THE bonding of two Philippine icons — the Philippine eagle, the National Bird, and Philippine Airlines (PAL), the flag carrier — puts a bright light in the nation’s sky and its future.
It was another significant event for the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) as it found another partner in saving the majestic eagle from extinction.
Recently, representatives of the two iconic winged figures of the country met and sealed a partnership.
Over simple ceremonies held at the PAL Corporate Headquarters, Philippine Airlines officially adopted a Philippine eaglet, sealing its commitment to nurture its growth and help preserve its natural habitat.
“Today is a great testament of the Philippine Airline’s commitment to support the Philippine Eagle Foundation’s efforts to save our national bird,” said PEF Chairman Carlos Dominguez III.
PAL will carry out this pledge by supporting efforts in spreading more awareness on the need to recover the dwindling population of the Philippine Eagle.
The newest addition to the captive-bred Philippine eagle family was born from the second egg laid by natural pairing of two rehabilitated eagles. Laid on October 12, 2015 at the Philippine Eagle Center, the egg was incubated for 56 days before it hatched on December 7th.
Weighing 122 grams, the chick is the 26th captive-bred Philippine eagle, the first fertile egg and the first offspring of the pair.
Naming the eagle
Before the formally inking its partnership with PEF, PAL asked its employees to suggest a name for the eagle it was adopting.
From over 100 names submitted, ten were chosen and presented to the management. The unanimous choice was SINAG, which was apparently suggested by eight employees. President and COO Jaime Bautista will personally give a token to these employees.
One million miles for Sinag
Last January 22, one million miles was donated by PAL's loyal patrons to MABUHAY MILES' Miles-with-a-Mission-Program, through the PAL Foundation, were turned over by PAL President and COO Jaime Bautista to Philippine Eagle Foundation Chairman Carlos Dominguez. Witnessing the turnover were PAL VP-Marketing Ria Domingo, PAL VP-Ancillary Business Unit Kevin Hartigan - Go, PAL SVP-Commercial Group David Lim, PAL EVP Stewart Lim, Past PEF President and CAAP DG Gen. William Hotchkiss, PEF Treasurer Johnson Ongking and PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador.
Under the agreement, one million miles donated by PAL's loyal patrons to the Miles-with-a-Mission-Program, through the PAL Foundation, will be channeled to the preservation of baby eagle number 26 “Sinag" and towards protecting the environment within which it exists.
The adoption covers a period of 6 years.
PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista said, "Philippine Airlines vows to do its share to nourish and sustain the growth of our adopted eaglet to ensure that it will someday spread its wings and soar high in the sky."
"The flag carrier vows to carry out its role as adoptive parent with dedication and commitment so that baby eagle "Sinag" will eventually become an aviator with dignity and strength, traits which are inherent in each and every PAL flight," he added.
According to Kevin Hartigan-GO, PAL Ancillary Business Vice President, the PAL Loyalty Program enables its members not only to use their miles to reap rewards from lifestyle program partners but to donate their miles in order to support worthwhile endeavors which aim to save and sustain lives.
Where will 1-million miles take the Philippine eagle?
“A million Mabuhay miles will make significant strides in protecting the Philippine Eagle. This will enable PEF to reach out to more people to spread the conservation message,” said PEF Chairman Carlos G. Dominguez III.
Thankful for the support, Dennis Salvador, PEF Executive Director, shared, “The donation will allow us to go places and reach more people to further public awareness and mobilize more resources for the mission.”
Salvador further stated that the support frees up money spent for travel which can be used for direct conservation action, open doors for expanding work with PAL via passenger education and potential for engaging them to give donations, and provide opportunity for PAL to gain carbon credits if it invests on our restoration and protection efforts.
PAL + PEF
According to the PEF Chairman, the partnership with PAL can be instrumental in saving the national treasure, “It will not only sustain the growth of a single eaglet but will also give way to the survival of more,” and added that it can also restore the eagle’s forest habitat, and improve the lives of indigenous cultural communities who share these forests with the eagles.
The PEF chairman extends his gratitude to PAL’s loyal patrons as well for their compassionate support to foundation’s cause saying, “The conservation mission is strengthened through partnerships like this. And we are honored to have the nation’s flag carrier join us in advancing this cause.”
PEF has so much yet to do and we can be a part of it. They are inviting everyone to join in this noble endeavor to save our national heritage, the great Philippine eagle, and someday see it soaring freely, soaring high in the wild again.
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