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Hundred Islands tops bird watching site

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:50:00 12/04/2008

PANGASINAN, Philippines ”The Hundred Islands National Park is gearing up to welcome bird watchers from all over the world after the recent launch at the World Travel Mart in the United Kingdom of the book Birdwatching in the Philippines.

In the book, the Hundred Islands park in Alaminos City was mentioned as one of 13 best bird watching sites in the Philippines.

Other sites featured in the book are: Bangrin Marine Protected Area (Bani, Pangasinan); Puerto Princesa City’s Subterranean River National Park; Rasa Island (Narra, Palawan); Subic Bay Freeport Zone; Balanga City (Bataan); Candaba Marsh (Pampanga); Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat; Mt. Palay-Palay National Park (Ternate, Cavite); Villa Escudero (Tiaong, Quezon), Alcoy Forest (Cebu); Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary (Lapu-Lapu City) and the Philippine Eagle Center (Davao City).

The Department of Tourism (DOT) hosted the international book launching at the World Trade Mart in London, inviting bird lovers all over the world to come and see the rich diversity of birds in the Philippines.

The book written by Carlos M. Libosada Jr. was published by the DOT and the Recreational Outdoor Exchange (ROX), Southeast Asia’s biggest outdoor superstore, in cooperation with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said bird watching could be the next big tourism draw. The Philippines hosts some 600 bird species, 200 of them endemic or found only in the Philippines.

Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza joined the London event and met with the representatives of the Europe-based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and the Bird Fair Organizers (BFO).

RSPB, headed by a well-known British television broadcaster, Julian Pettifer, is Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity with Queen Elizabeth II as its principal patron.

DOT had praised Braganza for his efforts to conserve and protect various bird species in the Hundred Islands.

HINP is also one of the 10 beautiful island paradises chosen in the Philippines, Braganza pitched. Braganza stressed the need to bring together bird lovers, hobbyists, conservationists, ecotourism managers and other stakeholders to better protect Philippine birds. He said British Fair Organizers and Durano are likely to ink a pact to acknowledge the Philippines as the Country of Honor at the United Kingdom Bird Fair scheduled in August next year.