Bohol | Meeting and playing with Ida, Nenet and Moymoy

Bohol macaques
Ida eating aratilis fruit

After doing my photography rounds at DATE Park in Catigbian, Bohol, I noticed a small animal monkey house on a tree that says "Kaykay" - which could be a local term for a monkey. I asked from the roving staff if there were monkeys in the adventure park. In response to my question, he casually pointed to the branches of aratilis above my head--and I was simply stunned. I did not know how to react upon realizing that I have been standing for so long under the tree and a macaque was hovering over me all along!

Bohol macaques
Monkey (kaykay) house

Bohol macaques
Nenet was right above my head.

Macaques can be friendly if domesticated, but they can be quite aggressive, too if they are in the wild. I was relieved to know that "they" are "domesticated". Actually, there are three of them--Ida, the alpha male, Nenet the partner of Ida, and Moymoy, the younger male who is a threat to Ida and has a penchant of irritating the latter whenever Nenet is with Ida.

They are on the loose because of the complaint of some concerned environmentalists. There are two more "friendlier" macaques but they were in "isolation" because they tend to be so friendly especially with kids that they turn out to be overly excited and thrilled that they overdo playing with humans by pinching, gripping and even biting--that would not be fun for the tourists!

There are also mangrove macaques in Loon, Bohol and these are in the wild. It has become a tourist attraction, where visitors can feed and interact with them. Some environmentalists say it is not a good practice to feed them because they will become dependent on humans for food. Some accounts also say that some macaques have gone beyond their natural habitat and has been ransacking homes nearby.

Anyway, I was lucky to observe Ida, Nenet, and Moymoy while they are eating and playing around. Enjoy these photos.

Bohol macaques
Ida, the alpha male scouting for fruits.

Bohol macaques
Moymoy in a pensive mood.

Bohol macaques
Nenet catching Ida's lice, and eating them too!

Bohol macaques
Moymoy while eating chips that I gave.

Interacting with monkeys during that humid afternoon gave me some lessons:

  1. They can be picky.  They will not pick up the food that you throw on the ground. They prefer that you hand them the food (chips, drinks, or fruits).
  2. Do not mess with the alpha male. They can be quite bossy and aggressive.
  3. Alpha males hate younger males, probably due to competition.
  4. Female monkeys can be quite subservient and be caring to the alpha male.
  5. Humans, especially children, should not show fear or scream or even try to run because they will attack you more. Macaques can be easily stressed out and they turn more aggressive when they hear screams. If they attack you, stand your ground and just shout at them. 
  6.  They are fun to look at. Just do not overfeed them. Animals in captivity like Ida, Moymoy, and Nenet are fed only once a day--which is during breakfast--with fruits. The rest of the day, they fend for themselves.

The rest of the photos are HERE.

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.


Unknown said...

Haha Ganda ng mga names!! ;) I am presently working here in sbma, most factories are located within the industrial zone but ours is in the middle of the forest.. And our neighbors are monkeys and squirrels! I have a favorite monkey he always bring his friends just outside our office and they always hang out in our office roof.. Hehe, and I named him Ig-Ig! ;) and that alateris tree just made me smile, we used to have one before and ako tagaakyat ng puno and mga friends ko taga-kain coz I don't eat it that much.. ;)

Admin/Author said...

That's nice to know Violy! Yes, we always have fond memories of aratilis fruit! And it seems we share this fondness with these macaques.

Riz said...

cute!! at choosy pa pla sila sa food.. haha!! :) kulet naman ng mga names.

juanderfulpinoy said...

Ang cute naman ni Ida, Nenet at Moymoy. Pero I am scared of monkeys.

Admin/Author said...

@Riz, cute talaga sila. nakaka-aliw just watching them goofing around.

@juanderfulpinoy, yes, medyo nakaka-alangan lang talaga, but okay naman once you get used being with them.

Anonymous said...

ang cute ng mga pics hehheheh

Admin/Author said...

Thanks @thebackpackman

Carlo said...

Wow! I continue to enjoy your posts and photos. Those monkeys look really great! We decided to share this post in our blog roundup. ^^