Sustainably Stoked – ATENEO Launch ECOSURF II in La Union

16 November 2019, La Union, Surfing Capital of the North. Mid-August, when most students in the Philippines started returning to their new academic year, FEED received an email from “Nina” (Gianina Moira D. Antonio), the Associate Vice President for Bioactivism at Ateneo Biological Organization (Ateneo BOx) – eXplore. eXperience. eXcel, the same organization that launched the first ecologically aware surfing session ever held in La Union, possibly the Philippines and the world – this time with new members! (Google “ECOSURF” or related terminologies.)

As such, FEED’s ECOSURF Climate Change Action Program under various “LIVING LEGACY” tagline, was designed primarily as an environmental program that combines both respect for our ecological systems whilst also enabling youth/students/participants to enjoy the swells of the seas by also giving back to Nature.

One of FEED’s most recent Climate Change Action Programs was coined “ECOSURF” to encourage youth and other surf enthusiasts to also adopt the spirit of environmental activism by also giving back to the sea what you take from it, i.e, the “stoke”.

By planting native coastal Philippine tree species for flood protection; absorbing coral propagation and how to plant corals; and an hour of surfing 101, participants learned more about how to maintain a natural, safe and sustainable environment so that future generations may appreciate and enjoy the true feeling of “stoke” – which, in enduring surf slang expression means “excited, pleased, happy, thrilled”.

Coastal Tree-Planting Formed an Integral Part of ECOSURF II

Celso with LINK and YES student volunteers

Celso Jucutan, Environmental Science lecturer at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) North Campus (NLUC) in Bacnotan, pooled together his student volunteers and members of Lupon ng mag Indibidwal na Nangangalaga sa Kalikasan (LINK) and the Young Earthsavers Society (YES) of La Union, two volunteer agencies that are very active in the conservation of La Union’s environmental resources, conducting regular monthly tree plantings and beach cleanups throughout the province. Celso is also a FEED Ambassador since March 2018.

A total of 138 Ateneo BOx youth Earth Keepers attended the successful launch of ECOSURF II, with 108 surfing, and everyone else having participated in the planting of 200 native mangrove species along the shores of Taboc rivermouth (towards the West Philippine Sea) near San Juan, La Union, where they also actively took part in the traditional beach clean up led by the La Union Surf Club, Inc. (LUSC) certified surf instructors. LUSC is one of the first surfing clubs in the Philippines, based in Urbiztondo Beach, San Juan, La Union – where it is typically accepted to be one of the first ever surfing spots in the Philippines back in the late 60s. As a result, La Union was declared “Surfing Capital of the North” (House Bill No. 6683 authored by Abono Rep. Vini Nola Ortega, wife of Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III of La Union province.

Which is why LUSC also created and hosts its annual La Union Legends Surf Competition, an invitational that launched by LUSC in 2018 to honour the pioneers of surfing in the Philippines. The 2nd LU Lokal Legends Surf Competition will be hosted in January 2020 in La Union.

Coral Propagation

The Coral Propagation component of ECOSURF was conducted by FEED’s LIVING LEGACY partner in “REEForestation” Ocean Quest Global’s Marine Scientist Laura Riavitz, a 9 year resident of La Union, who was first hired in the Philippines by former Mayor of San Fernando City, Mary Jane Ortega – both staunch advocates for the environment.

After having trained over 5000 students and teachers from public school all over the province, in the basics of marine biology and ocean protection, Laura made it a point to stay and help the coastal communities, also members of LUSC as coastal warriors, to spread the much needed knowledge, training and techniques in Coral Propagation to help restore the the province’s extensive reef wall.

Laura’s focus with ECOSURF II was to provide some theory on the organic and natural techniques Ocean Quest has adopted successfully at various reef spots in South East Asia; she also demonstrated hands-on with all 138 Ateneo BOx members how to carry out the propagation of corals, from the sourcing of organic substrate from the sea bed (snorkling/diving) to the attaching of loose and live corals to these substrates, and their return once “glued” back to the LUSC Coral Nursery established last 2018 by LUSC and Ocean Quest Global, thanks to the 45 LUSC instructors having already been trained in the proper handling, care and propagation of our corals and nursery to ensure 85% survival of species planted.

ECOSURF II – Local Program Implementation Partner – Jonkgy Surf School

Jongky Surf School (JSS) has been ECOSURF’s local implementation partner since the first ever ECOSURF was launched in La Union in 2018. The 11 members of JSS were also the First Surf Instructors Ever in PH Certified in Coral Propagation by Ocean Quest Global, which enabled FEED and Ocean Quest Global to have qualified coral propagation professionals to facilitate the training of the 138 Ateneo BOx ECOSURF participants, in a trusted manner when it comes to handling sensitive live corals, collecting substrates and returning them safely to the Coral Nursery.

Thank you to LUSC Surf Instructors at Jongky Surf School: owners Jong Magsanoc and Rhea Delos Santos Ventura; team members Cristina Suyat, Tanjun Fietas, Ronald Pansit, Reymar Aspera, Keks Junior Ventura, “Cielo” Olecram Gali, Diane Penales (FEED, VP Operations) and Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker (FEED Director, Partnerships) for your invaluable support!

Additionally, 45 other LUSC certified surf instructors could be tapped to help the overall program, as they were also trained by OQG sponsored by a FEED partner, last October 2019. These are the first surfing communities in the world to have received such training from Ocean Quest Global in natural Coral Propagation.



Full Names47Marasigan, Ma. Sofia Margaret I.94Veneracion, Gabrielle G.
1Cruz, Ronald Allan (Teacher Chaperone)48Garchitorena, Ely Justin V.95Uy, Melleros Valerie
2Tan, Justin Vincent G.49Espino, Elmer Johann C.96Gonzalvo, Miguel Angelo L.
3Acuna, Larry Miguel E.50Tipoe, Paul Alexander M.97Agatep, Anne Clarice A.
4Salamanca, Jorge Emmanuel Luis S.51Salian, Keziah Zabat98Jornacion, Maria Sofia G.
5Aguilar, Joseph C.52Go, Summer Danielle T.99Ignacio, Julian Nicolas E.
6Lanuza, Gabriel Luis C.53Dela Cruz, Jan Reggie T.100Talampas, Jomar Florence A.
7Guevarra, Kyle Christian R.54Banayad, Nathalia Monica H.101Andrada, Jean Dorothy B.
8Franco, Annika Katrina G.55Nalugon, Jeazeth Jane M.102Espinosa, Richard Lewis I.
9Antonio, Gianina Moira D.56Dizon, Ina Cheska U.103Custodio, Rupert Christian A.
10Valencia, Miguel Antonio M.57Dela Paz, Justin Lance DP.104Peroja, Marbie Kate G.
11Aala, Marie Ericka Grace O.58Kho, Andrea Gayle O.105Peralta, Caleb R.
12De Vera, Gavin Christian M.59Austria, Beatrice Gaile D.106Tañedo, Brian U.
13Chua, Lance Jaric C.60Gabatino, Angelica Joyce A.107Fernandez, Christophe Giuseppe F.
14Dee, Hillary Robyn B.61Magtuto, Ma. Beatrice M108Lao, Santino Jamel
15Alba, Mikayla Riza L.62Tanchoco, Erin Jillian C.109Abad, Andrea M.
16Camarao, Cait Lois A.63De Ocampo, Pauline Andrea L.110Bambalan, Justin Nicolai C.
17Castro, Rafaela Marie C.64Dimaano, Kathryn Leiza L.111Sy, Morgan Allyson N.
18Tanriosa, Eleni Tammi T.65Santos, Nathan Angelo B.112Fernandez, Patricia Danielle L.
19Roca, Maria Leana Alexis U.66Tuazon, Colleen C.113Sahagun, Jean Marcus A.
20Marco, Jaime Dominique67San Luis, Patrisha Lynne F.114Santana, Jordyn Abigail M.
21Venturina, Regine Hannah Miguela C.68Ramiscal, Maria Beatrice S.115Lim, Margaret Audrey D.
22Mallillin, Marco Angelo B.69Antonio, Ma. Sofia Issabelle D.116Dait, Nina Sophia Amoure
23Seares, Clea Anne T.70Villanueva, Jose Luis N.117Lee, Paulyn Alexis F.
24Lota, Arvin Neil T.71Reyes, Kylie Dianne A.118Chua, Alyssa Bianca I.
25Jimenez, Michael Vien V.72Valmores, Lara Angeline Y.119Rollo IV, Noel Jure M.
26Gaditano, Kharyl Therese C.73Sia, Jennifer Nicole C.120Delos Reyes, Gino Andre T.
27Tan, Karl Jethro L.74Halasan, Nicole Mae121Maniego, Paisley Bernice D.
28Libongco, Liana Karyl A.75Gusi, Jeremy Albert A.122Mina, Gianna Katrina V.
29Catapang, Mary Grace L.76Estiva, Nina Ysabel M.123Mina, Gabriel Kristian V.
30Espina, Raizsa Arielle R.77Tajonera, Angelisa Jean Mari E124Angeles, Kirsten Angeles T.
31Lam, Praise T.78Laceda, Sabrina T.125Antonio, Gabriel Fermel C.
32Binbinon, Tom Ivan III G.79Santos, John Julian R.126Profeta, Matthew Derek V.
33Obias, Stephanie Mae C.80Go II, Daniel Elson B.127Basbas, Bea
34Tañas, Alyssa Grace81Barrera, Bettina Mariel L.128Moreno, Justin Mikael G.
35Carreon, Jazmine Natania C.82Cunanan, Cristela Ann D.129Aquino, Milika F.
36Caronoñgan, Ana Berdine D.83Pascual, Ma Luisa Aurora S.130Javier, Jose Gabriel
37Ventura, Maria Blanca Ynez F.84Coronel, Romano L.131Lim, Junhyuk
38Katipunan, Ysabela Reese V.85Bautista, Joshua Raphael I.132Flaminiano, Rafael Angelo A.
39Yabut, Kathryn Mirela T.86Faustino, Jose Carlos L.133Saballe, Casey Augustine A.
40Tan, Vera Irish C.87Angeles, Romar D.134Coleto, Ma. Angelica M.
41Baron, Allana Mari B.88Lui, Edric Brian C.135Dy, Marverick Myron S.
42Pandi, Jibrail G.89Ver, Abbygail Therese M.136Feria, Celine Angeli R.
43Bernabe, Edgardo III T.90Sotelo, Christian Ron N.137Lascano, Vincent Paul B.
44Sanchez, Kristel91Torres, Gabriel Joseph E.138Monfort, Isha
45Shioda, Crystal Reiko M.92Magalang, Juan Angelo C.
46Pascual, Merylle Vim B.93Billedo, Erika Mae C.
Ateneo BOx Earth Keepers who launched ECOSURF II


Thank you to ECOSURF’s main partners, without you this program would not be a success year after year: LUSC, Jongky Surf School, Urbiz Garden, FEED Ambassadors Tina Antonio and Celso Jucutan, DMMMSU-NLUC, LINK and YES, and last but not least Ocean Quest Global and Laura Riavitz – more green energy and positive impact to you all!

LUSC Surf Instructors at ECOSURF II

1Rhea Delos Santos Ventura9Po Caones Joshua
2Alexander Dacumos10Raymart Batingil
3Ariel Esma11Renante Ramos Balanon
4Belmari Geconcillo12Reymar Asperas
5Cristina Suyat13Rioben Vivero
6Jhezs Surf14Ronald Pansit
7Junior Ventura15Tisoy Ebueza
8Olecram Gali

Related Links


ECOSURF was conceived and conceptualised by Jongky Surf School Co-owner Rhea delos Santos Ventura; FEED VP Operations Diane Penales; and Director, Partnerships Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker back in 2016. Established in La Union initially, it is also being set up in Zambales Province in partnership with FEED LL partner Zambawood.

About Ateneo BOx

The Ateneo Biological Organization – eXplore. eXperience. eXcel. (BOx) is an officially accredited organization of the Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University. As the home organization of Biology and Life Sciences majors, we strongly promote excellence in the biological sciences, foster camaraderie among students, and cultivate awareness of biodiversity and social concerns of the country. For more details, visit:

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Mother Nature asks: Are you Ready to Evolve?

After the Philippine National Anthem was played, a video setting the urgency of our co-existence with Earth was shown to all, where Julia Roberts gives Mother Nature a voice in this film by Conservation International (CI)

Nature is Speaking

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature. I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years. Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you. I don’t really need people but people need me. Yes, your future depends on me. When I thrive, you thrive.  When I falter, you falter or worse. But I’ve been here for aeons. I have fed species greater than you, and I have starved species greater than you. My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests; they all can take you or leave you. How you chose to live each day whether you regard or disregard me doesn’t really matter to me. One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine. I am nature. I will go on. I am prepared to evolve. Are you?”


In 2015, the Philippine government submitted to the United Nations the country’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The carbon dioxide reductions will come from the sectors of energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry.

FEED runs a number of Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE)Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – such as mangrove planting for coastal protection or ridge reforestation plantings; One Child, One TreeBio-Intensive Gardens (BIG) for nutrition in public elementary schools and other spaces; Climate Change Survival 101 and other LIVING LEGACY programs – customised environmental engagement activities for individuals and organisations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.

Join us!  Help us reverse the Earth’s “hothouse climate” tipping point.

Tree-Planting with FEED

Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us last 24th of June 2017 to get a good idea of how FEED plantings go:


Contact us at FEED for more details, to join our regular activities or to design your own tree-nurturing or call/text +63 (0)917 552 4722.

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