Group photo during the 5th Anniversary celebration at the residence of Robert Brinks.
It was a fitting way to end the Club’s
5th year with a record number of 214 members.
Membership outside of Metro Manila continued to grow with
46 members in the provinces and 26 members overseas. Cavite
led with 6 members followed by Cebu and Agusan del Sur with
5 members each, Quezon Province with 4 members, Negros Occidental
& Palawan with 3 members. Nueva Ecija, La Union, Batangas,
Ilocos Norte, Negros Oriental, Davao have 2 members each and
one member each from Benguet, Pampanga, Bataan, Mindoro Occidental,
Laguna, Romblon, Leyte, and Camarines Sur.
Around Asia, we have members in Singapore (7), Hong Kong (2),
Indonesia (2), Malaysia (1), Taiwan (1), & Japan(1). Elsewhere
members can be found in United States (5), United Kingdom
(3), Belgium (2), Italy (1), and Denmark (1).
Based on nationalities, Americans lead with 14 members followed
by the British with 11 members. Other foreign nationalities
are Indians (4), Singaporeans (4), Japanese (2), French (2),
Dane (2), Belgian (1), Dutch (1), German (1), and Taiwanese
Guided Trips – 57 trips
WBCP member Adri Constantino guiding
The Club invited the general public to (8) guided trips this
year. These trips were conducted at the University of the Philippines
– Diliman campus, the Manila Film Center (Pasay), Tambo
mudflats, & Coastal Lagoon, both in Paranaque.
Philippine Marines at Caylabne Bay Resort
was a huge surge in requests to conduct guided trips for different
organizations. Candaba Marsh in Pampanga was the most requested
site for these trips which started with the Club conducting
a guide training for Candaba locals, and WBCP members volunteering
during the 2-day Ibon Ebon Bird Festival. A guided trip was
conducted for the Bataan Provincial Tourism Department led
by Madame Vicky Garcia, wife of the Bataan Governor and the
first ladies of different towns in Bataan. Likewise guided
trips were held for the El Presidente Toastmasters Club and
for the ROX Adventure Tours (2) and a private guided trip
held at Bgy. Paralaya. In Metro Manila, Little Saint’s
Academy requested for a guided trip at the University of the
Philippines and the Maynilad Water Camera Club members were
taken to the Manila Film Center and the Coastal Lagoon.
Danish ornithologist Arne Jensen conducts
trip at the Coastal Lagoon in Paranaque.
have asked the Club to conduct ocular and guided trips for
their staff. Among these trips were for an abandoned quarry
owned by CEMEX in Binangonan (Rizal), South Coast for Hamilo
Coast in Nasugbu (Batangas), TeaM Energy for the TE Pagbilao
Power Plant and the Mangrove Experimental Forest in Pagbilao
(Quezon) and Marubeni for the San Roque Dam in San Mariano
Caylabne Bay Resort (Cavite) also invited
the Club to participate in their Preservation Day celebrations
with guided birdwatching trips for Jaycees Club members and
members of the Philippine Marines.
The Club was invited to conduct monthly bird
surveys at the Southwoods Golf and Country Club in May and
at the Orchard Golf Club in September. Real estate development
Las Haciendas in Lemery (Batangas) also requested for an initial
bird survey of their property.
Guided trips for delegates of the 4th Philippine Bird Festival
– Puerto Princesa were conducted at St Paul’s
Subterranean River National Park, Irawan Watershed, the Iwahig
Penal Colony and the Macasaet farm all in Puerto Princesa.
A day-trip to Rasa Island was sponsored by the Katala Foundation
and a 5-day optional birdwatching trip within Puerto Princesa
was led by bird guide Nicky Icarangal.
Poster announcement for the
The Club assisted the Department of Tourism on ocular inspections
to sites included in the book project, Birdwatching in the Philippines,
Volume 1. These sites were the Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque), Mt.
Palay-Palay (Cavite), and Villa Escudero (Quezon), Olango Island
(Cebu), Alcoy Forest (Cebu), Philippine Eagle Center (Davao),
Balanga (Bataan), Subic Bay (Zambales), Alaminos (Pangasinan),
Bani (Pangasinan) and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National
Park (Palawan) & Rasa Island (Palawan).
ROX Adventure Tour to Candaba Marsh
success of Volume 1 prompted the Dept of Tourism to initiate
ocular trips to evaluate sites for Volume 2. Visits were conducted
at the Rajah Sikatuna Park (Bohol), Lake Balinsasayao (Negros
Oriental), Lake Paoay and Pagudpud (Ilocos Norte), Mt Kitanglad
Department of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano
requested a guided trip to the Balanga wetlands (Bataan) and
Subic Bay (Zambales). Balanga city officials led by Mayor
Joet Garcia and Congressman Albert Garcia joined the guided
trip at the Sibacan fishponds.
British MPs Graham Stuart, Mark Pritchard,
Elliot Morley and with UK Amb. Peter Beckingham,
Dutch Amb. Robert Brinks and Mike Lu
The Club welcomes the opportunity to go bird watching with
visiting birders - Canadian birders Terry Rutherford and Jacques
Bel with a trip to Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), American birder
Jim Williams at the Tambo mudflats (Paranaque) and Wild Bird
Society of Taipei birders Shih Jui Te & Hsu Yu Ming to
Mt. Palay-Palay National Park (Cavite), and Australian Doug
Laing (Coastal Lagoon and Balanga). The Department of Tourism
requested the Club for a guided trip for visiting members
of the British parliament led by Mark Pritchard, Elliot Morley,
Graham Stuart. UK Ambassador Peter Beckingham and his wife
Jill also joined the birdwatching trip inside Caylabne Bay
and the trail at Mt Palay-Palay National Park.
Club Trips – 30 trips
Crossing streams in Simpocan,
West Coast (Palawan) |
Club members visited favorite birding
sites in the Tambo mudflats & Coastal Road lagoon
(Paranaque), Mt Makiling (Laguna), the Talisay-side
of Taal Lake (Batangas), Bgy Simang and Bgy Paralaya
both in Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Sibacan fishponds
and Tortugas, both in Balanga (Bataan), Caylabne Bay
Resort (Cavite) and Quezon National Park (Quezon).
A trip to Mt Palay-Palay (Cavite)
in early January and subsequent trips alarmed the
birders as they noticed the quarry site expanding
and the abandoned road that cuts through the forest
is being cemented. The Department of Natural Resources
Region IV-A admitted that they do not know if the
quarry is within the bounds of the national park and
yet gave permits for the company to operate.
Likewise the Tambo mudflats (Paranaque)
has been destroyed as the Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation
has started groundwork for a mixed-use casino complex to be
called Pagcor City.
New sites visited include Ayala Land real
estate development, Nuvali in Santa Rosa (Laguna) where assumed-to-be-extirpated
Chinese Francolins were sighted, Ipo Dam (Bulacan), and Mt
Members Alice Villa-Real, Mike Lu and Robert
Brinks went to oft-birded sites in Iwahig Penal Colony and
the Irawan Watershed in Puerto Princesa (Palawan) as well
as to new sites such as Simpocan on the West Coast and the
Macasaet Farm where a resident flock of Wandering Whistling
Ducks have established a colony.
Club members participated in the annual
Asian Waterbird Census in January with a joint census
with the Department of Environment –NCR at the
Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque) and Tanza (Navotas). A very
productive joint census with the DENR Region III in
Candaba Marsh (Pampanga) generated a record 17,000+
count. With assistance from the Team Energy Foundation,
data was also generated for Pagbilao Bay (Quezon) in
Raptor Migration Monitoring
Spring migration monitoring started
with the first trip in March to the Pag-Asa Radar Station
in Tanay (Rizal).
Monitoring waterbirds in Pagbilao
Bay during the
Asian Waterbird Census
Only 300+ birds were counted during this
trip but 2 subsequent trips to the Santos Farm also in Tanay
(Rizal) in April were more productive. Species seen include
Chinese Goshawk, Grey-faced Buzzard and Oriental Honeybuzzard.
Upon encouragement from the Asian Raptor
Research and Conservation Network, the Club for the first
time initiated 2 trips to monitor the fall migration. The
Chinese Goshawks led the count. Resident raptor species of
the Crested Serpent-Eagle and the Rufous-bellied Eagle were
also recorded on these trips.
Lectures for Club members
The Recreational Outdoor Exchange at Bonifacio
High Street offered the use of their venue for lectures.
The first educational lecture was
given by visiting British birder Fergus Crystal on
January 14. His talk centered on his trips around
Luzon and Palawan and includes interesting feather
samples and information sourced from trappers in Dalton
Pass (Nueva Ecija) as well as unusual sightings during
the Asian Waterbird Census in Candaba (Pampanga) and
his hikes in the mountain trails in the Bataan Peninsula.
This was followed on March 12 with
Cynthia Layusa of the Isla Foundation giving an update
and overview about the continuing programs of their
foundation after the discovery of the Calayan Rail
four years ago.
On the afternoon of Labour Day, May
1, WBCP member and Philippine Butterfly Habitat Conservation
Society founder Lydia Robledo showed us photos and
video clips of butterflies and birds in her suburban
garden in San Juan. On November 28, Nature Photographic
Society (Singapore) president Con Foley gave a talk
about his trip visiting different birding sites near
Visiting members of the Nature
Society of Singapore
Lim Kim Keang (Head of the Society's Bird Group)
and Jimmy Chew showed a video and gave a talk on
Southeast Asian Birds on April 5.
Taiwanese professor Dr Jason Ding
receives a t-shirt from Mike Lu
WBCP members with guests from
Nature Society of Singapore,
Bird Group Chairperson Lim Kim Keang and Jimmy Chew
Aside from the ROX lecture series, visiting
National Taiwan University professor, Dr. Jason Ding Tzung-su
gave a talk about comparative diversity and endemism data
among bird species in mainland and island groups at the Mundle
residence on February 7.
5th Anniversary General Assembly
Dinner Party at the residence of Robert Brinks The Club celebrated it's 5th Anniversary
General Assembly and election of officers with a catered dinner
held on July 12 at the residence of Robert Brinks with more
than 80 members and guests in attendance.
Special guests were Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo
and his Chief of Staff Leonardo Manalo, ROX sponsors Mr Jimmy
& Mrs Susan Thai and Mr Johnny and Mrs. Evelyn Thai. Bird
photographer JP Carino presented a framed photograph of the
Pheasant-tailed Jacana to Mayor Pelayo.
The short program started with some members
giving a talk about their experiences with the Club. Kitty
Arce-Aspelin on behalf of the founding members, bird guide/author
Tim Fisher on his experiences with Club members, Carmela Balcazar
& Josef Sagemuller on behalf of new members.
JP Carino (in red) presents a framed
Lala Espanola gave a short presentation on
new species added to the Philippine bird list in the last
Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo
Alice Villa-Real presented the 4th Philippine
Bird Festival – Puerto Princesa to be held in Palawan.
With the first public viewing of the Palawan bird tarps designed
by Jon Villasper.
Ipat Luna and Felix Servita verified that
the present set of officers were re-elected as the new set
of officers for 2008-2009. With Mike Lu as President, Alice
VIlla-Real as Vice-President, Trinket Canlas as Treasurer,
Tintin Telesforo as Secretary and Anna Gonzales as the 5th
The annual Christmas party at the residence
of Robert Brinks on December 19 was attended by 88 members
and guests including ROX bosses Jimmy Thai, Johnny Thai and
Roel Chan and Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation
ladies Stanie Soriano and Baby Landan.
The program hosted by Anna Gonzales and Ipat
Luna started with members Ricky Nunez & Linda Gocon sharing
their club experiences. Other members were asked to introduce
themselves and talk about their favorite bird.
Mike Lu gave a short annual report and update
of activities to come. Tere Cervero gave a short presentation
about her trip to the Taipei International Birdwatching Fair.
A bird identification game followed which
was actively participated by members of the Club.
Club in the
On January 10, Studio 23’s News Central
featured birdwatching with an interview with Drew Galano and
Mike Lu at the ricefileds of Barangay Paralaya in Candaba.
On January 12, Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba held a press
conference to announce the results of the Asian Waterbird
Census in Candaba. The presscon was well attended by the media
including the Presidential Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye.
Drew Galano being interviewed
at Candaba Marsh
by Studio 23's News Central
The day after, Secretary Bunye wrote
an article, “Birds in Candaba Swamp”
on his regular column The View from the Palace which
see print in the Manila Bulletin, People’s Tonight
Front-page news on the January 14 issue of the Philippine
Daily Inquirer was the article New record
for RP: 17,000 birds sighted in Candaba Swamp
by Tonette Orejas.
The Sun Star Pampanga also published an interview with
Mike Lu on January 22, entitled “Bird
fanatics Visit Candaba’s Nests”
Mornings with M radio
program host conducted an interview with Alice Villa-Real
and Mike Lu that was broadcasted on January 25 on DWBR
104.3 FM and on January 26 on DYMR 576 in Cebu.
Sapulso featured birdwatching and bird
photography with Mike Lu, Alice Villa-Real and Alex
Loinaz at the Coastal Road lagoon on January 28. A day
later, Central Luzon cable channel CLTV-36 featured
an interview with Mike Lu on birdwatching in Candaba
and the upcoming Ibon Ebon Bird Festival.
Philippine Star writer Ding Cervantes featured Candaba
Stages 1st Ibon-Ebon Festival on February
TeaM Energy’s bird sanctuary was the topic in
the article, Wild ducks find sanctuary inside
power plant by Delfin Mallari, Jr, of
the Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 12. A colony
of Black-crowned Night-herons was featured on Birds
find resting place in Valenzuela City
by Nancy Carvajal on the March 3 issue of the Philippine
Alice Villa-Real being interviewed
for QTV's Sapulso program
The first record of the Black-browed
Reed-Warbler in the country.
host Romy Garduce followed birdwatchers as they watched
a thousand Black-winged Stilts feeding in the mudflats
of the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism
Area and to Candaba Marsh where hundreds of migratory
wild ducks congregated on their northward journey. The
segment was shown on GMA-7’s Born to be
Wild program on on April 9.
The May 3 issue of the Philippine Daily
Inquirer featured the article Keep your
eye on the birdie on this southern sanctuary
by writer Ross Harper-Alonso mentioning the Manila Southwoods
Golf and Country Club’s intention ask assistance
from the bird club to monitor the wild bird species
found on their property.
The first record of a Black-browed
Reed-warbler caught during a survey in Candaba Marsh
made local headlines with GMA TV News:
Group announces first Philippine sighting
of bird species on May 5 and a comprehensive
article written by Philippine Daily Inquirer writer
Tonette Orejas on May 10 with the title: Rare
bird visitor found in Candaba Swamp.
ABS-CBN’s Matang Lawin aired
an interview with Mike Lu about the nocturnal habits
of the Black-crowned Night-Heron on May 19.
Simple Living in the Hacienda
mentioned the Villa Escudero bird list provided by members
of the Club in an article by Lester Lopez Hallig on the Philippine
Star dated July 17, 2008.
GMA-7's Born to be Wild
featured two members of the WBCP on July 30. Program host
Dr. Ferds Recio went birdwatching with Mike Lu, while mountaineer
Romy Garduce interviewed Aldrin Mallari about the unique wildlife
species found in Palawan.
GMA-7 News interview with Mike Lu during
The media launching of the 4th Philippine
Bird Festival spawned a series of articles. The videocast,
Bird Festival focuses on RP's unique species,
featured an interview of Birdfest Chairperson Alice VIlla-Real
was uploaded on the Inquirer.net on August 1. While Karla
Maquiling wrote about the article, Philippine
Bird Festival take flight in Palawan on www.pinoycentric.co
on August 7. The Philippine Daily Inquirer came out with Bird
Festival to focus on habitat protection on August
11, and another article by Tina Arceo-Dumlao on August 17
was entitled DOT on a campaign to make bird-watching
the media launch of the 4th Philipppine Bird Festival
The Daily Tribune came out with Wild
about birds on August 15 and the Manila Bulletin
had an article by Lucci C. Coral on August 9, The
Quest for Aerial Sightings. The bird festival
media launch was also featured on Net 25's TV program, Tribe
on August 16.
Balanga City, newest RP Birdwatching
site on the Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 2
partly with aninterview with Dr. Joey Soriano, WBCP's lone
member in Balanga City. Mike Lu was a guest on the TV program
Show and Tell on August 22.
Extreme Birdwatching by
Tara Sering was a feature story on the September issue of
Cebu Pacific’s inflight magazine, Smile.
The club’s joint guide book project
with the Department of Tourism and the Recreational Outdoor
Exchange, Birdwatching in the Philippines, Volume 1 set-off
a series of articles. Sun Star Cebu started with the article,
Birdwatching guide features forest, wetlands in Cebu
on October 10. The Philippines Star had This tourism
is more than just for the birds by Joy Angelina Subido
on October 11. DOT Region III released a press statement entitled
Durano optimistic on birdwatching in the country
on October 18. Columnist Mike Tan wrote about Bird
Tourism in his column Pinoy Kasi on the Philippine
Star on October 22.
DOT Secretary Ace Durano tries out
birdwatching in the Subic forest
More articles featured the international
launching of the book in London on November 11. Manila Standard
featured DOT takes flight in London by Gianna
Maniego on November 20. Alex Vergara of the Philippine Daily
Inquirer wrote “Flying” tourism to new
heights on November 23. Alex Icasiano III wrote Gone
to the birds for Manila Bulletin’s Travel section.
The press release of the Alaminos City LGU printed Hundred
Islands tops birdwatching sites on the Phlippine
Daily Inquirer on December 4.
Ross Harper-Alonso wrote an article about
the Club and WBCP president Mike Lu on the November issue
of the Reader’s Digest entitled Keeping an eye
on the birds.
GMA News’ Unang Hirit and 24
Oras featured Migratory birds sighted in Las Pinas-Paranaque
Lagoon about the Club’s guided trip on December 29.
In December 2007, we received an email from Bacolod resident
Josef Sagemuller calling attention to the activities of the
Bacolod Air Rifle Hunting Club. An email campaign led to a
series of articles by columnist Juan Mercado on the Inquirer
and a statement from Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
In January 2008, an anonymous tip led us to the website made
by a member of the Philippine National Shooting Team which
showed photos of shooting team members happily raising up
dead birds including the globally-threatened Philippine Mallard.
Jade & Mike de Guzman and
Ed Mijares raising up
dead Philippine Mallards
On January 11, WBCP issued a statement
on the hunting issue and released to the media during
the press conference organized by Candaba Mayor Jerry
Pelayo for the Asian Waterbird Census in Candaba.
That same day, GMA News came out with a story on January
11, “Shooting Team may be in trouble for hunting
The next day, National Shooting Team
members Tet Lara, Jade and Mike de Guzman issued a
statement explaining that the birds were already dead
when recovered. Award-winning program, Kapuso Mo,
Jessica Soho, featured the hunting news that same
evening, January 12, 2008.
On January 14, DENR Sec. Lito Atienza issued
a statement warning the public about killing, collecting and
haming wildlife. The statement was featured by GMA News in
the story: DENR warns vs. wildlife species attackers.
same day, the Business Mirror published the article:
Atienza “hunts” bird hunters while the India
Times featured “Philippines warns hunters”.
Different blog sites also highlighted
the issue. On Loving Animals: 3 members of the Philippine
Shooting Team and the killing of protected Philippine
wildlife, WWF: A Song for the Birds, and Wildlife Extra:
Endangered Bird Hunting in the Philippines.
On January 15, the Philippine National
Shooting Association president Art Macapagal issued
a statement indicating that the PNSA board has nothing
more to add to the statement previously issued by their
members. That evening, GMA News featured the story:
RP Shooting Team may be charged for shooting ducks.
Mike Lu and Presidential Press
Secretary Ignacio Bunye
at the press conference in Candaba
The next day, Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo accompanied by students
and teachers visited the DENR Secretary’s office with
both ABS-CBN News and GMA News covering the event. GMA News
came out with the story: Candaba mayor seeks help from DENR
over shooting of birds. The DENR website posted this press
release – “Atienza: Organize activities to better
appreciate our natural heritage”.
Members of Philippine National
with dead "kanduro" or snipes
The media continued reporting on the hunting issue.
On January 17, Jocelyn Uy of the Philippine Daily
Inquirer reported the article, “WWF sounds alarm
on bird hunting”, while Raymund Garcia of the
Sun Star Pampanga came out with “Wild Bird Club
hits sports hunting.” On January 18, Malaya’s
Jojo Due published, “Concern raised over the
hunting of native ducks,” while Sun Star Pampanga
had “Environment Chief seeks a stop to killing
The continuous media coverage prompted the Philippine
National Shooting Association president Art Macapagal
on January 18 to send a letter to PAWB Director Lim
to clarify that their organization does not promote
hunting but nevertheless stood by the statement of
their members that the birds were already dead when
The PNSA’s stand provoked more media coverage.
The next day, January 19, On Loving Animals blog came
out with “Bantay Dagat and 3 members of the
Philippine Shooting Team” while the Journal
Online published: “Stop killing birds –
WWF’s website, panda.org,
posted on January 26, “Anger in the Philippines
as hunters post pictures of killed threatened birds
on their websites.” On January 26, Carla Gomez
of the Visayan Daily Star came out with the article:
Hunters still breaking chain of life for “fun”
and two days later published the “Hunter’s
On February 2, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published
“Negros bird slaughter raises outcry”
and on February 4, continued with “Hunter admits
shooting birds considered pests.”
Jade and Mike de Guzman and Tet
Lara with carcass
of Grey Heron with Bantay Dagat (Guardians of the Sea)
On February 12, an anonymous letter sent
to Care2 Petition site threatened to file a suit against Josef
Sagemuller and the petition site. Josef Sagemuller maintained
his stand against and nothing else was heard again.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri delivers
privilege speech on hunting |
Members of the WBCP with Senators
Aquilino Pimentel and
Juan Miguel Zubiri at the VIP
section of the Senate hall
On February 27, Sen Juan Miguel Zubiri, co-author
of the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, delivered
a privilege speech entitled “A Tale of 2 Hunters”
that recommended action against the members of the Philippine
National Shooting Team and the hunters in Bacolod. The recommendation
has since been filed with the Committee of the Environment
under Senator Pia Cayetano. Members of the WBCP and the New
Zealand Ambassador David Pine were invited as special guests
of Senator Zubiri during the delivery of the speech.
The complete list and full text of the above
entries can be accessed on the website at:
Bird Festivals & other celebrations
Ibon Ebon Bird Festival, Candaba, Pampanga
MIke Lu shows Philippine President
photos of birds
Spectacular local pageantry during
The local government of Candaba launched
the 1st Ibon Ebon Bird festival on February 1-2, 2008 to promote
ecotourism through birdwatching (Ibon) and the agricultural
products from the duck-egg industry (Ebon). The municipality
organized an agricultural trade fair including a booth was
dedicated to the educational bird tarps from the Wild Bird
Club of the Philippines and photographs of birds taken in
Candaba by members of the Philippine Bird Photographers led
by Romy Ocon, Tina Mallari and others.
Anna Gonzales, Rich Pijuan and
conducts a program for children
was graced by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
amidst great funfare with spectacular street dancing.
Other guests include Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap,
National Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Pampanga
Governor Eddie Panlilio and other local officials.
The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines participated by
holding a program at the Ms Earth Park. Alice Villa-Real,
Anna Gonzales and Rich Pijuan came up with a program
that included a lecture on wild birds, games and coloring
activities for 231 day-care children. Meanwhile, other
members volunteered at the main bird watching site in
Vizal San Pablo to guide visitors.
Love Affair with Nature, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Mike Lu, Alice Villa-Real and the Netherlands Ambassador
Robert Brinks were guests of the Puerto Princesa City
Mayor Ed Hagedorn to the Love Affair with Nature held
on February 14 at Puerto Princesa City (Palawan). Upon
arrival on February 13, the group was whisked to visit
the Subterranean River at St Paul’s National Park,
and participate in a prayer rally against mining later
in the afternoon, and attended a Welcome Dinner hosted
by Puerto Princesa City.
The main event next day, on Valentine’s Day, was
the mangrove planting with mass wedding at the mudflats
sponsored by the city government. Senator Loren Legarda,
Ambassador Robert Brinks, Gina Lopez of Bantay Kalikasan
and environmental lawyer Atty Tony Oposa acted as sponsors
to the couples.
Mike Lu, Mayor Ed Hagedorn, Alice
Villa-Real and Melissa Macasaet
Dinner meeting with Alice Villa-Real,
Mike Lu, Rollie Concepcion,
Mayor Ed Hagedorn, and Ambassador
Alice Villa-Real, Nicky Icarangal and Melissa Macasaet
also took the opportunity to meet up with members of
Birdwatch Palawan to plan for the 4th Philippine Bird
Festival to be held in Puerto Princesa in September.
A few days later, Ambassador Brinks tendered a dinner
meeting at his residence in Makati where Mayor Ed Hagedorn
gave word that he will sponsor the holding of the festival
at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum.
1st Balanga Bird Photo Exhibit, Balanga, Bataan
The City of Balanga hosted the 1st Balanga Bird Photo Exhibit
as part of the Pistang Balangueno 2008 festivities. Members
from the Philippine Bird Photography forum contributed photos
while WBCP provided educational tarps on bird species found
in the Balanga wetlands. The opening ceremonies held at the
Balanga City Hall was attended by WBCP members Alice Villa-Real,
Michael Lu, Joey Soriano and led by Balanga Mayor Joet Garcia.
The mayor announced plans to bring the exhibit to the shopping
areas and schools. He also announced plans to host the 5th
Philippine Bird Festival next year. WBCP members also met
with the provincial tourism and other stakeholders in preliminary
talks about the potential of birdwatching as an ecotourism
activity in the province.
Ribbon-cutting by Mike Lu and
with Mayor Joet Garcia.
Team Energy Bird Race, Pagbilao,
WBCP organized a bird race for staff members of Team Energy
Pagbilao plant on April 26-27. The sites covered include the
power plant site and the mangrove experimental forest. The
activity was part of an agreement signed between the WBCP
and Team Energy to increase environmental awareness among
4th Philippine Bird Festival,
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Group photo with Mayor Hagedorn at the Welcome Dinner Aba Kakaiba ! the theme of the 4th Philippine
Bird Festival describes the uniqueness of birdlife found in
the island of Palawan but it might as well describe the how
the bird festival was conducted this year.
Preparations for the festival started in
February with a visit to Palawan to meet with co-sponsors
Birdwatch Palawan and Katala Foundation. Mayor Edward Hagedorn
warmly welcomed to host the festival at the Puerto Princesa
On July 31, festival sponsor Recreational
Outdoor Exchange organizedthe festival media launch at the
Bonifacio High Street with guest-of-honor, Department of Tourism
Secretary Joseph Ace Durano. Mayor Joet Garcia led the delegation
from Balanga City, site of the next bird festival. Trinket
Canlas gave a talk on Philippine birds while festival chair
Alice Villa-Real gave a talk on birdwatching basics. The launching
was covered by GMA 7 and Net 25, and was featured in the major
Schoolchildren participated in activities at the WBCP boothThe festival was held on September 12-13
and participated by the Katala Foundation, Birdwatch Palawan,
WWF-Philippines, Conservation International, Cebu Biodiversity
& Conservation Foundation, Isla Biodiversity Conservation,
Negros Forest & Ecological Foundation, Tubbataha Reef
Marine Natural Park Office, Western Philippines University,
Art Thrive, Philippine Butterfly Habitat Conservation Society,
My Zoo Foundation, Team Energy Foundation, the Municipality
of Taytay. Foreign bird clubs include the Wild Bird Society
of Taipei, Chinese Wild Bird Federation, Asian Raptor Research
and Conservation Network, Xiamen Birdwatching Society, Bird
Conservation Society of Thailand, Delhi Birds, Nature Society
(Singapore), Nature Photographic Society (Singapore).
On September 11, the Club hosted a pre-festival
Bird Conservation Forum that gathered local NGOs and different
stakeholders to tackle the problems that threaten birdlife
in Palawan. Mayor Hagedorn hosted a Welcome Dinner at the
Asturias Hotel for delegates on the eve of the festival.
Obel Resurreccion of the WWF-Phils always
On festival day, more than 2500 students
packed the Puerto Princesa Coliseum. The Opening ceremonies
started with the parade of delegates, messages from Mayor
Hagedorn, Team Energy Foundation chair Bobby Calingo, festival
chair Alice Villa-Real and Melissa Macasaet. Interactive lectures
by WWF, Birdwatch Palawan, WBCP, a puppet show by the Katala
Foundation and games based on the lectures and exhibits. In
the evening, festival sponsor ROX hosted a Fellowship Dinner
at the Lotus Garden Asian Restaurant.
get the kids' attention
Bird festival delegates enrouteOn September 13, WBCP organized birdwatching
trips for delegates to different sites: Puerto Princesa Subterranean
River National Park, Irawan Watershed, Iwahig Penal Colony,
and the Macasaet Farm. In the evening the Department of Tourism
hosted a Farewell Dinner for the delegates at the Badjao Restaurant.
In simple ceremonies, WBCP thanked all the sponsors and delegates,
and the delegates likewise expressed their appreciation.
to Rasa Island
The next day, the Katala Foundation sponsored
a visit to Rasa Island, the last stronghold of the Philippine
Cockatoo while bird guide Nicky Icarangal organized an optional
5-day birdwatching trip for some delegates.
Festival sponsors were Team Energy Foundation,
Department of Tourism, Puerto Princesa City, Ramon Aboitiz
Foundation, Landco Pacific, Malampaya Venture Partners, Recreational
Outdoor Exchange, Aigle, Katala Foundation, Birdwatch Palawan.
10th Taipei International Birdwatching
Fair, Taipei, Taiwan
This is the 4th consecutive year that WBCP
participated in the Taipei International Birdwatching Festival.
Organized by the Wild Bird Society of Taipei and the Taipei
City government and held from November 2-3 at the Guandu Nature
Park, this year's theme was "Global Warming."
WBCP members present a copy of the book,
Birdwatching in the Philippines,
Vol 1 to the Taipei City Deputy Mayor
Exhibitors included birding equipment suppliers
such as Nikon, Swarovski, local bird clubs as well as international
bird clubs - Hong Kong Birdwatching Society, Bird Conservation
Society of Thailand, Nature Society of Singapore, Malaysian
Nature Society, Wild Bird Society of Japan, Birdlife South
Africa, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Wild Bird Society of
Shanghai, and the sabah Nature Tours. WBCP sent the largest
delegation - Alex Tiongco, Tere Cervero, Mel Tan, Nicky Icarangal,
Goh Yue Yun, Ricardo Pronove and his wife, Alma.
During the welcome dinner at the Taipei City
Hall, WBCP presented a copy of the book, Birdwatching in the
Philippines, Vol. 1 to the Taipei Deputy Mayor as well as
to the participating exhibitors.
The 2-day festival was overcast and rainy
but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the organizers, exhibitors
and festival visitors as they tried the activities such as
“paint-a frog on a rock”, face-painting of Taiwan
birds; stamp mark collection; watch the exhibits and listen
to the talks, look at the birds from the viewing deck and
hides with spotting scopes.
As part of the activities, Nicky Icarangal
gave a brief talk about "birds and birdwatching in the
Philippines" After the fair, some members of the WBCP
joined the optional 5-day birdwatching trip organized by the
Balanga Cityhood Foundation Day,
Balanga City, Bataan
WBCP members represented by Mike Lu, Robert
Brinks, Peter and Leni Sutcliffe Tere Cervero, Felix Servita
and Joey Soriano were special guests of the City of Balanga
on it’s 8th Cityhood Foundation Day celebrations held
at the Balanga City Plaza on December 30, 2009.
The Governor Enrique Garcia & Congressman
Albert Garcia delivered short speeches before the State of
the City address of the mayor. The achievement report by Mayor
Joet Garcia included the role of the WBCP in including their
city as one of the birdwatching sites promoted by the DOT
and the visit of DOT Secretary Ace Durano to go birdwatching.
He also announced that Balanga will be hosting the 5th Philippine
Bird Festival in October 2009.
Talks, Workshops, Meetings
and other Activities outside the Club
A talk about birds and birdwatching was given
by Mike Lu for the Lantaka Boys Club on February 9, while
another talk entitled “Discover the Joys of Birdwatching”
was given by Alice Villa-Real and Mike Lu as part of the Coffeehouse
Environmental Series for Communications Foundation Asia on
of Earth Day celebrations, Starbucks Coffee initiated
the Dialogues at Starbucks talk and invited WBCP and
other NGOs to present environmental topics in their
stores. Alice Villa-Real enthusiastically presented
the joys of birdwatching to coffee drinkers at the Starbucks
Rockwell Center outlet.
USAID’s Linking Initiative and
Networking to Control Tubercolosis (TBLINC) conducted
a Provincial Avian Influenza Partnership Summit on May
29 in San Fernando (Pampanga). WBCP was represented
by Mike Lu to give input to the workshop. On the same
day, he gave a talk about birdwatching and the status
of the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism
Area to the Rotary Club - Metro South chapter in BF
Founding member Carmela Espanola represented the WBCP at the
Surveillance for Avian Influenza in Wild Birds Workshop on
4/21-24 at the Linden Suites and at the Flyway Partnership
Workshop held at the Camelot Hotel on 5/14-16.
Environmental lawyer Ipat Luna represented the Club at the
Manila Bay Critical Habitat Management Council Meeting on
Mike Lu with newly-elected OBC Chairperson
Brian Sykes and his wife, Margaret.
The Asian Raptor Research & Conservation
Network (ARRCN) sponsored a trip for WBCP rep Dr. Nielsen
Donato to attend a Workshop on Raptors in VIetnam held at
the Bavi National Park in Vietnam from October 24-28.
Mark Villa conducted a training on waterbird
identification during the Training in Water Quality &
Avifauna Monitoring organized by the DENR-NCR on October 28-29,
and gave a talk and conducted a birdwatching activity for
delegates of the TB-LINC Avian Influenza Project organized
by the Philippine Business for Social Progress in San Fernando
WBCP president Mike Lu attended the Annual
General Meeting (AGM) of the Oriental Bird Club (OBC) in Cambrdige
(United Kingdom) on November 8, 2008. Mike donated a set of
Philippine kingfisher prints for the OBC's 25th anniversary
auction in November 2009 and contributed Philippine bird festival
souvenir programs and dvds for the OBC library as well as
gave all participants Palawan bird stickers designed by Jon
Villasper. On the other hand, OBC donated three copies of
the Complete Guide to Birds of the Philippines.
Philip Round during the survey
at the Candaba Marsh |
Reed Warbler Preliminary Survey, Candaba, Pampanga
The Wetland Trust and the WBCP conducted
a preliminary survey for the Streaked Reed-Warbler in
Candaba Marsh, Pampanga with Philip Round and Mads Bajarias
on April 21-24. Although the survey found no signs of
the Streaked Reed- Warbler, a Black-browed Reed-Warbler
caught in a mist-net was considered a first record in
the country. The main survey will be carried out later
in the year or early next year.
Adventure Philippines campaign
Birdwatching in the Philippines, Volume 1The Department of Tourism and the Recreational
Outdoor Exchange launched the Adventure Philippines campaign
to highlight the country as an outdoor adventure destination.
Among the adventure activities, birdwatching caught the eye
of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano. During the soft launching
in February, Secretary Durano intimated to WBCP president
Mike Lu that the department can sponsor a guide book to birdwatching
sites in the Philippines to promote the activity.
A month later, the Philippine Convention
& Visitors Convention called for a meeting to work out
a plan to promote birdwatching in the Philippines which included
participation in an Adventure Summit, publishing of a book
on birdwatching sites and sponsorship of the 4th Philippine
The Adventure Tourism summit was held at
the Hotel Stotsenberg in Clark Field (Pampanga) on June 3-5
with over 300 delegates in attendance. Mike Lu gave a short
introduction to birdwatching and identified the 13 sites to
be promoted by the DOT namely, Puerto Princesa Subterranean
River National Park, Rasa Island, Hundred Islands National
Park, Bangrin Marine Protected Area, Subic Bay Freeport Zone,
Balanga City, Candaba Marsh, Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical
Habitat & Ecotourism Zone, Mt. Palay-Palay National Park,
Villa Escudero, Alcoy Forest, Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary,
Philippine Eagle Center.
WBCP members present a token of appreciation
In June 26-28, birdwatching was promoted
as part of the Adventure Philippines campaign at the Philippine
International Trade Fair held at the Cebu International Convention
Center. Anna Gonzales and Lisa Paguntalan of the CBCF gave
a brief talk on birdwatching and it's potentials as an ecotourism
to DOT Sec Ace Durano and ROX chair Jimmy Thai
at the book launching at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Ocular visits to the birdwatching sites were
conducted in July with the book project team and a representative
from the WBCP.
The book, Birdwatching in the Philippines,
Volume One was launched on September 10 at the Xperience Xtreme
Welcome Dinner of the Philippine Travel Exchange 2008 at the
Sofitel Philippine Plaza with 500 local and foreign tour operators
in attendance. WBCP members and foreign delegates to the 4th
Philippine Bird Festival were also invited.
WBCP members with DOT Sec. Ace Durano
at the London Marriot Hotel
The international launch was held at the
London Marriot Hotel on Grosvenor Square in the United Kingdom
on November 11 with Secretary Ace Durano leading the delegation
composed of the book project team and representatives of the
13 sites inclduing Alaminos Mayor Hernani Braganza, Balanga
Mayor Jose Enriquez Garcia III, and Alcoy Mayor Nicomedes
de los Santos.
The affair was graced by Philippine Ambassador Edgardo Espiritu,
Rt. Hon. Lord Thomas McNally, leader of the Social democrats
in the House of Lords and Mr Paul Dimond, Chairman of Friends
As part of the campaign, 25 double decker
buses plying the main routes in London advertised the book
with a number to call for a free copy. The DOT gave out the
book to the first 1000 texters. The book was also advertised
on the Sunday Telegraph for 3 consecutive Sundays.
Philippine delegation in front of the London double-decker bus
The delegation visited the London Wetland
Center for an educational tour where the Department of Tourism
signed up as a patron by donating 5000 sterling pounds. The
ceremonial signing of the Patron Partnership Program with
the Waterfowl and Wetland Trust was witnessed by Secretary
Ace Durano and Philippine Tourism Authority General Manager
Secretary Durano also met up with UK Bird
Fair organizers Tim Appleton and Martin Davies to discuss
the participation of the Philippines in the 2009 UK Bird Fair
where volume 2 of the book will be launched.