Department of Tourism
WBCP members Mike Lu, Ivan Sarenas and
shows Secretary Durano the birds of Subic rainforest
DURANO OPTIMISTIC ON BIRDWATCHING
IN THE COUNTRY
DOT Secretary Ace Durano expressed extreme
confidence that the art of birdwatching will be the wave of
the future as he tries to be “de-virginized” in
this new field of endeavour in tourism.
This was the announcement made by Regional
Director Ronaldo Tiotuico of the Central Luzon regional office
as he accompanied the DOT secretary in his first-ever on-the-job-
training in birdwatching in Bataan and Subic Bay Freeport.
Durano, in his speech before a congregation
of Bataan LGU officials and administration personnel at Joyous
Fishpond Resort in Balanga City led by Mayor Joet Garcia,
Congressman Albert Garcia and Governor Enrique Garcia , said
that he was so elated by the efforts exerted by the Wild Bird
Club of the Philippines led by its president Mr. Michael Lu
including Recreational Outdoor Exchange (ROX) and the Philippine
Convention and Visitors Corp. (PCVC) in creating awareness
of the new tourism product, particularly in Balanga City,
Subic Bay Freeport, Candaba in Pampanga, and Bani in Pangasinan.
To emphasize the value of this new learning
experience, Durano launched Volume 1 of the book entitled
Birdwaching in the Philippines in September this year which
was put together by the group of writers and bird enthusiasts
led by writer Carlos Libosada Jr., Robert Alejandro, Arnel
Telesforo and WBCP president Michael Lu as consultation. As
if to fan the flames even more intensely, he stressed the
fact that the tourism department will play host to the 1st
International Birders Convention to be held in Balanga City
in October next year.
Durano expressed his commitment to make this
part of Central Luzon as the birding capital in the country.
He cited the reasons why.
Balanga City is an attractive stop-over
for migratory birds as the Bataan Peninsula lies in what is
known as the East Asian Australian Flyway. Three villages
(barangays) of Puerto Rivas, Tortugas and Sibacan are the
most popular stop-over and feeding grounds for thousands of
migratory birds that include gulls, terns, herons and egrets.
Balanga City offers great opportunities for bird photography
and learning experience in natural history.
In Subic Bay Freeport alone, there are at
least three areas where one may encounter the most number
of birds like raptors, parrots, coucals, malkohas, woodpeckers,
pigeons and hornbills. These areas are: Hill 394, Nabasan
area and Triboa. Although birdwatching is possible almost
anytime during the year (except during heavy downpour), the
best time to do this here is during the months of February
Candaba Marsh in Pampanga is 32,000 hectares
of wetlands and is the first protected area where migratory
and endemic birds flock by the thousands. The wetland is a
wintering area for wild birds usually from the months of October
to April. There are about 60 bird species which include Philippine
duck, garganeys, northern pintail, northern shoveler, herons
and egrets. Newly discovered species in the area now include
eurasian spoonbill, and the black-browed reed warbler.
As a general rule, the ideal time for birwatching
in the country is from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
to 6:00 p.m. with opportunities to view the nocturnals before
5:00 a.m. and beyond 6:00 p.m.
For further information on birdwatching,
please contact the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp.,
Corporate Relations Department, 4/F Legaspi Towers, Roxas
Blvd. , Manila , c/o Project Director Stanie Soriano, Tel.
No. (63 2) 525-9318 / 521-6165 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Website at www.dotpcvc.gov.ph