Pilot's Philippine eagle photo featured on P1,000 bill

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2022 10:16 AM | Updated as of May 29 2022 08:05 PM

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MANILA — The Philippine eagle shot of a pilot, whose hobby is wildlife photography, was selected by the central bank to be featured in a commemorative P1,000 bill.

Floyd Bermejo, who flies with PAL (Philippine Airlines) Express, took the photo of the eagle Viggo during a visit to the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City last 2017.

"Ang purpose ko talaga is to photograph it and frame sa bahay, tapos ginusto kong magkaroon ng magandang portrait ng national bird natin," Bermejo told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo on Sunday.

(My purpose was really to take a photograph of our national bird and have it framed in our home.)

"Kaya ko pinuntahan siya sa Philippine Eagle Center kasi napakahirap kumuha ng magandang portrait ng Philippine eagle sa wild," he said.

(That's why I went to the Philippine Eagle Center because it's so hard to get a good portrait shot of the Philippine eagle in the wild.)

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas eventually found the photo and contacted Bermejo, asking him if they could use the photograph.

Bermejo said he agreed to the photo's use, adding that he no longer asked for compensation from the bank.

"Kasi 'di naman everyday 'yong photograph mo malalagay sa pera," he said.

(Because it's not everyday you get your photograph printed in money.)

"Naisip ko na rin na maging platform siya to spread conservation message for our Philippine eagle," he said of the endangered bird.

(I also thought it would be a platform to spread a conservation message for our Philippine eagle.)

Bermejo began dabbling into wildlife photography in 2014, saying there was "less pressure" compared to other types of photography and that he enjoyed the outdoors.