There was a time when dad took me on a fishing trip, not very far from the house, not even 15 kilometers away. That was a Sunday morning, I remember it so well. He had bought this fishing rod and was eager try it. He took me and my siblings out to the bay of Manila, where the Manila Ocean Park stands now – it was just a pier before, a lot of fishing hobbyist gathered there and dad then took a spot at the edge, took out the worms to be used as bait.
Sadly we didn’t caught anything that day, but I still remember the color of the bay that day – greenish blue, color of a healthy bay. That was roughly no more than 20 years ago, and now I make sure that the windows of the car are tightly closed everytime I pass by Roxas Boulevard because the smell is so bad, the color has greatly deteriorated, too.
How did we get here? When did we forget? Why did we forget?
I’ve learned about Haribon Foundation since I was in High School, it was mentioned once or twice during one of our field trips as one of our guides was a member of it. What I knew then was that it was protecting the Philippine Eagle which was a nice thing to do, and hey’ve been doing it for 45 years now.
What amazes me about the Philippine Eagle is that it needs so much care that it only lays one egg every two years, just one. And I may be biased by saying this, but I really thing the Philippine Eagle (or Haring Ibon as its nickname) is the most beautiful eagle out there. It has this intimidating stare, and you’ll have the chills down your spine when it boasts its wings, looking to cover up sunlight in front of you.
But majestic as they are, deforestation and hunting has greatly diminished them into critically-endangered numbers. And I really mean critical – Less than 800, and most of them aren’t in the wild.
Remember the Dodo bird? Everyone thought it won’t be extinct, but it did. And the Philippine Eagle could be next in line if we don’t join the fight.
What I didn’t know about Haribon Foundation was all the other conservation projects they did – tree planting, educational tours, bird-watching, restoring Mangrove forests (which plays a VERY BIG part of the eco-system), saving species like the Tamaraw, Sustainable living which empowers the people to take care of the natural resources that we have.
That’s why starting this year, I’m committing myself to live a greener lifestyle and join the fight to conserve the natural resources of the Philippines and help grow the numbers of the Philippine Eagle. Just a few days ago I became an official a member of Haribon Foundation under the Advocacy commitee, and I’m very excited to be part of a conservation organization.
I hope I find time to join the meet-ups and activities for the year but I doubt it’ll be frequent as I have a loaded schedule with school, but that’s why I joined under advocacy so that I can do blogs instead or spread it among others about the good things Haribon is committed to doing.
I joined Haribon Foundation because I want to do my part as a steward for nature, I want to go back to those days when fishing was as close as Manila Bay, so that I don’t have to endure the foul smell of the air, the trash, the deterioration of both human and nature.
Come join me in this bumpy journey, visit Haribon Foundation today.
Note: Credit to the owners of the photo (IUCN, Haribon, Winston Almendeas, PEF)