Family Outing at the Silliman University Marine Lab (Part 1)

beautiful, colorful fish up close
I love my family and I know my family loves me back. I like to hang out with my family more than any other group of people. I love my church family, too, and my friends, but I love my family the best. I could never enjoy taking a vacation by myself. (I enjoy going solo only when I am thrifting.)
Today I will tag you along as I walk you through a relatively recent family outing we had. Our family outings are nothing spectacular, really. What glamorous thing can you expect from a simple missionary family? As cheesy as it may sound, as long it’s with my hubby and my 3 rambunctious kids, any outing is fine. I can slip my arm right through the crook of my hubby’s elbow, catch the wonder in my kids’ innocent eyes and then I’m happy. Even it if is only within our rustic city.
A few weeks or was it a month? back, we visited some friendly and camera-hungry endangered animals in our neighborhood. Then two weeks ago, if my memory serves me right, we went to see marine friends over at Silliman University Marine Laboratory and here are the pics.
Silliman University Marine Lab
Somebody from this college just got the title of 2013 Outstanding Young Scientist for Marine Science. Impressive.
hubby and daughter walking together
That’s hubby and daughter walking together. How in the world has she gotten this tall? She’s fast outgrowing me– well at least in the height department, that is.
One thing I love about Silliman property is the wide, expansive areas. Sweet, sweet oxygen overload. Towering century-old trees above, wide roads, pretty landscape. We went there on a Saturday and we were the only ones there! We had it all to ourselves. Entrance fee is only 10 pesos per head.
a canopy of towering trees
hip bone of a massive fish
Hubby couldn’t resist running his hands along the lines of a humongous jaw bone of a gigantic marine creature. Oh, the tragedy of being trapped inside this jaw bone. Actually, you’ll be seeing lots of unbelievably big bones in this post, so keep reading.
Background story: This is a sperm whale which was stranded in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor, on September 23, 2000. “The residents removed the flesh and left the bones to rot. The rotting head drifted until it got breached in a mangrove stand in Barangay Banban, Larena. The residents burned the head because of the very offensive odor. It took nine hours to transport this skull and jaw bone from Siquijor to Dumaguete by pumpboat.” (quoted from a tarpaulin in the museum)
Inside the museum is the skeletal remains of I-don’t-know-what marine mammal suspended in mid-air. Okay, it was hanged. The blurred image is that of my 2-year-old who doesn’t really care much about the animals and whiled his time running around the museum.

This turtle is big enough for one to ride on.

whale shark

On the morning of January 30, 2005, some fishermen discovered a whale shark floating in the shallow waters of Piapi, Dumaguete City. It was 9.3 meters long and weighed 5 tons. That’s 5,000 kilos. It was so massive that some of the observers mistook it for a capsized boat!
News of the stranded whale shark spread like wildfire so that by mid-afternoon, a large crowd (including my husband) gathered to take a look. (Wait, why didn’t I take a look at it then?) Silliman University Marine Lab staff were called to identify the animal. Eventually, the whale shark was pulled out of the sea by means of a crane. The Marine Lab staff removed the jaw bone to serve as voucher specimen.

I could roam around here all day. Barefoot. Lots of pure oxygen here. And very cool.
I intentionally sneaked in my foot to give you an idea of the proportions of this reptile. My shoe size is a petite 6, FYI. Did you know that I have a degree in Zoology (cum laude at that) but that I hated memorizing animal names and have retained only a miserable fraction of what I have learned?
That’s it, guys. For Part 1 I mean. I hope you’ll stay posted for Part 2 where you’ll be seeing world-record big bones, live crocs and other stuff.

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