The executive director of Save Philippine Seas on her advocacies and why Cebu tops her travel list
We mark Cebu Pacific Air’s 22nd anniversary in time for Women’s Month with 22 inspiring women and get them to talk about what they do and where they travel. Who are the inspiring women in your life? Share it with us by using #SmileWomensMonth and #CEBTravels on Instagram and Facebook, or tag @smilemag and @cebupacificair.
Anna Oposa, marine conservationist and executive director of Save Philippine Seas
Tell us more about what you do.
Anna: I run an NGO and lead a movement called Save Philippine Seas (SPS). I have two main advocacies: shark conservation and community empowerment. My work involves creating campaigns, partnering with corporations, giving talks, fundraising, traveling, and working with the government. My group aims to conserve and protect the country’s coastal and marine resources.
What do you like most about what you do?
Anna: I love that I am constantly challenged, so I always grow, learn, and evolve. The issues around environmental conservation are big and varied. Every day, I get to use different skills including critical thinking, systems thinking, accounting, communications, and facilitation. I also work with a lot of inspiring people and communities. It’s never boring, that’s for sure!
What are you working on right now?
Anna: I’m working on growing SPS’s impact through campaigns and volunteer mobilization. We’re running a weekend program called A-B-Seas, which is an experiential learning activity. We snorkel, teach marine ecosystems and basic skills that will be useful in the pursuit of an advocacy. The program runs for four weekends only between April-August.
Tell us about your recent travel adventure.
Anna: There are so many! Just in January, I traveled to three different sites in Cebu, Zamboanga, and Iloilo for stakeholder consultations with various communities about a proposed law to conserve sharks in the Philippines. Part of the program is dedicated to teaching the audience about what lies beneath and why it’s important to conserve our life sources.
What are your top three destinations within the Cebu Pacific Air network?
If given the chance, where would you take your girlfriends for a holiday?
Anna: Bali for sure! I visited Bali for the first time last year for a conservation workshop and took some time to walk around and travel. It has a vibe that’s perfect for bonding with girlfriends: on the beach, with cocktails, watching the sunset, and eating really good food!