Manila: Bayawak Captured in Quezon City

Published by Daryll Villena on

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Where to surrender or donate “Bayawak” and other wild animals?

Community or government agencies?

Monitor Lizard also known as “Bayawak” and Komodo Dragon is familiar to places where there’s vegetation or habitat is conducive enough to sustain the lives of animals. “Monitor lizard a large tropical Old World lizard with a long neck, narrow head, forked tongue, strong claws, and a short body. Monitors were formerly believed to give warning of crocodiles.” The bayawak is also known as komodo dragon.

Komodo dragon (Family Varanidae and genus Varanus)
noun – a heavily built monitor lizard that captures large prey such as pigs by ambush. Occurring only on Komodo (a small island in Indonesia, in the Lesser Sunda Islands, situated between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. It is home to the Komodo dragon) and neighboring Indonesian islands, it is the largest living lizard.

Last May 2012, Manila particularly Quezon City was cast with un-ending rains the whole week. We saw an almost 3.5 feet (from head to tail measurement) bayawak roaming around our back window and eventually walk-in an opening inside the kitchen area, oh my, due to excitement I ran upstairs to get my mobile camera to capture the slimy lizard. The back area of the house is located at the stud farm of the Zuzuaregue’s and if I’m right by Don Mariano’s. And the reason why that bayawak chooses to enter our house, we have african love birds breeds in the area where he was terribly attracted at. 🙂
The monitor lizard was captured alive by the security guards of the village, I posted an image in Facebook and most animal-concerned citizens would recommend donating either to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) or Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB). I empathize with their logic of where to bring wild form of animals in cases like this. We caught the bayawak around 9:00 pm already, it’s been in the house playing hide and seek for 8 hours. To make things short, the people who were able to capture the bayawak brought it with them, we believed they must have been cooked and eaten it, they say it’s a good delicacy and food medicine.

The thing with branches of government, some are mindless and don’t have the slightest idea how corrupt our system is. Where do we place our respect and trust?  Instead of giving the “bayawak” to DENR or PAWB which is the proper way, we dare not. Unknown to many, the people who manages those departments are rampant “bayawaks“, we Filipinos brand them for being “looters”, with bribery and all sorts of “buwaya” (crocodile) attitude. How are we sure these donated animals will be in good hands? No one ones, you would think – the animal is taken care of, all crap! These people have direct contacts with wild animal collectors here in the Philippines and even in the Asian regions, where they sell the captured wild animals at very high cost.
Our ALBs (African LoveBirdS) organization has “bayawak” dealing with the DENR people, yes these birds grows in the wild – breeding alone cost a fortune. These bayawaks in most cases visit your aviary for “inspection” but apart from that they would even ask for FREE birds and mind you they know how to identify costly and high-end ALBs, not just one or two birds  per inspector but whole bunches! They’ve learned enough and knows the value of these wild forms. “Kapal ng mukha“. These breeders consumed money, time, and research studies on how to achieve wild forms, but the bayawaks they come as they pleased, the “lagay” (bribe) system is very much active.

Another cases I remember (was documented by local news channel) was when they give permit to cut trees at Arroceros Park with then bayawak mayor Lito Atienza and the recently cutting of old-age (World War II era) trees in the compound of JAM bus station in Cubao Quezon City to make way for the buses parking area. They had given legit permit on it, why did it push through when they were the one who supposed to protect the environment? It’s now under investigation, no matter how many investigation (they can still get away with it) and complaints the community makes, it’s useless — they can NO longer put those trees up!

Daryll Villena

Member of EchoManila trio, website and content creator:,, and Full-time employee by day and digital strategist remotely.


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