Bird fest’s success inspires Zambo’s build back efforts PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 March 2014 18:12

The 9th Philippine Bird Festival organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) here yesterday afternoon was a huge success, judging from the big number of delegations it drew from the different parts of Asia, and was an inspiration of Zamboanga City as it now threads on the roadmap to building back a better future.

In her message, Mayor Climaco emphasized that the first ever Bird Fest in the city and the city’s feat as champion in the Regional Meet in Dipolog are positive indications that Zamboanga is indeed getting back on its feet towards rehabilitation after the siege last September.

“Levanta kita junto y dale kita buen futuro con el maga bata,” Climaco said after the elementary pupils from six public schools competed in the field demonstrations, featuring their colorful bird-inspired costume and props at Paseo del Mar.

For his part, Tourism Assistant Secretary Arturo Bungcato Jr. shared DOT’s significant gains in its campaign to bring in foreign tourism, stressing that as of the latest count about 4.7 million foreign tourists visited the country last year which translated to US$4 billion in revenues.

“Tourism as an engine of growth is not only felt in Manila but all in many urban areas like Zamboanga City and the conduct of the Bird Fest in Zamboanga is very historic as DOT is now implementing the National Ecotourism Strategy and Action Plan,” Bungcato said.

According to him, the Bird Festival in Zamboanga was very significant to the city’s efforts of finding peace.

“Because birds are messengers of virtues the human beings should emulate; birds are messengers of freedom as they fly anywhere anytime they want to; birds are messengers of hope as their presence indicates the environment and ecology are in perfect shape and; birds are messengers of peace,” Bungcato said.

A record from DOT-9 showed that the activity has attracted 70-strong contingents from different parts of the country and Southeast Asia as a whole.

The contingents came from the Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Malaysian Nature Society, Wild Bird Society of Taipei, Amazing Journey Asia Media (Malaysia), Snarovski Optik (Singapore), Katala Foundation, Haribon Foundation, Birdwatch Palawan, PENAGMANNAKI (Negros Oriental), Philippine Native Plant Society, Polillo Island Biodiversity Conservation, Earth Island Institute, Save Freedom Movement, City of Balanga, Province of Bataab, and 30 participants from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

Highlighting the festival was the field demo competition participated in by pupils from Tetuan Central School, Catalina Vda de Jalon Elementary School, Boalan Elementary School, Sta. Maria Central School and the Zamboanga East and West Central Schools combined.

Only one grand winner will be chosen for a prize of P20,000 while the non-winning schools will receive P5,000 consolation. The most lively participant will receive P10,000.— Vic Larato