Animals and Plants
One of the most biodiverse countries
Many species of animals and plants can be seen in the Philippines. In fact, there are so many that the Philippines is one of the 17 most biodiverse regions in the world. Unfortunately, this diversity is in danger, because the number of people on the islands is increasing rapidly and the habitats of animals and plants are becoming smaller and smaller.
The government is now trying to prevent crimes against the environment such as overexploitation or extreme settlement expansion. In order to preserve the biodiversity, much more needs to be done.
What is growing in the Philippines?
One fifth of the Philippine islands are covered with forests. You will mainly find palm trees, rubber trees and banyan trees there. There are also bushes and large areas with bamboo growth. People also benefit from the many plants in the country, for example Manila hemp, which is used to make textiles, ropes and dwellings.
Which animals live in the Philippines?
There are around 5000 animal species in the Philippines, as well as many insect species and another 14,000 plant species. The Filipino tarsiers, which are related to the monkeys, are particularly cute. They are tiny, about nine to six inches tall, but have a tail almost twice as long. But in the Philippines, many animal species are threatened by the overexploitation of nature, including the Koboldmakis, unfortunately.
Paradise for Tamarau
The island of Mindoro offers the perfect habitat for the Tamarau: There are densely overgrown forests and calm grasslands. Nevertheless, the Tamarau is threatened with extinction because it was hunted by humans or died of cattle diseases. The forest dieback is also damaging the Tamarau because it reduces its habitat.
The Tamarau occurs only in the Philippines. It is an Asian buffalo that is only found on Mindoro Island.
The carabao, a species of water buffalo, is only found in a few parts of Southeast Asia such as the Philippines. It is an important draft animal that is used in agriculture – especially in the rice fields and in forest areas.
What makes such strange noises?
Not particularly noticeable, but found all over the Philippines, the tokeh is. It’s a gecko and it makes very funny noises.
He lives not only in the Philippines, but also in northeast India, southern China, and Taiwan. It even exists in Florida and Hawaii. Tourists probably just took a couple of tokehs with them and the gecko species could spread there.
Anyone who travels between the many Philippine islands will always come across dolphins that can be observed here. Often pets that are only kept in stables can be found on the streets. This includes pigs that somehow have to make ends meet. For more information about Philippine and Asia, please visit a2zgov.
You can find many other animals such as bats, bengal cats and crawling cats. There are also many reptiles and more than 600 species of birds. The monkey eagle is a very special bird. Not to be forgotten is the sea with over 2400 species of fish.
Handicraft by indigenous peoples
The Philippines owes its cultural wealth above all to the various indigenous peoples who have preserved many of their traditions. This also includes many craft techniques. These include pottery, weaving, and wood carving. Weaving is the specialty of an ethnic group called Itnegs. They traditionally make towels and blankets called Binkol. The special thing about it is that the pattern and the colors of the fabric should create an optical illusion.
The indigenous peoples of the Philippines often attach great importance to the preservation of nature. For their works of art they often use materials that occur in nature and that grow back sufficiently. For example, ropes for ships are knotted from the fiber plant Abacá, also known as Manila hemp.
Christmas in the Philippines
Christmas time in the Philippines lasts much longer than you are used to. Preparations for Christmas Eve usually begin in September and at the beginning of January you are still in the Christmas spirit. It is normal to decorate your house during this period, typically with parols. These are Christmas lanterns that are reminiscent of stars.
December 24th Most of the time, like you, you celebrate with your family. The festivities run through the night and at 12 noon there is still a mass, an event in the church. After that, the spectacle is still not over, because now comes Noche Buena, the official family Christmas party. Neighbors, friends and relatives also come by and move from one house to another together. There is food and buffets everywhere that everyone can help themselves to.
Who are the Caraga Kids?
The Caraga Kids is a theater group that has come together on the southern island of the Philippines, Mindanao. The children come from three ethnic groups who argued over and over again. The Caraga Kids want to counteract this by playing theater together. They dance and sing and again and again set a sign of friendship and also of reconciliation between the warring groups. Incidentally, the Caraga Kids appear again and again in Germany as part of the “KinderKulturKarawane”, maybe once in your area.
Eating in Philippines
What do you eat in the Philippines?
Filipino cuisine is diverse. There are many Spanish dishes, but the Asian influence such as that of Chinese cuisine is also noticeable. The main food is rice, which is even eaten for breakfast. Poor families usually only eat rice because they cannot afford anything else. But the rice is also eaten with vegetables, fish or pork.
What is adobo
The cuisine in the Philippines is very mild, very different from elsewhere in Asia, where spices are often very spicy. A popular preparation is Adobo. Pork or chicken, sometimes lamb or beef, is braised with vinegar. So it is a very special way of preparing meat, which is called adobo. The pieces of meat are slowly cooked in a soy sauce, together with vinegar, garlic and a bay leaf and seasoned with pepper. As a side dish there is the popular rice or fried noodles.