Philippine Eagle Week begins; time for unity and national pride

Jun. 06, 2007

DAVAO CITY — The heat from the May elections may not have dissipated yet, but the arrival of the month of June brings potent reminders for Filipinos to rally as one nation. Philippine Independence Day is traditionally celebrated on June 12, while the lesser known but perhaps increasingly significant Philippine Eagle Week is held June 4-10 of each year.

The 9th Philippine Eagle Week celebrations began Saturday, June 2, with close to 100 eagle supporters motoring through downtown Davao before proceeding to the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Baguio District. The motorcade led by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) gathered representatives from government agencies, civil society, the youth, business sector, including delegates to the World Environment Day festivities scheduled on June 5.

The convoy kicked off a week of activities aimed at increasing awareness and support for the critically endangered eagle. The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is one of the largest eagles in the world and being unique to the Philippines, was declared the national bird in 1995. The annual Philippine Eagle Week was established in 1999 to bring attention to the plight of the critically endangered bird. Most people are aware of its endangered status, but not very many may have a good grasp of what the eagles possible extinction means to every Filipino.

The loss of a national symbol is tragic in itself, PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said. But the decline in population of Philippine Eagles also points to an alarming degree of carelessness in the management of the countrys natural resources.

Thus, this years festivities include a Treeplanting Caravan from Davao City to Arakan Valley in Cotabato to plant 20,000 forest tree seedlings in the Arakan Valley Conservation Area (AVCA). The people of Arakan have been working closely with the PEF in creating forest corridors to bridge the three remaining patches of forest which serve as home to many Philippine Eagles and other important flora and fauna. The joint project seeks to rehabilitate Arakans forests by planting two strips of forest trees between the forest patches. The strips span 12 and five kilometers respectively.

The Philippine Eagle Center will be the venue of animal encounters, photo exhibits and fun games from June 2-10 to increase public awareness and understanding of the eagle. A photo exhibit with the Camera Club of Davao, a Partners Fair showcasing conservation efforts in other areas of Mindanao and a concert are also scheduled at the SM City Davao from June 4-9.

This years Eagle Week is especially significant with the PEF also celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Founded in 1987, the PEF was created to ensure the sustainability of eagle research and conservation, which began as a voluntary effort in the 1960s.

Two powerful symbols the Philippine flag and the countrys national bird, the Philippine Eagle fly high this week to unite the country and begin a time to reflect and recollect what it means to be Filipino.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to davaotoday @ Davao Today is not responsible for the content of these materials. The opinion expessed in these items does not reflect those of Davao Today and its staff. Please refer to our terms of use/disclaimer.

comments powered by Disqus