June 4, 2016, Sta. Rosa, Laguna – The majestic Philippine Eagle took center stage at Enchanted Kingdom, with special activities held to mark the kick-off ceremonies of the Philippine Eagle Week. As the country marks the 18th year of the celebrations, with the theme “Saving Eagles, Protecting Forests, Securing Our Future”, the premiere Philippine theme park offered 18% discounts on each Regular Day Pass (RDP) with a free Yabang Pinoy and abaca bracelet distributed on June 3, 4, 5, and 10.
The program of activities that were held at the sprawling theme park is a collaborative effort between Enchanted Kingdom (EK) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB), designed to strengthen public awareness on the significant role of the Philippine Eagle in the forest ecosystem and its importance as a national symbol and unique heritage the future generations must enjoy.
EK Chairman & President Mr. Mario O. Mamon shared that the company is delighted and honored to have the opportunity to host the 18th Philippine Eagle Week ceremonies at its park facilities in Santa Rosa City, Laguna. “It is part of EK’s continuing and sincere commitment to support the eagle conservation efforts of both the private and public sectors. This is a fitting follow-up to Enchanted Kingdom’s adoption last October 2015 of “Enchanting Kagitingan”, a ten-year old eagle under the care of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) in Davao. This week’s activities will also highlight a new partnership with the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau in their continued efforts to protect and conserve the environment within which this magnificent bird of prey, unique to our country, exists under very challenging conditions.”
He adds, “We have lined up a number of unique activities at the park and we hope that through our concerted efforts, we shall continue to build awareness and understanding on the plight of our national bird. These efforts will not only have its positive effects on the conservancy of the Philippine eagle, but more importantly, on the protection and conservation of the environment, something that is of greater impact to all of mankind.”
The kick-off ceremony held last June 4 treated park visitors to exciting events such as an Agila-themed costume contest, where costumed participants were entitled to free park entry. Children aged 4 to 10 were able to win exciting freebies and prizes for participating in the Color Me Wild coloring competition held at the Kindermagic area. There were also entertaining performances held to honor the National Bird, with an interactive storytelling session of “Fly Malaya Fly” and a specially choreographed dance number from the EK Circle of Artists. Conservation groups like the DENR-BMB, the UP Institute of Biology and UP-Biodiversity Research Lab competed in the exciting AGILARO Race Challenge using trivia and clues about the eagle, in order to enhance awareness of the need to care for the environment.
Galeria Ni Agila, a photo exhibit that highlights the plight and flight of the Philippine Eagle by showcasing stunning pictures of two actual DENR eagles Leila and Ibarra, was likewise inaugurated at the park’s Memorabilia area. The ribbon-cutting ceremonies were led by EK Chairman & President Mr. Mario O. Mamon, and EK Chief Operating Officer Dr. Cynthia R. Mamon, Director Theresa Mundita Lim of the Department of Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) and Director Dennis Salvador of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).
Director Lim of the DENR-BMB remarked that she welcomes working with Enchanted Kingdom as a venue for the Philippine Eagle Week opening ceremonies and the inauguration of its eagle-themed exhibit at the Memorabilia zone. “As a theme park, EK reaches a different audience that usually comes for the rides and recreational activities. With the kick-off ceremonies and exhibit, the advocacy now has a different reach for its message of conservation, particularly the youth. We are looking forward to pursuing this partnership in helping to raise the level of understanding about caring for the environment with the leaders of the future.”
For his part, PEF Chairman Salvador added, “On our 18th year of the Philippine Eagle Week, we would not only like to pay tribute to the Philippine Eagle, but we would also like to highlight that we all need to work together to save the national bird. In this regard, we are very happy that we share the same values with Enchanted Kingdom on love for country and the environment.”
There is an urgent need to focus public attention to the plight of the Philippine Eagle, as the mighty Agila is struggling to survive in the wild. While it is proclaimed as the country’s National Bird, its habitat has been destroyed by deforestation and it is estimated that only 400 pairs are left, prompting the International Union for Conservation of Nature to classify it as critically endangered.