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WBCP 2012 Report


The majority of the Club members remain Metro Manila-based but a significant 33% are now based outside the metropolis with 62 members in the provinces and 26 members based abroad. The 62 members representing the provinces led by Cavite with 9 members, Laguna and Rizal follow closely with 6 members each while Quezon Province, Negros Occidental and Palawan are represented by 4 members each. Ilocos Norte and Iloilo both have 3 members. Bataan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Negros Oriental, Cebu and Davao del Sur all have 2 members while the rest have one member each: Benguet, Cagayan, Aurora, Isabela, Zambales, Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Bohol, and Leyte.

Twenty six (26) members based outside the Philippines can be found in Malaysia (4), Singapore (4), United Kingdom (3), Switzerland (2), Australia (2), Belgium (2), Hong Kong (2), Japan (1), United States (1), Indonesia (1), Thailand (1), Denmark (1), Netherlands (1) .

The diversity of foreign club members continues to grow as more expatriates join the Club. We end the year with 51 non-Filipino members. British members lead with 14, followed closely by the Americans with 10 members and a surprising increase with the Dutch represented by 6 members. The rest of the nationalities are represented as follows: Australian (3), Malaysian (3), Singaporean (3), German (3), Belgian (2), Norwegian (1), Dane (1), Spanish (1), French (1), Sri Lankan (1), Hong Kong (1) and Thai (1).


Group photo
Guided birdwatching trips were mostly
led by Maia Tanedo and Jops Josef

The Club promotes birdwatching by conducting regular guided for the general public to the La Mesa Ecopark (Quezon City), University of the Philippines (Quezon City) and the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area. 

Special guided trips were also arranged to Ateneo de Mnaila University (Quezon City), Loyola Grand Villas (Quezon City), Valley Golf (Rizal), Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Balanga Wetland Park (Bataan), Subic Bay (Zambales), Mt Palay-Palay (Cavite) and Villa Escudero (Quezon)

This year, the club received an increased request for guided trips from educational institutions such as Philippine Science High School, Manila Waldorf School, Beacon School, Faith Academy, Daniw High School, Asia Pacific College, and the UP College of Journalism.

A birdwatch/tree walk organized in partnership with
the Philippine Native Plants Society for Manila
Water Company staff at the La Mesa Ecopark

The Club also conducted guided trips for different organizations such as Ateneo Environmental Management Coalition, University of the Philippines Mountaineers, Loyola Grand Villas residents (Quezon City), Ayala Land’s Anvaya Cove (Bataan) and  a media tour for Nuvali (Laguna).  A joint birdwatch/tree walk was conducted in partnership with the Philippine Native Plant Society for Manila water employees at the La Mesa Ecopark.
In celebration of World Wetlands Day, a guided trip was conducted for tourism officers of different cities in the NCR, Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) and the media.  Guided trips were also conducted for Pacific Asia Travel Association delegates during the ASEAN Ecotourism Congress, for foreign and local conservation organizations during the 8th Philippine Bird Festival and for the children from the communities near LPPCHEA on October 20 in celebration of  International Children’s Month in partnership with Akap Bata party-list.

Our partnership with Center for Outdoor Recreation and Expedition (CORE) led to 
an educational tour for Manila public school Science superintendents in Candaba (Pampanga).  Columbia Sportwear also launched Birdwatching 101 for its’ clients with trips to Villa Escudero and Balanga Wetland Park.

The Club also partnered with the Global Birding Initiative by participating in its’
Pledge to Fledge event with a guided trip at the La Mesa Ecopark on August 25 and the Las Pinas Paranaque Critical Habitat on August 26.

Group photo In celebration of International Children's Month, Akap Bata Party-List organized a birdwatching trip for children
living near LPPCHEA

The Club welcomes visiting birders to Club trips. Front row: Cecile Arsenio and Tinggay Cinco.
Back row: Dutch birders Marianne Rense
and Merijn van Leeuwen.

As part of the Club’s advocacy to promote birdwatching, we continue to welcome visiting birders to join our Club trips.  This year, we had the pleasure of birdwatching with Alfred Yan (Canada), Merijn van Leeuwen and Marianne Rense (Netherlands), Matthew Shirley and EM Ganin (United States), Richard Camden and Simon Cockayne (United Kingdom), Mark Bennett and Colin Christoferson (Australia).


Group photo Club member's birdwatching in Subic Bay

Group photo at the Tanay Rainforest Camp

The Club organized 34 trips for its’ members including waterbird census and raptor migration counts.  Sites visited by Club members were Ipo Dam (Bulacan), Candaba (Pampanga), Sasmuan (Pampanga) Subic Bay (Zambales), Balanga (Bataan), Angono Petroglyphs (Rizal), Tanay Rainforest Camp (Rizal), Mt. Kitanglad (Bukidnon) and Pasonanca Natural Park (Zamboanga).  Celestron Optics sponsored a trip for members to test their binoculars and scopes at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat.

Asian Waterbird Census

The Club continues to assist the Department of Environment and Natural Resources by monitoring wetland sites during the annual Asian Waterbird Census held in the last two weeks of January. Eight sites were monitored by the Club this year namely, Candaba Marsh (Pampanga), Sasmuan (Pampanga), Balanga wetlands (Bataan), Paoay Lake (Ilocos Norte), Barcelonita/Cabusao (Camarines Sur) and Pagbilao wetlands (Quezon) in cooperation with Team Energy Foundation.  News sites surveyed were Taal Lake (Batangas) and Bani (Pangasinan) sponsored by the Office of the mayor of Bani. Of the sites monitored, the wetlands of Barcelonita/Cabusao in Camarines Sur registered the highest count at 21,186 birds.

Bird counters at the Balanga Wetland and Nature Park

Adrian Constantino, Juan Mesquida, Rene Calado, Trinket Canlas monitoring the Bani wetlands

Raptor Migration Count

The Club also organized 14 trips to count migrating raptors.  9 trips were held for the spring migration and 5 trips were held for the autumn migration.  While most observations were held at the Pag-Asa Station (Rizal), an alternative site was the  Cabanos farm. 

WBCP members (Alex Tiongco, Marites Cervero, Jun osano, Adri Constantino, Trinket Canlas and Boy Ochavo) also embarked on an ocular trip to Dingalan (Aurora) on September 15-16.  Though the weather was bad, during the moments the skies clear up, small numbers of Oriental Honey-Buzzards, Grey-faced Buzzards and small accipiters were observed, as well as egrets, waders and swallows.

Raptorwatchers at the Pag-Asa station during the
spring migration

Members also explored a new site for raptorwatching
in Dingalan (Aurora Province)


The Club figured a number times in the news with topics from introduction to birdwatching and results of the Asian Waterbird Census to controversial issues as the Club's objection to the reclamation of Manila Bay and the improbability of bird strikes at the airport.

Group photo
Philippine Eagle Owl at the Balara compound in Quezon City
featured on Philippine Star's Owls in the City

Usapang Pets on UP Radio featured an interview with Jops Josef and Maia Tanedo on the topic of Spark Birds on January 26. Both members were also interviewed on birdwatching by Radio Veritas on June 27. The discovery of a family of Philippine Eagle-Owls in the Maynilad Water compound was the topic Philippine Star’s Owls in the City on April 21.  The Club’s visit to San Roque Dam was written about in A new face of Pangasinan tourism by Garbiel Cardinez on the Northern Luzon section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on March 13. Photography passion takes flight featured an interview with Marester Macasiano on the January issue of Cathay Pacific’s CX World. The annual Philippine Bird Festival held at the Rizal Park this year was featured on GMA’s Front Row onDecember 1 and TV5’s Pinoy Explorer.

Asian Waterbird Census

Group photo
TV host Noli de Castro covering the Asian
Waterbird Census in Candaba for TV Patrol.

The annual Asian Waterbird Census in Candaba was well-monitored by the media highlighted with Candaba Migratory Birds onABS CBN’s TV Patrol with host Noli de Castro on January 19, Town sets census of migratory birds by Herbert Mapiles for Sun Star Pampanga on January 2, Migratory birds find “wetter” shelter in Candaba by Tonette Orejas for the Philippine Daily Inquirer on January 4 and DENR, WBCP take bird census  on Punto (Central Luzon) by Ernie Esconde on February 4. 

CLTV 36 featured Bilang ng mga migratory birds sa Balanga City tumaas by Mike Cigaral while Usapang Pets of UP Radiointerviewed Mike Lu regarding the Asian Waterbird Census on  February 9.

Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area -  reclamation threat

The planned reclamation project initiated by the city government of Las Pinas and Paranaque, Alltech Contractors, the Philippine Reclamation Authority and approved by the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the Environmental Management Board of the Department of Environment was covered extensively by the media.

TV Patrol host Noli de Castro tackled the reclamation issue with a double episode on the ABS CBN evening news on January 23 and 24.  A few days later, the same TV station’s morning show Umagang Kay Ganda conducted an on-location interview with WBCP members by hosts Venus Raj and Andre Felix on January 31.

Kristine Alave penned the article Reclamation projects feared to endanger ecosystems for Philippine Star on February 25. OnMarch 11, GMA News TV’s Good News with Vicky Morales featured the LPPCHEA on the episode Paradise in the City onMarch 11.

To celebrate the Month of the Ocean, the Villar Foundation spearheaded the event with various environmental activities at the critical habitat.  The event was covered by Interaksyon news program of TV5 and an interview with Mike Lu by Jarius Bondoc on his Sapulradio program.
TV Patrol host Noli de Castro interviewing Mike Lu on the effects of reclamation at the critical habitat

TV5 interviewing Mike Lu at the Month of the Ocean clean-up

Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area  -  bird strike issue

When the Manila International Airport Authority General manager Jose Angel Honrado recommended moving the bird sanctuary due to the increasing frequency of bird strikes at the airport, the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines held a press conference on September 12. This controversial topic gained significant media coverage.

Gina Mapua, Mike Lu, Ipat Luna and Arne Jensen campaigning to Save the Coastal Lagoon otherwise known as the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA)

Media taking photos of the group at the press conference

GMA News posted "Kalapati", not avian sanctuary, are real threat to NAIA planes by Rouchelle Dinglasan on September 12, ABS CBN News came up with Don't blame the birds, volunteer birdwatcherssay by Lu-Ann Fuentes-Bajarias on the same date while Eric Apolonio of TV5 filed this report: Bird strike advisor: No need to close down sanctuary on September 13.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer's Jerome Aning and Christine O. Avendaño jointly wrote "Air battle" over bird sanctuary, Philippine Star's Sandy Araneta penned Birdwatchers join calls vs. Manila Bay reclamation, Philippine Standard Today posted Sanctuary shutdown will not stop birdstrikes, expert says filed by Eric B. Apolonio.

Sun Star Manila featured Bird strikes used as excuse for reclamation project: group, Wild Bird Club tutol sa reclamation project by Jocelyn Tabangcura-Doemden of Tagalog tabloid Remate and even Biz Buzzcolumnist Daxim Lucas of the Philippine Daily Inquirer expressed his views on Man vs. Bird. On September 16, Mike Lu was interviewed over Radyo Inquirer DZIQ990AM by Ricky Brozas and Lisa Soriano and also a panel guest on September 19 for Balitaan at Aloha Hotel.

More follow-up interviews came out on September 24: Bird strike posibleng maging sanhi ng plane crash,News to Go, GMANews, Airport authorities, bird advocates in collision course over sanctuary Carmela G. Lapeña/KBK/HS, GMA News, Pagtanggal sa bird sanctuary sa coastal area sa Parañaque at Las Piñas, solusyon nga ba sa bird strike? News to Go, interview with Cynthia Villar and Mike Lu by Kara David.

In early October CAAP issued a statement to push for the relocation of the bird sanctuary as a measure to prevent bird strikes. The media had to get the side of the bird club hence more media mileage was gained through our advocacy, Birds or Big Business ? by Ed Javier for the Business Mirror on October 9, radio interviews on October 10 with Susan Enriquez over DWBB594 for her program Kay Susan Na and with Vic de Leon Lima over DWZM 630KHz for Radyo Patrol and also with Jarius Bondoc on his program Sapul over DWIZ on December 1. A deluge of TV interviews started with Carla Lim for Interaksyon on TV 5 (October 15), with Jun Veneracion for MIAA naglaan ng P 45M para sa equipment na pantaboy ng ibon shown on State of the Nation, GMA News (October 18), with Rey Pelayo for UNTV's Ito and Balita(October 19), with Albert Alicer for Solar News Network's Talk TV (October 19) a live TV interview with Mike Lu and Rey Aguinaldo of DENR-NCR on UNTV's Itanong mo kay Kuya (October 26) and even an interview on international Chinese cable news China Cable Television (CCTV) Manila airport, environmentalists on collision course over bird deaths filed by Barnaby Lo (November 6).