Environmental Research Specialist

Lem spent most of his childhood at the beach where his family lived nearby. Davao Gulf’s Times and Bucana beaches long before had rich marine biodiversity, thick mangrove forests, less waste pollution and free from informal settlements. His family loved having picnics at the seashore, set-up fire to grill freshly catch “Sap-sap”, “Maya-maya”, “Lapu-lapu”, “Talakitok”, “Borot”, “Kitang” and other marine resources sold.

At a young age, he experienced seeing fisherfolks bringing strangled sharks, cetaceans stranded ashore, jellyfish attacks and even several drowning incidents. The sea taught him to swim, catch fish, and paddle a boat and most especially, become a steward of nature.

In college, he realized the loss of the beach’s lavishness due to urbanization. He became Ateneo de Davao University’s Ecoteneo Student Unit Head leading university-wide campaigns to protect the seas, particularly Davao Gulf, from waste pollution. Driven with this passion, he dedicated to work only for the environment. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Education major in English with additional units in Biological Sciences.

In 2015, he joined IDIS as Media Advocacy Specialist. One of the most unforgettable moments he had with IDIS is the staff’s learning visit in Danjugan Island, a marine protected area in Negros where he experienced kayaking in the islands’ majestic lagoons filled with schools of Black-tip Sharks, Yellow-fin Trevallies, Barracudas and such healthy reefs underwater.

He now works as an Environmental Research Specialist who collects primary data from actual sites, which excites him the most. In his spare time, he pursues his interests in wildlife and biodiversity conservation. Observing, identifying and taking photos of avian species made him join the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines-Davao.

He currently studies Environmental Resources Management at University of the Southeastern Philippines and envisions himself to become a licensed Environmental Planner after. He dreams to pursue PhD studies in Ecology, Water, Wetland or Wildlife Management in Australia or New Zealand along with living with his girlfriend in a minimalist container-van house with solar panels installed, rainwater-catchment systems, hydroponic and organic garden, mini-forest backyard and vegetated permeable pavement for their vehicle’s parking. 

You may contact Lem at lem.manalo@idisphil.org


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