Sunday, December 12, 2010

The First Migrating Birds Festival in Balanga

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas for bird-watchers. Christmas has long been associated with winter (which is controversial for some, but that is another story) and along with the winter months comes bird migration. In the following weeks will see the influx of migrating bird populations in our archipelago. This includes the coastlines of Bataan in Luzon. Balanga City mayor Joet Garcia saw the potential for such annual phenomenon and put up the very first Ibong Dayo Festival in Balanga. The city partnered with the Wildbird Club of the Philippines and set up activities to highlight the presence of these feathered friends. they included cultural and educational programs, lectures, face painting and wall painting, bioblitz, etc.

To serve as stage for the event, the Balanga government rushed the construction of its new City Walk. Newly erected structures included a pavilion, which served as an exhibit hall for the bird species present on site, and a bird watching deck, as vantage point to appreciate the flying and nesting birds better (at a safe distance for the birds). The participants, mostly children around the Balanga area, enjoyed the new complex and the activities prepared for them by the organizers. They enthusiastically joined in all the activities and lined up to learn more about this newly tapped resource in their city.

To the Balanga City government and the Wildbird Club of the Philippines, congratulations for a very well-attended and inspiring event. May your efforts be emulated in other parts of the country.

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