My Life As Pseudo-Marine Biologist

Last Saturday, I met with my old buddies from my Marine Bio days. Although, were a rare breed (we were only 5 + - 2) in our batch, we manage to keep in touch. It was the first ever formal reunion of the USC-Marine Biology graduates after 30 years ! Yes, 30 years ! karon pa sila naka-hunahuna sa kadugay sa panahon. Most those who attended were from the latest batches of graduates, katong mga init pa ug dugo !.
The new USC Marine Station was quite impressive, gone was the old rickety hut on which we spent sleepless nights and drinking binges galore. There's now a laboratory, classroom and guess what? they now have scuba tanks, wet suits and BCJ's. And all of this are in a new concrete building beside the Maribago Bluewaters in MActan Island, CEBu. And wait, the roads leading to the station are now paved and cemented! before it was full of protruding sharp rocks and thick bushes. Most of the students now are PADI certified divers, whew, very sosyal. Kami intawn sa una nakat-on ug dive tungod sa mga sponsorhip sa Special Forces' Riverine Batallion of the Philippine Army, mas heavy ! mas lisud ! mas primitive !

Added to this, the new graduates are employed as marine biologists in some NGO's and in the academe. Some of them are now in the forefront of marine conservation in Cebu. Compared to us when we graduated, we have to look for jobs other than being marine biologists, there were no jobs available for us. Dungog ray nindot adtong mga panahuna, ti-aw mu ba, MARINE BIOLOGIST imong profession pero walay kay trabaho. Faet jud kaayo. Some work as med reps, and in offices but most become PNB (palaging nasa bahay) employees.

I have to work as pseudo-marine biologist in a big hotel in Mactan. This was the only available marine bio job in Cebu and the other was a pearl farm in a tiny island far from mainland Palawan (it is that hard). All we did in this hotel chain, was clean their false beach with seagrasses and poisonous starfishes. We also built their big sewage pipe underwater, it's like swimming in their own shit and urine, everyday. Imagine, kada adlaw mi mu dive from 9am-4pm. Mura mi ug mga sirena, plus our boss was a pseudo-american oceanographer who was a tyrant and a maniac. My skin hairs were brownie-blond and my hairs were corn husk brown. My skin were charcoal brown, an all choco brown orig island girl. It was in this sorry state that I decided that I dont want my life to be like this forever,
I wanted to have smooth and silky hair, I wanted to have soft skin, I wanted to have a better job. I wanted to become a doctor very very badly.

So here I am now, a dormant marine biologist and a practicing eye doctor but it still the same old hard work but less the salty water and the muddy grimes. Pana-panahon lang siguro ang tanan. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss the target! Or I was just not cut out to be a marine biologist. But one thing for sure, I never regretted being one.

To all the Marine Biologist out there, thank you for keeping our seas clean and
making our ocean healthy.