photographs by the author
On a recent trip to the Philippines, I was able to see many
interesting sights. By paying visits to some of the country’s
pet shops and fish farms, I was able to see how the fish
and other wildlife were being treated, as well as what, if
anything, was being done to help with the conservation of
To give some background, the Philippines
is a country a little northeast of Malaysia and South
of China. There are five main islands and over
7000 smaller ones. The population of more than
91 million lives mainly on the five larger islands, the biggest
being Luzon, where the capital of Manila is located. Manila
itself has a population of about 10 million people. Tagalog is the
local language on the island of Luzon. There are eight principal
languages and many dialects, but the official language is Filipino.
English is widely spoken in the cities, but not so much in the rural
areas. The Philippines is actually the third largest English speaking
country in the world.
My base was in Makati, which is one of about 10 separate cities
of the Manila metropolitan area. Makati is what is known as the
business center of Manila and is certainly cleaner and tidier than
the others, with many large buildings and an incredible skyline.
Getting around Manila is problematic due to excessive traffic.
Navigating rush hour traffic is a rather frightening experience,