before the carabao gained national recognition as the philippines’ national animal, there was the philippine maya, also known as the black-headed munia which is also known as chestnut munia. otherwise, it’s simply called lonchura atricapilla.
(fyi: the little brown birds commonly seen sitting on the convoluted city wires which i adore so much for their cuteness are not the philippine mayas. i know, it shocked me too. they are actually eurasian tree sparrows. mayas are red birds, not brown. sure, they start out brown when they’re babies but as they mature, they turn red. point is, my whole 20+ years i spent believing on a lie passed on from generation to generation. good thing i bumped into this site which opened my eyes to the truth.)
but this isn’t about the carabao or the maya or the fact that i am still in denial that i have been misinformed practically my entire life.
this is about THE national animal of the philippines with a legal basis to claim such coveted recognition. per republic act no. 6147, the national animal of our country which warrants government protection and preservation is the pithecophaga jefferyi, famously known as the monkey-eating eagle.
of course, when you’re a celebrity eagle who goes by the screen name “monkey-eating eagle” and with a look as gangsta as that, your image is expected to draw some form of backlash from people who don’t know any better.
like they may ask, “who the hell eats who?”
not to sound defensive or anything, i was a child when i wondered how it was possible for a monkey to even catch an eagle before he could eat it. you know, with the eagle so up there; and the monkey — well, so down there. i didn’t understand much about the significance of hyphens then. it’s still a confusing matter to me right now.
good thing they decided to change its name to just philippine eagle. no more of the complexities of hyphenated words. no more brain-busting riddles for me.
to be clear, it’s the eagle who eats the monkey. unless, of course, it’s the other way around.