1ST ASEAN bat  festival in Davao, Samal pushed

Monfort Bat Sanctuary in Samal Island, Davao del Norte. File / MindaNews photo by Erwin Mascarinas
Monfort Bat Sanctuary in Samal Island, Davao del Norte. File / MindaNews photo by Erwin Mascarinas

A bat conservation festival to take place in Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal on June 9 to 11 is being pushed by Ms Nomi Monfort, owner of the Monfort Bat Colony, a Guinness  World Record Holder located in IGaCoS.

With the participation of the Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia, Ms Monfort proposed to call it “1st Annual ASEAN Bat Conservation Festival” to be held simultaneously in the two cities.

Monfort describes the activity as a “novel path-breaking simultaneous celebration in two cities envisioned to give the overdue credit to bats as symbol of motherhood, omen of good fortune (in the Chinese culture) and a fitting tribute to the world renowned bat colony for silently rendering their individual nightly service for Davao region.”

The unique festival will have the following events and their tentative venues:

June 9, a Friday – 1st ASEAN Culinary Festival either at the ACQuiboloy Kitchen or  SMX Convention Center; Photo exhibit  at the SMX; and Bat Conservation Forum (Pol C) at the Waterfront Davao Insular Hotel.

June 10, Saturday (Vision*)– Elevated Q-Labonation with JayR, Q-York, Ogie,  Yeng, Deejay, Diana and the Davao School for the Blind “Echolocation” Band Accompanists at the Garden Pavillion of the Waterfront Hotel (“Labonation” means “love of nation/ collaboration on peace advocates”), and

June 11, Sunday – Bat-Triathlon (Davao to Samal’s “Fort ROQ,” beach front of IGaCoS) consisting of an invitational for LGU Samalenos Sunrise Biking and Run (with free singlets/packs) minimum registration of P100 to cover breakfast after the blessing of  BATpackers Inn,  StarBAT and JolliBAT eateries, and a real BAT-TRIATHLON consisting of ETeam Standboarding, Sailing, Moonlight Run for Peace Love Awareness (Tau Mu Fraternity’s Dark Night Run).

On the second day, there will be  “Vision” (“We are Light”)  beach party  with Bat Emergence Night Viewing Tours and BATtiange stalls selling vegetarian BBQ and BATtini drinks.

Monfort said that the activity honoring the bats as “symbols of motherhood, the only mammal who nurse their young and can truly fly” is long overdue.

“Bats are in the forefront of helping mitigate climate change;  they maintain our forests and act as night shift pollinators and pest/virus predators,” she said.

At the same time, Ms Monfort also wishes that the bat icon and the durian flower be included in future icons in the “Davao Life Is Here” logo which the Davao City government recently revised and relaunched.”