Docu film stresses urgency to save Philippine Eagle

Eva Visperas (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2019 - 12:00am

CALASIAO, Pangasinan, Philippines — An official of the San Roque Power Corp. (SRPC) is urging Filipinos to do their share in saving the critically endangered Philippine Eagle. 

Tom Valdez, vice president for corporate social responsibility of the SRPC, issued the call during the Calasiao-Dagupan screening last week of the multi-awarded documentary titled “Bird of Prey.”

“Just like others who have helped the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) with their mission, we at the San Roque Power Corp., are also doing our share,” he said.

Valdez, a trustee of the PEF board, said from 2011-2015 they have helped fund expeditions of PEF as part of their environmental programs, “to find Philippine Eagles in the last forest frontiers of the Northern Cordilleras.” 

He said that the partnership paid off because in 2015, a Philippine Eagle nest with a one-month-old chick was found in the remote forests of Apayao. 

He said this is the first active Philippine Eagle nest ever discovered in Luzon since the Philippine Eagle was first recorded in Samar in 1896 by a British naturalist. “Since then, we continue to support PEF in protecting this eagle territory and three more eagle pairs in Apayao,” he said.

The documentary film by world-renowned wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig embarks on the most challenging assignment of his career: to find and film the rarest eagle on the planet, its website said. 

An expertly woven tale with stunning cinematography, Bird of Prey journeys deep into the vanishing world of the Philippine Eagle and reveals a group of people determined to save the critically endangered species from extinction, it added. 

Valdez said the film is important to every Filipino, mainly because it is about the Philippine Eagle, the national bird, which is also the largest, rarest and most beautiful forest eagle in the world.

He said every Filipino should take pride in the national bird, which is featured in an international, National Geographic-style, full length film. 

It was filmed by Emmy-award winning cinematographer Rettig and his international crew. The powerful camera images were then masterfully pieced together by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology based in New York, Valdez said.

“This fresh take on our national symbol is now available online via Amazon and iTunes. Not all citizens in any country can claim that their national animal is in a high-quality movie with global reach,” he said.

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