Day 2: JeAr and the King

Davao City Travel Blog

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the entrance to the Philippine Eagle Center
I woke up early to have breakfast with Kathy and her cousin. Well, Kathy woke me up early, otherwise I would've stayed in bed til noon hehehe. Anyway, at around 9AM, we left the house and went to Kathy's parents' place somewhere in the outskirts of the city so that her mom can accompany us to the Philippine Eagle Center, the home of the country's biggest bird, the monkey-eating eagle-eating monkey-eating... oh, sorry, couldn't resist hehehe. Monkey-eating eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi). There you go. Okay.

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.
pathwalk
By that time, I already got the hang of Davao's public transpo. Not that it's very different from Manila's, but in Davao it's more enjoyable to travel by jeepney or tricycle because the air is clean and there's less noise and traffic in the streets. So, traveling for 30 or so minutes going around the city (not due to traffic, but the immense size of the city itself) has become the norm during my vacation there.

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.
there's a Brahmini kite perched on the branch above me (squint your eyes a bit), thank God it didn't poop on me hehehe...
Crapness!

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.
looking fierce!!!
=D  I remember the first words (or rather, expletives) that came out of my mouth when one of them opened its wings and flew to a different branch - "MERDE!", followed by "MON DIEU!". The thing was enormous! The wing span was just wow! MAJESTIC is an understatement.

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.
After that brief moment with the eagle, I really started to think of him as The King, and next to him, I'm merely a stupid, powerless human whose kind endangers his own's survival (poetic, am I not?). But I know that there are efforts already in the works to preserve them and hopefully have them live in the wild where they truly belong (more info here: http://www.philippineeagle.org/).

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.
planete des singes!!!
There were also deers, monkeys, wild boars, crocodiles, and my favorite, crazy monkeys!!! Why, you may ask. Well, three words: love your own. Nuff said.

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.
some gazebo
.. and... "Snap out of it!" Ok, back to reality.

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.
So, what are we to do? Take more pics!!!

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.
footbridge to the aviary
Funny, after seeing all the birds of Davao, we ended up having roasted chicken for lunch hehehe. I met Kathy's dad (very nice man) and chatted a bit more while waiting for the rain outside to stop. Afterwards, we said our goodbyes (dark outside already), then Kathy and I went to visit a friend of hers before going back to her aunt's house (around 11PM). We had to sleep right away because the following day, we're gonna head to the beach!!! We were so tired that we even forgot to have dinner. Hmmm...


JeAr says:
well, ako din di makapaniwala kasi matakaw ako, but i guess we're just too tired to even think of chewing food hahaha...
Posted on: Feb 29, 2008
sybil says:
wow, sound like fun! but, how could you ever forget to have dinner?!?! ;)
Posted on: Feb 27, 2008
the_bloodsucker says:
great! anong sinabi ng movie na "the king and i" =D LOL
Posted on: Feb 24, 2008
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the entrance to the Philippine Eag…
the entrance to the Philippine Ea…
pathwalk
pathwalk
theres a Brahmini kite perched on…
there's a Brahmini kite perched o…
looking fierce!!!
looking fierce!!!
planete des singes!!!
planete des singes!!!
some gazebo
some gazebo
footbridge to the aviary
footbridge to the aviary
just me
just me
some tree
some tree
sorry for the poor shots, i had a …
sorry for the poor shots, i had a…
oh deer!
oh deer!
lazy swines!
lazy swines!
meet Lacoste...
meet Lacoste...
and Gucci is off-limits here!!!
and Gucci is off-limits here!!!
dont fight, brothas!!!
don't fight, brothas!!!
see the resemblance? =D
see the resemblance? =D
some viewing deck
some viewing deck
some tree-house (the oldest tree i…
some tree-house (the oldest tree …
Kathy et moi
Kathy et moi
a mini-ampitheater for the bird sh…
a mini-ampitheater for the bird s…
the sad cafe...
the sad cafe...
a horse with no name...
a horse with no name...
im the subject here...
i'm the subject here...
...now its the ostrich!!!
...now it's the ostrich!!!
Kathy and her mom
Kathy and her mom
swing swing
swing swing
another tree house in Malagos
another tree house in Malagos
ugly, i know. but at least its mi…
ugly, i know. but at least it's m…
sea eagle
sea eagle
snake harpy eagle, i think...
snake harpy eagle, i think...
monkey-eating eagle
monkey-eating eagle
Alex, the resident Brahmini kite
"Alex", the resident Brahmini kite
bi-atch!!! :D
bi-atch!!! :D
Victoria crowned pigeon
Victoria crowned pigeon
peacock
peacock
hornbill
hornbill
Brahmini kite
Brahmini kite