By Mike Lu and Bayani Barcenas
July 3 – Kapihan with Ipat Luna on Law and the Environment
With all the issues surrounding the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, who better to shed light than Ms. Ipat Luna. Ipat provided an insider’s viewpoint, candidly pointing out the shortcomings but at the same time appealing for understanding due to some limitations and unavoidable circumstances. The solution she sees is INTEGRATION – putting together the knowledge of hobby groups such as the bird club and universities with the DENR. She asks that people with the passion for biodiversity SHARE that passion with people in government.
July 11 – Club trip – Cavite grasslands
Club members organized a trip to two recently discovered grasslands in Kawit and Imus, both in Cavite. The highlights for both sites were the Eastern Grass Owl and the Watercock. As more and more grasslands are built upon, it is amazing that both species continue to thrive in these two semi-urban sites.
July 11 – Records Committee meeting
The 2nd quarterly meeting of the Records Committee discussed a number of matters including getting more volunteers from amongst the club members, the release of the annual Philippine checklist for 2021 and preparing the annual report of the Records Committee and the Rarities Committee for the Club anniversary at the end of the month. The Zoom meeting was led by Records Committee Chair Arne Jensen. Members are Christian Perez, Tinggay Cinco, Jops Josef, Mike Lu and Janjaap Brinkman (who is now in the Netherlands).
July 13 – Club in the News
WBCP president Mike Lu was interviewed as part of an article about the illegal wildlife trade for the Business Mirror. Mike related show the bird club started, recorded bird sightings, and how the country’s wildlife laws are in place but lack enforcement.
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July 18 – Club Trip – Masungi Georeserve
The Club was invited to visit the Masungi Geo-Reserve (Rizal) which is known for its limestone karst formations. The area visited was the Garden Cottage area which is not open to the general public. More than 30 species were seen including forest endemics such as the Guaiabero, Scale-feathered Malkoha, Rough-crested Malkoha and the resident Indigo-banded Kingfisher. Birdwatchers who joined this trip were Mike Lu, Jasmin Meren, George Inocencio, Manette Inocencio and Kelly Hageman.
July 18 – Kapihan with Alain and Maia with an overview of environmental programs in education
On this weekend’s Kapihan we heard from Maia Tañedo and Usec Alain Pascua of the Department of Education on their environment-related programs. This was a great follow-up after the talk on law and environment at the last session. Our speakers shared a list of impressive and creative programs they are committed to implementing despite the additional challenges brought about by the pandemic.
July 31 – 18th Club anniversary virtual get-together
To celebrate the Club’s 18th anniversary, members met on Zoom for the annual get-together. Yang Villa and Mijon Tangye hosted the whole program and also sang songs to entertain us. The program started with the President’s report by Mike Lu, the Records Committee report by Arne Jensen, the Rarities Committee report by Christian Perez and the Treasurer’s report by Jops Josef. The program continued with a Club trivia game by Tinggay Cinco and a bird game conducted by LuAnn and Mads Bajarias. The Election results were announced by Riza Melicor with Mike Lu (president), Tinggay Cinco (vice president), Bayani Barcenas (secretary) and Jops Josef (treasurer). The get-together ended with a toast for more birdwatching in spite of the pandemic and hoping we can all meet in person at next year’s anniversary.