Project Malaya: A beacon of hope for the Philippine Eagle

Project Malaya: A beacon of hope for the Philippine Eagle
(PR Photo)

In an effort to preserve the Philippines' national treasure, the Philippine Eagle, JCI Davao Inc. successfully wrapped up Project Malaya, a conservation initiative that spanned several impactful activities from its grand launch to a fulfilling culmination. Named after the Tagalog word for freedom, "Malaya" reflects the project's core mission: to ensure that the majestic Philippine Eagle can soar freely in its natural habitat.

A promising start

(PR Photo)

Project Malaya's grand launch on June 4, 2024, at the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Calinan District, marked the beginning of Philippine Eagle Week. The event drew attention to the plight of this critically endangered species and set the stage for a week of educational and conservation activities.

Rom Batestil, Project Malaya Chairman and JCI member, extended the invitation to a diverse group of attendees, including representatives from various senior high schools in Davao and 110 students from Wisdom Islamic School. The gathering was warmly welcomed by JCI Davao President Carlo Franco, who celebrated his birthday on the same day, adding a personal touch to the event. Dominic “Bong” Tadena showcased a magnificent Philippine Eagle during the flight demonstration, captivating the audience and highlighting the importance of conservation efforts.

(PR Photo)

A multifaceted approach

Project Malaya focuses on four key areas:

1. Education and Awareness: Empowering communities with knowledge about the Philippine Eagle and its conservation needs through workshops and advocacy training.

2. Habitat Protection: Collaborating with stakeholders to prevent deforestation and illegal logging, ensuring the preservation of the eagle’s natural habitat.

3. Sustainable Livelihoods: Supporting local communities in adopting alternative livelihoods that do not harm the eagles or their environment.

4. Research and Development: Partnering with universities and research institutions to study eagle behavior and address threats to their survival.

Culmination: A day of action and celebration

The culmination event on June 9, 2024, brought together a vibrant mix of participants, including students, families, friends, and JCI Davao's daughter chapters: JCI Calinan Cacao, JCI Mati, and JCI Lakambini. The day began with a tree planting activity at the ALI Carbon Forest in Bago Gallera, Talomo. Enthusiastic participants planted trees, contributing to habitat restoration and demonstrating their commitment to conservation.

(PR Photo)

In the afternoon, the activities continued at the Philippine Eagle Center. The agenda included an educational tour, a short program featuring welcome remarks by the PEC, and an introduction to the program by Batestil and Franco. Essential items such as flashlights, caps, backpacks, and raincoats were donated to the forest guards of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, supporting their crucial conservation efforts. The eagle flight demonstration by Tristan Montemor and Patrick Cabatuan was a highlight, leaving a lasting impression on the attendees.

(PR photo)

A symbol of freedom and unity

Project Malaya’s success resonates with the spirit of national pride and freedom. The project's name, "Malaya," not only reflects the goal of conserving the Philippine Eagle but also symbolizes the broader struggle for independence and environmental stewardship. Just as our ancestors fought for the country's freedom, Project Malaya stands as a testament to our commitment to ensuring that the Philippine Eagle, a symbol of our natural heritage, can thrive for generations to come.

(PR Photo)

A collaborative effort

Project Malaya would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of various stakeholders and sponsors. Special thanks go to Monde Nissin Corporation, the Office of the Vice Mayor of Laak, Hon. Mark Anthony Libuangan, and Bratpack for their generous contributions. Their support has been instrumental in the project's success, enabling the execution of various activities and ensuring a wide-reaching impact.

For more information about Project Malaya and how to get involved, visit [JCI Davao's website](https://jcidavao.org/) or contact Rom Batestil at rombatestil@gmail.com or 09178790080. PR

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