As the country celebrates the Philippine Eagle Week, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jim O. Sampulna said Filipinos should be reminded of their responsibility as caretakers of the wildlife and importance of the Philippine eagle in sustaining life.

With this year’s theme, “Kapayapaan at Kalayaan: Ang Agila at Mamamayan, May Kaugnayan,” the Philippine Eagle Week celebration from June 4 to 10 will be highlighted by the release of a Philippine eagle named “Salagbanog” on June 13.

“As we commemorate our yearly observance of the Philippine Eagle Week, we are celebrating Salagbanog’s return to his forest home after 18 months of rehabilitation, an opportune time that this young bird would reunite with its kind,” Sampulna said.

“Salagbanog’s capture is a testament to the Philippine eagles’ continuing battle on the loss of its forest habitat and a chance for the bird to get back up on its feet, survive, and live out freely, thereby carving its own niche. The battle for these birds is undeniably our own battle too,” he added.

Sampulna pointed out that the presence of the Philippine eagle in the country’s forests speaks of a sustainable and rich environment.

“Therefore, as we let go of a national treasure to give one more bird a chance to be free again, it should remind us that wildlife, just like people, have to fulfill their roles for the sustenance of life on earth,” Sampulna said.

Salagbanog was rescued after being trapped among thorny rattan vines, while preying on a monkey at Salagbanog Falls in Brgy. Ticulab, Maitum town, Sarangani province on Jan. 9, 2021.

An x-ray of the Philippine eagle showed that a “big marble” was palpable under its skin, while a smaller pellet was detected on its right clavicle.

The marble was used in an improvised airgun as a bullet to shoot the bird.

The injuries inflicted on the bird also showed that these had probably occurred earlier and remained unnoticeable until its capture.

A veterinarian conducted a health assessment on Salagbanog prior to its release that showed the bird was healthy and free from any disease.


DENR-Region 12 has also started conducting information, education, and communication campaigns in communities near the Philippine eagle’s habitat.

Aside from Salagbanog’s release, DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) has also prepared other activities, such as the interactive storytelling of the book, “Fly Malaya Fly.”

It will livestream the activity in Singapore at the Holy Family School of Excellence, a Filipino-run school for expats.

Students can watch the activity as part of the DENR’s conservation efforts to instill awareness and appreciation of the Philippine eagle.

On June 4 and 5, tour guides were stationed outside the Philippine eagle exhibit at Jurong Bird Park, which is home to Sambisig and Geothermica, a pair of Philippine eagles loaned to Singapore.

They provided information to the park’s visitors about the Philippine eagle, the plight of the bird, other fun facts, and their daily activities.

Philippine eagle keeper Justin Huang will also post on JBP’s official Instagram account to give information on the daily activities of the birds.

Videos of the Philippine Eagle Foundation’s conservation efforts and the arrival of the birds to Jurong Bird Park will be shown across the park’s tram stations from June 4 to 10.

DENR-BMB OIC Director Natividad Y. Bernardino emphasized the role of Filipinos as “responsible citizens to usher in a new era of commitment to save our threatened fauna, especially our national bird.”

“We need to stand up and chart our path that will lead us to the next level of truly understanding the plight of our national bird,” said Bernardino.

The Philippine Eagle Week is celebrated every June 4-10 of each year by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 79, series of 1999.

The celebration is dedicated to the Philippine eagle with the scientific name Pithecophaga jefferyi—a critically endangered species that is endemic to the country. ###