At present, the Environment Team has a Director of Environment and Sustainability, three Environmental Officers (we’re looking for one more kindred spirit to join our team!), a Sustainability and Pollution Control Officer, an Environmental Enforcement Officer, and an intern. Meet them here!
Director of Environment and Sustainability
Before there was an Environment Department, there was Marigs. Marigs has been with El Nido Resorts for a great number of years we don’t want to mention here, painstakingly building and coordinating the projects we’re so proud of today. As El Nido Resorts grew, so did the need for a dedicated Environment Team. At present, Marigs is the ringleader of a bunch of folks as passionate about environmental conservation and sustainability as she is.
Environmental Officer (Miniloc Island)
Elaine is anywhere. She started her career as Guest Lecturer in tourism management while serving as Tourism Officer for the Provincial Government of Isabela. Her focus on sustainable tourism development strengthened when she handled coastal tourism projects and worked with various conservation groups in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park. In 2013, she joined Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and volunteered as an Ecotourism Advisor in Samar. Her restless feet and heart took her to Africa, volunteering for a community-based ecotourism project in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe, where she acquired a global perspective of tourism and development.
Elaine has a degree in Tourism with a graduate diploma in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines – Diliman. She is taking her sweet time finishing her master’s degree in Environmental Planning. Instead, she spends most days working in the best office here in El Nido – outdoors! She is currently the Environmental Officer of Miniloc Island Resort – advocating sustainable tourism and striving to take on the challenges of balancing tourism, community, and environment. Someday, she aspires to see a world full of responsible travelers. Indeed, Elaine is anywhere – doing what she loves and what is right.
Environmental Officer (Apulit Island)
Maxine is a BS Biology for Teachers graduate from Philippine Normal University. After graduating, she was a school teacher at Grace Christian College in Manila, but her interest in environmental studies had her seeking for a career outside of the usual classroom setting. In April 2015, Max left the teacher’s desk and packed her bags for the outdoor classroom of nature, El Nido. Well suited for the eco-adventures of Apulit, Max enjoys hiking, snorkeling, and drawing. Her favorite part of being an EO is working on something that she loves while being in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Environmental Officer (Lagen Island) Born and raised in Palawan, Hanniel grew up in touch with the environment. She knew her province way before all the travel hype and was a witness to how tourism transformed her home — more for the worst than for the better. She studied Political Science in Ateneo de Manila hoping to become an environmental lawyer. Her journey however, brought her into pursuing a master’s degree in public management where she specialized on the politics of climate change and sustainable development and graduated at the top of her class. Hanniel studied in France and worked on sustainable lighting alternatives with AE & T Lighting, the company which lights the Eiffel Tower. Having exposed to the world of international organizations and policy making bodies, she chose to look beyond and immersed herself in the grassroots level. She became a youth ambassador for the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park for its Information, Education and Communication programs. Now, the Environmental Officer of Lagen Island Resort, she is on the pursuit of integrating tourism to conservation and sustainability.
Hanniel desires to see policies and implementation coalesce, she wants to see theories and agreements work and manifest on the ground. For her, nature is a gift from God that must be kept, protected, and conserved. Everyday, she wakes up, motivated to be a steward of this creation. Believing that it is one of the ways to express her love for God and for others — the greatest commandment.
Sustainability Officer (Lio Tourism Estate)
Jamie is a graduate of BS Psychology from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Upon graduation, she knew that a normal desk job was not for her and through a series of very fortunate events, ended up working as the Environmental Officer for Lagen Island Resort. In 2014, she took a break to do pro-bono consulting and learn more about wildlife conservation, particularly with wild birds and marine turtles. She honed her birding skills as an active member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, served as the project manager for the pilot project of Pawikan Watchers in San Juan, La Union and became a consultant for Morong, Bataan’s Bantay Pawikan conservation group. Before taking back her role as Lagen’s EO, she packed her bags and permanently moved to El Nido. Since August 2016, she has taken up the role of Sustainability Officer for the 325-ha Lio Tourism Development and there’s certainly no stopping her from further strengthening the use of community-based sustainable development and tourism as a tool for active biodiversity conservation.
Environmental Enforcement Officer (El Nido)
Before working with El Nido Resorts, Rey used to be a Ranger for El Nido’s Protected Area Office. He started as a Marine Sports Guide then became the Guest Activities and Marine Sports Supervisor. Because he’s so good at what he does, the Environment Department stole him away to become our Environmental Enforcement Officer.
Estefania is our intern from Colombia. She is an environmental engineer by profession from El Bosque University. Although she did not come from a coastal city, she is equally passionate for the seas. For her, the island life is where she belongs.
Estefania desires to develop her career towards sustainable tourism and protected areas conservation while at the same time supporting the environmental team with her knowledge and professional experience on waste management. She feels very lucky being at “home” and at work where marvelous landscapes surround her. She is very grateful to the EOs and to Ms. Marigs who she considers her role model. They affect her everyday not only in becoming a better Environmental Officer intern, but a better person as well.
FORMER MEMBERS OF OUR TEAM
Roxanne Rei Valdestamon
Environmental Officer of Pangulasian Island (July 2016 to July 2017)
Roxanne is a strong and passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and environmental management, specifically marine ecosystems. She graduated with a degree in Agriculture from the University of the Philippines Los Banos in 2012 and after a few months of contemplation, she decided to work her way into the marine ecosystems field. Her first job was with Fishbase Information and Research Group Inc., a global species database of fishes where she worked with fish biology, faunal lists and species distribution. Getting a one-month break from work, she used this time to acquire trainings and certifications in scuba diving, reef check and MPA (Marine Protected Area) surveys from a scholarship offered by Coral Cay Conservation Philippines. This inspired her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science for better understanding and further training in her chosen field. When the opportunity to work with ENR’s Environment Department was offered to her in 2016, she took it and excitedly packed her bags for her new adventure. She is now the Environmental Officer of Pangulasian Island, enjoying the perks of working with a team that aims to spread ecologically sustainable practices and influence people to adapt a way of life that is – protecting the environment.
Environmental Intern (2015)
Gaby Coseteng is an intern for the environment department. She is a rising sophomore at Stanford University and is still undeclared because she’s really indecisive. Gaby is passionate about nature conservation and climate change, and hopes to pursue a career in a related field. She enjoys kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling, especially since El Nido is so beautiful. Gaby is also a big fan of animals, but her spirit animal is probably a fur seal because they’re chill and like to tan all day and like eating fish. She’s really happy to be back home in the Philippines for the summer and to have the opportunity to help out and learn more about the local environmental situation.