What is grouper fish in Tagalog Philippines

Day 2: Tuesday, May 9, 2017


On the way to "Ungo's port"Every now and then a few people were picked up on the way, although there was hardly any space in the bus, then there were a few short stops to pee or to stretch your legs. The bus was relatively fast and in some places in in Quezon Province, where the streets were getting narrower, I always had the feeling that we were about to race into the oncoming buses, but we are safe, sound and prompt for our connecting ferry on "Ungo's port"Arrived. We got on the ferry straight away and waited until the ferry left at 5:30 am. Since some" street vendors "were on the ferry to sell meals before it left, I would even be hungry Treat yourself to hot noodle soup, corn on the cob and other things.


The ride on the ferry at sunrise was impressively beautiful. And also at the very front of the deck, looking forward and only seeing the sea as far as the horizon, is an almost endless feeling of freedom.


Once at the port of Polillo, Neil and I continued our pedicab to his parents' house. Before we went on from there, we had breakfast with his parents, Bernie and Danilo. I was welcomed from the start and their hospitality made me feel like part of the family. After breakfast I went across the road with Neil on his motorcycle "Polillo Town"drove to get the permits for entry into the protected area. First to the"Municipality of Polillo", then to"Philippine National Police (PNP)"and last but not least the"Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)", where I had to get the permission for photo and film recordings. Since Neil is known everywhere and Tagalog is his mother tongue, he took over the discussions and settled everything for me.


Then it went on Diber home. Diber is the guide that Neil recommended to me. We took him to Neil's parents' house and, since he has no experience as a guide, he was instructed by Neil. The briefing included, for example, that he would buy food for both of us, which he would later cook for us. All I had to do was give him the money, which wasn't that much, as the food is very cheap there. Since Diber is not an official guide, I was also unclear how much fee I should pay him for his performance, but Neil made it very easy for me and said that I would simply give him 700 PHP (approx. 14 EUR ) should give.


We were ready, I was ready and I was really excited to see what awaits me there. I was curious about the fascinating animal world, which I really wanted to explore. And so Diber and I went off together. I have to add that, apart from a few very few words, Diber understands no English and, with my very limited Tagalog, I basically don't understand Tagalog, so neither of us had any real verbal communication, which was not an obstacle for me , since we could also communicate with our hands and feet and the few words he spoke in English and I spoke in Tagalog were also very helpful. And it was also nice that I had more time to enjoy nature instead of having unnecessary conversations.


The way to the sanctuary led us straight across the rice field, which was a very muddy path in some places, but until then I have always managed to avoid water with my "old" Nike shoes, even when we are always aiming got closer and we had to cross small streams, I could still pass over some stones. After our long hike we arrived at a hut where coconuts are dried, where we first took a longer break and Diber cooked food for us. For the cooking area he used three large stones, coconut shells and fibers from dried coconuts. I helped him to start the fire, it was always a pleasure for me to lend a hand in everything I could to gain new experiences and to understand more of the Filipino culture. But with one thing I had to show him the best way to do it. Diber tried to open a can with his machete, which is very useful in many situations, but it turned out to be very cumbersome. Fortunately I had a "Swiss Army knife"with which I could cut open the can with the can opener without any problems.


And then my expedition started. After lunch we went to the sanctuary and all my efforts to keep my shoes dry were in vain, because now there was no other way out than into the water, because we ran through the stream. It was a difficult journey at times and I was traveling with all my luggage, but there was so much to discover and thanks to Diber and his experience in the forest and his intuition to track down animals, I saw many fascinating creatures and even captured them very closely with the camera can. But I got a little frustrated because I haven't seen a snake yet, I knew that many snakes are nocturnal, but I still hoped to see more snakes during the day, but snakes prefer to flee before something bigger should reach them and furthermore, the snakes are well camouflaged in their terrain.


After a long march through the protected area, I finally found what I was looking for on the course of the stream and noticed something that stood out a little from the natural surroundings, but I had to look several times and also sought confirmation from Diber. I have my first line up "Polillo Island"discovered, which with its green color is perfectly adapted to its surroundings. This snake was hanging on a scrub that did not go any higher than below my knees. At first I assumed that this was my wanted Pit Viper, in in this case, since it was so small, it was a Baby Pit Viper, but in retrospect I had to find out during my research that this is a "green whip snake" [Ahaetulla Prasina] acts, which can be seen well by the horizontal, narrow and slit-shaped pupils and their extremely narrow body. However, the venom of this snake is only mild and basically harmless to humans and since this snake is not aggressive, there is a relatively low risk of being bitten. However, like any other snake when I first met it, I treated this snake as if it were extremely life-threatening. I am not a snake expert and I do not want to take a risk with my ignorance. At first I observe and since I was able to observe that this snake does not react in the slightest to my presence and does not feel threatened, I lifted it with a stick, but did not bring it to me.


Our hike went on and I saw so many fascinating animals, sometimes only in the blink of an eye, as most animals are rather shy, just on the hunt and pass by quickly, so I couldn't see every species I came across take a photo. For example, I have a large nectar bat [Eonycteris robusta] seen a hornbill [Bucerotidae], which flew overhead, I also saw a beautiful bird that looked like it was made of pure gold, as well as various lizards and a crayfish. The wildlife on Polillo is diverse and there are many interesting species to discover.


After hours of wandering around, we first took a break in the middle of the jungle, exhausted, and at some point we made our way back to the hut, where we had our lunch before, this time we made our dinner. Before we got back to the hut, Diber had climbed a palm tree around us "Buko"(the young green coconut) to get down. The coconut water is very tasty and also rich in nutrients and if you split the buko you will also get the jelly-like bucco meat. At dinner our bowls were this time shells of half coconuts and the We cut spoons out of the shell of a Buko. I learned a lot from Diber, including the one about the Buko spoon, not perfect at first, but functional. While we were eating, Diber lit dried coconuts in such a way that smoke developed, which keeps the mosquitos away from us.


After dinner, we lay down on the wooden floor in the open hut and rested. Before I went to sleep, I put mosquito repellent on myself and lit a mosquito spiral. Protection from mosquitos in the Philippines is essential, because you never know what the tropical diseases of the small parasites are.


Since it was just beginning to get dark, I estimate the time we took to lie down to be around 6 p.m. I was aware of the exact time during my entire stay "PolilloIceland"never really aware of it, as I usually switched off my cell phone to save battery and because often only a very bad signal or no signal at all for"Globe" and "SmartMy cell phone also has dual SIM, which is a great advantage in the Philippines, because "Smart" has better reception in some provinces.