HOW CROCS AND TIGERS MADE MY DAY!

In Catholic observance, January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany; commonly known as the “Three Kings’ Day”, but was it supposed to be celebrated the way I did it! 🙂

My brother came to visit us all the way from Manila. He only had a week so we made the most of his first day, January 6th.

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It was a very beautiful day to stroll around the city and visit tourist destinations. Together with my mother, we decided to go over to the Davao Crocodile Park.  It was only a 5-minute drive from the airport. The entrance fee was very reasonable at Php 200.00 for adult and Php 100.00 for children aged 2-12 years old. The inclusions are: a tour at the croc breeding areas and other exotic animals, the Tribu K’Mindanawan ( a cultural village where you can find souvenir shops, signature dishes at the restaurant, cultural shows and fire dancing shows only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), and the Butterfly House.

My brothers took a pose with a preserved skeleton of a Saltwater Crocodile at the park’s entrance. 

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We walked more around the entrance and found the rabbits; jumping from one place to another. I went closer so I can get a picture, but my daughter with me was scaring them away so I had to tell her to do a-tiptoe when walking and never make a sound, which she did. So, I got a nice picture of the bunny. We also found a little turtle near the pond with full of bright-colored fishes. The water in the pond looked cloudy/dirty but maybe it’s just the way it should be and the fishes liked it.

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Then we bound for the Snakes area. Yikes, slimy snakes! I don’t have the slightest like for this reptile, but they have beautiful colors. I had observed left over skins from their recent shedding. Fronting the snakes’ haven was the orangutan; a friendly mammal indeed. The orangutan striking a pose!

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Came the most awaited attraction, the Crocodile cages. I got to pose for a “selfie” pic at the Juvenile Stage Crocodile cage. I could just imagine myself falling over these sea of crocodiles! It gave me goosebumps and had me wondering, will these crocs be as scared as I am if indeed I fell in the water? Will they swim away or towards me? Either way, I don’t want to know! (haha)

Then there’s a crocodile named “Pangil” ( my local term for the English word “fang”) who was known to survive a good 200 million years and counting. The croc was under water; I was not able to take a good shot but I hope the pic will suffice curiosity.

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"PANGIL"

“PANGIL”

We also got to meet the 300-kilo Bengal Tiger and the Siberian Tiger. The Bengal Tiger had this huge, huge body and colossal paws that even just the sight of it made us so scared. I remembered the tiger in the movie “Life of Pi“. It looked tame and domesticated, but the caretaker cautioned us never to attempt putting over our fingers on the screen cage. We observed the tigers just within a foot from the cage and, again, my imagination got wild; if not for the 25-mm thick cage, the encounter with the tiger could be as good as a “near-death” experience. With my daughter singing “Roar” by Katy Perry, I brushed off my horrid imagination and asked my family to hurry and go to other friendlier animals. But before we did, I faked a smile with the Siberian Tiger. Then hurried to left. That relieved me.

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We found the Ostrich Ranch. My daughter shouted “Chicken”! I laughed and corrected her, “they’re Ostrich”. We were lucky enough to get an up close and personal encounter with the Ostrich because they seem to approach us. Look at how they gave the impression that they liked our presence; or maybe they are just curious and expected us to feed them something.

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Fronting the Ostrich Ranch were the peacocks. My daughter is goofing around the peacock’s cage. We felt lucky to have seen one peacock showing off its beautiful bright-colored feathers. I think they love attracting visitors.

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We then proceeded to the “K’ Mindanawan Tribe”. Here we found Ethnic Souvenir Shops, the place where the Fire Dance takes place and the “only in Davao City” aphrodisiac foods. I never tried tasting them so I cannot tell how it tastes. I don’t have the courage to try (haha); my taste buds retreating. But for those who would like to visit Davao City, I would recommend trying these delicacies. Travelling all the way to come here, I bet you would not like it to miss it for the world, yes? Just a little trivia about the Civet coffee: It came from Civet dung.

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Then we headed to our last destination of the tour: The Butterfly House. A 30-seconds drive from the croc park. There were only a few butterflies in the house. Or maybe, some of them in camouflage like the one in the second picture; it looked just like the flowers around it.

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We wrapped up our day with a sumptuous dinner at the Jack’s Ridge Restaurant. It is a 15-minute drive from the Croc Park. That short distance we traveled was enough to climb a mountain to see the whole Davao City downtown. From our dining table, we can see the very scenic view of the city. The city lights are very beautiful at night; a really amazing sight.

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All in all, it was really a fun-filled day. A gift in itself ( from the Three Kings,maybe? ) 🙂

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