Marketman & family were at Subic Bay over the weekend. The last time I was there was over 25 years ago when I used to play varsity tennis for my High School that would compete against Subic, Clark, etc. I had fond memories of the old naval base and I was somewhat curious to see what had become of it in recent years. Because we had The Kid along, sightseeing and â€œanimalsâ€ were at the forefront of the agendaâ€¦ If you have kids and want to check Subic out, this is what you can expect on the animal front. We visited Zoobic, a mish-mash of zoo exhibits that I think is owned by the same folks who have that bizarre zoo up in Tagaytay (Residence Inn?) that causes all manner of traffic snarls on the way to the Batangas beaches. There is a lot more space down at Zoobic and they have a lot more animals to see, but there is still a depressing feeling of relatively sad looking animals, couped up in enclosures, and who are just way out of their natural element. We saw it once, and letâ€™s just say we ainâ€™t going back for moreâ€¦ But, for your amusement as you spend 10 seconds zooming down this post, here are some pictures of the tame and wild animals we encountered over the weekend.
Up above, a nice looking Bengal tiger, one of about 10 or so that are part of the Zoobic collection. Some of them are fairly large and cross-bred with Siberian tigers. We opted to feed the tigers some chickens (we had to buy them) so they went careening after our jeep like they were on a real hunt. Bizarre and somewhat cruel, in retrospect, and I wouldnâ€™t do that again. Felt bad for the tigersâ€¦should have let one loose in one of the awful duty free supermarkets they had insteadâ€¦would have much rather watched the tigers chasing humans for food! At least we did give it some protein for the effort. We also saw some wild boar (baboy damo) and nasty pot bellied pigs including this aggressive male with tusks in the photograph hereâ€¦ I was more curious how much tapa it might make. Apparently, properly made tapang baboy damo deep in the woods is made without salt (which is a rare commodity in the old primitive days) but rather just dusted with ash from a fire (the ash has lye, I think) which helps to preserve the meat.
We also saw a white (albino) carabaoâ€¦
â€¦and surprisingly, we ran into up to 8 wild monkeys on two occasions by the edge of the forests surrounding Subic of which I only got a blurred photo of this one ballsy alpha maleâ€¦
â€¦which had me running for the nearest thick vine and scurrying up to the forest canopy to let out my best Tarzan yell (yes, I can do a really good one)â€¦
â€¦and as if that wasnâ€™t enough animal stuff for the dayâ€¦the Kid and I got into the bay with two false killer whales at 550+ kilos each and frolicked and rode them across the cove several times!