Another Negrense shone once more after his art piece landed on the new P1,000 bill recently released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The central bank identified the wildlife photographer who captured the Philippine Eagle image used in the new 1000-Piso polymer banknote as Floyd Bermejo, a pilot, whose roots are from Mina in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.
An avid birdwatcher and member of the Robert S. Kennedy Bird Conservancy, a group dedicated to protecting the country’s birds through documentation, Bermejo explained that his passion for photography was rooted in childhood memories of hunting birds for food with his father in the mountains of Sipalay.
At first, Bermejo took and collected photos to relieve stress. But through his immersion in communities that served as habitats of endangered birds, his collections transformed into a powerful platform for his conservation advocacies.
His passion as a lensman and his work as a pilot have allowed him to visit many protected forests and wildlife sanctuaries, including the one in Davao where he took the iconic photo of the Philippine Eagle featured on the polymer banknote.
The pilot-photographer said: “May this photo of the Philippine Eagle set ablaze the “bayanihan” spirit in us to save this critically endangered species from extinction.” Adding that by saving the Philippine Eagle, we too save our forests and all plant and animal life in them.
He emphasized: “No amount of money can buy back nature once lost. I hope that every time we see the new 1000 peso banknote, we will give even more value to the richness of our country’s natural resources.”