So as promised in yesterday's teaser of a post, I'm sharing here snippets of what my day was like yesterday. It was crazy, hectic, weird and creepy all rolled into one. Read on...

Yesterday, I had to travel to a town two hours away from the city for a news assignment. With me was my gal pal and fellow writer Riz, who was pulled out by our agency from the neighboring Siquijor Island to be with me on this writing assignment.

Before we left the city, our itinerary was basically set- interview the mayor, meet with the village chiefs, scope out human interest stories, take photos of project sites then go home. But, nothing is written in stone, especially during field assignments. So although we were prepared for anything (flat tires, absent interviewees, appointment mix-ups), nothing could have prepared us for the following:

The old woman in the above photo was the curator of the Nature Park Zoo in Zamboanguita town. I asked our driver to stop by when I saw the zoo's curved, faded signage along the highway because I had to pee and it was going to be 30 minutes or so before we get to the next town.

With a 10 peso entrance fee, all three of us just decided to maximize the time (and the fee) by looking around. The zoo was practically deserted and isolated. It felt like it was in the middle of nowhere and it had that run-down, we're-trying-to-keep-it-together look.

The museum curator - the old lady in the photo - honestly, she gave me the creeps. It didn't help that she was so old and her hair was so long, just like the pot-stirring witches in horror movies.
Plus the museum was dark, gloomy and dusty. It also surely didn't help that she liked having pythons twisting around her body and petting it and cooing at it like it was some puppy. She kept waving me over to hold the python and I kept moving farther and farther away from her.

The museum was filled with stuffed 'corpses' of animals who once entertained visitors at this zoo. Sadness washed over me as I looked at them.They must have been amazing when they were alive. Like that puma at the corner, or those hanging chimpanzees.

Hmmm...what if...remember that Ben Stiller movie 'Night at the Museum'? Yeah.

Now, I have no way of knowing if this is true, or just a marketing ploy to lure more visitors into the decaying zoo. But if you see this in person, it did look so real.

The sign says: "CARABAO with 2 heads 4 eyes." Hmm. Not sure about that one.

The python was sleeping peacefully when the old woman hurriedly uncoiled it and twisted it around her. While she was doing this, I was like "No, no don't do that! It was sleeping! You're going to make it really angry now."

When we finally stepped out of the museum, this greeted us:
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fat. You think just 'coz I'm overweight then I'm slow? Why don't you come nearer so we can test that theory?"

...and this:
"Dieting is a pain in the tail. So I gave up."

This little guy likes to grab cellphones and cameras (I wouldn't call that vicious).

These animals were bred captive.So although I feel horrible seeing them caged like that, at least it gives me some comfort that they don't know what they're missing.

Do they?

2 croaks:

jscrapbug says:
at: February 27, 2009 at 9:12 PM said...

Hi Rachelle,

I have made a kit based loosely on your doodles, Sweet Aunt Anne Cakes. I was looking for your blog, as I wanted to provide a link back to you in my credits file and saw your new blog.

I was scanning the latest post and noticed the settings to be in the Philippines. I also read that you were spending pesos instead of dollars/ euros. Well, I'm a bit slow I was up all night working on my kit so it was a while before I figured you to be Filipino also hehe. It's not everyday that I see a fellow pinoy in the digiscrapping world.

I read further on why you had to change your blog. Good for you that you chose to take control of your life instead of being depressed. Even if I don't really know you (yet, I guess you've got a new blog follower =P) I hope that things will continue to get better for you.

Thanks for sharing your work. Here's a link to my blog so you can see what your work has inspired.

~ jas

at: March 5, 2009 at 2:59 AM said...

Wow! You get all the fun jobs! :)
I would have been totally creeped out!