Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Big one at Crocodile Farm.

Crocodile Farm is a favorite attraction of the city.  You can reach this attraction by either joining a tour called “City Tour” offered by your hotel or any tour operators in town, the airconditioned van group tour costs 600 pesos per person and it includes some highlights of the city of Puerto Princesa.  But since I’m a local and - ehermm – a traveler, I took it the hard (not so actually) way, hailing a multicab along the highway.  You could also find these multicabs along Rizal Avenue at the downtown near Jollibee with the sign “Irawan”.  Just tell the driver that you’re going to Crocodile Farm, fare is only 10 pesos, unless of course you’re a big group, hiring a tricycle or renting a multicab would be cost-effective.

Crocodile farm, just as the name suggests, is a sanctuary for those reptiles, they breed crocodiles in here.  Do you know that lots of restaurants in the city are offering it cooked (or raw meat) as a delicacy? 

Laughing croc?
Entrance fee is 40 pesos, students, children, senior citizens get a discount.  They have introduction session prior to the tour for a couple of minutes and then you’re on your own.  There’s a huge open hall where small crocodiles are in breed captivity in small to medium sizes.  Bigger ones are down the swampy area, there’s a bridge for visitors to watch those crocs below.  There’s a really huge one down there named … hmmm.. I forgot the name actually.

Eagle at the Crocodile Farm
Aside from crocodiles, they keep some endangered animal species scattered in huge cages around the forest wildlife park like talking maynahs, eagles, bearcats, a lonely snake, and others.  There are also a lot of trees and different kind of flora, some of them have labels – scientific names – some are rare species.  You just have to follow the clearly marked paths.

The highlight for me – aside from the crocs of course – are the lovely talking Hill Mynahs of Palawan.  Scientific name:  Gracula religiosa palawanensis, also called the Philippine Talking Mynah or simply Palawan Mynah.

They’re lovely black birds with yellow beaks that mimic human speech.  They’re amazing creatures, almost unbelievably smart birds that talks like- you know - humans?  When I first saw them in a big cage sitting on a tree and I started hearing whistles blowing particularly the “you’re sexy” whistles and several “wows” I thought they’re coming from people around, took me a minute or two before I’d figured out it’s actually coming from those black birds.  I was so amused, never really seen birds talking, except from some parrots I saw at a pet store few months back that meows and whistles, well, its cage is beside several kittens.

Palawan Wildlife at the Crocodile Farm.
Talking Mynahs of Palawan

OK, going back to those talking mynahs of Palawan, throw them some words, and if you’re lucky, they’d shout the same words back at you.  Although, they already have sets of memorized words like “panget” (Filipino word for ugly).  That made me wonder, why do some (or maybe most) Filipinos always let others learn the basic Filipino language starting with the word “ugly”, and then some really ugly words?  Why?  I’ve heard lots of arabs utter those tagalog curses like .. you know what I mean… then there’s the words “kuripot” (tightfisted), “gago” (stupid?), etc.  Anyways, I’ll save that topic for another post.

After exploring the crocodile farm, getting out of the area is easy,  there are multicabs running along the highway in front of the gate for 10 pesos back to the downtown, or take the parked tricycles there if it’s not closing time already  when most of them are gone.

You can also book a "City Tour" (P600/person), the crocodile farm is one of the stops.  If you're a big group, you may want to rent a multicab to explore all those itinerary on a city tour, and save more bucks.


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