LOOK: Zamboanga Sibugay celebrates first-ever World Migratory Bird Day

Kara Santos

Posted at Oct 28 2018 06:47 AM

Birdwatching at Kabug Mangrove Park in Zamboanga Sibugay. Kara Santos

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY -- It was a flurry of feathery costumes and festivities as the province of Zamboanga Sibugay celebrated the first-ever World Migratory Bird Day last October 12-13.

The municipality of Siay, roughly 38 kilometers from capital town Ipil, hosted various bird-themed activities including an interpretative dance competition, bird costume contests and a bird mascot contest and showdown.

With the theme “Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation,” the municipality also launched an art and photo exhibit on birds as well as a poster-making contest on the theme for elementary and high school students.

Birdwatching at Kabug Mangrove Park in Zamboanga Sibugay. Kara Santos

Myra Paz Valderosa-Abubakar, regional director of the Department of Tourism Region IX, graced the ceremonial launch of Sibugay Wetlands ahead of a birdwatching activity held at the Kabug Mangrove Park.

The site aims to promote environmental conservation and awareness and serve as a tourist destination in the province. It offers kayak rentals and boat tours, including on an eco-brick boat made with recycled plastic bottles stuffed with plastic waste.

Birdwatching activities were held around the Siay-Kabasalan Wetlands, part of the Sibugay Wetlands that serves as a roosting, foraging and stop-over grounds for migratory birds. Of the 53 waterbird species documented in the area, 37 are migratory ones.

The Sibugay Wetlands serves as a roosting, foraging and stopover grounds for migratory birds. Kara Santos

The Sibugay Wetlands is a proposed ramsar site (wetland of international importance) considered as an important site for conservation as well as a flyway site under the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). The EAAF, which encompasses 22 countries is one of the 9 major flyways in the world which supports at least 50 million waterbirds including 32 globally threatened species.

The two-day event concluded with a Baroto boat race competition, awarding of the most beautiful and decorative pump boat and community feast of local specialties.

Here are some of the event highlights.

A contestant of the the Bird Mascot contest poses for the crowd. Kara Santos

The first World Migratory Bird Festival in Zamboanga Sibugay. Kara Santos

A contestant of the Bird Mascot contest with the crowd. Kara Santos

The first World Migratory Bird Festival in Zamboanga Sibugay. Kara Santos

Messages left by students and visitors in Siay. Kara Santos

A boat made with eco-bricks or recycled bottles stuffed with plastic waste. Kara Santos

Community feast at Kabug Magnrove Park. Kara Santos