Day 2: JeAr and the King
Davao City Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
September 7th, 2007 – by: JeAr
So! Met Kathy's mom, chatted for a bit about life in Manila and comparing it with life in Davao (she's never been to Manila), then got out of the house and took a 15-minute tricycle ride to another part of the city for yet another tricycle ride uphill where the Center is located.
By the way, outside of Kathy's parents' house, one can see Mt. Apo lurking in the distance. For those who didn't know about Mt. Apo, do your research! Kidding. It's the tallest mountain in the country (an extinct, but I'd still say dormant just to make sure, volcano), rising at 2,954 m (9,692 ft) above sea level (thank you Wikipedia). I would've loved to go there and see it up close, but turned out it's a 3-4 hour bus ride from Davao.
First Stop: After 15-20 minutes, we finally arrived at the Center. First thing that I noticed was the whole area outside was quiet, with less people and more trees. So our tricycle took us all the way inside, we paid the entrance fee (P15 per adult, if I remember correctly), and went inside the tree-covered nature park where one can find several species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. According to Kathy, the place used to be a lot smaller than it's current size.
Needless to say, I enjoyed all of the animals as well as the exotic plants (orchids, anyone?) inside the park, but I must say nothing beats the feeling I felt when the moment of truth finally came: I saw the Philippine eagle with my own eyes. I only used to read about this creature from school books, but now it's right in front of my eyes, or rather, high above me in the trees.
For a few seconds, he actually looked into my eyes with that commanding stance typical of a royalty, and held me spellbound. Then, the feathers in his head stiffened looking like it's ready to strike, let out a loud eagle cry, then decided to just fly to another branch. Maybe he felt threatened or challenged by my presence, or maybe it's just his normal reaction to another royalty like me. Heh. =D
Too bad, he has to remain in captivity (although his cage is really huge). But I guess that's the only way for his kind to survive and multiply until the time that it's safe enough for them to fly freely again.
Anyway, there are several other Philippine eagles with their own huge cages inside the park. Also on display were several Brahmini kites (Haliastur indus), perched on trees that you can just pass by, other kinds of eagles, some owls, and a few other kinds of birds and animals, some of them indigenous to Davao and the surrounding provinces.
So, I spent several minutes watching the monkeys go about their everyday lives (hehehe), taking pics of them, and a few times, trying to provoke them and get their attention to their long-lost cousin, MOI. They have their own mini-island separated by a narrow man-made creek which a few of them tried (and thought hard) vainly to cross. They should've watched Planet of the Apes. Monkeys can't swim, people! I mean, monkeys! =D I remember having this weird thought that - what if I'm one of them monkeys, but still possessing my human brain, doing what they're doing every freakin day of their lives. Suddenly, I had a feeling of being enclosed, trapped, helpless, and.
After touring the whole park, we left with a smile on our faces and a few more things regarding the environment to think about. I would say, it has been a trip of awareness for the three of us, even for Kathy's mom, who, despite having lived in Davao all her life, has never really given much thought about The King and the other animals inhabiting Davao. How I wish I was able to have one eagle perched on my hand and see its beauty up close. Oh well...
Next Stop: On our way down the road from the Center, we passed by Malagos Garden Resort (http://www.malagos.com/). It was already almost 2PM. As usual, we paid the entrance fee (forgot how much, but prolly less than P100) and immediately went to the restaurant because we're famished already! Unfortunately, it was not open (for some unknown reason) and there wasn't any living soul inside the resort save for the people working there.
What can be seen inside the resort? Well, there are cottages available for booking (for those who want to experience falling asleep to the song of the crickets and waking up to the sound of chirping birds, surrounded by nature). Geez, they should pay me for this! =D There's a mini-playground, lots of interesting plants (and more orchids), a cafe in the middle of the wooded area, and a mini-aviary, where you can see more of Davao's birds and some bitchy ostriches. Of course, we couldn't resist those, so we went in and took more pics. We really tried to stay longer (we paid the entrance, after all) and enjoy the place, but our stomachs were begging us to have mercy on them. So, we left after less than an hour.
Final Stop: We went back to Kathy's place to have lunch there.
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