Wikipedia says: “Great Santa Cruz Island is a small inhabited island in Zamboanga City in the southern region of the Philippines that is famous for its pink coralline sand. The island, located 4 kilometres (2.49 mi) south of downtown at the Santa Cruz Bank in the Basilan Strait, boasts the only pink sand beach in the Philippines. The color of the sand comes from the pulverized red organ pipe coral from eons of surf erosion mixed with the white sand.
“The island started to become popular since the 1970s and early 1980s when it was frequented by German, Japanese and Italian tourists. Recently, there’s an upsurge of tourists that has been recorded due to its rising popularity as one of a handful of Pink Sand Beaches in the World and is the only one in Asia. In 2017, it was recognized by National Geographic as one of the 21 Best Beaches in the World.”
Dost Region IX grants 1.6 MIllion support to Sama-Banguingui Community in Sta. Cruz Island dubbed as the I LOVE Sta. Cruz Project.
Staying true to its commitment as the Science, Technology, and Innovation leader in Western Mindanao, the Department of Science and Technology IX (DOST IX) partnered with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc. through a Memorandum of Agreement to work with the S at the Sta. Cruz Island to improve their living and livelihood opportunities.
With 1.6 Million worth of assistance for Year 1, the “Improving the Living and Livelihood Opportunities of the Village of the Sama-Banguingui Community in Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City Project (I LOVE Sta. Cruz) Project encompasses 4 entry points, namely, Waste Management: Eco-friendly Septic System (Eco-Sep), Education: Solar STARBOOKS, Access to sustainable renewable energy: Solar Panel Modules, and Health: Ceramic Water Filter.
Apart from these entry points, DOST IX will also provide various trainings to boost their livelihood opportunities. This also includes the exploration of the area’s flora and fauna to product value-added products.
Muchas gracias DOST IX! Thank you Ms. Gina Lopez of I Love Foundation/Quest for Love for making this possible! Excited for the possibilities! WILCON will be helping us build the houses for the fishermen at Sta. Cruz Yellow Boat Adventure Community and transform it into a Sama-Banguingui living museum and ecotourism site. Thank you Ms. Gina Lopez!
Aerial shot of yellow boats slowly passing through the mangroves area of Sta Cruz Island.
Local and Foreign Tourists can enjoy the Yellow Boat Adventure at Sta. Cruz Island Yellow Boat Community in Zamboanga City. The adventure provides rich information of biodiversity, different kinds of mangroves and stingless jellyfish, also known as the “upside down” jellyfish.
The Yellow Boat Adventure was established to give fishermen alternative means of livelihood so that they don’t need to do illegal method of fishing. Now they tour tourist around the centuries old marshland while serving as its protector. They only thing we asked from them is to send their kids to school!
“This project in Zamboanga is really setting a good model to the rest of the Philippines and the world. If you believe in the poor, they will most likely to believe in themselves even more that they have a way out of poverty. This is what empowerment looks like. This is how it is done!” Josh Mahinay, BEAGIVER