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WBCP 2012 Report

Membership - 267

The majority of the Club members remain Metro Manila-based but a significant 33% are now based outside the metropolis with 62 members in the provinces and 26 members based abroad. The 62 members representing the provinces led by Cavite with 9 members, Laguna and Rizal follow closely with 6 members each while Quezon Province, Negros Occidental and Palawan are represented by 4 members each. Ilocos Norte and Iloilo both have 3 members. Bataan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Negros Oriental, Cebu and Davao del Sur all have 2 members while the rest have one member each: Benguet, Cagayan, Aurora, Isabela, Zambales, Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Bohol, and Leyte.

Twenty six (26) members based outside the Philippines can be found in Malaysia (4), Singapore (4), United Kingdom (3), Switzerland (2), Australia (2), Belgium (2), Hong Kong (2), Japan (1), United States (1), Indonesia (1), Thailand (1), Denmark (1), Netherlands (1).

The diversity of foreign club members continues to grow as more expatriates join the Club. We end the year with 51 non-Filipino members. British members lead with 14, followed closely by the Americans with 10 members and a surprising increase with the Dutch represented by 6 members. The rest of the nationalities are represented as follows: Australian (3), Malaysian (3), Singaporean (3), German (3), Belgian (2), Norwegian (1), Dane (1), Spanish (1), French (1), Sri Lankan (1), Hong Kong (1) and Thai (1).

Guided trips – 40

Group photo
Guided birdwatching trips were mostly
led by Maia Tanedo and Jops Josef

The Club promotes birdwatching by conducting regular guided for the general public to the La Mesa Ecopark (Quezon City), University of the Philippines (Quezon City) and the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area.

Special guided trips were also arranged to Ateneo de Mnaila University (Quezon City), Loyola Grand Villas (Quezon City), Valley Golf (Rizal), Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Balanga Wetland Park (Bataan), Subic Bay (Zambales), Mt Palay-Palay (Cavite) and Villa Escudero (Quezon).

This year, the club received an increased request for guided trips from educational institutions such as Philippine Science High School, Manila Waldorf School, Beacon School, Faith Academy, Daniw High School, Asia Pacific College, and the UP College of Journalism.

The Club also conducted guided trips for different organizations such as Ateneo Environmental Management Coalition, University of the Philippines Mountaineers, Loyola Grand Villas residents (Quezon City), Ayala Land’s Anvaya Cove (Bataan) and  a media tour for Nuvali (Laguna).  A joint birdwatch/tree walk was conducted in partnership with the Philippine Native Plant Society for Manila water employees at the La Mesa Ecopark.

A birdwatch/tree walk organized in partnership with
the Philippine Native Plants Society for Manila
Water Company staff at the La Mesa Ecopark

In celebration of World Wetlands Day, a guided trip was conducted for tourism officers of different cities in the NCR, Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) and the media.  Guided trips were also conducted for Pacific Asia Travel Association delegates during the ASEAN Ecotourism Congress, for foreign and local conservation organizations during the 8th Philippine Bird Festival and for the children from the communities near LPPCHEA on October 20 in celebration of the International Children’s Month in partnership with Akap Bata party-list.

Our partnership with Center for Outdoor Recreation and Expedition (CORE) led to an educational tour for Manila public school Science superintendents in Candaba (Pampanga). Columbia Sportwear also launched Birdwatching 101 for its’ clients with trips to Villa Escudero and Balanga Wetland Park.

The Club also partnered with the Global Birding Initiative by participating in its’ Pledge to Fledge event with a guided trip at the La Mesa Ecopark on August 25 and the Las Pinas Paranaque Critical Habitat on August 26.

Group photo
In celebration of International Children's Month, Akap Bata Party-List organized a birdwatching trip for children
living near LPPCHEA

The Club welcomes visiting birders to Club trips. Front row: Cecile Arsenio and Tinggay Cinco. Back row:
Dutch birders Marianne Rense and Merijn van Leeuwen.

As part of the Club’s advocacy to promote birdwatching, we continue to welcome visiting birders to join our Club trips.  This year, we had the pleasure of birdwatching with Alfred Yan (Canada), Merijn van Leeuwen and Marianne Rense (Netherlands), Matthew Shirley and EM Ganin (United States), Richard Camden and Simon Cockayne (United Kingdom), Mark Bennett and Colin Christoferson (Australia).

Club Trip – 34

Group photo
Club member's birdwatching in Subic Bay

Group photo at the Tanay Rainforest Camp

The Club organized 34 trips for its’ members including waterbird census and raptor migration counts.  Sites visited by Club members were Ipo Dam (Bulacan), Candaba (Pampanga), Sasmuan (Pampanga) Subic Bay (Zambales), Balanga (Bataan), Angono Petroglyphs (Rizal), Tanay Rainforest Camp (Rizal), Mt. Kitanglad (Bukidnon) and Pasonanca Natural Park (Zamboanga).  Celestron Optics sponsored a trip for members to test their binoculars and scopes at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat.

Asian Waterbird Census

The Club continues to assist the Department of Environment and Natural Resources by monitoring wetland sites during the annual Asian Waterbird Census held in the last two weeks of January. Eight sites were monitored by the Club this year namely, Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Sasmuan (Pampanga), Balanga wetlands (Bataan), Paoay Lake (Ilocos Norte), Barcelonita/Cabusao (Camarines Sur) and Pagbilao wetlands (Quezon) in cooperation with Team Energy Foundation.  News sites surveyed were Taal Lake (Batangas) and Bani (Pangasinan) sponsored by the Office of the mayor of Bani. Of the sites monitored, the wetlands of Barcelonita/Cabusao in Camarines Sur registered the highest count at 21,186 birds.

Bird counters at the Balanga Wetland and Nature Park

Adrian Constantino, Juan Mesquida, Rene Calado, Trinket Canlas monitoring the Bani wetlands

Raptor Migration Count

The Club also organized 14 trips to count migrating raptors. 9 trips were held for the spring migration and 5 trips were held for the autumn migration. While most observations were held at the Pag-Asa Station (Rizal), an alternative site was the Cabanos farm.

WBCP members (Alex Tiongco, Marites Cervero, Jun osano, Adri Constantino, Trinket Canlas and Boy Ochavo) also embarked on an ocular trip to Dingalan (Aurora) on September 15-16. Though the weather was bad, during the moments the skies clear up, small numbers of Oriental Honey-Buzzards, Grey-faced Buzzards and small accipiters were observed, as well as egrets, waders and swallows.

Raptorwatchers at the Pag-Asa station during the spring migration

Members also explored a new site for raptorwatching in Dingalan (Aurora Province)

Club In The News

Philippine Eagle Owl at the Balara compound in Quezon City
featured on Philippine Star's Owls in the City

The Club figured a number times in the news with topics from introduction to birdwatching and results of the Asian Waterbird Census to controversial issues as the Club's objection to the reclamation of Manila Bay and the improbability of bird strikes at the airport.

Usapang Pets on UP Radio featured an interview with Jops Josef and Maia Tanedo on the topic of Spark Birds on January 26. Both members were also interviewed on birdwatching by Radio Veritas on June 27. The discovery of a family of Philippine Eagle-Owls in the Maynilad Water compound was the topic Philippine Star's Owls in the City on April 21. The Club's visit to San Roque Dam was written about in A new face of Pangasinan tourism by Garbiel Cardinez on the Northern Luzon section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on March 13. Photography passion takes flight featured an interview with Marester Macasiano on the January issue of Cathay Pacific's CX World. The annual Philippine Bird Festival held at the Rizal Park this year was featured on GMA's Front Row on December 1 and TV5's Pinoy Explorer.

TV host Noli de Castro covering the
Asian Waterbird Census in Candaba for TV Patrol.

Asian Waterbird Census

The annual Asian Waterbird Census in Candaba was well-monitored by the media highlighted with Candaba Migratory Birds on ABS CBN's TV Patrol with host Noli de Castro on January 19, Town sets census of migratory birds by Herbert Mapiles for Sun Star Pampanga on January 2, Migratory birds find "wetter" shelter in Candaba by Tonette Orejas for the Philippine Daily Inquirer on January 4 and DENR, WBCP take bird census on Punto (Central Luzon) by Ernie Esconde on February 4.

CLTV 36 featured Bilang ng mga migratory birds sa Balanga City tumaas by Mike Cigaral while Usapang Pets of UP Radio interviewed Mike Lu regarding the Asian Waterbird Census on February 9.

Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area - bird strike issue

When the Manila International Airport Authority General manager Jose Angel Honrado recommended moving the bird sanctuary due to the increasing frequency of bird strikes at the airport, the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines held a press conference on September 12. This controversial topic gained significant media coverage.

Gina Mapua, Mike Lu, Ipat Luna and Arne Jensen campaigning to Save the Coastal Lagoon otherwise known as the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA).

Media taking photos of the group at the press conference.

GMA News posted "Kalapati", not avian sanctuary, are real threat to NAIA planes by Rouchelle Dinglasan on September 12, ABS CBN News came up with Don't blame the birds, volunteer birdwatchers say by Lu-Ann Fuentes-Bajarias on the same date while Eric Apolonio of TV5 filed this report: Bird strike advisor: No need to close down sanctuary on September 13.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer's Jerome Aning and Christine O. Avendaño jointly wrote "Air battle" over bird sanctuary, Philippine Star's Sandy Araneta penned Birdwatchers join calls vs. Manila Bay reclamation, Philippine Standard Today posted Sanctuary shutdown will not stop birdstrikes, expert says filed by Eric B. Apolonio

Sun Star Manila featured Bird strikes used as excuse for reclamation project: group, Wild Bird Club tutol sa reclamation project by Jocelyn Tabangcura-Doemden of Tagalog tabloid Remate and even Biz Buzz columnist Daxim Lucas of the Philippine Daily Inquirer expressed his views on Man vs. Bird. On September 16, Mike Lu was interviewed over Radyo Inquirer DZIQ990AM by Ricky Brozas and Lisa Soriano and also a panel guest on September 19 for Balitaan at Aloha Hotel.

More follow-up interviews came out on September 24: Bird strike posibleng maging sanhi ng plane crash, News to Go, GMANews, Airport authorities, bird advocates in collision course over sanctuary Carmela G. Lapeña/KBK/HS, GMA News, Pagtanggal sa bird sanctuary sa coastal area sa Parañaque at Las Piñas, solusyon nga ba sa bird strike? News to Go, interview with Cynthia Villar and Mike Lu by Kara David.

In early October CAAP issued a statement to push for the relocation of the bird sanctuary as a measure to prevent bird strikes. The media had to get the side of the bird club hence more media mileage was gained through our advocacy, Birds or Big Business ? by Ed Javier for the Business Mirror on October 9, radio interviews on October 10 with Susan Enriquez over DWBB594 for her program Kay Susan Na and with Vic de Leon Lima over DWZM 630KHz for Radyo Patrol and also with Jarius Bondoc on his program Sapul over DWIZ on December 1. A deluge of TV interviews started with Carla Lim for Interaksyon on TV 5 (October 15), with Jun Veneracion for MIAA naglaan ng P 45M para sa equipment na pantaboy ng ibon shown on State of the Nation, GMA News (October 18), with Rey Pelayo for UNTV's Ito and Balita (October 19), with Albert Alicer for Solar News Network's Talk TV (October 19) a live TV interview with Mike Lu and Rey Aguinaldo of DENR-NCR on UNTV's Itanong mo kay Kuya (October 26) and even an interview on international Chinese cable news China Cable Television (CCTV) Manila airport, environmentalists on collision course over bird deaths filed by Barnaby Lo (November 6).

Club Activities

7th ARRCN Symposium on Asian Raptors 1/13-16

          The Symposium hosted by Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (ARRCN), the National Park Research Institute, and the Ornithological Society of Korea under the auspices of Korea Ministry of Environment, Shinan County, Gangwha County, and Cheorwon County was held at the Grace Hill Resort in Gangwha (Korea). The theme of the symposium was Raptor Migration and Conservation in Asia.  WBCP was represented by Alex Tiongco who gave a talk on Raptor migration in the Philippines – an overview

Alex Tiongco giving his talk

Group photo of symposium delegates


2nd Global Birdwatchers Conference 1/19-22

Club members Anna Gonzales, Mark Villa, Alain Pascua, Rey Sta Ana and Mike Lu participated in the 2nd Global Birdwatchers Conference organized by the Tourism Department of the State Government of Gujarat and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The conference started with a festive Welcome Dinner held at the Kensville Golf and Country Club and continued with a two-day birdwatching trip where the 300+ delegates explored different birdwatching sites within the State of Gujarat and culminated with a one-day conference at the massive Mahatma Mandir Exhibition Center in Gandhinagar.

WBCP members at the Mahatma Mandir Exhibition
Center(L-R) Mike Lu, Anna Gonzales, Alain Pascua,
Mark Villa


Raptorwatch Malaysia - 3/10-11

   Anna Gonzales manning the WBCP booth
WBCP President Anna Gonzales was the lone representative to this year’s Raptorwatch organized by the Malaysian Nature Society held at the grounds of PNB Ilham resort in Tanjun Tuan, Malaysia. Raptorwatch celebrates the annual spring migratin of raptors – mostly Oriental Honey Buzzards that fly over the Straits of Malacca on their way back to their breeding grounds in northern Asia.


Wetland: Theater of Nature – 3/15

Balanga City Mayor Joet Garcia sharing his vision of Balanga as a university town
The Balanga City government launched Wetland: Theater of Nature to introduce the Balanga Wetland Park to schools and educational tour organizers in Metro Manila.  The event was held at the Travel Club in Shangrila Mall in partnership with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.  Maia Tanedo and Mike Lu gave initial talks on birds and birdwatching.  Balanga City Mayor Joet Garcia gave his vision of Balanga City as a university town and City Administrator Rudy de Mesa introduced the features of the wetland park.


Birdwatching 101 for Columbia – 4/19

In partnership with Columbia Outdoor Gear, a series of activities conceptualized as Birdwatching 101were lined up to promote birdwatching for Columbia clients. The activities started with a talk on birds and birdwatching held at the Travel Club in Trinoma Mall (Quezon City) on April 19 followed with a day trip to Villa Escudero (Quezon Province) on April 28 and a follow-up trip to the Balanga Wetland Park was held on November 19.

Birdwatching 101 participants at the Villa Escudero

Birdwatching 101 announcement

Earth Day – 4/21 & 22

The Wild Bird Club participated in 3 Earth Day events this year.  With the Winner Foundation at the Arroceros Forest Park on 4/21 and at two sites, Nuvali with Ayala Land (Laguna) and LPPCHEA with DENR-NCR (Paranaque). In all events, birdwatching was promoted with information materials, coloring activities for kids and for LPPCHEA, on-site birdwatching..

Group photo at the Arroceros Forest Park  

Manning the WBCP booth at Nuvali (L-R) Tinggay Cinco, Anna Gonzales, Karen Ochavo

Month of the Ocean celebration -5/20

The Club participated in the Month of the Ocean celebration with the theme Buhay Dagat, Buhay Natin in partnership with the Save Freedom Island Movement, Earth Island Institute and the Villar Foundation. The program started with speeches by representatives of the NGOs with guest speaker former Congresswoman Cynthia Villar.  The program was followed by a ceremonial mangrove tree-planting, coastal clean-up and a guided birdwatching trip.

Month of the Ocean event poster

(L-R) Anna Gonzales, former Cong. Cynthia Villar, Rey Aguinaldo

9th Club Anniversary - 7/14

New batch of officers (L-R): Sec. Maia Tanedo, President Mike Lu, Vice President Gina Mapua and Treasurer Henry So

Outgoing President Anna Gonzales delivering the annual report.

The 9th Club Anniversary held at the La Vista Clubhouse was well-attended with over 140 members and guests. Starting the General Assembly hosted by Paula Peralejo and Charlie Fernandez, were the annual report by outgoing President Anna Gonzales, Records Committee report by Arne Jensen and the financial report by Mike Lu.

Program hosts Paula Peralejo and Charlie Fernandez with Mark Villa.
The Anniversary program followed with the launching the 8th Philippine Bird Festival to be held in Manila in December, the 6th International Hornbill Conference to be held in April 2013 and the Big Year contest that will end on next year's anniversary.

Club election results were announced with the following new officers: Mike Lu for president, Gina Mapua for vice president, Maia Tanedo for secretary, and Henry So for treasurer. The Execom later unanimously voted for Jops Josef as the fifth officer.

Club merchandise and Celestron optics were on sale. Club members contributed books, dvds, artworks and several items for the annual silent auction with profits going to the Club's many activities.

Let’s Talk Raptors lecture series – 9/21 & 9/28


9/21 Let’s Talk Raptors at Josef residence (Quezon City)
Alex Tiongco gave a lecture on “Raptor migration in the Philippines: An overview,” briefing WBCP members the audience with the identification of migratory raptors species and the general migratory routes in the country.  The lecture, held at the residence of Jops Josef , was followed by the showing of 2 documentary films from Taiwan, Honey Buzzards of 99 Peaks and the Story of the Grey-faced Buzzard.
9/28 Asian Raptor Research & Conservation Network (ARRCN) Talk at Metro Club (Makati)
Hosted by Jops Josef and Maia Tanedo, the talk commenced with Toru Yamazaki briefing the audience with importance of raptor diversity and research in Asia and a brief background on the history of ARRCN.  Tatsuyoshi Murate followed with identifying marks for migrating raptors in the Philippines and Yasunori Nitani concluded with raptor migration in east and southeast Asia.  The book, Field Guide to Raptors of Asia brought in by the speakers from Japan for the occasion was immediately sold-out.

International Conference on Wildlife Tourism and Conservation, Taipei – 9/29-30

The International Conference on Wildlife Tourism and Conservation was held at the  Tungnan University in Taipei (Taiwan) on September 29-30.  Organized by the Taiwan Ecotourism Association and Tungnan University, the conference brings together ecotourism promoters and stakeholders to share best practices and challenges.  WBCP representative Mike Lu joined ecotourism experts from Japan, Malaysia, South Africa, Ireland and Taiwan as a speaker at the conference.

Group photo with speakers and organizers of the conference

Post-conference trip to Kenting National Park for raptor-watching

8th Philippine Bird Festival -Manila Bay-12/7-9

In partnership with the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environment  & Natural Resources and the National Parks Development Committee, the 8th Philippine Bird Festival was held at the Rizal Park on December 7-9. Festivities started with a Welcome Dinner at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area sponsored by the DENR-NCR on the eve of the bird festival.

 Cultural dance at the Welcome Dinner hosted by the DENR-NCR at the LPPCHEA

The Calayan Rail mascot brought in by the Isla
Biodiversity Conservation.

The festival venue was divided into three different areas.  The environment/conservation area hosted the booths of the Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (Japan), Wild Bird Society of Taipei (Taiwan), Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Nature Society (Singapore), Malaysian Nature Society, Wild Bird Club of Korea, Chinese Wild Bird Federation, Chengdu Birdwatching Society (China), Borneo Bird Club (Malaysia), Phillipine Eagle Foundation, Katala Foundation, Haribon Foundation, Mabuwaya Foundation, Isla Biodiversity Conservation, PENAGMANNAKI, Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, WWF-Philippines, Swarovski Optik, Save Freedom Island Movement.

The ecotourism area hosted the booths of the Sabah Tourism Board, Taiwan Ecotourism Association, Gujarat Tourism, Thailand Cycling Club, Birding Adventure Philippines, Department of Tourism/Department of Environment Region IX, Municipality of Candaba, and the Province of Cavite.

 The Philippine National Police’s Capt. Emer Oceo finishing his drawing of a Balicassiao







Students crowding around the Sabah Tourism Board during the Birdquest contest The education/activity area was dominated by the booth of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines,the Education booth, and the Activity booth offering coloring, origami, drawing and face-painting






Guided birdwatching trips were conducted for delegates and school children at the LPPCHEA while lectures covering conservation activities and ecotourism were held at the auditorium of the Department of Tourism.

 Birder friends at the DOT Night (L-R) Victor Yu, Maia Tanedo, Joni Acay (in front), Jun Osano, Cess Chua, Maritess Falcon, Andrew Sebastian

WBCP presenting a token of appreciation during the DOT Night (L-R) Mike Lu, DOT Usec. Ma. Victoria Jasmin, Gina Mapua