By Mar Jay S. Delas Alas
BALANGA CITY — Ibong Dayo Festival in Balanga City could be an international event in the near future.
In his message during the ninth edition of the festival, Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. praised the role of the city government as well as residents in protecting the wetland and promoting its migratory birds.
“There is a concerted effort among all of us not only the local government, not only the national government, but the community is really part of taking care and protecting our wetlands,” Boncato said.
He expressed support and interest in advancing the festival by adding an international flavor to attract more tourists.
“We also shared with the good Mayor that maybe next year, we gear up and makes this festival known to many more markets,” the Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation Coordination and Resource Generation said.
“We can invite foreign scientists and bird enthusiasts to come and celebrate with us so our Ibong Dayo will not be only for us Filipinos but also for all who appreciate sustainable tourism,” he furthered.
In a recent bird census conducted by Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, about 9,544 birds were seen in the city.
“The arrival of the migratory birds continues in the city varying in terms of numbers for various reasons but the message here is that for as long as we see them here in Balanga, everything is doing well,” Boncato stressed.
Ibong Dayo Festival is an annual event recognizing the different bird species migrating at the Balanga City Wetland and Nature Park in barangay Tortugas.
It is a Hall of Famer in Best Festival-City category of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines. (CLJD/MJSD-PIA 3)