Thursday, August 30, 2012

BLAST FROM THE PAST They caught a Snake in Guibang

Rowel Zse 33, said he was earning more as a snake hunter than a hawker of selling vegetables or gocery ''I used to earn P200 a day. Now I earn more than that--as much as P1,000 daily,'' he said. He was quick to add that as a snake hunter, he was no longer at the mercy of loan sharks to whom much of his earnings from selling vegetables went. ''I don't need to loan money to grow (in) my business. I only bank on sheer guts and talent,'' he said. Like most snake hunter they are either former farmers or street vendors who found their new means of livelihood more lucrative. Philippine spitting cobras (Naja-naja philippinensis). The Philippine spitting cobra is classified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as an endangered species. Personnel from the DENR swooped down on a snake specialty restaurant in Manila's Malate District last week and confiscated more than 70 live Philippine cobras. The seizure, reports said, was the biggest haul of the DENR in its campaign to stop poaching of Philippine cobras. Owners of snake shops in Concepcion buy live cobras, known locally as camulalu or camamalu, at P200 a kilo but sell these at more than twice their buying price, mostly to Chinese and Korean restaurant owners in Manila. Larry Bulanadi, a snake hunter who has been known as ''Cobra King of the Philippines'' years ago when he won in a noontime game show's ''Super Pinoy'' contest, owns a snake shop in Concepcion. His wife Emily has been managing the shop since Bulanadi started working at the Serpentanum Anti-Venom and Vaccine Production Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was so famous as a snake hunter that Saudi Arabia's King Fahd himself sent for him, shopkeeper Mercy Santos told the