The last few times I was in the Philippines I didn’t really notice anything but ants and mosquitoes. We had quite a bit of excitement this time around though, with giant spiders and snakes. Here are some photos:
This ugly bastard is about the size of your average wallet, including the legs. I’m no expert on spiders, so I don’t know what breed it is, but I read somewhere that things that have bright colors are usually poisonous, and this spider has yellow dots on its back. It has a big web in the front yard at my father-in-law’s house. It was there when we arrived in the Philippines on the 25th and it was there when we stopped by before leaving on the 5th of March. As far as I can tell, it never moved. There were quite a few smaller spiders in the web around it too, so assume they are its offspring.
The first night we were in Antipolo we opened the bathroom to find this thing waiting for us. It didn’t seem to want us in there, because it started advancing on us. Armed with a stick and a slipper we managed to beat it into submission… well, to death. It’s a bit easier to get perspective on this one than the first. The bulb on the ceiling there is about twice the size of the average lamp lightbulb. Also, you can see that the spider could hug the shower curtain rod with room to spare.
I didn’t get a picture of it but we saw a second one in the kitchen on the night I was having my birthday party. It was hanging out by the back door, which was open for some ventilation. No one but me seemed to mind that it was there. What was even more creepy about the second one is that it was carrying an egg sac. “Arachnophobia” anyone?
Here’s a picture of a third one, or possibly the one with the egg sac that didn’t get killed, after I beat it to death on the floor of the bedroom. It came out from behind the dresser and tried to hide behind the curtain, but I spotted it. By this point I was really keeping an eye out for them. It didn’t stand a chance.
These things might be common in the Philippines, but I don’t really like the idea of sharing a living space with them. The next time we’re there, I think I’ll front the money to have them all dealt with by an exterminator.
We were walking through my wife’s old neighborhood in Antipolo when we saw a big group of students from the nearby De La Salle school gathered together looking at something. I guess this snake must be a python because it didn’t seem to be biting anyone, even when one of the kids picked it up and started chasing his friends with it. Keep in mind that this neighborhood doesn’t have many houses with window screens. Imagine waking up with this guy in bed with you.
I got lucky and got this photo on the ride to the airport. I’ve never seen anything like it before, or even considered doing something like it. Filipinos will use a motorcycle for damn near anything I guess.