Iloilo City—Rockwell Ryan Ripperger, the vocalist of Stephen Speaks, said he met with the Iloilo provincial government to discuss his plans to help restore coral reefs in Western Visayas.
Ripperger, from Oklahoma, USA, was here for a monthlong series of concerts in several areas in the region. He became interested in coral reefs in the region after conducting island-hopping during his stay.
“I just had a very successful meeting with the provincial administration of Iloilo and they granted my wish to start a reef-rehabilitation project. I’m going to have my own reef on a protected beach, and they’re going to document the entire project and use it as educational training to teach the islanders how to do the same,” he said.
He added the coral reefs in the region have been badly damaged by Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013.
“The marine biologist I met with was very surprised when a musician from Oklahoma knew the scientific names of all their corals…and that I have most of these in my own house already propagating. Who would have known the government officials share my passion for CPR [conservation, preservation, rehabilitation]. I am honored, humbled… and absolutely amazed. This is going to be very cool. Stephen’s Reef,” Ripperger added.
The artist, known for his hit songs “Out of My League” and “Passenger Seat,” will provide an initial amount for the rehabilitation. He will then seek sponsorship using his global networks.
He said he is doing this as a form of gratitude since the Philippines has been supportive of his music in the past 15 years.
Ripperger is staying here with his friend Paul Chatman, another musician from the United