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WBCP 2009 Annual Report


Christmas Party at the Villa-Real residence

The Club has 232 active members as of the end of 2009 with most members based in Metro Manila, 47 members in the provinces and 25 members outside the country. Members can be found in Ilocos Norte (2), La Union (2), Benguet (1), Nueva Ecija (3), Pampanga (1), Bataan (1), Bulacan (2), Rizal (3), Cavite (7), Laguna (1), Batangas (1), Oriental Mindoro (1), Palawan (5), Quezon (5), Camarines Sur (1), Negros Occidental (1), Negros Oriental (2), Cebu (1), Leyte (1), Camiguin (1), Bukidnon(1) & Agusan del Sur (5). Outside the country members are in Hong Kong (1), Taiwan (1), Japan (1), Singapore (7), Malaysia (1), Indonesia (2), Italy (1), Belgium (1), Switzerland (2), US (3) and UK (5).

Foreign nationalities are led by the British (10) followed by American (8), Singaporean (5), Japanese (2), German (2), Belgian (1), Dane (1), French (1), Dutch (1), Czeck (1), Australian (1), and Taiwanese (1).


Guided Trips – 33

Felix Servita guiding kids in Candaba Marsh
Felix Servita guiding kids in Candaba Marsh

Guided trips were conducted for students of the University of Sto. Tomas and the College of St. Benilde at the Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque), Tanglaw College and the Raya School at University of the Philippines campus (Quezon City), employees of the Landbank at the Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque), and the Asian Development Bank Camera Club in Candaba (Pampanga).

A guided trip for the general public were held at the Hardin ng Rosas at the University of the Philippines (Quezon City) and the Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque).

The last monthly monitoring of Orchard Golf and Country Club (Cavite) was held in January and a separate training session was conducted for the ground maintenance staff of the same golf club in June. Guide training sessions with birdwatching were also conducted for the staff of Anvaya Cove (Bataan), Balanga City & Bataan provincial guides. Members of the Club were also invited to visit Thunderbird Resorts in Binagonan (Rizal).

Guided trip at Hardin ng Rosas in UP
Guided trip at Hardin ng Rosas in UP

Prior to the bird festival in October, Balanga Mayor Joet Garcia and members of the City Council were given an introductory guided trip at the Sibacan fishponds (Bataaan) and at the Candaba Marsh (Pampanga). During the bird festival, guied trips were given to students of the Philippine Women’s University, Balanga City guides and bird festival delegates.

In the first 4 months of the year, WBCP members joined the DOT ocular team to different sites to be promoted in the book Birdwatching in the Philippines, Vol 2. These sites include the Agusan Marsh (Agusan del Sur), Pasonanca Park (Zamboanga), Cabusao wetlands (Camarines Sur), Taytay (Palawan), Danjugan Island (Negros Occidental), Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park (Samar), Mt. Polis (Ifugao), Sablayan (Oriental Mindoro), Mt Makling (Laguna).

Bird guides Adri Constantino, Tim Fisher and Nicky Icarangal led a familiarization tour for a 12-men British delegation led by UK Bird Fair organizer Tim Appleton to birdwatching sites being promoted by the Department of Tourism.

Oriental Bird Club chair Brian Sykes, on his first trip to the country, was taken to the Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque) and the University of the Philippines campus (Quezon City) before he joined an intensive 3-week birdwatching trip. WBCP members also guided John Morrison, Director of Conservation Measures of the World Wide Fund for Nature (US) at Mt Makiling (Laguna).

Club Trips – 38

Birders at the viewdeck of Caylabne Bay Resort in Cavite
The first trip of the year was led by Tim Fisher to see a Philippine Eagle nest in Mt Kitanglad (Bukidnon). Other trips by club members include visits to the Manila Film Center (Pasay), Tambo mudflats (Paranaque), American War Memorial (Taguig), Balanga wetlands (Bataan), Subic Bay (Zambales),Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Mt.Palay-Palay & Puerto Azul (Cavite), Taal Lake (Batangas).

New sites visited were Salikneta in San Jose del Monte (Bulacan), the Laguna Wildlife Rescue Center in Los Banos (Laguna), Cabiokid Permaculture Farm in Arayat (Nueva Ecija), and trips to Baler (Aurora) sponsored by the office of Senator Ed Angara and Congressman Sonny Angara. Ocular trips to different sites in Pampanga were also undertaken in preparation for the Streaked Reed-Warbler survey.

The Team Energy Foundation invited the Club to conduct birdwatching activities in their power plants Sual (Pangasinan) and Pagbilao (Quezon). Club members also provided a birdlist after conducting ocular trips to Nuvali, Southwoods Golf and Country Club and the South Forbes Golf City all in Cavite.

Asian Waterbird Census

DENR Sec. Joselito Atienza attended the Asian Waterbird Census in Candaba Marsh as Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo looks onDENR Sec Joselito Atienza watching waterbirds
while Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo looks on.
 Thousands of egrets showed up in Balanga
Thousands of egrets showed up in Balanga

The Club members assisted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources during the annual Asian Waterbird Census in January at different wetland sites namely, Paoay Lake (Ilocos Norte), Balanga wetlands (Bataan), Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque), Tanza (Navotas), Cabusao (Camarines Sur) and Pagbilao Bay (Quezon).

The highlights of this year’s census were the record number of birds counted in the Balanga coastal wetlands (Bataan) at more than 17,000 birds and the sighting of two seldom-seen migrants – the globally-threatened Black-faced Spoonbill and the Pied Avocet – both reported for the first time in Candaba

Raptor Migration Monitoring

Club members monitored raptor migration in April and May with 3 trips to the Pag-Asa Weather station and the Santos Farm in Tanay (Rizal) and one trip to Mt Palay-Palay (Cavite). Data was also gathered from Mt Makiling (Laguna). The sites in Tanay continue to generate the most number of birds with a record 3,911 raptors counted on April 11. All records were sent to the Asian Raptor and Research Conservation Network where the data was accepted as posted as the first data generated from the Philippines.

Club in the News

Writer Ross Harper-Alonso interviewed WBCP members Mike Lu and Lisa Lumbao for an article, Birdwatching Philippine style which came out in the January issue of the Am Cham Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

Lala Espanola and Mike Lu interviewed on results of the census in Candaba by GMA News and ABS-CBN News
Lala Espanola and Mike Lu interviewed on results of the
census in Candaba by GMA News and ABS-CBN News

The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) conducted in the Balanga wetlands gained front-page coverage on the January 19 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the article Food basket of ‘feathered friends’ by Ross Harper-Alonso with additional input on the count in Candaba Marsh by Tonette Orejas. The AWC was also featured on GMA News and ABS-CBN News.

The Candaba Marsh census also led to the sighting of the globally-threatened Black-faced Spoonbill and the Pied Avocet and generated series of articles on the January 16-22 issue of Mabuhay weekly provincial newspaper with “2 di pangkaraniwang ibon namataan sa Candaba”, “Taunang census: Bumababa ang bilang ng mga dayuhang ibon” and “WBCP: Pangalagaan ang tirahan ng ibon.”

On February 3, GMA’s Born to be Wild featured the Asian Waterbird Census conducted by Club members in the Bicol River estuary and featured additional footage of Club members birdwatching in Candaba Marsh. ANC’s Executive Class host David Celdran also featured birdwatching and bird photography with WBCP members in Candaba Marsh on February 15.

CLTV 36 interviewing Mike Lu at the 5th Philippine Bird
Festival in Balanga

The visit of Department of Tourism Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque prior to the annual Ibon-Ebon festival in Candaba was reported in Ibon Ebon dancers delight DOT exec by Joey Pavia for Punto! Central Luzon on February 6 and RP tourism up by 1.5% by Tonette Orejas for the Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 7.

Agence France Presse writer Cecil Morella interviewed WBCP members Mike Lu and Carmela Espanola about the state of Candaba Marsh for the article Habitat for birds nearly gone in RP. The article was came out on the local dailies, Philippine Star, Business World and the Manila Times on February 13.

A series of press release focused on the Candaba Marsh. Candaba Wetlands now top tourist attraction by Franco Regala of the Manila Bulletin on April 4. "Jesus" birds walk on waters of Candaba by Tonette Orejas of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on April 8 highlighted the Pheasant-tailed Jacana. WBCP sent a press release after the Streaked-Reed Warbler expedition entitled Rare bird found in Candaba came out on the Philippine Daily Inquirer on April 16. Rommel Ramos of Punto ! Central Luzon wrote Land conversion in Candaba threatens migratory birds on April 20.

Smart shows public schools how to tell stories online feature on the Philippine Star on July 26 mentioned WBCP members conducting a bird watch activity as part of web content training for Doon Po sa Amin project of Smart Communications. Club founding member Kitty Arce Aspelin penned the article Birdwatching in the Candaba Wetlands for the August-September issue of the magazine, TravelPlus.

The 5th Philippine Bird Festival held in Balanga City (Bataan) started with a pre-festival release Migrant birds lead tourist to Balanga by Genivi Facto of Malaya on September 17. The festival was featured live on ABS-CBN’s morning show Umagang Kay Ganda on October 9. The online website came out with an article Protection of birds a boost to tourism on October 11 and a video on October 14, Save RP as home for birds to create jobs. Punto writer Ernie Escondido wrote about one of the festival activities DENR releases Brahminy Kites on October 15 while Manila Bulletin’s Jackie Lynn Oiga penned Birds in Flight: RP’s birdwatching tourism soars to greater heights on October 17.

The Department of Tourism and Birdlife International signed an agreement to be the species guardian of the critically endangered Cebu Flowerpecker at the Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu on October 6. The species was chosen based on the recommendation of the WBCP during a meeting last year in Cambridge with Birdlife reps, Secretary Durano and Mike Lu. The signing was reported on the October 8 issue of Balita entitled DOT, Birdlife sign agreement for Cebu birdwatching tours and on the November 1 issue of Manila Bulletin’s Malou M.Mozo’s article, DOT to maximize Cebu bird species to attract birdwatching market.

Things to see in Bataan and places to visit by Dot Ramos Balasbas-Gancayco of the Philippine Star on October 18 mentioned the writer’s first birdwatching experience with WBCP in Puerto Rivas.

Anna Gonzales and Jon Villasper were guests on the November 25 episode of reality show, Project Runway – Philippines when designer Russell Villafuerte revealed that his creations took inspiration from the colors of endemic Philippine birds. Mr. Villafuerte emerged as one of the runner-ups and donated part of his earnings to the Club.

WBCP and the DOT’s participation at the Taipei International Birdwatching Fair gained an entry on the official Taipei City website on a November 19 entry, Environmental groups meet at birdwatching fair banquet.

Worcester’s Buttonquail story

Worcester's Buttonquail Story

Howie Severino of GMA News and Public Affairs’ documentary program, Saksi wanted to feature how people value birds by contrasting WBCP members counting birds in the Balanga wetlands (Bataan) and the bird trappers in Dalton Pass (Nueva Ecija). The program aired the segment “Bye, Bye Birdie” on January 26 but WBCP members who accompanied the crew to Dalton Pass did not realize that one of the birds trapped in the net was a rare species until the photograph of the bird shown during the end credits of the show. It was later confirmed to be the rare, and probably the first photograph in the wild of a Worcester’s Buttonquail.

WBCP worked on a press release entitled First photograph of rare, almost unknown bird and sent out to local media and to the Agence France Press. The Philippine Star came out with Rare RP quail spotted on way to the cooking pot on February 18 by Dino Balabo, as did other newspapers such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, Sun Star, and more. GMA News promptly featured the news using the same title: First photograph of rare, almost unknown bird.

The international press picked up the AFP press release and sensationalized the story such as National Geographic’s “Extinct” bird seen, eaten, and the Daily Mail (UK): Extinct bird photographed for the first time … before it is sold for 10p and eaten. Nevertheless, the news was featured by media around the world with quotes attributed to the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

Club Activities

Visit of Oriental Bird Club chair Brian Sykes

Worcester's Buttonquail Story
Seated (L-R) Alice Villa-Real, Arne Jensen, Brian Sykes, Lala Espanola, Mike Lu.
Standing (L-R) Alex Tiongco, Tere Cervero, Anna Gonzales, Aldrin Mallari,
Jon Villasper, Tintin Telesforo, Mark Villa

Oriental Bird Club chair Brian Sykes, on his first trip to the Philippines, met with OBC country reps Arne Jensen and Carmela Espanola during a dinner tendered by the Club at the Nicotina Restaurant on February 7. Mr. Sykes gave a presentation on the objectives and projects of the Oriental Bird Club to members of the Execom and Conservation Committee. He also asked the Club to participate in sending more articles to the OBC newsmagazine Forktail.

Lecture on raptor migration

To kick-off the raptor migration monitoring, Dr. Nielsen Donato, who represented the WBCP in a raptor conference in Vietnam, gave a short presentation on raptor migration monitoring and Jon Villasper gave tips on raptor identification at a lecture held at the Villa-real residence on March 21. Prior to the lecture, Mike Lu also gave a short presentation on the history and activities of the Club.

Lecture on raptor migration To kick-off the raptor migration monitoring, Dr. Nielsen Donato, who represented the WBCP in a raptor conference in Vietnam, gave a short presentation on raptor migration monitoring and Jon Villasper gave tips on raptor identification at a lecture held at the Villa-real residence on March 21. Prior to the lecture, Mike Lu also gave a short presentation on the history and activities of the Club. Lecture on raptor migration To kick-off the raptor migration monitoring, Dr. Nielsen Donato, who represented the WBCP in a raptor conference in Vietnam, gave a short presentation on raptor migration monitoring and Jon Villasper gave tips on raptor identification at a lecture held at the Villa-real residence on March 21. Prior to the lecture, Mike Lu also gave a short presentation on the history and activities of the Club.

7th Club Anniversary

WBCP officers re-elected for 2009-2010

The 7th WBCP Anniversary Party coincided with the opening of the photo exhibit Jewels of the Philippine Forest held at the National Museum of the Philippines on July 10. Elections Committee chair Ipat Luna announce the re-election of the officers Michael Lu, Alice Villa-Real, Anna Gonzales, Tintin Telesforo, and Trinket Canlas during dinner at the Tambunting Hall of the NMP. Philippine Bird Photography forum members led by Romy Ocon thank the Club for the joint project. Mike Lu gave a presentation highlighting the activities of the Club for the year. Guests for the evening were Bataan provincial Tourism chair Sarsi Cuayson and Balanga City Administrator Rudy de Mesa who briefed the Club on the preparations to the forthcoming 5th Philippine Bird Festival to be held in their city.

Christmas Party and Auction

Moses de los Reyes of the Mt. Diablo Audubon
Society receives books from Alice VIlla-Real and Mike Lu
The annual Christmas Party held at the Villa-Real residence on December 20 was attended by more than 80 members. The afternoon party started with an auction of gift items such as calendars and t-shirts given by foreign bird clubs as well as contributions from other club members such as paintings, DVDs, outdoor gear, etc. The auction successfully raised more than P 8,000.00 for the club funds.

Special guest at the party was Mr. Moses de los Reyes of the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society. The Club handed over copies of Birdwatching in the Philippines Volume 1 & 2 and a DVD of the Avian Archipelago. WBCP members from out-of-town included Linda Gocon (Pampanga), Carmela Balcazar (Quezon) and Helly Asoy (Leyte).

A lively exchange gift followed as the afternoon party lasted well close to midnight.

Activities outside the Club

Worcester's Buttonquail Story
WBCP volunteers Gerry de Villa and Cel Tungol manning the booth

PSWRC Exhibit - January 14-18

The Philippine Society on Wildlife Research and Conservation invited the WBCP to participate at the exhibit themed Philippine Wildlife: Conserving our Unique Treasures held at the Tiendesitas on January 14-18. The guests-of-honor were PAWB Director Mundita Lim and TV host Kim Atienza. Other exhibitors included the National Museum, Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, My Zoo Foundation, DLSU-Araneta University and the Manila Bulletin. The Club offered coloring activities or the kids and showed a video of the 5th Philippine Bird Festival.



Streaked Reed-Warbler Survey - March 9-21

Worcester's Buttonquail Story
A joint survey by the Wetland Trust led by Philip Round and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines represented by Jon Villasper, Carmela Espanola and visiting member Desmond Allen in search for the Streaked Reed-Warbler was conducted from March 9-21 in selected sites in the provinces of Pampanga and Laguna. A single Streaked Reed-Warbler was mist-netted on the first day of the survey but none were found subsequently. A noteworthy record was the second country record of a Black-browed Reed-Warbler found in the same vicinity during a preliminary survey held last year. WBCP members Arne Jensen, Mark Wallbank, Alex Tiongco, Linda Gocon, Ixi Mapua and Leni Sutcliffe actively supported the survey by going on site-inspections and provided transportation in- between sites.

Introducing Birds to the Blind - March 10

Worcester's Buttonquail Story
Awarding the winner of the bird call contest
(L-R) Arnel Telesforo, Randy Weisser and Tinggay Cinco

WBCP member Randy Weisser, who works at the Resources for the Blind, challenged the Club members to come up with a program to introduce birds to blind children. WBCP members Leni Sutcliffe, Tinggay Cinco, Tere Cervero, Arnel Telesforo and Felix Servita came up with a program using bird calls, toy birds, feathers and eggs and gave the presentation on March 10. My Zoo Foundation led by Melanie Tan, and Arcy Salvacion participated by bringing a Brahminy Kite and a White-bellied Sea-Eagle from the Wildlife Rescue Center.

MNS Raptorwatch - March 14-15

WBCP in Malaysia (L-R) Mike Lu, Carol Ho,
Khoo Swee Seng and Alex Tiongco
Upon the invitation of the Bird Group of the Malaysia Nature Society, Mike Lu and Alex Tiongco attended the annual Raptor Watch in Tanjung Tuan (Malaysia) from March 14-15. The annual event highlights the spring migration of raptors crossing the Straits of Malacca from Java into peninsular Malaysia. Held at the grounds of the Ilham Resort in Port Dickson, the activities included lectures, bird watching, mangrove walks as well as painting, t-shirt printing, games and contests for students. The raptors did not show up on the first day. On the second day, the Oriental Honey-Buzzards started flying in around lunch time and a flock of 200+ Black Bazas flew past towards the late afternoon.

Coastal Lagoon Meeting - March 27

Conservation Committee members Jon Villasper, Anna Gonzales & Arne Jensen represented the Club at the interim Manila Bay and critical habitat management and technical working group meeting on March 27. Other organizations represented in the meeting were the Public Reclamations Authority, DENR-NCR and representatives of the mayors of Paranaque and Las Pinas.

(L-R) Atty Roger Quevedo, Cong. Dong Alvarez,
Gov. Ed Panlilio, Sen. Loren Legarda, Amy Lecciones
and Mike Lu
Candaba Wetlands marker unveiling - April 5

Upon the invitation of G Star Ventures & Development Corporation, owner of Total North gas station in San Simon (Pampanga), WBCP members attended the unveiling of the Candaba Wetlands marker along the North Luzon Expressway.

Special guests were Senator Loren Legarda, Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, and Pampanga District 2 Congressman Dong Alvarez. Amy Lecciones of the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands and Mike Lu of the WBCP stressed the importance of wetland habitats. WBCP presented the guests with copies of Birdwatching in the Philippines, Volume 1 and Senator Loren Legarda gifted the guests with seedlings.


Earth Day – April 19

WBCP members participated in two Earth Day celebrations. Upon the invitation of the Winner Foundation, WBCP members manned a coloring station and sold Club merchandise at the Arroceros Forest Park in Manila. At the Villa Escudero in Tiaong (Quezon), WBCP conducted a guided birdwatching activity for the resort staff and their family members. Trinket Canlas gave a talk about birds and birdwatching in the Philippines to resort guests prior to the presentation of a cultural dance program with birds as the central theme.


Bird Fest launching - April 25

Dancers from the Bataan National High School

The City of Balanga led by Mayor Joet Garcia held a street dancing competition to launch the 5th Philippine Bird Festival to be held in September later in the year. The competition, held at the jam-packed Bataan People’s Center, was participated by 8 schools. The first prize was won by the dance troupe representing the Bataan National High School. Bataan Governor Tet Garcia and Congressman Abet Garcia attended the event and contributed to the prize money for the participants.





Baler 400 – May 22-24

In celebration of the 400th anniversary fo the City of Baler in Aurora Province, the National Commission on Culture and Arts invited the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines to participate in the pre-celebration activities by conducting a talks on birds and birdwatching, ocular visits to different sites and organizing a bird photo exhibit. The exhibit was later inaugurated as part of the Baler Buena Vista photo exhibit at the Philippine Senate on June 1. Gracing the inauguration were Senator Miguel Zubiri, Aurora province Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Representative Sonny Angara Baler City Mayor Arthur Angara, and National Commission for Culture and Arts Executive Director Cecille Guidote-Alvarez.


Birdwatching Tourism Conference – June 6-7

(L-R) Mike Lu, Stanie Soriano, Baby Landan, Tim Fisher

The Chinese Wild Bird Federation held a birdwatching tourism conference in Taipei (Taiwan) on June 6-7. Tour operators and representatives from bird societies in the region were invited as speakers. Tim Fisher gave a brief background on the history of guided birdwatching tours in the Philippines and Mike Lu showed how the bird club works with the government to promote birdwatching. The Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation was represented by Stanie Soriano and Baby Landan.





National Museum of the Philippines photo exhibit - July 10

Ribbon cutting by Dutch Ambassador Robert Brinks,
NMP Director Corazon Alvina and WBCP President Mike Lu

The WBCP in partnership with the Philippine Bird Photographers forum and the National Museum of the Philippines launched the photo exhibit Jewels of the Philippine Forest on July 10 at the South Wing Gallery of the museum to coincide with the 6th anniversary of the WBCP. The Dutch Ambassador Robert Brinks, NMP Director Corazon Alvina and WBCP President Mike Lu opened the photo exhibit which featured the photos of Martin Alvendia, Tito Arbatin, JP Carino, Ding Carpio, Nicky Icarangal, William Lim, Romy Ocon, Neon Rosell, Rey Sta. Ana. The museum set up a display of bird skins. To complement the exhibits were a video of forest birds by Romy Ocon, a birding gear and equipment set-up by Columbia and a coloring corner for kids. On three continuous weekends, WBCP members volunteered to conduct activities for kids. These activities were origami art by Gina and Ixi Mapua, a drawing workshop by Robert Alejandro and puni leaf frond folding by Ipat Luna.


21st British Birdwatching Fair – August 21-23

Receiving the award for 2nd best booth at the fair. (L-R): Chit Afuang, Martin Willes,
Chicoy Enerio, Tim Appleton, Robert Alejandro, Mike Lu.

The Philippine Department of Tourism launched the book Birdwatching in the Philippines, Volume 2 by participating as a sponsor at the 21st British Birdwatching Fair in Rutland, the United Kingdom. The Cebu Flowerpecker was chosen to highlight the quest to find species that have been thought to have been “lost” or gone extinct.

The Philippine booth, designed by WBCP member/graphic artist Robert Alejandro, was adjudged as the 2nd best booth at the fair. Avian Archipelago, a video of Philippines endemic birds by Ivan Sarenas, was specially made for the book launched and played continuously at the booth. Philippine tourism representatives were on hand to give out copies of the books, calendars, notebooks and other freebies while Robert Alejandro drew bird caricatures out of the names of the visitors. Bird tour operators, Tim Fisher and Nicky Icarangal, were on hand to answer queries and provide general information about birdwatching in the Philippines.

Members of the Philippine delegation gave lectures led by Dennis Salvador (Philippine Eagle Foundation), Lisa Paguntalan (Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation) and, Nicky Icarangal (Birding Adventure Philippines).

To add to the festivities, the Banda Kawayan of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines performed folk dances and played on bamboo musical instruments.


5th Philippine Bird Festival - October 8-10

Genesis Transport bus with the bird fair logo

The City of Balanga came out in full force to show their support for the hosting of the 5th Philippine Bird Festival. The day started with a fluvial parade and street dancing which were featured on ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda morning show. Tents were set-up on the grounds of the provincial capitol for the exhibits and activities of local and foreign bird watching societies and conservation organizations along with a trade fair showcasing the products of 11 towns in Bataan.

Department of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, Dutch ambassador Robert Brinks and Madame Vicky Garcia representing the Bataan Governor were the guests-of-honor at the Opening Ceremonies led by Balanga City Mayor Joet Garcia.

Opening Ceremonies at the Bataan People's Center

Dept of Tourism Sec. Ace Durano with Victor Yu of the
Chinese Wild Bird Federation at the fair grounds

The 2-day bird festival featured lectures, film-showing, bird-call contests, and children’s activities such as coloring, face-painting and origami. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources sponsored the release of six Brahminy Kites back to the wild and delegates were taken to Mt Samat and the Balanga wetlands for birdwatching. More than 10,000 students attended the festivities.

A post-festival birdwatching trip to Subic Bay for the foreign delegates was organized by Birding Adventure Philippines led by Nicky Icarangal and Adrian Constantino.

The bird festival was participated by Chinese Wild Bird Federation, Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Kaoshiung Wild Bird Society, Hong Kong Birdwatching Society, Wild Bird Society of Taipei, Malaysian Nature Society, WWF-Philippines, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Katala Foundation, Cebu Biodiversity and Conservation Foundation, Isla Biodiversity Conservation, PENAGMANNAKI, Polilio Island Biodiversity and Conservation, Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Birdwatch Palawan, the City of Bislig, and the Municipality of Candaba.

Sponsors of the 6th Philippine Bird Festival were the City of Balanga, Province of Bataan, Department of Tourism, Team Energy Foundation, Genesis Transport and the Primer Group.




Taipei International Birdwatching Fair - November 7-8

Book presentation with
Taipei City Mayor Haw Lung-bin, Mike Lu,
and Stanie Soriano of PCVC
The Philippine Department of Tourism brought a 30-man delegation to the Taipei International Birdwatching Fair to launch the book, Birdwatching in the Philippines, Volume 2. The delegation included Mt. Province Governor Maximo Dalog and Bislig City Vice Mayor Conrad Cejoco representing the birdwatching sites and a group of musicians from the Banda Kawayan of Bataan who provided entertainment.

Philippine delegation at the Opening Ceremonies
in Guandu Nature Park

The book was presented to Taipei City Mayor Haw Lung-bin on the eve of the bird fair during the Welcome Dinner at the Taipei City Hall.

At the bird fair, the WBCP and DOT had the busiest tents as we handed out 300 sets of the book to WBST volunteers. The free coloring activity attracted kids as we gave away pins, and notebooks but the longest line was for the bird caricatures drawn by Robert Alejandro out of Chinese characters written by the participants.

Robert Alejandro is kept busy drawing bird caricatures
out of Chinese characters submitted by fair visitors

The Club also hosted dinner for fair delegates and WBST directors at the Taipei Hero House to launch the book on the first night of the fair with Ambassador Antonio Basilio as guest-of-honor.

Club members who went to Taipei were James Asprer, Anna Gonzales, Jun Osano, Arnel Telesforo, Dan Paniza, Charlie Te, Cathy Te, Charo Lim, and Mike Lu.

Thailand Bird Fair November 21-22

The WBCP booth manned by (L-R) Mike Lu, Leni Sutcliffe, Tere Cervero, Alex Tiongco
The WBCP booth manned by (L-R)
Mike Lu, Leni Sutcliffe, Tere Cervero, Alex Tiongco

With the theme “Save birds, Save the earth,” the 9th Thailand Bird Fair was held for the first time at Bangpoo Recreation Park in Samutprakarn Province with participation from the leading bird clubs in the region – Chinese Wild Bird Federation, Nature Society (Singapore), Malaysian Nature Society, Wild Bird Society of Taipei and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines .

The Club, represented by Tere Cervero, Mike Lu, Leni Sutcliffe and Alex Tiongco, offered a coloring station and gave away bird pins for each coloring sheet completed. Club merchandise such as stickers, books and t-shirts were also available to the fair visitors. Mike Lu gave a presentation on birds of the Philippines that included a video showing of the Avian Archipelago.

The exciting line-up of events at the fair included photography and short-film competitions, a discussion forum, games and quizzes, loads of children’s activities and live music.

WBCP member Charo Lim came later and joined the group at the post-festival birdwatching trip Kaeng Krachan National Park in Petchaburi province.

Presentations and lectures

Anna Gonzales and Mike Lu at the SMART workshop in Davao.

Smart Communications held a workshop for school teachers and students web content Doon Po sa Amin project Colegio de San Juan de Letran campus 5/14 and Immaculate Concepcion in Davao on 5/28.

The Rotary Club of Paseo de Roxas invited the WBCP to give a talk durig their monthly meeting on July 23 at the Manila Polo Club. Mike Lu gave a talk on birds and birdwatching, and Ding Carpio gave a talk on Ding Carpio bird photography.

As one of the Adventure Philippines activities, a talk on birdwatching was conducted by Mike Lu during the Beyond the Usual Philippines monthly program of the Philippine Tourist Operators Association (PHILTOA) held at the Pan Pacific Hotel on August 19

Rotary District 3830 New Generation Conference University of Makati partnered with District 3860 with a live webcast of the first inter-district youth conference

The Exciting Avian Archipelago: Birdwatching in the Philippines was the title of the presentation given before the Tourism Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce at the xxx on December 8. The meeting was attended by Tourism Committee Chair Carlyn Manning and Vice-Chair Robert Blume. WBCP was represented by Mike Lu and Carmela Balcazar.