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WBCP 2007 Report

Membership

WBCP Members
WBCP group photo during the annual Christmas party

Twenty-three more birdwatchers signed up during the last quarter of 2007 thereby ending the year with a total 166 members.

Members outside Metro Manila continue to increase, with 64 members now found in 17 provinces and 8 countries. Cavite leads the provinces with 11 members, followed by Cebu (7), Palawan (5), Davao (3), Ilocos Norte (1), Nueva Ecija (2), La Union (2), Camarines Sur (2), Laguna (2), Pampanga (1), Rizal (1), Bataan (1), Batangas (1), Quezon (1), Camarines Sur (1), Negros Occidental (1), and Negros Oriental (1). Outiside the country, members can be found in Singapore (8), United States (4), United Kingdom (3), Denmark (2), and one each in Belgium, Italy, Japan and Australia.

Filipinos remain the majority members while Americans led, for the first time since the club started, with 12 members followed by 7 British members, 6 Singaporeans and 2 Indians. The other nationalities are represented with one member each: Australian (1), Belgian (1), Dane (1), German (1), Swede (1), Dutch (1), Malaysian (1) and Japanese (1).

Trips

Guided Trips - 46 trips

The Club continues to receive invitations to organize guided tours for private organizations as well as conduct monthly guided trips for the general public.

Club-led monthly guided trips were held within Metro Manila sites such as the American Cemetery, Tambo mudflats, Coastal Lagoon, the Manila Film Center, and the University of the Philippines campus.

 
Nilo Arribas gives a talk to Young Minds Academy scholars prior to guided trip at the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary. (left);
"Grade school students in Malaybalay try out binoculars on their first birdwatching trip" (right)

Guided trips organized for different organizations include 35 Paranaque public and private school teachers (Coastal Lagoon, Paranaque), Environmental Science students from De La Salle University (Manila Film Center), the Ecology class for Science teachers from Region IV-B (Mimaropa) on a summer course at the De La Salle University (Manila Film Center), the Bio Camp for kids of personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources at the Ninoy Aquino Park (Quezon City), Cavite Institute (Manila Film Center).

Outside Metro Manila guided trips were organized for participants in UNICEF's Stay Bird Flu-Free Philippines workshop: members of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) in Luzon (Candaba) and Visayas (Olango), and the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas (KBP) in Luzon (Candaba), El Presidente Toastmasters Club in Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Georgia Club property owners (Sta. Rosa, Laguna), Ayala Land and WWF-Phils staff at Anvaya Cove (Morong, Bataan), . Boy Scouts of the Philippines (Mt. Makiling, Laguna), TeaM Energy-Pagbilao plant personnel (Pagbilao, Quezon),

Outside of Luzon, trips were organized for the Young Minds Academy program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc (RAFI) in Olango and the SRP (Cebu) and students of San Isidro Elementary School at the Malaybalay City Watershed (Bukidnon) and Mass Comm students at the SRP in Cebu.

During the 3rd Philippine Bird Festival, 70 foreign and local delegates visited the South Road Properties and Olango Island. Lectures and a guided trip were also given to 250 students from the community in Olango Island (Cebu).

 
Carmela Espanola and Arne Jensen conducts lecture and guided trip for students of Olango Island (Cebu).

The Club also went birding with visiting birdwatchers on weekends. Members of the Nature Society of Singapore who all visited Mt Palay-Palay were Gloria Seow (1st quarter), Lim Kim Seng, Doreen Ang, Jimmy Chew (2nd quarter), Goh Yue Yun (3rd quarter). Club members also met up with Swiss birding couple Marie-Jo and Claude Rabille in Mt Makiling (Laguna). A trip was also arranged for visiting American birder Ricky Cimino to the Tambo grasslands and mudflats (4th quarter).

During the bird festival, Taiwanese bird photographers Chen Shun Chang and Yen Shou Jen asked to be taken to Tabor Hills and the Tabunan Forest (Cebu). A guided trip to Rajah Sikatuna National Park (Bohol) after the bird festival was participated by 21 members from the Wild Bird Society of Taipei, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Asian Raptor & Research Network, the Nature Society of Singapore and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

Club Trips - 32 trips

Club members actively participated in the annual Asian Waterbird Census in mid-January . Most of these trips were conducted with staff from the Department of Natural Resources (DENR). The club continued to gather data from 2 sites within the National Capital Region (NCR) namely, Tanza (Navotas) and Coastal Road (Paranaque). Other sites visited were Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Caylabne Bay (Cavite), Pagbilao (Quezon). In Cebu, the sites visited were Olango Island, Cordova and the South Reclamation Project (SRP).

WBCP members 
WBCP members Alex Aloy, Mike Lu and Lala Espanola tallying figures after the AWC census with DENR Region 3 staff in Candaba Marsh (left) and WBCP members Mark Villa, Nilo Arribas and Ixi Mapua during the AWC census in Olango Island, Cebu.(right)

The DENR does not have any data nor does it monitor raptor migration. Club members took upon the initiative to gather raptor migration information with 3 trips to the Pag-Asa Weather Station in Tanay (Rizal) in April.

Club members continue to visit nearby wetlands in the Coastal Lagoon (Paranaque) and Tanza (Navotas), familiar sites in Tagaytay Highlands (Cavite), Mt Palay-Palay (Cavite), Mt. Makiling (Laguna), Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Puerto Rivas (Bataan) as well as to new sites such as the bee-eater colony in Tadlak Lake (Laguna) Quezon National Park (Quezon), TeaM Energy Sual Power Plant (Pangasinan), and Mariveles Dam & Tarak Peak (Bataan).

In the island of Cebu, members continue to the South Road Properties (SRP), Jugan Fishponds (Consolacion) and the Mt. Pungol Mananga Watershed, as well as venture on a first trip to Bantayan Island in northern Cebu.


WBCP members at the birding trail in Mt Palay-Palay National Park (Cavite).

Club in the News

On January 6, ABS-CBN cable TV program "North Catch" featured birdwatching with WBCP members Mike Lu, Linda Gocon, Mario Mariano and Cel Tungol in Candaba Marsh, Pampanga. The program featured sites in Pampanga and was beamed to it's subscribers in Northern Luzon.

"Ooh Baby, Baby It's a Wild Bird" by Anne Corvero was a feature article on birdwatching with Mike Lu and Alice Villa-real in The Star Week Magazine on January 21, 2007. The article also featured the one-man exhibit by bird painter and new WBCP member, Arch't. Joven Ignacio.

GMA Channel 7's "Lovely Day" featured birdwatching in Candaba Marsh with Mike Lu on it's February 3 telecast.

The Just Watch, Don't Catch Bird Festival (see below) was featured on the news programs, Saksi of GMA Channel 7 and The Morning Show on NBN Channel 4 on February 12, 2007.

In December 2006, the camera crew of Indian TV director Siddharth Kak, through the recommendation of the Department of Tourism, interviewed WBCP members Alice Villa-Real, Anna Gonzales and Mike Lu in Candaba Marsh. The interview was finally shown on the eco-tourism segment of the Indian TV program Bhoomi on March 10.

Alice Villa-Real was invited as guest by Mila Alora on the radio program, Mornings with M aired on DwBr 104.3 FM on May 12.

Japanese cable news channel NHK TV feature on the Philippine Duck included WBCP's 2nd Philippine Bird Festival and birdwatching in Candaba was telecast on News Today Asia on May 30 and on News Today 30 Minutes on June 13.

News reporter Margaux Ortiz interviewed Alice Villa-Real and Mike Lu for the article "Watch, Not Catch Wild Birds in the City" that came out on the May 31 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.


Jatin Lucky interviewing members for the Indian TV program Bhoomi

As part of Unicef's information campaign on the avian-flu, writer Marifi Jara-Villegas interviewed WBCP founder Ned Liuag for the article "Be Bird-flu safe as you enjoy Birdwatching" on the June 1-2 issue of the Business World.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer came out with a full-page article, "Birdwatching in the City" by Elvira Mata on June 3. Based on an interview with Mike Lu and Anna Gonzales, the article featured urban bird watching sites in Metro Manila, photos from Alex Loinaz, Delia Unson, Ivor Lee, Edsel Ramos and the bird stickers of Jonathan Villasper.

WBCP founders Mike Lu and Carmela Espanola were interviewed by talk show host Deedee Siytangco on her program, Dee's Day on RPN-9 on July 5, 2007.

At a courtesy call to Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmena on August 29, WBCP Execom members Mike Lu and Anna Gonzales were asked to speak about the birds on the South Road Properties and the 3rd Philippine Bird Festival at the mayor’s weekly press conference with the local media.

The next day, all 3 Cebu dailies carried reports about the mayor’s intention to declare a 2-hectare bird sanctuary within the reclamation site.


Mayor Tommy Osmena pledged support to the
3 Philippine Bird festival during a presscon for local media.

The Freeman published the article “Mayor says wildlife conservation and industrialization can co-exist” by Weena Berondo. Doris Bongcac of the Cebu Daily News wrote the article “Tomas wants birds to have part of SRP” while Linette Ramos of the Sun Star Cebu came out with “Bird lovers ask Tomas to keep 40 species at SRP”.

Bird Festivals & Other Celebrations

Just Watch, Don't Catch Bird Festival

Unicef Logo
Bird Festival 
WBCP members pose with winners of the Just Watch, Don't Catch contest.

United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) invited the club to participate in the "Stay Bird Flu-free Philippines" program by way of organizing a bird festival to create awareness among communities in hotspot wetland areas. WBCP chose the Coastal Lagoon in Paranaque, Metro Manila to highlight this important wetland in the midst of the metropolis. The Just Watch, Don't Catch Bird Festival was held at the St Paul College of Paranaque. Behind the school is the Coastal Lagoon which harbors more than 100 species of resident and migratory species. With funding from the People of Japan and assistance from Paranaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe, the club launched the bird festival on February 12, 2007. The opening ceremonies were attended by City administrator Noli Aldip, Unicef Health Officer, Dr. Marissa Ricardo and First Secretary Hiroko Taniguchi of the Embassy of Japan and St. Paul College-Paranaque School Directress Sr. Angeles Ilagan, SPC.

The festival featured a photo gallery of wetland birds as well as exhibits and lectures on Birdwatching, Bird Migration and Avian Flu. A game based on the exhibits and lectures participated by class reps became the highlight of the day as contestants were cheered on by their classmates. A coloring booth featuring wetland birds was a favorite stop for the grade school students. My Zoo Foundation conducted a the bird show featuring the rescued birds from the Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau which turned out to be another highlight during the festival.


WBCP members Anna Gonzales, Mike Lu, Tim Fisher
turns over equipment to Paranaque
Mayor Florencio M. Bernabe. Jr.

Birdwatching sessions were conducted at the Coastal Road lagoon which is a leisurely walk behind the school. More than 3000 students from 20 private and public schools participated in the day-long activity. The event was covered on local news programs.

The Club turned-over birdwatching equipment (binoculars and spotting scope) and exhibit materials (wetland bird tarps and photos), brochures, posters & guide books from the UNICEF Bird Flu-free Philippines program to Sr. Angeles Ilagan at St. Paul's Paranaque on May 12, 2007 and to Paranaque City Mayor Florencio M. Bernabe, Jr. at the Paranaque City Hall on August 10, 2007.

Earth Day 2007

WBCP members Mike Lu and Anna Gonzales celebrated Earth Day as guests of the Malaybalay City Government on April 20, 2007. They conducted a mini-bird festival for Grade 5 & 6 students of the San Isidro Elementary School at the Kaamulan Open Theater with lectures on birds of the Philippines, a coloring session and guided birdwatching at the city watershed.

On April 22, WBCP actively participated in Earth Day celebrations at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) with coloring sessions, photo exhibit and as part of the outdoor art installation during the closing ceremonies.


WBCP photo exhibit during Earth Day celebrations at the Little Theater lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)

As part of the celebrations, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed an Executive Order declaring the Coastal Lagoons as the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area. WBCP members Arne Jensen, Jon Villasper and Ipat Luna provided significant input to the framework plan submitted by the Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) to Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Angelo Reyes.

International Day of Biodiversity

The Club participated in the week-long celebration of the International Day of Biodiversity with a week-long photo exhibit of wetland birds at the Visitor's Center of the Ninoy Aquino Park and tarpaulin display exhibits at the SM City, both in Quezon City. At the closing ceremonies at the Mall of Asia on May 26, WBCP assisted in the ceremonial release of a pair of Rufous Night-herons which were later brought to the Coastal Lagoons in Paranaque City.

Pista y ang Kagueban (Feast of the Forest)

Alice Villa-Real and Chary Dino were invited by the Puerto Princesa City Mayor's Office to take part in the annual Pista y ang Kagueban (Feast of the Forest) celebrations on June 23. Alice Villa-Real gave a talk on birds and birdwatching during the opening ceremonies held at the Irawan watershed.
Feast of the Forest
(L-R) City Agriculturist Melissa Macasaet, Mayor Edward Hagedorn, Ms Earth-Phils 2007 Jeanne Harn, WBCP members Chary Dino and Alice Villa-Real

3rd Philippine Bird Festival Sugbu - Just Watch, Don't Catch


Vice Mayor Michael Rama attended
the Welcome Dinner tendered by the Cebu City Mayor's Office

The 3rd Philippine Bird Festival _Sugbu, Just Watch, Don't Catch was held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Cebu City on September 21-22. Members of the WBCP started planning the event in May and met every other week. This year's festival was significant because it was the first time the festival was held outside Metro Manila and the first time that foreign bird clubs participated. The festival seeks to raise environmental awareness through lectures, film, games, coloring, face-painting and bird watching.

Festival exhibitors include the Philippine Eagle Foundation, Katala Foundation, WWF-Philippines, Cebu Biodiversity and Conservation Foundation, Center for Environmental Awareness

and Education, Isla Biodiversity Conservation, Wild Bird Society of Taipei, Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand and the City of Seosan (Korea).

The Cebu City Mayor's Office tendered a Welcome Dinner for the delegates on the eve of the festival attended by Vice Mayor Michael Rama.

 
The Siloy Dancers (Black Shama) from the town of Alcoy provided a colorful and festive atmosphere (Left)
The Wild Bird Society of Taipei and other bird clubs from the region were invited to the Philippine bird festival for the first time (Right)

Festival delegates started the day with birdwatching at the South Road Properties before proceeding to the Opening Ceremonies attended by Marian Aboitiz and Dominica Chua of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Vice Chair Lory Tan of WWF-Phils, and Alcoy Vice-Mayor Antonio Plando. The Club was overwhelmed as an estimated 2500 students filled up the Arctic Hall of the Waterfront Hotel to take part in festival activities.

The representatives from the participating organizations gave presentations at the Delegates Fellowship Night. Cebu-based members Nilo Arribas, Bobby Kintanar and Raul Puentespina launched their book, Guide to Birds of Cebu and Bohol.

The delegates were taken to the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary the following day. Volunteer guides from the WBCP, WWF-Philippines and CBCF conducted lectures and guided birdwatching trips for 250 students from the Olango community. A Farewell Dinner followed at the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center in the evening.

 

ROX Bird Race Challenge


ROX Bird Race Challenge

 

Lectures and Other Activities

 
Dr. David Pearson of the University of Arizona gave a lecture to WBCP members (left)
and WBCP President Mike Lu (in black) poses with visiting birdwatchers from
Singapore (L-R) Doreen Ang, Lim Kim Seng and Jimmy Chew.(right)

In celebration of National Arts Month, the LGU of Balanga (Bataan) asked for assistance for an environmental art contest. With materials from the just-concluded Just Watch, Don't Catch Bird Festival, WBCP sent the photo exhibit, stand-up bird tarps, coloring sheets and a DVD of Candaba birds. The event on February 22 was attended by more than 10,000 students and the club was proud to lend support for the activity.

The Marketing Management of Caylabne Bay resort invited the club to set-up an outdoor activity for the residents of their residential community at Las Casas de Cala Buena. The Club set up colorful bird tarps, provided a coloring booth and basic birdwatching activities to the residents.

Visiting birdwatcher and professor of the University of Arizona, Dr. David Pearson gave a thought-provoking lecture entitled “Why are there more bird species in some tropical forest than others” at the residence of Sudipto Mundle on April 1. The lecture was followed with a birdwatching activity at the American War Memorial (Taguig).

The Rotary Club of Forbes Park invited Michael Lu and Ixi Mapua to give a talk during their weekly luncheon at the Manila Polo Club (Makati) on May 3.

A presentation entitled “Birds of Singapore” was conducted by visiting Singaporean bird guide author Lim Kim Seng on the evening of June 2 at the residence of Sudipto Mundle (Taguig).

Vice President Alice Villa-Real conducted a powerpoint presentation on birdwatching at the Habihan School (Quezon City) on June 16 and on July 14, and at the St. Mary's School on August 30.

Club members manned the WBCP booth at the 3-day Corporate Social Responsibility Week Expo at the Sofitel Hotel from July 16-18, 2007.

Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo invited WBCP and other stakeholders to a dinner meeting on August 10 to help plan the Ibon Ebon Festival to be held in Candaba in February 2008. The Club has committed to support this project.

WBCP members were also invited to the International Coastal Clean-Up at the Coastal Lagoon on September 15.