Almost 18,000 birds (18,679 to be exact)sighted in Balanga Wetlands according to 2010 Annual Asian Waterfowl Census. This count is a good reason for the City of Balanga to celebrate a festival as thanksgiving to birds visiting their wetland and mangroves. The festival is dubbed as Ibong Dayo, kasama sa pag-asenso (migratory birds, you're with us on our progress.)
Founder of the NGO Wild Bird Club, Mr. Michael Lo said that the preserved wetlands and thick mangroves of Balanga City attracts thousands of migratory birds from China, Japan, Korea, Siberia and other countries experiencing very cold winter and the rich mudflats serve as the restaurant of the birds and the thick mangroves serve as their hotel.
Balanga Wetlandsis approximately 11 hectares of coastal and estaurine ecosystem at the Eastern of Barangay Tortugas (one of the villages of Balanga City) facing Manila Bay. The stunning wetland is a showcase of a living natural museum because of the aliveness of the ecosystem.
During the festival there are tricycles(that uses LPG as fuel) with birds head on the roof paraded around Balanga City, bird watching, drawing of bird murals, lecture on the different kinds of birds, bird mascott, bird origami, mangroves planting and coastal clean-up.