Eagle Week and it's one week of fun
Saturday, June 5, 2010
By Stella A. Estremera
IN A generation raised with computers, mobile
phones and remote controls, and get their music and videos not
from the regular music shops but from downloads in the internet,
shouting agitation slogans, raising clenched fists, waving red
flags and just showing anger against the system just no longer
brings them to action.
There's just too many music and videos still
to be downloaded. And yes, shouting isn't fun when you're not
So groove they did in the FlashMob Dance that saw regularly clothed
teens and friends break out in a dance on the driveway of NCCC
Mall last week to start off the "GreenMob", which ushers
in the 12th Philippine Eagle Week.
Davao City has one distinct celebration that
sets is apart from all other cities and provinces in the country
-- the Philippine Eagle Week as set aside by Presidential Proclamation
No. 79 issued last February 24, 1999. The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga
jefferyi), being the national bird, has all the reason to be celebrated
for by the country. But Davao City holds the distinction of being
the home of the conservation efforts for this giant raptor. Thus,
there is the bigger reason to celebrate.
With the theme "Sa Agila May Pag-asa Laban
sa Pagbabago ng Klima", this year's Philippine Eagle Week,
which started last Friday and will end on the 13th, brings in
activities that makes conservation efforts and environmental concern
become more fun, and thus be better imbibed with today's multi-media,
multi-tasked and generally attention-deficit generation.
The GreenMob, the start of the week's celebration
stands for Green Mobilization, where alternative and energy-efficient
modes of mobilization are tapped -- walking, biking, skating,
and every other means to move. The participants, however, opted
to go the easier way -- walk and run toward Matina where carpool
vehicles are gathered to bring the participants to the Philippine
Eagle Center in Malagos, Baguio District, for the opening ceremonies.
Yesterday, today and on Wednesday, photography
enthusiasts will learn the basics of wildlife photography at the
SM City Event Centre.
Wild Views Photography Workshop seeks not only
to give some tips on how take photos of wildlife, but also to
impart the ethics and proper decorum in responsible photography
of wildlife and wildlife habitats. The message to be imparted,
photography is but a tool, the photographer but an observer. The
main character that should be respected and approached with care
is Mother Nature.
Today, you and your family can still get to
meet some birds and wildlife at the SM Event Centre in the Animal
Encounter. Learn about the wildlife our city is host to and get
a souvenir photo with them.
Race for Pag-asa
Today will be the "Race for Pag-asa, race
for climate change" from the People's Park in downtown Davao
City to the Philippine Eagle Center.
An adventure race composed of teams made up
of three participants each, the racers will not only try to outrun
their opponents but will also be made to do tasks and challenges
that will test their knowledge on climate change and eagle conservation.
With ten pit stops between the start and finish
line, organizers estimate the race to last for eight hours.
It would be fun to go out and see how the race
unfolds today. So drop by People's Park just before 8 a.m. for
the start of the race, or check on the racers progress from People's
Park to MacArthur Highway to Davao-Bukidnon Highway .
This activity is a partnership between the Philippine
Eagle Foundation and uLink, an IT company providing free SMS service
to Philippine networks.
Also part of the race are the Royal Blood Rescue
Team, Habagat, Killer Bee 89.1, Malagos Garden Resort, Deca Wakeboard
Park , Davao Crocodile Park , Caltex Ulas, ABS-CBN and Zip City
Winners stand to get P7,000.00, P5,000.00, and
P3,000.00 for the top three places.
Arakan Valley, one of the identified habitats
of the Philippine Eagle, will host the month-long activity intended
to bring back the forests where the eagles live.
Residents and visitors alike are encouraged
to sponsor the planting of trees in Arakan Valley for P100 per
You can just contact PEF through Tatit Quiblat
at 082 2712337, 09177122895 or firstname.lastname@example.org
to send in your help. And you can opt to just pledge seedlings
or actually plant the seedlings in a field trip with the PEF to
get to see the reforestation area and the indigenous peoples of
Arakan who are doing their share in reforesting their once lush
An eagle pair considers 7,000 hectares of forestland
as their territory. For the eagles to thrive, Davao and Mindanao
has to bring back its fast-depleting forests. But this effort
will come with a big bonus: a slowing down to climate change,
the effects of which we are already feeling now.
RP Bird Festival
The celebration doesn't just come to an end
on June 13 as PEF with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines will
be hosting the First Asian Bird Fair along with the 6th Philippine
Bird Festival on September 24-26, right here in Davao City.
The Philippine Bird Festival is the country's
main conservation and eco-tourism event. This will be the first
time that it will be held in Davao City .
On the other hand, the first-ever Asian Bird
Fair intends to highlight the bird festival of participating countries
to drum up interest on birdwatching as a viable eco-tourism come-on
as well as to promote the natural and cultural heritage of the
This festival is a joint project of the Wild
Bird Club of the Philippines , the Bird Conservation Society of
Thailand, the Chinese Wild Bird Federation, the Wild Bird Society
of Taipei, the Malaysian Nature Society and the Nature Society
As such, the bird-watching and conservation
groups of these countries are expected to fly in and participate.
It also expects to bring in bird watchers, conservationists, eco-tourism
promoters, sustainable development providers, and nature lovers
from around the country, Asia and Europe .
The Birdfest will be launched on June 13.
Indeed, conservation and climate change are
today's buzzword. But awareness without involvement can still
spell doom for our Philippine Eagle -- long regarded as the barometer
for our country's environmental health.
With fast-dwindling forests and mountains now
being sold off for mining of all kinds, our country's environmental
health will be heading to even worse states and the two-hour rotational
brownouts of Davao City and the six-hour rotational brownouts
elsewhere will just become the norm. Until government brings in
nuclear power, that is... and then we all might just break into
another FlashMob dance.