Should you Fear Sharks or Snakes in the Philippines?

The first time I visited the ocean in the Philippines I asked the bangkero or boatman the question, that a typical Italian used to the safe and (relatively) shark-free waters of the Mediterranean Sea, asks whenever he steps out of the comfort zone of the Med: “may pating ba dito?” (“Are there any sharks here?”). The man chuckled and replied: “wala, takot sa tao ang mga iyon, dito pinupulutan namin ang mga pating” basically meaning that in the Philippines sharks steer cleer of humans as humans like to turn them into pulutan (snack for binge drinkers).

I ventured into some remote areas of the Sierra Madre mountains where the forest gets rather thick and got rather concerned that I might run into some cobras or pythons. Well, I got pretty much the same answer “walang ahas (snake) dito: pinupulutan namin ang mga iyon”.

So, according to the claims of the mayabang (boastful) machos I ran into, it seems like sharks, cobras and pythons are no threat for tourists as they become pulutan for drinkers of Cuatro Cantos, Tanduay, Ginebra San Miguel, Emperador and other pampainit drinks.

So, if you are planning to go on some hardcore type of adventure in the Philippines, just go for it……beware of pickpockets though!