After 13 years, Atom Araullo was once again seen in GMA-7 for his first documentary with GMA Public Affairs.
Titled Philippine Seas, this docu aired last Sunday, November 5, on the Kapuso Network.
The former ABS-CBN broadcaster took a closer look at the current state of the country’s oceans.
Atom was quoted as saying in a release provided by GMA, “Ang totoo niyan, we take it for granted. Meron tayong napaka-yamang mga karagatan.
“Bagamat magaganda ang mga lugar na ito, kailangan nating talakayin kung bakit siya mahalaga sa mga buhay ng mga Pilipino.
“It’s impossible to discuss how beautiful the Philippines is and how beautiful our marine resources are without talking about the challenges [that these marine resources are facing],” Atom shares during his interview for Philippine Seas. “Kailangan talaga natin buksan ang ating mata sa mga hindi magagandang bagay kung gusto natin siyang solusyunan. Hopefully in this documentary maipakita natin na mas malaki ang ganansya natin kung tayo ay magsasama-sama para pangalagaan yung mga karagatan at masiguro na ma-enjoy pa ito ng future generation.”
In making Philippine Seas, the new Kapuso documentary-maker embarked on a rigorous ten-day journey across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
During his trip to Moalboal, Cebu—one of the world’s most famous dive sites. Under water, Atom witnessed hundreds of thousands of sardines gather in a single ball. “I’ve never seen anything like that before,” he says of his experience. “Lalapitan mo, gagalaw. Para kayong nagsasayawan underwater.”
In Bais, Negros Oriental, Atom investigated the situation of dolphins that were caught and slaughtered. Eventually, dolphin watching became a leading tourist attraction in the province. Here, he encountered a group of “bow-riders,” dolphins that ride alongside passenger boats.
Off the coast of Sarangani, Atom experienced what life is like for tuna fishermen who wait days for a single catch. Under the harsh elements, Atom and his team witness the daily struggles of those who rely on the seas for a living. The most heartbreaking moment is discovering a group of fishermen detained in Indonesia for fishing in foreign waters.
Atom talked to Samuel, a fisherman who has not seen his newborn child since being detained in Indonesia. Through the Philippine Seas team, Samuel gets a chance to look at his new-born daughter for the first time.
International poaching remains a huge problem in the Philippines, too. In Palawan, Atom and his team visited the site where sharks were recently confiscated from Vietnamese poachers.
In the same seas of Palawan, Atom was faced with the biggest sea turtle he has ever seen, proof that there is still something worth saving here.
The team behind Philippine Seas also got the surprise of their lives when a rare and beautiful creature makes an appearance. Once thought to be a mermaid in the olden times, the dugong or sea cow has an almost mythical status in the world of divers and fishermen.
“Ang dugong kasi critically-endangered species. Kaya para makalapit ka sa isang dugong at makunan mo ng video ay isang pambihirang pagkakaton. So we were very lucky,” said Atom.
In this special documentary, GMA Public Affairs also featured the exploration and expedition on the 13-million hectare Philippine Rise. On top of the teeming corals and marine species, it is said that this undersea plateau is potentially a rich source of natural gas and other resources.
AGB RATINGS. How did Atom Araullo's GMA comeback fare in AGB Nielsen ratings?
According to data gathered from Urban Philippines, GMA-7's docu Philippine Seas got an AGB TV rating of 5.4%.
Atom's docu on the Kapuso Network aired from 3:30 p.m. to 5:05 p.m.
ABS-CBN aired the Liza Soberano-Enrique Gil movie My Ex and Whys for the first time on Philippine television last Sunday. It got an AGB TV rating of 5.9%.
The Star Cinema movie was aired on the Kapamilya Network from 3:28 p.m. to 5:26 p.m.