club membership now stands at 132 members.
of the members are based in Metro Manila, but membership from
the Luzon provinces has increased. We now have members from
the following: Cavite (6), Laguna (3), Bulacan (1), Bataan
(1), Pampanga (4), Nueva Ecija (3), La Union (2), and Benguet
of Luzon, we have members in Cebu (7), Iloilo (1), and Davao
(2). The WBCP also has 7 members based abroad: Singapore (2),
Japan (1), UK (4), US (2), Canada (1) & Venezuela (1).
expected, most members are Filipinos. However, foreign nationals
based in the country and abroad have also signed up as club
members. Among these were British (6), American (5), Canadian
(1), Danish (2), Indonesian (1), Singaporean (2) & Indian
TRIPS, Guided and Club
Trips - 32 trips
the year started guided trips for first-timers, organized
trips upon request from different institutions and trips with
visiting foreign birdwatchers have continued to be popular.
WBCP conducts monthly-guided tours for the general public
to introduce bird watching to more people. For these introductory
trips, the sites visited were the American War Memorial in
Fort Bonifacio (5 trips), South Cemetery (Makati), Tambo mudflats
& Coastal Road Lagoons in Parañaque (3 trips),
UP Diliman campus in Quezon City (5 trips), Rizal Park and
Pasig riverbanks in Manila (1), Mt. Makiling (Laguna) and
the first guided trip in Cebu held at the Royale Cebu Estates
in Casili, Concepcion.
WBCP was also invited to conduct bird-watching activities
for the DLSU Eco-camp in Mt. Makiling (Laguna), the
Slow Food Convivium at Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), a class
of Environmental Journalism students at the UP campus
(Quezon City) and for WWF members who attended Figaro
Foundation's coffee farm tour at the IIRR compound in
club played a key role in promoting bird watching in
the country by providing assistance and bird guides
to visiting birders. In January, club members took Singapore-based
photographer Edsel Ramos to the Tambo mudflats for a
photo shoot. Four Taiwanese birders led by Scott Lin,
from the Endemic Species Research Institute in Nantou,
Taiwan, came on a 3-week bird watching trip.
February, nine birders from the Wild Bird Federation
of Taiwan led by its president, Dr. Tseng Guo-fang,
also spent 3 weeks birding different sites in the islands
of Luzon, Mindanao and Palawan. Davao-based birders
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Glick, & visiting American
birder Ron Martin were shown around the UP campus in
Quezon City while Canadian birder Todd Pepper, on his
last business trip to the Philippines, asked to see
the Tambo mudflats.
birder Marc Boss who came in April to attend the International
Parliamentary Union conference joined club members on
a birding trip with to Mt. Makiling.
started with a request by the Philippine Eagle Foundation
in Manila to accompany American raptor book author Dr.
William Clark on a half-day birding within Manila. Okinawa-based
UP Geology graduate Allan Fernando, who first birded
with the club 2 years ago, was shown around newly discovered
sites in his old alma mater. Singapore businessman &
bird photographer Ivor Lee went on his first trip to
Subic in the company by 3 birders. Another Singaporean,
artist Yong Ding Li, visited sites in Luzon, Bohol,
and Palawan with new-found birding buddy, Mark Villa.
August, a couple of visiting German biologists, Olaf
Harjes and Tina Warnecke-Velasquez, went birdwatching
with club members at the Tambo mudflats and Coastal
Club Trips - 32 trips
WBCP regularly conducts bird watching trips for club
members. Between January & September 2005, a total
32 trips were organized. These trips include joint trips
with the DENR for bird counts during the Asian Waterbird
club scheduled two trips to Tambo Mudflats & Coastal
Road Lagoon (Parañaque), and one trip to each
of the following sites: Arroceros Forest Park (Manila),
University of the Philippines (QC), Ateneo de Manila
University (QC), Corinthian Gardens (Quezon City), Hagonoy
Pumping Station (Taguig) & the parking lot of the
Burger King in Welcome Rotunda (QC) to watch a pair
of Peregrine Falcons!
Outside Metro Manila, the club scheduled one trip each
to Westgrove Heights (Cavite), the Toyota Plant in Laguna
International Industrial Park (Laguna), Mt. Makiling
(Laguna), Boso-boso (Antipolo), Tanay (Rizal) &
Sta. Cruz (Zambales). Five trips to Mt. Palay-Palay/Caylabne
Bay Resort (Cavite), four trips to the Candaba Marsh
(Pampanga) and one trip to the Pampanga Agricultural
In cooperation with the Manila Bay
Environmental Management Project (MBEMP) of the Department
of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the WBCP
contributed to the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) with
data from six sites.
year, the WBCP led the first census for Manila Bay sites
within Metro Manila. This year, the club again led the
census for two Metro Manila sites --Navotas and Parañaque.
WBCP also initiated the first joint AWC with DENR-Region
3 at Bgy. Simang, Candaba, Pampanga.. As a follow-up
activity, we also conducted a joint 2nd quarter bird
count with the DENR & MBEMP in April in Brgys. Simang
& Paralaya in Candaba.
WBCP birders also contributed data from two new wetland
sites not previously covered by the DENR --Binlod in
the town of Argao, and the South Reclamation Project
in Cebu City.
January, UK-based WBCP birder Jon Hornbuckle gave a
lecture on Birds of the Philippines before 60 birders
and students at the University of the Philippines.
birder Todd Pepper on his last business trip in March
turned over three pairs of used binoculars to the club.
May, the president had the opportunity to meet with
Philip Round of the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand
(BCST) and author of Birds of Thailand.
was invited by Kag. Norman Subido in July to give a
talk on Philippine birds to 300+ Grade 5 & 6 students
of the SSS Village Elementary School.
August, upon the invitation of the WWF, Alice Villa-real
gave a talk about Migratory Birds to Grade 3 pupils
of the Beacon School in Taguig.
the launching of the World Bank's annual state-of-the-environment
publication, the Philippine Environment Monitor (PEM)
2004, the WBCP was chosen as one of the Environmental
Champions. PEM 2004 recognized environment champions
"who have relied largely on their own resources
and have demonstrated strong commitment to become pioneering
champions of environmental protection."
awards, given out for the first time this year, was
held at the Visitor's Center of the Ninoy Aquino Park
on June 20, 2005. The awards were handed out by Secretary
Mike Defensor of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) and Mr. Joachim von Amsberg, the Country
Director of the World Bank office in Manila.
the same month, the Babuyan Expedition led by Carmela
Espanola was awarded a British Petroleum Conservation
Programme research grant award in the silver category
for their project that seeks to conserve the Calayan
Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo publicized the Asian Waterbird
Census in January. The nation's leading newspapers (Inquirer,
Bulletin and Star) and major news networks (ABS, ABC,
GMA & RPN) featured the census.
Candaba birds were also featured in TV shows, Magandang
Gabi Bayan & Jessica Soho Reports. Senator Pia Cayetano
of the Committee on Environment also attended the bird
Bulletin's Picture Perfect column by Raffy Paredes featured
the bird photographs of Gerry de Villa on May 11 and
Romy Ocon on June 15.
Philippine Daily Inquirer posted an article on June
23 written by Delfin Mallari, Jr. on the Philippine
Ducks and other wild birds found inside the Mirant power
plant in Pagbilao, Quezon. The writer was accompanied
by WBCP founding members Mike Lu and Ricky de Castro,
who works for the Mirant Foundation.
June 26 issue of the Starweek magazine of the Philippine
Star featured the Babuyan expedition members - Lala
Espanola, Carl Oliveros & Mads Bajarias - in the
article, “Crusaders of the Wild” by Ann
WBCP member Yong Ding Li was featured in the article
“Birding in Paradise with Ballpoint Pens”
by Patricia Adversario on the July 19 edition of the
web-based Global Pinoy of INQ7.
The August 7 issue of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine,
writer Ross Harper-Alonso featured a full-page article
on the WBCP and the Environmental Champion award. In
the same issue, Carmela Espanola was also the subject
of a full-page article “Child of the Forest &
Her Winged Victory” by Nestor Burgos. Jr.
Daily Inquirer columnist Michael Tan wrote about his
birding experience after joining WBCP’s monthly
guided trip on the September 14 issue of his column,
Affairs & Future Plans
January 8, the WBCP held an election to select officers
for the year 2005. The new members of the Executive
Committee are Mike Lu (President), Jon Villasper (Vice-
President), Kitty Arce (Secretary) and Albert Ramos
(Treasurer). As stipulated by the club by-laws, a fifth
member should be elected by the newly elected Execom.
The Execom's unanimous choice was Nilo Arribas, Jr.,
who is based in Cebu.
WBCP celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary party on
July 16 at the residence of club secretary, Kitty Arce.
The program hosted by Anna Gonzales started with the
Membership, Trips and Records Committees reporting updates
to the members. Members were also asked to introduce
themselves and state the reasons why they joined the
club. Bird identification & club trivia games followed
with T-shirts designed by Arnel Telesforo as prizes.
club will hold the 1st Philippine Bird Festival on
November 18, 2005 at the Crossroad 77 Convenarium
in Quezon City. The festival hopes to bring to attention
the country's avifauna diversity to the general public.
Activities include photo and art exhibits, lectures,
film showing, children’s activities & bird
watching trips. Exhibitors include the Philippine
Eagle Foundation, Katala Foundation, WWF-Philippines,
My Zoo Foundation, Isla Biodiversity Conservation,
Conservation International, Center for Environmental
Awareness and Education, Winner Foundation, National
Museum-Manila, Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau
(PAWB) & Manila Bay Environmental Management Project
(MBEMP) of the DENR-NCR.
the WBCP has initially set itself out to be a bird-watching
club, it gradually gets involved in conservation work.
The Records Committee has worked on an updated Philippine
Checklist and maintains a record of bird sightings
from members, other environmental organizations and
to the WBCP participation in the AWC, the club presented
bird data during a consultative meeting at the DENR
to draft an action plan to preserve the Candaba marsh.
also continues to monitor the government's plan to
reclaim parts of coastal Parañaque & Las
Piñas where more than 100 species of resident
and migratory birds have been recorded by club members
in the last two years
it seems that the DENR-NCR has given up hope on saving
Tambo mudflats, we were assured that the mangroves
and mudflats on Freedom Island has taken the interest
of the local governments of Las Piñas and Parañaque.
Robert Alejandro & Caloy Libosada produced a powerpoint
presentation based on the draft prepared by Arne Jensen
to develop the lagoons into a bird sanctuary. The
presentation was shown to the DENR and local stakeholders.
However the representatives of the local government
were not present and have not responded to our request
for an appointment despite repeated attempts.
The WBCP hopes to bring media attention to the destruction
of the only primary forest left in Cavite. A highway
being constructed through the Mt. Palay-Palay National
Park, the only Important Bird Area (IBA) in Cavite has
momentarily been stopped due to lack of counterpart
government funds. We are working behind-the-scenes to
inform the potential donor agency of the continued destruction
of this IBA should the project continue as planned.
WBCP was recently invited by Roberto Cereno, program
leader of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems
for a meeting to get input from club members on how
the park could be more birder-friendly. Mr. Cereno has
requested WBCP members to select a bird to represent
much deliberation, the members settled for the endemic
Scale-feathered Malkoha. Birder-artist Jo Mike Tejido
submitted a logo to the park administrators for approval.
Wildlife Rescue Center of the Protected Areas and Wildlife
Bureau (PAWB) has rehabilitated 15 White-bellied Sea-eagles
for release into the wild. Upon request for assistance,
the WBCP provided the leash and leather materials to
be used during transport. The eagles has been scheduled
to be transferred to Corregidor Island in Manila Bay
in late October.