Every experience has its story and what makes a story a good one is the content of the story. It’s also the same with nature, what makes nature beautiful is its unique make-up that could make a human drop its jaw, staring at the spectacular scenery dumbfounded and almost forgetting how to breathe.

Mapawa, as a golden pan, is able to serve its guests with mouth-watering food made up of fine ingredients in a very affordable way. It is considered a haven to both common or uncommon and threatened or non- threatened species.

To not hamper your excitement, these are the remarkable species that made Mapawa a place where you want to indulge yourself in:



Dao (Dracontomelon dao ) is a native tree that reaches 40 meters high and 90 centimeters in diameter at breast height. Dao occurs in primary or secondary, evergreen, or semi-deciduous (monsoon) forest at low altitude in areas with high rainfall or less and frequently in areas with a short dry season like the Philippines. The bark of dao is occasionally used in traditional medicine against dysentery. The wood of dao is use in light construction like bancas, rafters, and furniture.


Giant Scops-owl

The Giant Scops-owl is an endemic vulnerable owl that can only be found in Mindanao. As the name implies, it is the largest Scops-owl in the Philippines with a length of 30-35cm. Together with members from other groups – Aryel Lim, Nur Alawi, Abdulsamad Masorong, Muhammad Cosain, and our guide Kuya Dodong we broadcasted a call of this owl with the use of a bluetooth speaker. It responded immediately with a mournful “Wuaah” that can be barely heard. We continued for about an hour hoping that it will perch on a nearby tree but it didn’t.

Giant Scops Owl_Yann Muzika
Photo courtesy: Yann Muzika

Philippine Scops-owl

To continue, after an hour we persisted to lure the Giant Scops-owl but still he didn’t come and continued to broadcast his call from a distance and then suddenly we heard a different call. We knew it was an owl but we don’t know what it was and Kuya Dodong said that it was a Philippine Scops-owl. This owl is very common in the Philippines. The Giant Scops-owl stopped calling and the Philippine Scops-owl’s call started to get louder and louder. From what we have experienced, we hypothesized that the possible reason why the Giant Scops-owl refuses to show his self to us was because the area where we were staying was under the territory of the Philippine Scops-owl. Owls are very territorial if an owl enters another owl’s territory, the owner of that territory will fight-off the trespassing owl just like what happened while we were owling.

Phil. Scops Owl_Jonet Carpio
Photo courtesy: Jonet Carpio

Mindanao Wattled Broadbill

Mindanao Wattled Broadbill is an endemic and vulnerable species that can be found in Mindanao, Dinagat, Siargao and Basilan. It inhabits the lower and middle storeys of primary and adjacent or admixed secondary forest, generally well below 1,000 m, but occasionally up to 1,200 m. This is one of the reason why Mapawa is an excellent birding site, this bird was recorded in Mapawa and is considered to be a rare site in the area.

Mindanao Wattled Broadbill_Robert Hutchinson
Photo courtesy: Robert Hutchinson

Southern Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher

Southern Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher is also an endemic and vulnerable species that can be found in Basilan and Mindanao. Lowland specialist, inhabiting forest understorey and second growth from sea-level to 750m. Birders around the world especially those who are into Kingfishers came to Mapawa just to take a picture of this bird. It is also considered to be a rare site in the area.

Southern Phil. Dwarf Kingfisher_Clement Dampal
Photo courtesy: Clement Dampal

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