Punto ! Central Luzon
By Ernie B. Esconde
BALANGA CITY - The Department of Environment
and Natural Resources, Region 3 office, in cooperation with
the city government of Balanga on Saturday released in a mountain
village here six mature Brahminy Kites from the raptor species
of birds locally known as “lawin”, as its regional
director called on every one to further care for the environment.
Ricardo Calderon, DENR 3 regional executive
director, urged all other regional offices to follow the example
of Balanga City in releasing to the wilds eagles and other
birds in captivity or under rehabilitation.
He said that such undertaking is very meaningful
to create social awareness or awareness of the people in conserving
the environment and “an indicator na kailangang-kailangang
pagandahin pa natin ang kalikasan.”
Calderon said that if the environment is
properly protected, flash floods and landslides bringing destruction
to lives and property in the country should have been lessened
if not avoided. Provincial environment and natural resources
officer Lawyer Ricardo Lazarro said caring for the birds is
showing love for the environment.
Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III,
barangay officials, DENR officials and delegates from the
Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, Wild Bird Society of Taipei,
Kaohsiung Wild Bird Society, Chinese Wild Bird Society, Malaysian
Nature Society, Nature Society of Singapore, Hongkong Birdwatching
Society and Bird Conservation Society of Thailand witnessed
The release of the birds was part of the
concluding two-day 5th Philippine Bird Festival held in Balanga
which Tourism Sec. Ace Durano described as the biggest celebration
on birdwatching so far in the country.
After traveling three kilometers of well-paved
road by car, they hiked about a kilometer of the unfinished
dirt road to the beautiful Stella Maris Retreat Center run
by Sisters of Notre Dame in Upper Tuyo, Balanga City.
Medics of Balanga City with their ambulance
were on standby to attend to hikers.
Nuns enjoyed watching the birds freed from
the cage and one or two “lawin” staying on branches
of tall trees.
“Majestic, just beautiful, we appreciate
having the birds in our property and we hope to see them flying
through the skies many times,” novice director Sister
Later in the day, the group went birdwatching
at a dry fishpond adjacent to a sprawling subdivision in barangay
Tuyo. There white migratory birds belonging to small, medium
and large egrets were busy feeding and sometimes flying over