“A jewel in our midst” – FCD Bernil on Pawod.

Pawod, by the fact that it was left undisturbed until its discovery by Doc Amores in 2002, is a repository of timeline changes in the history of Mactan Island..changes accumulated over thousands and maybe millions of years. There are many observations that need scientific cataloguing. Here’s one:

1. tennis ball-size “rock” from the depths of Doc’s Chamber showing typical loose limestone on the left half and the immediate skeleton of the coral colony on the right; 2. close-up view shows the precise architecture of the coral polyp exoskeleton. Of particular curiosity is the scorched appearance of the surface of the “rock”.

The following questions beg to be answered:

  1. How old is this specimen?
  2. The dark coloration of the surface is typical of the west-north quadrant of Doc’s Chamber. This can be tannic discoloration, but if this is scorched, it is from a milisecond flash burn as this is distributed to a uniform thickness of less than a millimeter. If scorched in an intense flash manner, it can only be from a pyroclastic volcanic eruption. But why would it be underwater? A series of surface exposure-underwater-surface again related to ice ages, making this “rock” millions of years old. (By the way, the nearest super volcano is an extinct one in Catmon, Cebu, some 40 kms away).

As you can see, this is National Geographic material. But, forget National Geographic; we ought to be able to take care of ourselves on this one. Calling the Natural Sciences Departments of University of San Carlos and University of the Philippines, or other institutes of higher learning in the Philippines!

Article by:

Dr. Alfonso Y.  Amores
Dr. Alfonso Y. Amores

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