Wednesday July 18, 2018

A million feathers more

IT'S no secret that the Wharf Hotels has a love affair with the Philippine eagle. Step into any of the Marco Polo Hotels in Hong Kong, China and the Philippines, and the Niccolo Hotels in China and Hong Kong and chances are there’s the mighty raptor’s image that will catch your attention.

Why not the panda, someone suggested to Philippe Carreti, Vice President for Operations of Wharf Hotels, since the company is China-based. The good man though opted to focus the group’s fundraising efforts to aid in the conservation of the Philippine eagle. Perhaps, he felt the eagle needed more help.

It was in September 2015 that Marco Polo Davao adopted Philippine Eagle Marikit. The eagle was 15 years old when she was rescued from a Subanon tribesman who sold the bird to a buyer in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte back in 2002. At the Philippine Eagle Center, Marikit was rehabilitated from her gunshot wounds and was later paired with another eagle, Phoenix.

In 2016, the hotel chain raised one million pesos and presented the donation to the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) via a grand affair in its iconic Davao property, the first Marco Polo hotel in the Philippines. Joining the hotel executives and owners were its generous partners, who took part in the fundraising program and purchased pairs of plush toys dressed in tribal fashion designed by Renee Salud.

In a more intimate affair held recently, the Wharf Hotels handed its next donation to the PEF. Philippe Carreti presented the check amounting to P1,156,000 to Dennis Salvador, PEF Executive Director.

At the affair were the Halifax Hotel, Inc. President Francis Ledesma and members of the board of directors, Marco Polo Davao GM Dottie Wurgler-Cronin and DOSM Pearl Maclang, guests from the local government, Davao Chamber of Commerce, Davao tourism and the media.

Dennis Salvador expressed his gratitude to Wharf Hotels for its generosity. The hotel group’s unceasing support to the PEF has heightened public awareness about the national bird in other parts of the world.

“We deeply appreciate Marco Polo Davao and Philippe Caretti for making it possible for the entire Marco Polo Hotels family to support PEF.  Realizing our many needs, they went out of their way to orchestrate a fund-raising project which engaged both its guests, associates and members of the local community,” said the PEF executive director during the program.

Partners for conservation like Wharf Hotels will turn the PEF’s conservation efforts to reality. Slowly but surely, a million more feathers will take flight.

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