By MAR T. SUPNAD
February 1, 2010, 7:41 pm
BALANGA CITY , Bataan — Mayor Joet
S. Garcia’s programs in ecotourism in this city, particularly
on bird-watching activities, have attracted tourists and local
visitors in this coastal area.
Garcia and the City Council headed by Vice
Mayor Noel Valdecanas have poured in a large amount in their
bid to promote tourism particularly on bird watching in the
coastal villages of Tortugas, Sibacan, and Porto Rivas.
Newsmen learned that officials of the Department
of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and bird experts
conducted over the weekend a census of the water birds here
and a pack of tour guides from the Philippine Women’s
University (PWU) Balanga campus assisted them.
The five tour guides from the PWU Balanga
campus were faculty members Jayson Cayanan and Frances Rosselle
Gonzales, and tourism students Chyrwin Field, Jinky Larion,
and Pamela Banzon.
To give them more insights, the five underwent
a series of tour guiding seminars conducted by the Provincial
Tourism Office, and the Balanga Tourism Office.
Included in the training package is the development
of skill for identifying and naming the migratory and endemic
birds found in the wetlands and mudflats here.
It was learned that the Department of Tourism
(DoT) has included an area in the villages of Sibacan, Tortugas,
and Puerto Rivas, this city, as among the 12 official bird-watching
sites in the Philippines .
Garcia said the remarkable boost in the ecotourism
in this city, particularly on being a bird-watching site,
has spawned tour guiding job opportunities here.
According to the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
, the wetlands in this city attract one of the largest concentrations
of migrant shorebirds and waterfowls anywhere in the Philippines
Just recently, the city government here successfully
held the two-day “5th Philippine Bird Festival,”
that was attended by 5,000 bird watching delegates from six
Asian and European countries, students, tourism and local
Dubbed the country’s largest celebration
of avifaunal diversity and bird lore awareness, Tourism Secretary
Ace Durano was himself impressed by the activity, and vowed
to promote the Balanga City Nature and Wetland Park as a model
bird sanctuary in the Philippines .
Visiting here upon the invitation of Garcia,
author of the theme “Ibong Dayo, Kaibigan Tayo,”
Bataan Gov. Tet Garcia, and Rep. Abet S. Garcia (2nd District,
Bataan), who fully extended full support to the preservation
of bird sanctuary here, Durano said that he was amazed by
the bird festival after he first saw the arrival of various
birds with different colors that flocked along the fishponds
in the coastal village of Tortugas, this city.