Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III officially opened the program attended by elementary, high school and college students, government officials and guests headed by A.G. Sano, a dolphin wall painting advocate.
“Ang wall painting ay hindi basta-basta sapagka’t ang ipipinta ay mga dolphins,” the mayor said.
He also said that Bataan was “visited” by more than 300 dolphins or melon-headed whales last year. The city government has decided to hold the dolphin wall painting event as part of the city’s campaign in the preservation of the environment.
Garcia presented a preserved baby dolphin that died last year with its mother while stranded in Balanga.
“Simbolo ito ng pangangalaga sa kalikasan ng siyudad,” the mayor said.
Members of the Bataan Artists Society made the sketch of dolphins while students finished painting the drawing. A mother and her two small children were seen joining the painting. Five-year old Noah said he had seen live dolphins in Pilar, Bataan last year and he enjoys the day’s activity.
A.G. Sano said the painting event “is a campaign in the whole country against dolphin captivity and slaughter in Japan” where 23,000 dolphins are killed yearly.
He called on government officials and the public to stop patronizing dolphin shows.
“Huwag tangkilikin ang dolphin shows sapagka’t ang ilang dolphin na ginagamit dito ay galing sa lugar kung saan nagkakaroon ng slaughter,” he said.
He added that they have started the murals on dolphins in Babuyan Islands and paintings in Bohol, Bacolod, Sarangani, Tawi-Tawi Island, Laguna, Quezon Province, Batangas and now Bataan.
“Ang general message nito ay ang mahalin ang karagatan,” he said.
“We want to spread awareness on dolphins and balyena that these are important creatures that maintain order and the food chain in the seas,” Sano said.
He said there are still no concrete findings why more than 300 melon-headed whales got stranded in Pilar and other towns in Bataan.