club membership now stands at 149 members.
Majority of the members are based in Metro
Manila, but membership from the Luzon provinces has increased.
We now have members from the following: Cavite (7), Laguna
(6), Bulacan (1), Bataan (1), Pampanga (4), Nueva Ecija
(3), La Union (2), and Benguet (1).
Outside of Luzon, we have members in Cebu
(11), Iloilo (1), and Davao (1). The WBCP also has 17 members
based abroad: Singapore (2), Taiwan (1), Hong Kong (1),
Japan (1), UK (4), US (6), Canada (2), Denmark (1) & Venezuela
As expected, most members are Filipinos.
However, foreign nationals based in the country and abroad
have also signed up as club members. Among these were American
(9), British (7), Danish (2), Singaporean (2), Canadian
(1), Indonesian (1), & Indian (1).
In the last quarter, Associate Membership
increased with children below ten years old: Telor Camacho
(9), Erin Alcala (8), Louie Martin Flores (8) & Kurt Levy
TRIPS, Guided and Club
Guided Trips - 38 trips
Since 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.
The 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 (7 trips),
the Fort Bonifacio grasslands (1), 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), the
Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), 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 Silang, Cavite and another guided trip in the last
of the grasslands in Fort Bonifacio. The club conducted
a bird counting training at the Coastal Lagoon in
Paranaque for the staff of DENR Region IV-A led by
Regional Technical Director Marco Lagman.
The 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.
Scott Lin and party with Palawan
guide Arnel Mallari (extreme left)
Four Taiwanese birders led by Scott Lin,
from the Endemic Species Research Institute in Nantou, Taiwan,
came on a 3-week bird watching trip.
In 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 take one more look the
Canadian 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.
May 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.
In August, a couple of visiting German
biologists, Olaf Harjes and Tina Warnecke-Velasquez, went
birdwatching with club members at the Tambo mudflats and
Coastal Road Lagoons.
In December, US-based birders Delia Unson
and Chuck Heikkinen birded with club members at the American
Cemetery, Mt. Makiling and Mt Palay-Palay.
Club Trips - 39 trips
The 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
The 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), La Vista Village (Quezon City), Corinthian Gardens
(Quezon City), Beacon School (Taguig), Hagonoy Pumping Station
(Taguig) & the parking lot of the Burger King in Welcome
Rotunda (QC) to watch a pair of Peregrine Falcons!
Club Trip to Candaba Marsh (left)
Club trip to Puerto Rivas sponsored by Bataan Provincial Tourism office (right)
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). Six trips to Mt. Palay-Palay/Caylabne
Bay Resort (Cavite), four trips to the Candaba Marsh (Pampanga),
2 trips to Puerto Rivas wetlands (Bataan) and one trip to
the Pampanga Agricultural College (Pampanga). Club members
were also invited to bird the ash ponds of the Mirant Pagbilao
Plant and Pagbilao Mangrove Experimental Forest (Quezon),
and the Tagaytay Highlands in Tagaytay City (Cavite).
Asian Waterbird Census
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 2005 (AWC) with data from six sites.
Last year, the WBCP led the first
census for Manila Bay sites within Metro Manila. This
year, the club again led the census with DENR-NCR
for two Metro Manila sites --Navotas and Parañaque.
The WBCP also initiated the first
joint census with DENR-Region 3 at Bgy. Simang, Candaba,
Tim Fisher with Mike Lu
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.
Cebu-based WBCP birders 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.
In 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.
Canadian birder Todd Pepper on his
last business trip in March turned over three pairs
of used binoculars to the club.
In May, the WBCP president had the
opportunity to meet with Philip Round of the Bird
Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) and author
of Birds of Thailand.
WBCP was invited by Kagawad Norman
Subido in July to give a joint lecture with the My
Zoo Foundation to 300+ Grade 5 & 6 students of the
SSS Village Elementary School.
In 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 Office of Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia, Jr.
declared the whole of Bataan province as a bird sanctuary
on October 30, 2005. Club members Mike Lu, Val toral,
Charlie and Catherine Te attend the ceremonies at
Mt. Samat. Club resident Mike Lu delivered a speech
highlighting the importance of Bataan as a stopover
point for migratory waterbirds. The ceremonies was
highlighted with the release 2 Brahminy Kites by Congressman
Albert Garcia and Casper and Friends Aviary and Rescue
Center owner Dan Brimmer.
Bataan Congressman Albert Garcia
and Dan Brimmer release Brahminy Kites on Mt Samat.
On June 20, 2005, the World Bank's annual
state-of-the-environment publication, the Philippine Environment
Monitor (PEM) 2004, cited the WBCP as one of the country's
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."
World Bank's Environmental Champion
Award (left) Carmela Espanola in Calayan Island (right)
The 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.
On 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.
The 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 count.
Manila Bulletin's Picture Perfect
column by Raffy Paredes featured the bird photographs
of Gerry de Villa on May 11 and Romy Ocon on June
The 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
Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba
and Senator Pia Cayetano and daughter.
The 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 Corvera.
Singaporean 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.
Philippine 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,
In the November 1 issue of the Manila Standard Today, Stay
away from migratory birds, Bataan folk urged with quotes
from WBCP president Mike Lu.
Ballpoint pen illustration of
the Steere's Pitta by Yong Ding Li
Forays into Conservation
Club Affairs & Festivals
On 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
The 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.
The WBCP was invited by the Wild Bird Society of Taipei to
represent the Philippines in the 7th Taipei International Birdwatching Fair
held on November 13-14 at the Guan-du Nature Park in Taipei, Taiwan. The
WBCP booth stood proud in the International Section amongst other bird clubs
in the region. During the opening ceremonies, WBCP President Mike Lu delivered
a speech on behalf of the 11 participating bird clubs from abroad while Mark
Villa gave a presentation focusing on the significance of the Coastal Lagoon
wetlands in Paranaque.
WBCP president delivering speech at
the opening ceremonies of the 7th Taipei International Birdwatching Fair (left)
Leni Sutcliffe manning the WBCP booth (right)
The 1st Philippine Bird Festival was held on November 18, 2005 at
the Crossroad 77 Convenarium in Quezon City. Entitled "A Voyage of Discovery," the festival
brought to attention the country's avifauna diversity through photo and art exhibits,
lectures, film showing, children's activities & a bird show. Congressman Albert Garcia
led the ribbon cutting along with Mirant Foundation's program manager Roderick de Castro,
Opening Ceremonies of the 1st Philippine
BIrd Festival (left). Ribbon-cutting led by (L-R) WBCP Pres. Mike,
Bataan Congressman Albert Garcia, MIrant Foundation's Ricky
de Castro, and WBCP VP Alice Villa-Real (right)
Bird Festival Chairperson Alice Villa-real and WBCP President
Mike Lu. Tim Fisher gave the keynote speech.
The exhibits include works by bird photographers Romy Ocon and
Ivor Lee, and artworks by Orly Punzalan, Rich Pijuan, Rene Bajit and Yong Ding Li.
Prof. JC Gonzales of UPLB and Indira Widmann of the Katala Foundation delivered 2
lectures while Drew Galano of the My Zoo Foundation and Dr. Bo Puentespina of the
Malagos Bird Show conducted conservation lectures using live animals. Robert
Alejandro led the drawing sessions, Jon Villasper and Rich Pijuan manned the
coloring section and the Citylights Youth Group took over the face-painting
The WBCP provided booths for exhibitors that include the Philippine Eagle Foundation, Katala Foundation, WWF-Philippines, My Zoo Foundation, Polillo Island Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Isla Biodiversity Conservation, Conservation International, Center for Environmental Awareness and Education, Philippine Butterfly Habitat Conservation Society, Winner Foundation, Madrigal Foundation, National Museum-Manila, Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), Manila Bay Environmental Management Project (MBEMP) of the DENR-NCR, the Candaba LGU and the Paranaque LGU.
Forays into Conservation
While the WBCP initially set out to be the country's premiere
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 visiting
Due 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.
WBCP 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
While 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 produced a powerpoint presentation based on a site development
draft prepared by Arne Jensen to develop the lagoons into a bird sanctuary.
Caloy Libosada contributed additional input on ecotourism income projections.
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 repeated requests for an appointment.
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 have
informed the government's potential donor agency of the continued destruction
of this IBA should the project continue as planned.
The 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 Mt. Makiling. With much
deliberation, the members settled for the endemic Scale-feathered Malkoha.
Birder-artist Jo Mike Tejido submitted a logo to the park administrators for
The 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
Proposed Malkoha logo for the
Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve
by WBCP member/artist