THE DURIAN BEAT: EATING THE WILD AND EXOTIC

IN MY FISH FARM – AquaBalanza Ornamental Fish Farm – in Davao City, my menu, in these days of the new corononavirus (COVID-19) food crisis, of government- rationed odong, noodles, canned sardines and corned beef; and vegetables with bulad, guinamos or uyap, is spiced up, sometimes, by exotic food that should be the envy of everybody even the Chinese.

I gobble them up – wow! ang sarap! – like a piranha even as some authorities say that COVID-19 started from wild, exotic animals eaten by Chinese.

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China is said to be the source of multiple recent contagions breaking out and spreading around the world because of the Chinese culture of eating some animals such as bats, snakes, cats, dogs and anything eatable that normally is not found in a normal household table.

Accordingly, viruses from these animals were transmitted from the animal to the people and that’s why China IS BLAMED AS THE SOURCE of a lot of these viruses like SARS, MERS, the swine flu and now the COVID-19.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
IN MY FISH FARM, regularly on the table are pantat (cat fish), halwan (mud fish), tikling and lapay (marsh birds), seagull, tulabong (heron) and bull frogs. The back-up feast of these exotic food, at least spared my kois and goldfishes — the primary ornamental fishes we grow at the farm — from ending in the pot in sinugba, fried and pinaksiw status.
YESTERDAY I HIT A JACKPOT!
I was knee-deep in muddy water repairing a dike in one of my large mud ponds, when the head of something that I thought at first to be a cobra, emerged from a hole in the dike!
I IMMEDIATELY GRABBED THE HEAD, and bingo!, IT WAS A MONITOR LIZARD (halo in Bisdak, bayawak in Tagalog).
Who cares about SARS, MERS or COVID-19?
NAKATILAW NA BA MO UG ADOBONG HALO?
INGGIT LANG MO!

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