Thursday, April 30, 2015

Travel: Monkeys and Growing up in the Philippines

The picture above was taken at a hill station in Southern India, at a lookout where tourists could view the mountains. Monkeys also gathered there to beg or steal. This little guy got a prize -- an ice cream cone, which he held and licked, just like a human being.

The other pictures were taken at a temple in India during another visit.

I grew up with monkeys as pets, and so I'm attracted to monkeys. The sight of them brings back memories of my childhood. 

We used to keep our pet monkey in a little wooden house perched near a bougainvillea vine. He was leashed at the waist to a long bamboo pole and he could run along the length of the pole. Monkeys were generally tied because the lore was that they could cause fires in households. They could pick up things and bring these around. In other words, they could cause havoc in one's home if they were not tethered.

We fed our pet monkey balls of rice, assorted fruit, and just about anything we ate. He would allow us to go near him. Otherwise he would scare strangers away by baring his teeth and making terrible growling sounds. He liked to pretend he was grooming us. He would pick through our head or on our arms with his little nimble fingers. However, monkeys are generally temperamental, and we children were always warned to be careful. The thing was that if a monkey bit you, you needed rabies shots. 

I am no longer sure how long a monkey could live, but when a pet monkey died, we got another, although we stopped having pet monkeys after a certain point. I think by this time, we were attending schools in Manila.

During another period of our lives, when I was a junior in college, an owner of a monkey farm gave us quite a number of monkeys (perhaps eight or ten). We set these free in our yard. We had a huge yard with tall fruit trees, a veritable jungle. They lived naturally in that environment, although we gave them food and water. They used to visit our neighbors and scare them. They also used to attack our dogs. Unfortunately when they got into battles, a monkey would end up dead. 

Eventually, the monkeys in the yard dwindled down to one or two, and we kept those captive, for their own safety.  

Right now, I'm feeling sad thinking about the monkeys we had. 

But whenever I see monkeys, like these ones in India, I feel happy and feel great love for them. Note the mothers and babies in the last picture. They are simply darling!

Read also
The Bachelors and Femina Days of Cebu - Memorabilia photos
Old Photographs and Memories  
Tags: Philippines, Filipino, home, lifestyle, family, monkeys, pets

This is all for now,

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