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Philippine Bird Festival goes to Cebu

The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines is holding the 3rd Philippine Bird Festival – Sugbu, Just Watch, Don’t Catch! a 2-day event to raise conservation awareness through the promotion of bird-watching and the responsible appreciation of nature.

The logo of this year’s bird festival is the Cebu Flowerpecker, a species found nowhere in the world but Cebu. This species was thought to be extinct until chanced upon by a visiting amateur birdwatcher in 1992.

Now on its third year, the Philippine Bird Festival will be held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino on September 21, 2007 and at the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary on September 22, 2007.

The festival at the Waterfront Hotel will feature lectures, photo exhibits, film shows, art activities and face-painting for kids.

The Bird Festival will culminate with the 2nd Philippine Duck Forum where conservationists and the academe will discuss the status and local efforts to save the endemic Philippine Duck.

On the second day, delegates will head for the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary. There they will witness the arrival of the first migrant shorebirds from northern Asia and hold joint activities with the island community.

WBCP Vice President and Festival Chairperson Alice Villa-Real said organizers hope to raise awareness of the diversity of Cebu bird life and promote conservation of threatened species and habitats on the island. Schools are encouraged to participate and admission is free.

The idea to hold the festival in Cebu was conceived early this year and has received support and encouragement from conservation organizations and business sector.
Among the organizations that are participating in the festival are the Philippine Eagle Foundation, Katala Foundation, Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, WWF-Philippines, Center for Environmental Awareness and Education, Isla Biodiversity Conservation and Kaakbay CDI. Foreign organizations participating in the bird festival for the first time include the Wild Bird Society of Taipei (Taiwan), the Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (Malaysia), the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand and the City of Seosan (Korea).

“The 3rd Philippine Bird Festival is a watershed event for bird watching and environmental conservation in Cebu,” said WBCP president Michael Lu. “We are officially launching the bird festival during the Club’s 4th Anniversary on July 14. On behalf of the Festival Committee, I encourage and invite members and friends of the Club to register their support for the project.”

The 3rd Philippine Bird Festival is sponsored by the TeaM Energy Foundation, Sulpicio Lines, Pioneer Insurance, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Cebu City Mayor’s Office, and WWF-Philippines. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Festival Chair Alice Villa-Real (Manila) at or 0917-5397861 and Nilo Arribas, Jr (Cebu) at or 0906-5851881.

For school participation inquiries, please contact Ms Evelyn Nacario of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation at or 255-5626/27.

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