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Dumaguete to Host Bird Festival

Metro Post
By Reuel John F. Lumawag
Sun, Aug 07, 2011

Press conference during the launching (L-R)
Festival chairperson Mike Lu, WBCP president Anna
Gonzales and Angel Alcala representing Silliman University

To raise the public’s awareness of the importance of birds to the forest, the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines will hold the 7th Philippine Bird Festival in Dumaguete on Sept. 23-24 with the theme “Birds in the Wild: Help Forest”.

The festival is organized by WBCP together with the City of Dumaguete, the province of Negros Oriental and Silliman University.

“We want to emphasize the ecological functions of the birds in the wild. Birds are natural farmers of vegetation and they also keep natural balance,” said WBCP President Ana Maria M. Gonzales at the pre-launch of the festival held at Robinson’s Place Dumaguete Aug. 1.

Their basis of choosing Dumaguete as the host city of the festival is the efforts that it has done for bird habitat. Gonzales added that it is sort of a way in celebrating the work that had been done not only in Dumaguete but also Negros Oriental and Silliman University, which she also dubbed as the “cradle of ornithology” for producing many experts in the field.

The event will include an exhibit by both foreign and local birdwatchers. Foreign exhibitors will come from Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore wherein they will be showcasing the birds of their countries and some bird watching materials.

According to Gonzales the main highlight of the event would be the conservation forum on the conservation status of the birds in Negros Oriental like the Negros bleeding-heart pigeon and conservation issues of this time.

Other activities that will be of interest during the festival are quiz bowls, exhibits, coloring, face painting, and bird watching tours for a select number of kids. Many activities are mainly for kids since according to Gonzales “Our dream for the Philippine Bird Festival is our children will grow in these kinds of knowledge about our birds.”

Former WBCP President Michael Lu said there will be no displays of live birds during the event.

The WBCP is a non-profit organization that was established 2003 to promote bird watching as a hobby and the responsible enjoyment of nature. It is a club with members from different walks of life who are interested in the wild birds of the Philippines and the preservation of the birds.

Last year’s bird festival was held in Davao City which was also the Asian Bird Fair while the first bird festival was held in 2005 in Quezon City.

Also present in the pre-launch was Gov. Roel Degamo and officials of Silliman University led by VPAA Betsy Joy B. Tan. (Reuel John F. Lumawag/SU Masscom intern)