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
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).
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
Nilo Arribas gives a talk to Young Minds
Academy scholars prior to guided trip at the Olango Island Wildlife
"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
WBCP members Alex Aloy, Mike Lu and Lala
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
(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,
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
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
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
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,
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.