Agusan Marsh is one of the most ecologically significant wetlands in the Philippines.
Found in the heart of Mindanao's Agusan Basin, this vast expanse of marsh covers an area
roughly the size of Metro Manila. It contains nearly 15 percent of the nation's fresh
water resources in the form of swamp forests.
During the rainy season, when the water rises to create large lakes, vast number of ducks
come to Agusan Marsh to nest. In the dry months, thousands of birds come from as faraway
as Japan, China and Russia to escape the chilly winter winds of Northern Asia. Over 200
individual species have been known to spend at least part of the year in the marsh, making
it one of Asia's most important transit points for wild birds.
In the very heart of the marsh is a semi-permanent lake where thousands of hectares of lily
pads, hyacinths and other hydrophytic plants spread out like an enormous green quilt. In the
dark tea-colored waters live untold numbers of catfish, carp, soft-shell fresh water turtles,
The tiny community of mostly ethnic Manobos have made their permanent homes deep within the
marsh, living on floating homes. The small houses made of bamboo and nipa lashed to hard wood
logs, freely rise or fall with the level of the marsh itself. The marsh provides virtually
everything the Manobos need.
Despite the isolation, life in Agusan Marsh is good. The air is wonderfully sweet, the
surrounding waters offer abundant food and there is a wonderful stillness at dawn and again
at dusk, earning its name as the Enchanted Marsh.