7+1 Wild Things to fill up your Bucket List

PHILIPPINES is located within the coral triangle, geo-politically belong to Southeast Asia but is separated from the the mainland by vast oceans, thus, making it both a hotspot and megadiversity country.

With an estimated 6,000 plant species, 1,100 land vertebrate species, 100 mammal species and 170 land species that are exclusive to the Philippines, if it's a date with nature you're looking for, this is one biodiversity hotspot that won't fail to impress.

Here's the list of  the not to be missed 7 wild dates in the Philippines according to CNNGO plus 1 according to MOI!

1. Trending Butanding 
Go big on animal love with these huge blue-grey, silver-spotted whale sharks locally called butandings. These plankton-eating gentle giants -- the largest fish in the world -- measure about 14 meters and weigh more than 1,500 kilograms.
Photo by Tom Maebe @ Sogod Bay

The latest sighting is in the town Oslob in the province of Cebu. News spread like wildfire that tourists flocked to this once sleepy town. Regulations and safety measures for the protection of this behemoth are now being cooked by the concerned agencies. Off in Southern Leyte around Sogod Bay, this giant fish can also be encountered intimately sans the crowed. Donsol is the first area who shared the limelight with the whaleshark and to where most of the tourists go.
Photo by Ellyn Ong @ Oslob

Get in touch with Peter's Dive Resort in Sogod, Leyte @ http://whaleofadive.com/ . In Donsol, contact Salvador Achao of the Donsol Visitors Center @ +63 927 233 0364 and in Oslob dial the Tourism Office @ + 63 909 576 4583.

2. Enamored by the Raptor
The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is a giant forest raptor endemic to the Philippines. It is considered one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the world's rarest and certainly among its most critical endangered vertebrate species. The eagle is known to be geographically restricted to the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.
by: Czaldy

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, they have successfully captive-bred 18 eagles. Thirty-six eagles are housed at the Philippine Eagle Center, at the foothills of Mt. Apo in Davao, before being reintroduced back to the wild.
See them at the center or you may join their volun-tourism program, assisting the team monitor the eagles in their natural forest habitat.

Contact www.philippineeagle.org 

3. Something Sharky

Malapascua Island is a speck of land located in the southernmost tip of Cebu. It's resident Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinos) put the island into prominence among the scuba diving enthusiast from different corners of the world.
source: en.wikipedia.org

Throughout the year these sharks can be spotted in Monad Shoal. This seamount near Malapascua Island is a part of their migration path. Divers are fascinated with the sharks’ unusually long, thresher-like tails, which can be as long as their bodies. If luck is your twin, you can see both the Thresher Shark and the Manta Ray at a time. White tip sharks can be seen in Gato Island.

Contact: http://www.divelinkcebu.com/ or your favorite dive resort.

4. BatsaMillion

The Guinness Book of World Record conferred to the Monfort Batcave as the world's largest colony of fruit bats (Geoffrey rousette). An estimated 1.8 million bats, densely occupying a 300m long underground cave is a sight to behold and a guano smell to abhor. Located in the island of Samal, just 900 meters east of Davao City.

The bat's population is still growing and overcrowding the cave, its high time for Batman to come back where he belong to lord over his minions.

UPDATE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17147037?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 5. Olango Mass Migration

While there is an undeniable diaspora of millions of overseas Filipinos around the world, an interesting phenomenon happens every year -- more than 40,000 migrate to one particular island in the Philippines. Every winter, 48 species of birds head to Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary near Cebu City. The 1,030-hectare sandflat and mangrove area is a refueling station for birds coming from Siberia, North China and Japan.

Most impressive is the presence of threatened species like the Chinese egret and the Asian dowitcher. The best time to visit is November to February, when the migration is at its peak.(CNNGO)


6. Tiny cuddly Tarsier   

The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is a diminutive lemur abundantly found in the island of Bohol . A nocturnal animal that feeds on insects, it has an excellent night vision. with huge eyes bulging out of its head. At 8.5-16 centimeters in height its a tough catch at night.
photo by: Czaldy

Enterprising Boholano's display this cuddly primate for tourists to photograph near the Loboc river. To unburden this little thingies from stress, it is wise to observe them in their natural habitait at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary at the foothills of the forest in the town of Corella.


7. Click and Chirp with the Dolphins

There are many opportunities for dolphin watching in Philippine waters, but for year-round chances head to Pamilacan Island in Bohol. Whales can be seen from February to June too. Instead of earning a living as whale hunters, the community at Pamilacan Island has been offering whale- and dolphin-watching Tours for the last five years. The playful dolphins often engage tourists in a game of tag, riding alongside your boat, repeatedly leaping above the water then plunging down into the depths again.(cnngo)

Contact Jojo Baritua of Pamilacan Island Whale and Dolphin Watching Tours; +63 38 540 9279; www.whalesbohol.ph

8. Sardine Run

Jamming the scuba diver's radar across the continent is Pescador Island off the town of Moalboal in Cebu with its phenomenal Sardine Run. I have to use a photo of a friend as mine didn't work at that time.

photo by: Lilian Cobiao

With the sardines come predators. Thresher sharks prey on the balls of sardines stunning stragglers with their tails ’round the clock. It is common to see at least two sharks circle around you. If you’re lucky you’ll get to see 6 in one dive. This was the most spectacular underwater orchestration I have ever seen.

Contact: Wolfgang Daefert @ http://www.freediving-philippines.com/