Intimate moment with the Philippines National Bird at Philippine Eagle Center

Nestled in the lush, rangy trees and faunas at the foot of Mt. Apo. The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC)  is the home of the world’s biggest eagle, the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle at Malagos, Davao.

Our attention was caught with the lumad women or Native women, gamely they join us in a selfie!
Our attention was caught with the lumad women or Native women, gamely they join us in a selfie!

Waking up on the second day of my sojourn trip in Davao, after that dreamy island hopping in Samal , I am excited for the next day. “When in Davao never miss to visit PEC” says my travel companion, who is a frequent visitor of Davao, Patrick as he leads the way. After an hour of road trip, we have reached the Davao Water District. While walking going to the center, our attention was caught with the lumad women  or Native women in selling perky souvenir items. Delighted with their colorful costumes and warm smiles, I brought a dozen of  their products for my friends back in Cebu.

Nestled in the lush, rangy trees and faunas at the foot of Mt. Apo. The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC)
Nestled in the lush, rangy trees and faunas at the foot of Mt. Apo. The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC)

Smiling attending staff greeted us with warm welcome, off  to a good start. The PEC visitors lounge resembles a huge tent built-in the middle of the juggle. It has a souvenir shop, canteen and cashier concessionaires.

Ambling around Philippine Eagle Center

The PEC visitors lounge resembles a huge tent built-in the middle of the juggle.
The PEC visitors lounge resembles a huge tent built-in the middle of the juggle.

Feeling exuberant in every step, I can’t help but feeling giddy to the thought that I can now see the “Haribon” or Haring Ibon as locally called or simply the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle scientifically known as Pithecophaga jefferyi. The Philippine Eagle has been an iconic symbol of Davao and the Philippine as its National bird.

For a minimal entrance fee, you can have a close encounter of the Philippine National bird, the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle at Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos , Davao
For a minimal entrance fee, you can have a close encounter of the Philippine National bird, the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle at Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos , Davao
Different trails that leads you to other features of the Philippine Eagle Center
Different trails that leads you to other features of the Philippine Eagle Center

Ambling around the PEC ourselves free of tour guide is awesome. We are dwarfed by the lofty and towering trees. Exploring around, you can see different trails that leads you to other features of the center. Strolling around, I figured out that there are other endemic  and endangered Philippine animals  in the center.

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There are other endemic and endangered Philippine animals in the center like the Philippine Warty Pig
One of the exotic fauna you can find in Philippine Eagle Center is the Waling-waling or also called as Sander's Vanda (Vanda sanderiana)
One of the exotic fauna you can find in Philippine Eagle Center is the Waling-waling or also called as Sander’s Vanda (Vanda sanderiana)

To name some : Golden-crowned flying fox, Philippine warty pig, Philippine brown deer, Giant Scops Owl and many others as well as exotic faunas too. On top of it, PEC showcases different types of Eagles to my surprise , to find a plenty of them!

One of the big cages in Philippine Eagle Center
One of the big cages in Philippine Eagle Center

Spending an hour touring around, I had thought in back of my mind.  “Why do these birds have to be caged? Should they be living freely in their natural habitat? Were they supposed to be flying and soaring above the blue sky?” I said to myself. “Personally, I think they are better off that way.

Just as it's namesake, a Philippine Eagle is a fighter!
Just as it’s namesake, a Philippine Eagle is a fighter!

But I was reminded that not all human are kind towards their kind that lead to their extinction. Putting them in a safe and secured facility along with the selfless service of the Philippine Eagle Center volunteers. It brings light and hope for these birds to breed, live long and protected for our future generation.

The strong and imposing statuesque is fierce like a Filipino warrior
The strong and imposing statuesque is fierce like a Filipino warrior

Getting to Philippine Eagle Center

The Philippine Eagle Centre (PEC) is at Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City. Just an hour drive from the city center via private or public transport. A taxi can take you to PEC for PHP 1,500 – 3,000 depends on your haggling skills.

For public transport.  Head off to Annil terminal at corner Quirino and San Pedro Extension near Bangkerohan terminal. Ride on buses going to Calinan, trips is every 15 minutes. From Calinan, ride for a pedicab or a motorcycle heading to Davao Water District. From the Davao Water District walk a few meters to the PEC main entrance.

For inquiries and reservation, you may reach them at  info[@]philippineeagle.org or call them at +6382-2243021. PEC opens at 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon daily, including holidays.

Enjoying this water lily pond at Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos , Davao
Enjoying this water lily pond at Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos , Davao

*Estimated Budget for Philippine Eagle Center tour

Transportation:

  • From accommodation to Annil terminal: PHP  7.00
  • Annil terminal to Calinan: PHP 30.00
  • Calinan bus stop to Water District via tricycle: PHP 15.00
  • From Water District to Calinan bus stop: PHP 15.00
  • Calinan to Annil terminal: PHP 30.00
  • Annil terminal to accomodation: PHP 7.00

Entrance fee:

  •  Davao Water District: PHP 5
  • Philippine Eagle Center : PHP 150.00

Souvenir items and snacks (optional)

Total: PHP 259.00

Note: * Prices are quoted as of press writing and subject to change

Suggested itinerary

06:00 AM Wake up call

07:00 AM Breakfast

08:00 AM  Head off to Annil Terminal

08:30 AM Ride a bus/ jeepney going to Calinan Station

09:30 AM Be at Calinan and ride a tricyle or motor bike to Davao Water District

09:50 AM Be at Davao Water District

10 : 00 AM Start the tour in Philippine Eagle Center

  • Recommended stay would be an hour or two

11: 30 AM Head off to Malagos Garden for a Bird show

12: 00 PM Lunch at Malagos Garden

01:00 PM Head back to Calinan Station

01: 30 PM Ride a bus going back to the city via Annil Station

02: 30 PM Be in Annil Station

03:00 PM Back in accommodation and rest

Up close with the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle

That close encounter with the Philippine monkey-eating eagle was the highlight of our visit. They are larger than life in person.  The strong and imposing statuesque is fierce like a Filipino warrior. I can’t be any prouder seeing them alive and in perfect shape. Additionally, I was amused by the baby eagles we have seen.

 I can't be any prouder seeing a Philippine Eagle alive and in perfect shape
I can’t be any prouder seeing a Philippine Eagle alive and in perfect shape

Seeing the cages of bigger birds, I kept my eyes for any sighting  but they seem illusive to me but I never gave up. In a blink of an eye, I never saw it coming. The mighty Philippine Monkey-eating eagle just came out from its nest. I blown away with its hugeness.  The wide wings spread and vivid colors left me breathless for a moment. Under its shadow, I felt its presence and power. It was the most intimate moment with the Philippines National Bird at Philippine Eagle Center.

A Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle is an endemic animal of the Philippines ranks among the worlds biggest if not the biggest raptor.
A Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle is an endemic animal of the Philippines ranks among the worlds biggest if not the biggest raptor.

The facility is geared to promote and educate the people. For several years now, they are running out of pure passion to in saving the Philippine eagle. I was moved when I learned this. More importantly, the foundation and center wants to reach more people to spread its message through word of mouth , blogs, media. Let’s help save the forest and the Philippine Eagle! It’s time to take our part. Visit them soon, it’s worth it.

I’ll end this post with a borrowed words from Arthur Schopenhauer that goes, “Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude. ” 

Thank you for dropping by mate.

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 Let's help save the forest and the Philippine Eagle!
Let’s help save the forest and the Philippine Eagle!

4 thoughts on “Intimate moment with the Philippines National Bird at Philippine Eagle Center”

  1. That was a very nice time you had visiting and seeing the Philippine Eagle. It is truly a majestic eagle when it spreads its wings. Imagine how predators (humans) have managed to hunt this eagle to near extinction and you will understand that the greatest enemy of people are people. Great post here. I found the photos enchanting to look at and hopefully could see them too.

  2. I’ve been to Davao before when I was in high school and we visited different spots. But I regret that I didn’t get that chance to see our national bird. Maybe during that time this center wasn’t opened yet? Anyway, I would love to return and see this. I’m happy that they are being protected. I would rather see them here at the center than for them to be in the forests but be obliterated by hunters.

  3. Never been to davao, but I really want to go now. Not just to get an up close on the Hog and the Philippine Eagle, but to check out the waling waling that you took a photo of. Did you know that I never really had seen an actual colored photo of said exotic flower? hahahaha! I was dumbstruck with how beautiful the waling waling is, and I’m curious why elementary and high school books didn’t print colored photos of this beauty. 😀

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