Father of Philippine independent cinema Kidlat Tahimik will be given an international tribute at the GIFF for his contribution to the cinema along with “Good Will Hunting” director Gus Van Sant and “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” director Terry Gilliam. Moreover, Cannes winner Brillante Mendoza will serve as the President of the Jury and will also give a keynote address at the GIFF.

Since 1998, the GIFF has been offering a diverse selection of screenings, conferences, and other activities and bringing international film industry professionals together for networking opportunities.

6th Entrepreneur and Franchise Expo Opens Today

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The 6th Entrepreneur and Franchise Expo (EFE) successfully opened its doors to aspiring entrepreneurs today at Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall. The event will run for 3 days, from July 19 to 21, and will feature over 100 Franchise Opportunities and Business Solutions.

The opening ceremony was led by the Founder of the event and CEO of Mediacom Solutions Inc. - David Abrenilla, together with, Ferdie de Belen, Senior Manager of Megatrade Hall; Trixie Esguerra, Founder of Wrap it Up; Rudolf Kotik, Founder of RK Franchise Consultancy; Johnah Umpo, Business Development Officer of DV Boer Farm; Michael Nobleza, Service Manager of Tysons Global Exchange Inc.; and Michael Exconde Bayot, Head of Sales and Marketing of Tysons Global Exchange Inc.

With the tagline “Your Step to Success”, the expo is the Philippines No.1 Entrepreneur and Franchise Event featuring 90 exhibitors with 100 franchising concepts and innovative SMEs.

The goal of the EFE is to give aspiring entrepreneurs an overview of the franchising industry in the Philippines and to connect franchisors with interested franchisees. At the same time, the expo will showcase various business suppliers catering to small and medium-sized businesses that can help them grow their business.

Apart from the Expo, Mediacom Solutions Inc., will also stage the Entrepreneur Success Summit which is a comprehensive series of talks with Successful Entrepreneurs that will share their entrepreneurial journey and their insights on How to START, GROW & SELECT a Successful Franchise. Some of the speakers for the Summit are the RJ Ledesma, Founder of Mercato Centrale; Franchising Expert - Rudolf Kotik; Glenn Razon, President of Razons by Glenn and more.

This year’s Entrepreneur and Franchise Expo is sponsored by Tysons Global Exchange Inc., Alkaviva Waters Philippines and DV Boer Farm.

To learn more, visit and join their Facebook community at

Inclusive Growth Key to Peace and Prosperity in Mindanao

Wazzup Pilipinas!

An inclusive atmosphere in business is necessary to maintain the gains of peace and continue the enabling environment for prosperity in Mindanao.

This was emphasized by Dr. Annette Pelkmans-Balaoing, Escaping the Middle-Income Trap: Chains for Change (EMIT C4C) convenor, during a workshop in UP Diliman on July 12, 2019.

“In the context of conflict and war, we need markets to be humane. We need markets to be inclusive,” she said.

Pelkmans-Balaoing cited the case of Unifrutti Tropical Philippines, a firm that invested in a 1,300-hectare banana plantation called La Frutera in Maguindanao, and their relationship with the community and the farmers operating there.

Unifrutti, she said, recognized the land rights of the people in Maguindanao; it employed former rebels or combatants to build trust and establish relationships. 

“Investment usually expose you to higher risk. but in this sense, investment in the form of social capital lessens the risk in operating in a risky environment," she added.

According to Senen Bacani, chair of Peace and Equity Foundation and one of the co-founders of La Frutera, this success is due to the recognition that peace and development should always come together.

“Unifrutti went there for profit, but we believed that to do that, we needed to take care of the people, community, and environment,” he said.

Bacani further noted that cultural sensitivity matters in dealing with the social realities on the ground.

“If people trust you, they will do what you requested them to do. We always wanted to work with community leaders in the area,” he said.

Other topics such as the proposed details of a model Islamic community and logistics, and opportunities and challenges in connecting different producers and players in agriculture and urban markets in Mindanao were also discussed.

PEF is a partner in the EMIT C4C, a research program under the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies that collaborates with the Partnerships Resource Center of the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University), seeks to understand the conditions for enhancing the competitiveness and inclusiveness of agriculture value chains. EMIT C4C, for instance, studies how smallholder farmers are linked with mainstream companies and social enterprises.

You can view this article here:

Tanghalang Ateneo to Open 41st Season with “Dolorosa”

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo de Manila University, will kick off its 41st season, “Écriture Féminine | Sulat-Babae: The Women's Season,” this August with a full-length version of “Dolorosa” at the Doreen Black Box, Arts Wing, Areté.

Multihyphenate Jenny Jamora (“33 Variations,” “Every Brilliant Thing”) will direct the material, which was originally a one-act play and part of the Virgin Labfest 14 staged readings last year.

Playwright Peter Zaragoza Mayshle, an esteemed Tanghalang Ateneo alumnus and English professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, has expanded “Dolorosa” for this season’s opener.

In the story, a one-of-a-kind wooden statue of the Mater Dolorosa, which is a family’s prized heirloom, is put together and made whole by three siblings. They do this every year for the Holy Week procession in Paete, Laguna.

On this Maundy Thursday, they await the visit of their mother Pilar, who mysteriously abandoned them 15 years ago. When she arrives, they will confront the ghosts of their past and one shattering truth about their beloved Dolorosa statue.

“Dolorosa” will feature veteran actors Bibeth Orteza as Pilar and Ron Capinding as Mariano.

Also part of the cast are Clyde Enriquez (Elena/Claudia), Zoë de Ocampo (Pilar/Juliana), Rainbow Gutierrez (Victoria/Alicia), AJ Umali (Padre Galiano/Pablo/Tasyo), Sabrina Basilio (Chedeng/Mitring), Kat Dizon (Bernadette/Mary Seat of Wisdom), Dani Capinding (Jacinta/Mary Mystical Rose), Francesca Dela Cruz (Judiel/Mary Star of the Sea), Shaun Ocrisma (Elsa/Mary Tower of Ivory), Kim Donato (Lucia/Mary Mirror of Justice), Zarya Almocera, Nicole Chua, Darl Alba and Mekaella Mendoza (ensemble).

The artistic team is composed of production designers Ben Padero and Carlo Tabije (“Heneral Luna,” “Siargao”), movement designer Jomelle Era (“Desaparesidos”), lighting designer D Cortezano (“Desaparesidos,” “Marisol”), sound designer Arvy Dimaculangan (“Desaparesidos,” “Every Brilliant Thing”), graphic designer Zoë de Ocampo (“Alpha Kappa Omega,” “Stop Kiss”), photographer Jojit Lorenzo, vocal coaches Robin Aronson and Rachael Swartz, and dramaturg and current Ateneo Creative Writing major Elise Ofilada.

Tanghalang Ateneo, a multi-Aliw Awardee, has grown into one of the country’s leading school-based theater companies. Its repertoire of plays includes Filipino originals, world classics and documentary texts turned into theater pieces, both English and Filipino.

The play will run from August 15 to 17, 22 to 24, and 29 to 31 at 7:30 p.m. and on August 17, 24, 31 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are at 450 pesos each for ADMU students and 500 pesos each for the general public. For more information and other inquiries, contact Nicole at 0906-2662563.

Container Haulage Startup Takes Top Prize at RISE, Asia’s Largest Technology Event in Hong Kong

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Container haulage startup Haulio has been named the winner of PITCH 2019 at RISE.

PITCH, in partnership with Manulife, brings together the world’s leading early-stage startups for a live onstage battle. This year around half of the 777 startups Asia largest technology event RISE applied to be part of the competition, with 60 being selected and given the opportunity to present at the PITCH stage in front of Asia’s top investors.

From Singapore, the operating system for container haulage enables containers to move like clockwork beyond the port, saving time and resources for hauliers. It’s the simplest and most reliable way for businesses to get their containers moved. Haulio comes from PSA unboXed incubator and is now working with tens of thousands of containers in Singapore.

“Winning PITCH is validation for our business.” - said co-founder Alvin Ea. “Containers are so big but people don’t actually notice them. We’re trying to bring to the world stage something that is hidden to many people. PITCH can help bring our company to the world stage and let people know this a problem worth solving. ”

“Our speciality is in container trucks. There’s a big pain in this industry and workers are suffering silently from the inefficiencies. They just do the same thing over and over again for years and they don’t change their habits. They are so good at what they do, but it’s a profession built by early generation that don’t really understand tech. Industry leaders want to transform their business but they don’t know how. There’s not many startups in the logistics industry for cargos.”

“PITCH has helped me hone up my pitching skills. It’s a challenge to explain my business in 3 minutes! I have to bring toy trucks, as they don’t really understand the business to show them how it actually works!”

Easier to Find Rebels than Pangolins

Wazzup Pilipinas!

“It’s easier to find rebels in these mountains than pangolins,” grunted a sergeant from the Philippine Marine Corps.

Battle-hardened Marines from the 3rd Brigade joined researchers to find pangolins in the dense, rattan-tangled jungles of southern Palawan last month. Pangolins are scaly mammals which slurp ants and termites with their sticky tongues. Caught for traditional Chinese medicine and dubbed as most illegally-trafficked mammals on Earth, they’ve become global icons of how animals face extinction via the illegal wildlife trade.

TRAFFIC estimates that around a million pangolins have been traded through 67 countries in the past decade, prompting a global ban often skirted by smuggling rings.

The belief that pangolin scales – in reality made of keratin (the same material as hair and nails) – has mystical powers, dates back centuries. “No one pays for powdered fingernails, but traditional Chinese medicine believers spend a fortune for powdered pangolin scales, which are no different,” says Dr. Sabine Schoppe, an expert on the Philippine pangolin. “Legal prescribed medicines are cheaper and more efficient alternatives. It’s time to leave old traditions behind and opt for more sustainable solutions.” 

Due largely to poaching, the population of the Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis) has plummeted as much as 95% since the 1980s, locally making it critically-endangered – one step above extinction.

“The illegal wildlife trade is run by organized syndicates with their own systems for capturing and smuggling pangolins, so we must tighten security,” explains Atty. Edward Lorenzo, USAID’s Protect Wildlife crime prevention advisor. TRAFFIC records 667 Philippine pangolins apprehended by authorities from 2001 to 2017, with 10 live animals recovered at a checkpoint in Tagaytay City just last June.

Some of the recovered animals came from other countries. In April 2013, a Chinese poaching vessel rammed into the Philippines’ famed Tubbataha Reefs. Found aboard were 2870 dead pangolins.

“DNA tests conducted on the pangolins confiscated off Tubbataha in 2013 revealed they came not just from Palawan, but Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. This proves that illegal traders source their contraband from all over Southeast Asia,” explains Dr. Mundita Lim, executive director of the Asean Center for Biodiversity. “Efforts to combat the trade cannot be undertaken separately, at a country by country level, but through coordinated action at the regional level.”

Tens of thousands of pangolins are also caught in Africa, where four of the eight pangolin species live. Last April, 25 tons of scales from an estimated 38,000 African pangolins were confiscated in Singapore, the largest haul in history.

USAID’s Protect Wildlife Project is working closely with the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and Katala Foundation to assess pangolin numbers in mainland Palawan. It is funding a dozen ground surveys, each covering 200 hectares. Thirty five camera traps to catalogue wildlife have also been deployed.

So far, the ground survey team has found only two pangolins for 2019 – attesting to their rarity and secretive nature. Pangolins spend most days quietly hiding in earthen burrows, rotting stumps or high in trees, emerging only at night to feed.

The Marines, some of who are Marawi veterans, embraced the idea of helping save wildlife. “The researchers spent six months just to find two pangolins,” notes Sgt. Darwin Balutan, who served in Jolo and Basilan. “It seems there aren’t many left.”

Environmentalist Gregg Yan from Best Alternatives joined the expedition to interview the troops, who vowed to protect Palawan’s pangolins. “We’re often in the jungle, but it’s our first time to notice how much wildlife there is in the Philippines,” says Sgt. Norman Pintor. “The conservation community can count on us. We’re proud to serve our country whatever way possible.” 
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