DAVAO City, home to the magnificent Philippine Eagle, is set to host the 1st Asian Bird Festival and the 6th Philippine Bird Festival on September 24 to 26.

"Although dili siya maging (it would not be) as big as the Kadayawan Festival, it would just be a fair, this would add to the city's pride nga kita ang napili sa pipila ka mga countries nga mag-host sa First Asian Bird Festival tungod kay na sa atoa ang Philippine Eagle (since we were chosen out of many countries to host First Asian Bird Festival because we have the Philippine Eagle)" Mayor Sara Duterte said last week.

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During the Kadayawan celebration, Duterte said the city was granted the honor to host the 1st Asian Bird Festival and the 6th Philippine Bird Festival. Balanga, Bataan host last year's

City Mayor Joey Garcia, last year's host of the Philippine Bird Festival.

Duterte said the city will play host to around 300 bird watchers from different countries.

"This will be in partnership among the (Wild Bird Club of the Philippines) and the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF). At the same time, there would be activities for students to celebrate our natural resources," Duterte said.

City Tourism Officer Bong Aportadera said it was decided in October last year that the Philippine Bird Festival will become bigger. Thus, it became an Asian Bird Festival.

Aportadera said the First Asian Bird Fair is themed "Nurture Nature, Save our Future."

"This highlights the respective bird festivals of the participating countries, in seeking to enrich eco-tourism through bird watching and promote the natural and cultural heritage of host cities. The festival is also in time for the autumn migration of birds from Japan, China and parts of Siberia," he said.

PEF communications officer Tatit Quiblat said the First Asian Bird is a common initiative of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, the Chinese Wild Bird Federation, the Wild Bird Society of Taipei, the Malaysian Nature Society, and the Nature Society of Singapore.

Quiblat said some activities slated here is bird-watching in sites of migratory birds in Ma-a, this city, and in Carmen, Davao del Norte even as she said there are still other sites worth the visit within the downtown area of the city and also at the Malagos watershed which holds different kinds of bird species.

Meanwhile, the 6th Philippine Bird Festival is expected to draw bird watchers, conservationists, eco-tourism promoters, sustainable development providers, and nature lovers from around the country, Asia and Europe.

International groups participating in the Asian Bird Festival are Chinese Wild Bird Federation, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Malaysian Nature Society, Nature Society of Singapore, Wild Bird Society of Taipei, the Shanghai Wild Bird Society, Fujian Bird watching Society, Kaoshiung Wild Bird Society, Wild Bird Society of Tainan, Hong Kong Bird-watching Society, Eco-education and Resources Center, Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Bor-neo Bird Club, Hornbill Research Foundation, the Bio-diversity and Nature Conservation Association, Bird Conservation Nepal and the Oriental Bird Club confirmed participation in the event.

Local organizations joining are Conservation International, Fauna and Flora International, Katala Foundation, WWF-Philippines, Birding Adventure Philippines, Ka-akbay, Malagos Garden Resort, Monfort Bat Cave & Conservation Foundation, Philippine Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, Philippine Wild Bird Photographers, My Zoo Foundation, City of Alaminos (Panga-sinan) and the City of Balanga (Bataan).

Event sponsors include the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the City Government of Davao, Team Energy Foundation, Primer Group, Aboitiz Power, Tanduay Distillers, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Fauna & Flora International, Philippine Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, C. K. Lu Enterprises, Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, and NCCC Mall. (JCZ/PR)