|Going Out section
September 22, 2006
Festival for the Birds
By ANNA BARBARA L. LORENZO, Reporter
2006 Philippine Bird Festival - Endemik: Dito Lang sa Pinas
Sept. 22 and 23
Crossroad 77 Convenarium, Mother Ignacia Ave. cor. Scout Reyes St., QC
It is probably the only festival where the main protagonists are physically
absent. After all, the festival celebrates their life and their freedom.
For the second year, the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) is holding
the Philippine Bird Festival. This year, the group hooked up with various
environmental organizations to campaign for the conservation of bird species
endemic to the country.
Endemik: Dito Lang sa Pinas is a two-day event that will expose children and
adults to the variety of birds unique to the Philippines.
"Essentially, the festival will educate the next generation of Filipinos
about the beauty of the environment when it comes to birds. Most of us only
know about the maya, when, in fact, we have 580 species of birds and 180 of
these are endemic or indigenous to the Philippines," Bird Festival Committee
Chairperson Alice Villa-Real said in an interview.
She said among the country's endemic birds are the Philippine Pygmy
Woodpecker and the White-eared Brown Dove which may be found in parks and
wooded areas right here in Metro Manila.
During the festival, the public will have an opportunity to try an
introduction to the basics of bird watching. Bird optics, or the device
similar to a telescope, will be placed in strategic locations for the public
's use. There are no real birds in the festival but the public may use the
optics to search and observe five stuffed endemic birds which will be on
display during the event.
Students at the Philippine Bird Photographers booth (Left)
and Gerry de Villa introduces young student to the joy of birdwatching
"They can look at the bird, its plumage, color, beak, the size and the
length, everything that is being observed on a real bird-watching event,"
Ms. Villa-Real said.
Aside from the stuffed birds, photos and paintings will also be on display
to show the beauty of the birds found in the Philippines.
Nicky Icarangal teaches little girl how to look through a scope
"We realized that most people do not really know what kinds of birds are in
the Philippines. They know about the Philippine Eagle but they do not know
what it looks like. Even the textbooks in high school do not say anything
about the Philippine eagle because we still use imported books," said Wild
Bird Club President Michael Lu. "If you know about the birds, then you would
start caring about them and the environment."
This year's bird festival also features lectures on birds as well as
documentaries which were shown in the recent Moonrise Film Festival. Kids
can also enjoy face painting and drawing activities offered by conservation
groups and social development foundations.
Participating groups include WWF-Philippines, Philippine Eagle Foundation,
Haribon Foundation, Isla Biodiversity Conservation, Center for Environmental
Awareness and Education, Conservation International, and the Environment and
Natural Resources Department.