Pag-asa (eagle)

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Pag-asa in 2007
SpeciesPithecophaga jefferyi
Hatched(1992-01-15)January 15, 1992
Philippine Eagle Center, Davao City
DiedJanuary 6, 2021(2021-01-06) (aged 28)
Davao City, Philippines
Cause of deathTrichomoniasis and aspergillosis infections
Nation fromPhilippines
Known forFirst Philippine eagle to be bred and hatched in captivity
OwnerPhilippine Eagle Foundation
Offspring1 (Mabuhay)

Pag-asa (Filipino: [paɡ.ˈʔ]; January 15, 1992 – January 6, 2021) was a Philippine eagle and the first of his species to be bred and hatched in captivity.[1]


Pag-asa was bred by a team of the Philippine Eagle Conservation Program Foundation (PECPF; now Philippine Eagle Foundation), led by executive director Dennis Salvador and camp manager Domingo Tadena.[2] This was a result of 14 years of research.[3]

Pag-asa was bred through artificial insemination and hatched through a combined artificial and natural incubation technique taught by the World Center For Birds of Prey. He was the first offspring of Philippine eagles Diola and Junior. Then 29-year-old Diola laid the egg, and Junior, found in Agusan, donated sperm. She sat the egg for twelve days before it was transferred to an incubator. According to the PECPF, the breeding technique improved the hatchability of the egg by as much as 30 percent.[2]


Pag-asa hatched at 10:40 pm PST on January 15, 1992, at the Philippine Eagle Center[4] in Barangay Malagos at the Calinan district in Davao City.[1] Hatched four days earlier than expected,[2] he weighed 134.6 grams (4.75 oz).[2] He had a hard time getting out of his egg, so a PECPF staff member cracked it.[3]

Pag-asa was named after the Tagalog term for "hope" by the PECPF team.[2] Awareness of conservation efforts on the endangered Philippine eagles increased after the hatching of Pag-asa.[5]

Then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte declared Pag-asa's hatch day as Philippine Eagle Day, or Pag-asa Day. Since then, the Philippine Eagle Center has established breeding and rearing protocols.[3]

Adult life[edit]

Pag-asa was unsuitable for release and remained in captivity, due to dependence on humans, particularly his keeper, Eddie Juntilla, on whom he had imprinted.[6]

Pag-asa sired his first chick on February 9, 2013, through artificial insemination. It hatched at 1:55 am PST from an egg laid by 29-year-old Kalinawan. It weighed 158 grams at its hatching, and was the first offspring of an eagle bred in captivity.[7] The chick was named Mabuhay and determined to be female.[8][9]

Pag-asa died on January 6, 2021, aged 28. He had infections associated with trichomoniasis and aspergillosis, which proved resistant to treatment.[10]


  1. ^ a b Regelado, Edith (15 January 2015). "Pag-asa, first Phl eagle bred in captivity, turns 23". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Milan, Vic (16 January 1992). "Rare Philippine Eagle hatches in captivity". Manila Standard. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Badilla, Joselle (15 January 2017). "Pag-asa: The silver eagle". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Philippine Eagle Foundation Sole Website". Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  5. ^ Hidalgo, Fe San Juan (1999). Sustainable Development-every Filipino's Concern: Let's Help Save the Earth (1st ed.). Manila, Philippines: Rex Book Store. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9712327507. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  6. ^ Manlupig, Karlos (17 January 2012). "A Philippine eagle's hope". Rappler. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  7. ^ Regelado, Edith (14 February 2013). "After 21 years, a chick for Pag-asa". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Newly hatched PHL Eagle chick is named Mabuhay". GMA News. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  9. ^ Tejano, Ivy (15 February 2014). "Generation next waits in a cage". SunStar. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  10. ^ Tocmo, Hernel (8 January 2021). "Iconic Philippine Eagle 'Pag-asa' dies at 28". ABS-CBN News.