For weeks, Leandro June Hidalgo Jr. had been disturbed by noises in the night coming from his motorcycle parts shop adjacent to his house in Bauang, La Union but upon checking, he would only see some items that are out of place or have fallen from their usual spots even when there were no people around.
The noise soon got louder and more frequent yet each time he checks the shop, the same thing happens – things have fallen from their places but there was no one around.
A CCTV camera would have easily solved his problems but because the shop didn’t have one, his sleep was disturbed for a long time until one night when the noise had gotten too much to bear.
Hidalgo once again heard the noises but although he thought these were made by ghosts now living in his motorcycle parts shop, he wasn’t really afraid of ghosts so he quickly went there to investigate. Again, no one was around and some portions of the shop were in disarray.
Then, the second time Hidalgo heard a loud noise that night, he saw something fall from the ceiling – turning on the light, he was shocked to find that it was a snake! He sought the help of his neighbors in catching the 12-foot reticulated python which they turned over to the Bauang Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council who subsequently gave it to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Forest Ranger Omar Ali of the DENR took the python to the Botanical Garden in San Fernando City, La Union for safekeeping. He said that the snake could have entered the Hidalgo house via the drainage canal nearby.
It was a good thing that Hidalgo turned the snake over to the proper authorities. In some parts of the Philippines, pythons and any snake for that matter are considered a delicious delicacy but International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has actually placed the python on the red list – this means that they are vulnerable species.
Right now, the fine for harming pythons range from Php5,000 to Php20,000; violators may also face jail time from one month and one day or up to three months, depending on the case.