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Tokay Gecko

Philippines Tokay Gecko – The “Little Britain” Lizard

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Wherever we travelled throughout the rural areas of the Philippines, we were entertained most evenings and nights by the strange and intermittent Philippines Tokay Gecko night call.

The call was too loud to be emitted by an insect. It sounded more human – like a negative response occasionally used by people: Something like a robotic, elongated version of ‘Eh-Errrgh’.

Tokay Mating Call

Although it was a welcome alternative to the ubiquitous karaoke, we were curious to find out where (and what) the call was coming from.

To me, the call sounded exactly like the catchphrase of one of the characters from the late BBC comedy series Little Britain.

Listen to the Tokay’s night call

 

This character, called Anne (played by David Walliams) simply repeats the catchphrase throughout the short sketches, with varying degrees of intonation and emphasis.

Short of David Walliams hiding in the rafters of our hut, there had to be another explanation for this weird lullaby.

Philippines Tokay Gecko

Look into my eyes, my eyes – not around the eyes – YOU’RE UNDER!

Well, it turned out to be an oversized gecko cruising for a partner: Specifically, a Tokay gecko.

The Tokay is a large nocturnal gecko, reaching up to 35 centimeters in length (one of the largest in existence).

It is a strong climber with foot pads that can support the entire weight of its body from a vertical surface for a long period of time.

Philippines Tokay Gecko

Philippines Tokay Gecko – So long, Sucker!

It can also change the color and form of its skin to blend into the environment. Tokay’s have folds of skin that prevent the animal from casting a recognizable shadow while resting in a tree. They simply blend in with the tree bark by opening wide these skin folds.

The Tokay’s native habitat is the rainforest, but it also adapts to rural human habitations in the tropics, roaming walls and ceilings at night in search of insects and small vertebrates. There is a mutual trade-off here: Humans provide shelter and Tokays provide insect extermination. Tokay gecko’s eat pests such as cockroaches and locusts.

Philippines Tokay Gecko

Philippines Tokay Gecko

In certain areas of Southeast Asia, they are regarded as bringers of luck, good fortune and fertility.

Their tails have several sections from which they can be cast off in defense. The part of the tail that is cast off continues to move violently for several minutes – giving the gecko time to escape. It takes some time, but they eventually regenerate a new tail.

Philippines Tokay Gecko – Its bite is worse than its bark

Tokays have strong jaws that can bite through the exoskeletons of rain forest insects. This strong bite makes them ill-suited for inexperienced pet keepers. These animals have a reputation for being aggressive, hard to handle and apt to bite.

Endangered Species

The Tokay gecko is quickly becoming a threatened species in the Philippines due to indiscriminate hunting. Collecting, transporting and trading in geckos without a license is punishable by up to twelve years in jail

However, because of their alleged medicinal value, Chinese buyers and other foreign nationals are rumored to pay thousands of dollars for large specimens.

Fun Fact: The name “gecko” is a derivative of a Malay word that is an imitation of a lizard’s call.



If you enjoyed Philippines Tokay Gecko, check out Central Philippines – Cebu & Bohol. You may also like:

Philippines Tokay GeckoPhilippines Tokay Gecko - The "Little Britain" Lizard


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Panglao Island Nature Resort

Panglao Island Nature Resort

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The Panglao Island Nature Resort  (recently renamed as the Mithi Resort & Spa) is a classy 5-star resort located far from the hustle and bustle of the more popular destinations in Panglao, Bohol.

Panglao Island Nature Resort

Panglao Island Nature Resort

As a day visitor, you get access to the resort and use of their pool, beach and facilities for 550 pesos. This also gives you 400 pesos credit to spend at their bars and restaurant, so it only actually costs 150 pesos.

The Infinity Pool

The Infinity Pool

There are several good sized pools overlooking the sea, and a beautiful private white sand beach better than any other we found in Panglao, including Alona beach.

The beach overlooks a tiny island that you can easily reach, and beyond the island the water deepens offering snorkeling options on the nearby reef.

Snorkeling gear can be rented for 250 pesos.

Panglao Nature Resort

The Beach below the Pool

Panglao Island Nature Resort  – For Perfect Relaxation

It’s a good idea to bring your own towel: Towel rental is 100 pesos per towel. It often clouds over in the afternoons, so better get here early morning to catch the sun.

Also weekends get busy, so for a more relaxing experience choose a weekday.

Panglao Island Nature Resort

Food was basic but good – and included in the entrance price

The seaview cottages here are 1st class (€180 per night). There’s also a spa, gym, tennis court and games room.

Panglao Island Nature Resort

White sand and bathwater-temperature sea

The Panglao Island Nature Resort is a great place to spend a relaxing day, and even to enjoy a little pampering. A great change after weeks of backpacking and budget hotels.

This was also our last taste of the islands before heading back to Manila and the final phase of our journey.


If you enjoyed this article, check out Central Philippines – Cebu & Bohol. You may also like:

 

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