December 16, 2010
This crudely made video was uploaded from my mobile phone on a night I stayed in the floating community of Lake Mihaba, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. This was my travel inside the beautiful Agusan Marsh the second time around. The following scenes I took were edited and uploaded to youtube from my trusty old Nokia N8 when I was able to get a signal inside the marshland. We stayed in a floating house with a generator (it was dark so I wasn’t sure what I was typing).
This was the community evacuated when a child was beheaded in 2009 from a crocodile attack (or freak accident since the residents insisted this has never happened before). Traces of bite marks were etched from the banca she rode in. After the sensational news and evacuation, the community came back again to live here, because this was the only way of life they know. This clip was taken several months before the capture of the 20.5-foot crocodile lurking in the murky depths. I have been told about sightings of the beast with a legendary size many times. But in these waters, there were many of them unimaginable, wary of man.
I was invited to come back and witness the capture several months later but declined. After a special cage was built and they set up bait, the huge reptile consumed the baits each day but remained elusive until he was finally caught weeks after. He was then named Lolong, and had the honor of being recorded in the Guinness Record as the longest crocodile captured in captivity. Soon after, he died.
On board a small motorized banca with two helpers who bailed out incoming water from a banca leak, I share with you an idea of how the adventure feels like inside the crocodile territory of Agusan Marsh. Special thanks to the Elorde family who brought me here.
Will I ever go back there again? YES, I WILL.