The ‘Raptor Boy’ of Philippines Inspires Bird-Watching and Migration Route Protection in Sarangani Province

The Philippines has witnessed a unique effort toward the protection of birdlife led by a teenaged boy from an island village. The childish curiosity of a 10-year-old boy had ignited the passion for protecting birds and gradually engulfed an entire village in bird-loving and bird-protecting activities over the last six years.

The Beginning

Almost half a decade ago, Joriden Ligoyligoy, living in the village of Rio del Pilar in the southern Philippines, one day noticed a group of strangers watching something in the sky from the top of a nearby hill. Driven by curiosity, he climbed the hill to meet with those birdwatchers, who let him peek through their binoculars. To his great delight, the boy was surprised by seeing the close-up of an unknown bird. Then he was told by the birdwatchers that, the bird was a migratory raptor, a type of hunting bird mainly coming from Taiwan and China. Since that day, Ligoyligoy, who used to hunt birds with a slingshot for sport or food, had become an avid bird-lover and bird-watching enthusiast.

Making of the Raptor Boy

Instead of helping his family in mundane chores like other boys of his age, Ligoyligoy started to spend time volunteering as a watcher in the annual raptor monitoring alongside the officials from the Sarangani provincial government and the members of the Raptorwatch Network Philippines. He has now become the local poster boy of raptor watching earning him the nickname ‘The Raptor Boy of Sarangani’. Now in the ninth grade, 15-year-old Ligoyligoy can identify the migratory raptors easily, which are locally known as ‘Langgam’.

Current Actions

The Sarangani Raptor Hill at the Rio del Pilar village is a pit stop for this particular migratory bird while passing through the southern Philippines. These endangered endemic Philippine eagles are one of the world’s largest raptors. These birds of prey are very helpful in eradicating pests like destructive rats and insects in the farms. Nowadays, Ligoyligoy appeals to his fellow youths from his neighborhood to stop hunting birds for any cause. He also rallies the local community to refrain from cutting trees in the surrounding hill area, to protect the migration route and roosting sites of the raptors passing through his village.

Air-India Made History with an All-Women Crew on a 17-Hour Flight

Air-India, Boeing 777

An all-women Indian pilot crew made history after completing the longest non-stop commercial flight ever operated by Air-India. The team completed the 17-hour-long flight on Jan 11, 2021, according to a statement released by the airline.

The Air-India Crew Enjoyed a View From the North Pole

The plane departed from San Francisco on January 11 and arrived in Bengaluru, India passing through the North Pole, covering a distance of more than 8,600 miles.

The All-Women Air-India Crew The commander of the Air-India flight 176, Captain Zoya Aggarwal, shared how proud she was of the crew and as “India’s daughters” they were given the great opportunity to create a new chapter in Indian aviation history. The captain also mentioned that she’d been preparing for this particular flight for more than a year.

Her co-pilot, Captain Thanmei Papagari couldn’t resist but share the “superb” feeling she got flying over the North Pole and enjoying the view.

Air-India Flight 176 route The two first officers on the Air-India flight who also enjoyed being part of this history-making flight are Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas.

An Important International Connection for the Tech Industry

This flight is also the first to connect directly to the United States and South India, according to a statement from KIAB (Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru).

“This is the first non-stop flight between Bengaluru and the United States, connecting the world’s two tech hubs and sister cities — the original Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley of India.”

This India-Air flight was important on many levels, and even India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri, congratulated the team on their journey.

India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri greeting the all-female crew

The Highest Percentage of Women Pilots in the World

India’s aviation sector invests heavily in training women-pilots with about 12% of the country’s pilots being women. This is also the highest percentage in the world. Compared to the US with only 4% of female-pilots, that makes roughly three times the proportion to the states.