The Crocodile Farm


2/23/95


Located between Iwahig and Puerto Princessa is a crocodile farm. It is a joint venture between the Philippine and Japanese governments. The idea is to breed the animals in captivity and eventually harvest them for the meat, skin, and whatever a crocodile has that is valuable. We arrived just after 12:30 pm and it did not open up to the public until 1:00. We stayed until it opened, but it turned out to not really be worth the wait. There was a fifteen minute walking tour of the facility which included a small crocodile museum. The museum needed a little work done on its displays, but it did have the skeletal remains of the largest crocodile caught in the Philippines.

The remainder of the tour involved looking at the different crocodiles in their pens. There were pens for hatchlings, one, two, three, and four-year-olds. The program had only been in operation for four years so the first fully grown animal had not come off the assembly line yet.

An hour was more than enough time to see what little there was to see at the crocodile farm, so by 2:00 pm we were back on our tricycle and heading back to town. The tricycle we rented took us to both Iwahig and the crocodile farm for a fee of P300. We had the driver drop us off near the dock in Puerto Princessa. There was not much to see there, so we walked back to the market district. We spent some time there and then took another tricycle back to the airport to catch a flight to Manila.

We had to be at the airport three hours early for the flight which turned out to be over an hour late. Once we arrived in Manila we took a cab to the Malate Pensionne Hotel. There was some difficulty getting a cab. It seemed like every taxi driver in Manila was waiting for us to step off the plane. Lani went into heated arguments in Tagalog with several of the drivers while Kurt and I stood helplessly by. We wound up in an old beat-up cab with a driver that wanted to charge us more than what he originally told us. Lani argued with him some more and the final price was P100. This price seemed about average for such a trip. Haggling for the cab fare was an extremely difficult task - the sight of two Americans was more than enough for the taxi drivers to double their usual charge. I believe they saw only $$$ signs and could not imagine that we needed to be on a budget.

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