Saturday, January 3, 2009

BoBC flying high in Borneo.

“It’s a huge success” he says. “It’s not going to happen overnight but we surely initiated the first move to create awareness especially in Sabah” he added, referring to the Sandakan Bird Fair 2008 which was held in Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu recently. Bird watching activity is not in everyone’s vocabulary in Sabah and still in its infancy. That activity will soon be revolutionized in Sabah with the tremendous effort by Mr. Cede Prudente and his fellow team members of Borneo Bird Club (BoBC) which in return, I believe will benefit many.

In addition to that, supporters and sponsors of the event namely the Sabah Society, Sabah Tourism Board, Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Wildlife Department, Nikon Malaysia and Majlis Perbandaran Sandakan ensured their dream is materialized. After years of waiting, a two legged events of bird fairs were held successfully. Obviously, more are expected to come in the near future as Sabah prepares for the International Bird Fair 2009 and the Malaysian Rainforest Flora and Fauna Festival 2010.

I could see the fatigue in his eyes during our chat but I could also see his joy and satisfaction. It is never easy to pull off something important such as these events. Obviously, he is a man of great determination and vision. After almost 19 years devoting his life in nature conservation both directly and indirectly, I am astonished by his enthusiasm. He has just warmed up, I thought to myself. He was serious when he said he wanted bird watching to be a favorite past time in Sabah particularly.

I could not believe my luck during the second leg bird fair at 1Borneo Shopping Complex. Not only that I was glad to be there, but I was so astounded by the degree of determination and sacrifice made by Cede and his fellow photographers. Lined up in display and for test drive for public were their cameras and equipments worth close to half a million ringgit! Unbelievable! Not even Nikon dealers dared to put their goods on the line!

Nikon Malaysia was very lucky to have their consumers giving them great promotion! It was only in my dream to lay hands on cameras and lenses of top class. Imagine having a D3, D300 and D700 with monstrous 300mm 2.8, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm bazookas in your hands…well, been there and done that! It was one of my greatest experiences. Who can blame me if I decide to switch camp? Canon sucks in this part of the world…maybe. If money isn’t a problem…I would proudly wear the Nikon cap and walk into the “Dark Side”.

On the other hand, the equipments play little part in bird watching. It all depends on what one wants to achieve. Personally, I want to capture bird images in their natural environment and obviously as attractive as I can possibly achieve. Birds are beautiful creatures that need a closer look to be appreciated, and that’s when images need to be at their best. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. However, if one isn’t particularly fond of photographing them, a pair of binocular or scopes is a must have gear.

My friends and I have started birding earlier and made it as fun family activity. It is going to be more fun to see more unfamiliar faces joining in and share our passion. Thanks to all the parties involved and especially to Mr. Cede Prudente, I can see the “birding flu” spreading fast and wide in Sabah.

Any inquiries regarding the Borneo Bird Club and its activities just send your email to Fancy a birding adventure instead? Just visit and overwhelm yourself.

1. Mr.Cede Prudente
One of the world renowned nature and wildlife photographers, speaks passionately about conservation and bird watching. Later, shared his thoughts on one of the photos displayed in the photo exhibition.
2. Mr.John Kong
Mr. John Kong showing his magic. He talked about the wonderful new features of the new photo editing software by Nikon, Capture NX2.

3. Mr. Jason R Reyes (a.k.a Horukuru)
One of Sabah very own bird experts Mr. Jason gained his knowledge from scratch. Here, sharing his skills and knowledge about the art of Digiscoping. He has captured amazing still images and video using his scope which you can visit at

4. Mr.Jollence Lee

Mr. Jollence Lee in action after his talk about landscape photography. His beautiful work has won lots of heart and now diversifying them by going into wedding photography. An experienced photographer and shares his passion at .

5. Alli Izzette Presley Sitorus

6. Ms. Zaiton Yunus
My son Alli having fun with the bird costumes and with his Mom's Canon 400D. My beautiful wife eagerly waiting for the next talk to learn as much as possible by all the speakers.

7. Mr. Ronald I Pudin

An avid birder, Mr Ronald's bird images can be found at

8. Mr. Lee Teck Seng

A.k.a Gokibury, his shares his work with others at

9. Ms. Nikon

10. Sabrina Sitorus 11. Sarah Sitorus
12. Alli Sitorus

It is an uphill battle, but our only hope is our next generation.

One of the audience having a go with a scope. Another audience indulged himself reading all the available materials.

One of the Nikon bazookas...very nice indeed!

13. Gary Albert
Gary Albert a.k.a Guideborneo cuddled a Nikon D700 and did not want to let go... His amazing collections can be found at

Another brand synonym to birding...

14. John Bakar (A.k.a Johnizam)
Same talk and same topics but John didn't seem to mind...still there and paid full attention. Quality images is top priority and he shares his wonderful collection at
15. Alphonsus Loinsang
A.k.a Beastmaster, this man is the man for bird potraiture. Producing mainly bird closeup images, his remarkable work can be viewed at .

Signing up for BoBC...

My son was a happy boy when all the photographers themselves autographed on the limited edition postcards.I was explaining to my younger generation on how birds get their names.

With one of my friend, Raymond Alfred a.k.a Elephant man. He's with WWF.

Andrew Siani and C.K Leong are the two other speakers at the 1Borneo bird fair which I didn't have any pictures of. Both of them are top birders in Sabah and are well known in the birding world.

There are times I was reluctant to take out my Canon due to my respect to one of the sponsors during the bird fair. I just hope that will not be the case next time... anyway, we are flying high in Sabah, Borneo with the Borneo Bird Club (BoBC).


Jason Bugay Reyes a.k.a horukuru said...

One of the best write up my friend hahaha excellent !

Jollence Lee said...

Great report about the Bird Fair. Good read!

Unknown said...

I came to your blog from jollence lee's blog. and what a find for me.

You have one of the finest range of bird images in your blog.

Some of the ones that stand out for me are Sandpiper in flight, Indigo Flycatcher in Rain, Flying Squirrel, Checker-throated Woodpecker, Bornean Bristlehead, Stork-billed Kingfisher in flight, Blue-throated Bee Eater having as shower.

You have an awesome blog...Thomas

Anonymous said...

Good job here bro..

A real good summary of the bird fair in KK.. I like the way you put those words together.. Inspiring.. :p Nice blog by the way, ope to start one soon.. Cheers!

Tabib said...

Great, now I know those hard-working guys- You has put face to their name, and will find them when I'll to Sabah for birding in future.

Jordan Sitorus said...

Yup Tabib, those guys are about the best we have least whom I know personally.

If you want to make plans to come here, just contact them...I'm sure you will be able to see your wish list birds! hopefully!