June 4-10 of every calendar year is the Philippine Eagle Week, a celebration pursuant to Proclamation No. 79 which aims to strengthen public awareness on the significance of the country’s iconic bird of prey and the majestic predator in the wild- the Philippine Eagle.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) recently conducted a community celebration in Brgy. Baracatan, Toril, Davao City as an innovative effort in educating the public about the endemic eagle.

Both agencies believe that one of the best ways to ensure the conservation of the environment, including its species, is to engage and educate the community, most especially the children.

“Let’s cultivate the children to be stewards of the earth. Let’s involve them now because these young people represent the future.” Mryna Erlinda Arbiol, DENR XI’s Chief, Conservation and Development Division emphasizes.

The information drive aims to refresh everyone about how much we take pride having the most revered and most powerful bird there is in the wild. Along with these prideful facts is making them aware that the iconic eagle is also critically endangered which means that they have a narrow chance to survive if we will not take care of them.

Art workshop, storytelling and film screening were conducted for the combined students of Baracatan Elementary School, Mt. Apo Elementary School and Baracayo Integrated School.

One of the presenters was Mr. Ric Obenza, Jr, an environmentalist, artist and 2018 Datu Bago awardee who relentlessly ignites children’s ideas about nature in an artistic way. Mr. Obenza dedicates his time in planting trees daily and encourages the children and the community to adopt the same habit.

“Planting trees will lead to having a healthy forest. This means, we protect our Philippine Eagle’s home.” Obenza explains to children.

The day-long activity culminates by gathering the students and the community for a story-telling and film screening of “To Save our Eagle” a special documentary about the Philippine Eagle’s plight.

“We have to enrich the children’s values towards conserving our environment. They also have to realize environmental matters that transcend their classroom walls.” Marigelaine Arguillas, DENR-XI Protected Areas Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section Chief asserts.