Philippine Festivals; Negros Occidental to host 11th Philippine Bird Festival 

The 11th Philippine Bird Festival in Negros Occidental on Nov. 24 to 27 is expected to gather about 10,000 spectators, including domestic and foreign tourists who are bird enthusiasts.

Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Cristine Mansinares said the event was positioned as a tourism activity that could provide fund for local conservation efforts.

“It will bring in more tourists to visit the sites resulting to more income opportunities for the community in the local bird watching sites,” she said.

The four-day festival, themed “Pagpanghangkat sa aton tanan, kabuhing ilahas aton amligan,” will be held as part of the 12th Provincial Wildlife Month this November.

Gina Mapua, vice president of Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP), said the festival was a means of growing the appreciation and love of the Negrenses, especially children, on the Philippine birds which were the most wonderful species in the world.

WBCP, the lead organizer of the bird festival, is an organization that promotes bird-watching and keeps bird sighting records in the country.

WBCP records showed that of the 740 bird species in the Philippines, 238 are endemic or can be found only in the country.

Negros Occidental has 16 endemic species of birds like the Negros Fruit Dove, Rufous-headed Hornbill, and Visayan Tarictic Hornbill, according to the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation.

In October this year, the Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Conservation Area, a bird watching site, was declared the Philippines’ newest Ramsar site, the seventh in the country.(PNA)RMA/NLG/EPN

MIMAROPA Festival Ensures Total Tourism Experience

The MIMAROPA Festival is back this year with more events and activities lined up, including street-dancing competition, agriculture-tourism-trade fair and crowning of the Festival King and Queen, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo expressed excitement over the staging of the event which kicked off on Nov. 3, will run until Nov. 13 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

MIMAROPA or Region IV-B is composed of five island provinces -- Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.

Teo, who spent her childhood years in Puerto Princesa City, lauded the region’s different local government units (LGUs) for strong regional unity and cooperation in staging the 10-day festival to fan tourism.

She said that the promotion of rural tourism is at the very the soul of fiestas. “As each tourist ends his visit, he holds on to special memories of the place and people, as well as stimulate business for small to medium businesses in the MIMAROPA region,” Teo said.

According to DOT-MIMAROPA Director Danilo Intong, the opening salvo will start with the Agri Trade and Tourism Fair and the celebration of the Puerto Princesa Underground River proclamation as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

Other activities include a Business to Business Meeting with Philippine Tour Operators (PHILTOA), National Association of Independent Travel Agents (NAITAS) and Taiwanese Travel Agents with the DOT Accredited Properties and Tour Operators in the MIMAROPA Region.

The culminating activity will be the Tourism Awards to be given to the Local Government Units and DOT Accredited Tourism Related Establishments with great contributions to the development and promotion of tourism in the Region.

There will also be a street dancing showdown and colorful float and costume competitions participated in by performers from the seven LGUs of MIMAROPA, including Puerto Princesa City and Calapan City.

A MIMAROPA King & Queen will also be crowned and awarded with cash prizes in a week-long pageant participated in by outstanding and talented residents in the region.

The event will finally be capped with the First Asian Dragon Boat International Crew Member Championship on Nov. 11, 2016 with an expected 1,500 foreign delegates.

The event is organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and its co-sponsors -- the Tourism Promotions Board, Duty Free Philippines, Air Asia, Philippine Airlines and Philippine Information Agency-MIMAROPA. (PNA)SCS/ANP

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