As a nod to its unique place in Singapore’s biodiversity, Jurong Bird Park has introduced Sunny the Hornbill as the park’s animal icon.
Starting with just five Hornbill species when the park opened in 1971, Jurong Bird Park today is home to the largest collection of Southeast Asian Hornbills in the world. Of the 18 Hornbill species in the park, 11 are native to Southeast Asia.
Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy CEO and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said, “We have chosen the Hornbill as Jurong Bird Park’s animal icon as we think this striking bird will be a relatable ambassador for all threatened bird species that need our help and protection. We have great success in Singapore where we have helped to reintroduce the oriental pied hornbill. There are other species such as the Helmeted Hornbill that are being hunted relentlessly and urgently need our help.”
Jurong Bird Park has long been actively involved in hornbill conservation efforts. Locally, Oriental Pied Hornbills were not seen for 140 years prior to 1994. In 2005, Jurong Bird Park entered a collaboration dedicated to the breeding and conserving of these birds and today, Singapore is home to a thriving population of Oriental Pied Hornbills. In 2013, three Oriental Pied Hornbill eggs rescued from Pulau Ubin were successfully incubated and hatched at the park’s Breeding & Research Centre. This marked the world’s first successful incubation and hatching of an Oriental Pied Hornbill.
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The legendary and historic Marinduque is one of the most visited places by local tourists in the Philippines. The heart-shaped island is not just full of natural treasures like white sandy beaches, scenic diving sites, beneficial hot springs, and enchanting caves, it is also full of interesting cultural traditions.
Like any other island paradise in the country, visiting Marinduque is affordable. Its accommodation options cater to all kinds of tourists, from budget travelers and backpackers, to luxe honeymooners. If you’re going in Easter, when tourist numbers peak, it’s recommended to book hotels in advance through online booking sites like Traveloka to secure the room you want within budget.
Locals believe the origin of the island to be the result of a tragic romance. It is widely held that Marina, a daughter of a local chief, fell in love with Garduke, a prince from a neighboring kingdom. Their parents were opposed to their romance and they were sentenced to be beheaded. The two managed to elope, ending up in the sea where they died with their remains forming the island.
The island is also historic. Indeed, the name of the island is a corruption of the local name of the tallest point on the island, Mt. Marlanga (now Mt. Malindig), which the Spanish used to rename the island after they captured it in 1569.
It is also on the island that American soldiers first set camp before the Filipino-American War of 1899-1902. The Battle of Pulang Lupa, as the war is locally referred to, ended with the defeat of American soldiers. The island again featured in World War II when the locals put up a stiff resistance against the Japanese.
The summer season in the Philippines almost ended with us not going to the beach. But it was a big deal for my boys. Since we were also celebrating my son's 16th birthday, we opted to make an impromptu trip to a beach resort just 3 hours away from our place. Funny actually, because it was only our first time to go to Real, Quezon.
I made a quick research and the Internet pointed me to blogs mentioning a couple of beach resorts that are known as surfing spots. I wanted a quiet time with the family so I thought of finding other beach resorts in the area. Luckily, I found La Juliana Beach Resort and the reviews of the place are good.
|(Photo lifted from La Juliana Beach Resort Facebook page.)|