It’s still less than a year since I decided that I will begin keeping birds again and I am rather thankful that this time I did not pursue the craft in my own but sought advice and guidance from those who have built several years of experience from mistakes and victories in aviculture.
My mentors and friends are those known aviculturists from the: EXOTIC BIRD LOVERS of CEBU or more popularly known as XBLOC.
Beginnings in Istorya.net
The group had their early beginnings even before Facebook became quite popular. For Cebu, it was Istorya.net that was the choice place to be online and discussing topics of common interest. I remember even browsing pet discussions back in my high school days. This was the place to be in to share about your pets. One particular thread that focused on the keeping of Exotic birds was the: Exotic Bird lovers of Cebu.
“We started as forumers sa istorya.net… There was a thread there about birds and we log-in everyday to talk about what birds we had, who was selling birds, etc… Then we decided to meet up at parkmall sa KFC to see who was the face behind the avatar..” – Paul Regi Magdadaro, XBLOC founder.
Eventually the online discussions turned into personal friendships that had the first physical encounter during their February 13,2011 eyeball at Parkmall. The rest, as they say, is history.
Why Join a Local Bird Club?
Joining XBLOC made a world of a difference when it came to my decision making with birds and supplies. I no longer bought birds from those mall pet stores or street vendors. My choice of birds were of very high quality and the breeders themselves were concerned whether I had knowledge or not about birds. Also, pricing was standardised. The prices in malls are definitely way higher than what is priced for breeders.
XBLOC will also help you know about updates regarding laws, regulations, and even new supplies that come in Cebu. The people in XBLOC are not selfish about their new learnings. They are eager but selective, to share about what new wisdom they have gained from recent experiences. Most of the members have not seen bird breeding as a money-making scheme. In fact they always emphasize that this is not their main source of income and that this is mostly their passion because if money is the only purpose you will only build frustration during the process.
How XBLOC is helping Local Wildlife
I used to think that only Wildlife Conservation groups were the only places that wildlife protection could be acted properly and build awareness to spread among the people of the Philippines. It was through XBLOC that I realised this was the right place to start separating WILD birds from Domestic species. The mindset in the club is very much focused on keeping only birds that are already domesticated and greatly discouraging those wild-caught birds being sold.
True enough, it is through the XBLOC Facebook page that several neophytes or uneducated individuals will try to ask the members to identify certain wild-caught bird species. This gives opportunity for other aviculturists to help educate about the dangers of keeping wild-caught birds and the ramifications of doing so.
CBC – Captive Breeding Certificate
It is also in this group that you have aviary owners pushing other members to register under DENR so that there will be integrity among the breeders and in that there will be no support of smuggling or poaching of animals. I do hope DENR sees that instead of focusing their energies on interrogating the members, rather they work hand-in-hand with this club to make the campaign for education more widespread.
How To Join?
Simply join the Facebook Page and you can message Sir Paul Regi Magdadaro regarding the membership fees and details. There are plenty of events and raffle draws that will make your engagement with the group more exciting.
I guarantee you the XBLOC family is warm, wise, and passionate about what we do.