Samu’t Saring Buhay is the Filipino term for biodiversity. It is a blog dedicated to promoting biodiversity conservation and environmental awareness in the Philippines.
It is primarily intended to raise the consciousness of Filipinos–in the homeland and around the world–on Philippine biodiversity and the environment, and consequently engage their active involvement and support on nature conservation and management. It is also intended to help create an online community where conservation workers can share information and views about various biodiversity topics.
Samu’t Saring Buhay is made up of individuals who are committed to and have been actively involved in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation initiatives in the Philippines. As their voluntary contribution to the Philippine environmental movement, the blog is their perspective and a means to tell people of what is happening to the environment, discuss what should and could be done, and how people can be involved.
The current blogging team:
Don De Alban is currently working with the Program Development Unit of the Foundation for the Philippine Environment. Through blogging, he intends to place Philippine biodiversity in the mainstream consciousness of Filipinos.
Em Lastica has been proudly working in Philippine conservation for 7 years. She joined the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, Inc. – Biodiversity Conservation Centre in 1999–fresh out of vet school as curator-vet. She works with threatened species conservation breeding and all the aspects related to it: wild animal management, medicine, breeding, networking, education, training and the challenging job of helping professionalise zookeeping in the country. She is presently the Coordinator of the Threatened Species Conservation Breeding Programme of Fauna and Flora International – Philippines, and serves as a Consultant Curator at the AY Reyes Zoological and Botanical Garden of Silliman University.
Katrice Jalbuena is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University where she got her bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Communication Arts and Environmental Science). She worked for several publications before staying for almost two years in the Communications Department of Haribon Foundation. Currently, she is a news beat reporter with the Manila Times.
Lydia Robledo has been a butterfly watcher-photographer for the past 8 years. She has given lectures on butterfly gardening and watching to various organizations to advocate for the conservation of lowland forests—the natural habitat of butterflies. She is the founder and president of the Philippine Butterfly Habitat Conservation Society, and is also a member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and the Southeast Asian Lepidoptera Group, among others. She is currently co-authoring a book on butterfly watching and habitat conservation in the Philippines.
Mads Bajarias (a.k.a. the Pinoy Birder) is a founding member of Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving birds and their habitats in the Philippines. Since its inception in 2003, the WBCP has been compiling the Philippines’ bird list which can be accessed at www.birdwatch.ph.
Rina Bernabe has worked with environmental groups Haribon Foundation, Renewable Energy Coalition, and Conservation International Philippines, working on advocacy and communications-related efforts. She has been blogging on and off for years, and hopes that this latest incarnation as an environmental blogger will stick around for a long time.
Vera Horigue is a Biology (major in Zoology) graduate from the University of the Philippines – Los Baños. She studied MSc in Water and Coastal Management in Universidad de Cadiz, Spain and University of Plymouth, United Kingdom under the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus Programme. She is currently a PhD candidate at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, Australia (www.coralcoe.org.au). Her main research interests are coral reefs and associated fish assemblages, fisheries biology and management, marine protected area planning and management and climate change effects on the coastal environment.
Carl Oliveros was the one of the leaders of the Babuyan Islands Expedition in 2004 where the Calayan Rail (a new species at that time) was discovered. He had also previously worked on humpback whale conservation around those islands. Currently, he is the President of ISLA Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, and is implementing conservation activities in Calayan Island.
Errol Gatumbato was the former Protected Area Superintendent of Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park in Negros Island–one of the few protected areas in the Philippines successfully enacted into law. He has more than 15 years of experience in environmental work, and is considered as one of the foremost specialists in protected area management and conservation planning in the country. He is presently the Managing Director of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation. He served as consultant to various projects funded by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the European Commission, among others.
Mylanar Saulog(a.k.a. wildlifemayie) is a freelance wildlife biologist with a masters degree in wildlife studies from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños. She has conducted surveys reaching as far north as the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges to the lowland forests of Tawi-Tawi.
Renee Lorica (nilikha) is now dabbling with research on vertebrate wildlife in rice environments, most of which are focused on ecologically-based rodent management with the International Rice Research Institute. She finished her graduate studies under the Conservation Biology Program at the University of Minnesota in 2012. She worked as a field biologist for ~6 years in the West Visayas prior to pursuing a master’s degree. She misses the call of the wilderness and hopes to jump back in sometime in the future.
Photo Credits (Blog Banner)
Katie Hampson: Polillo Forest Frog (Platymantis polillensis); Edwino Fernando: Forest topview; Rhonson Ng: Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jeffreyi); Ocean World: Coral reef; Albert Mamora and Julie Barcelona: Rafflesia in Sibalom Natural Park (Rafflesia speciosa); Lydia Robledo: Palawan birdwing butterfly (Trogonoptera trojana); and Don De Alban: Sunrise at Bongao Peak in Tawi-Tawi, Spiny Hill Turtle (Heosemys spinosa), Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)