Liberty Rhodes: Liberty Lodge and Dive Resort

Liberty Rhodes: Liberty Lodge and Dive Resort

In the earlier years, dynamite fishing was quite common. It was still practice in the Philippines up to Feb. 2012 when the congress finally made a law, to stop it.

In 1980 APO’s marine life was almost diminished. Fishermen had to sail for a 2 day trip to the surrounding
Islands to catch fish. In 1982 Liberty together with her brother Mario Pascobello and Dr. Alcala from Siliman University for Marine Studies, initiated the establishment of the marine sanctuary.

A short coast strip of 300 meters was declared: No fishing zone. It was not easy to enforce the new rule for APO. Many fishermen opposed the idea. How shall we feed our families, if you take away fishing areas?

The idea of Liberty: I give other jobs and income to these fishermen, who “owned” this coastline as their fishing territory.

Fishermen were employed at Libertys Lodge and as guards to protect the new “ No fishing zone”.

Over the last decades corals and reef fishes came back.

Soon fishermen observed more fishes around APO. Because the Sanctuary is a breeding place and a save area for baby fishes, which will leave this sanctuary, as they grow up.

In the following years Divers discovered APO Island as the secret insider dive area. Now it is home to over 650 documented species of fish and it is estimated to have over 400 species of corals.

Visitors from Japan, Korea and other places come to APO to find out, what Liberty achieved and how she did it. They want to copy her success for their marine, to attract visitors and have a small income.

Liberty is happy to teach them, give help and hopes that more-and-more marine sanctuaries will be created.


Below are the checklist for what Liberty has been doing for the community:

  • She pays for associated cost for guarding the sanctuary and gives alternative jobs for fishermen.
  • She gives work and income to more than 25 APO people in her Lodge and dive shop.
  • Her engagement and financial support was the success for the sanctuary.
  • She is also helping and advising to set up sanctuaries on other islands as well.
  • She helps the APO people to pay their doctors and hospital bills.
  • She pays to the APO community for School, Library and other needs.
  • She wants to open a second Sanctuary on APO , but needs financial support to do it.


If you want to support Liberty to continue her work for more marine life protection, you should decide to stay on APO in Liberty’s Lodge and avail of the dive packages.

  • This brings jobs and income for APO.
  • This enables Liberty to continue her work on Marine protection and the 2nd sanctuary.
  • Enables her to buy all equipment and materials to guard the new Sanctuary.
  • Protection means: paying fishermen not to fish in the declared sanctuaries.
  • Giving them alternate jobs like working in Liberty`s resort.
  • Guarding the sanctuary and qualify them as “Dive guards”