Fisherfolk in Hagonoy, Bulacan were amazed after a whale shark surfaced near their boat.
According to a report on "24 Oras Weekend" on Sunday, the fishermen said that this was not the first time a whale shark appeared in Manila Bay off Bulacan.
Jhasper Sacro said they estimated the butanding to be over nine feet in length.
A marine biologist said the sighting of a whale shark is a good thing because this means that the waters of Manila Bay are rich and alive.
"Buhay ang Manila Bay so ito ay nakaka-suporta ng iba't ibang biodiversity tulad ng butanding. Isa nga sa pag-aaral ay ito ang spawning areas ng mga importanteng isda tulad ng sardinas," Diovanie de Jesus said.
(Manila Bay is supporting different kinds of marine life such as the whale shark. According to studies, Manila Bay is a spawning area of important fish like sardines.)
De Jesus said the ecosystem in Manila Bay is important, especially for the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan.
To sustain the ecosystem in Manila Bay, de Jesus said water pollution and habitat destruction must be stopped.
Among the activities which destroy the ecosystem in Manila Bay is reclamation, he said.
"Kapag tinambakan natin 'yong dagat, nawawala 'yong mga natural ecosystems tulad ng bakawan o mangroves... Importante na 'wag ituloy 'yong mga ganitong proyekto," de Jesus said.
(When we reclaim land, we lose the natural ecosystems such as mangroves... we must stop these kinds of projects.)
In April, a fresh layer of dolomite sand was poured on Manila Bay.
As part of its Manila Bay rehabilitation program, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources placed tons of crushed dolomite to beautify and rehabilitate a small stretch of the bay’s shoreline.
The project received criticisms from various sectors, with some saying the artificial white sand is likely to be washed away in the future. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/DVM, GMA News