May 23, 2010

Mr. Lapu-Lapu - Rest in Peace


I have been a pet lover since I was a child. As a child I had several pets including birds, cats, dogs, chicken (yes you heard it right - chicken), spiders, and my most favorite pet - fish. As I can remember, I had my first aquarium when I was six years old and way back then my father and I would spend time to take care and enjoy seeing fishes. As a child I would go to the beach, not to join my cousins enjoy bathing in the beaches around Davao City, but to have my mask and snorkel and explore the different fishes in the shallow waters of the beach area. But in the house, my pet fishes were mosty fresh water fishes and among my favorites were - bala shark, golden shark, red-tail shark, rainbow shark, discus, arowana. But I have also had angelfishes, goldfish and carps. (Never really appreciated the flowerhorn - for personal reasons hehe - I'm just not fond of the fish.)

It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I emptied my aquarium in the house with freshwater fishes and tried having marine fishes. At first, it was hard. My father and I had to get salt water from the sea and transport it to our house for the aquarium water (not really a fan of the salt solution present in pet shops nowadays because I preferred the natural sea water). I experienced having marine fishes like clown fish (nemo!) with anemones, butterfly fishes and the likes, blowfishes and family, porcupine fish, lion fish and others. then about 2 years ago, I went crazy and tried to have a pet Grouper aka Lapu-Lapu (never had a picture of it, but it was around the same size as the one in the picture above). At first it was still small and didn't mind the fishes around it, but after some time that it became bigger, it started to eat the small fishes around it. At first I was so mad but eventually accepted that it will be the only fish that will be in my aquarium. Later on, I found myself enjoying the site of my pet Lapu-Lapu, eventhough it looked so flat (only with colors gray with black spots) and everytime my mom goes to the market, we would buy small fishes for my lapu-lapu. 2 years passed and my lapu-lapu went fat and big, I think it was already about a foot long. I enjoy the site of it being so energetic in the morning when we get near the aquarium to eat the fishes we put in the aquarium. After eating, it will then be resting at the bottom of the aquarium with a big tummy and sit like a rock for the rest of the day - what a BORING site! But then again, when the morning comes, it becomes energetic and cute again! hehehe

My pet lapu-lapu had a color like this one - the one with a diver in the picture, but not as big as this one. hehe These past few years the lapu-lapu became close to our family. My mother would even get mad when I joke around saying that the lapu-lapu is so delicious and ready to cook already. When I was away for work for a few months, my mother would proudly say over the phone that she already fed the lapu-lapu.

But all these changed last Saturday (May 22, 2010) when after 3 years I had to clean the aquarium as there were already a lot of salt-deposits at the sides of the aquarium and in my filter. This was the only time in several years that I can dedicate to my aquarium. It took me about 3 hours to clean the aquarium and brush off most of the salt deposits in all the aquarium paraphernalia. We placed mr. Lapu-Lapu in a container with sea water in it. When I was finished cleaning the aquarium, I noticed that Lapu-Lapu was dizzy and I think it kept on banging its head around the container edges. And I think the pressure and depth of it's new container is not the same with the one in the aquarium. Being a bottom dweller, mr Lapu-Lapu didn't go up the container to reduce the pressure and continued to stay on the bottom of the container. Then, it was already too late. Mr Lapu-Lapu just had very little time in the newly cleaned aquarium and a few hours later, he already passed away. T_T

I became really sad about this incident. Mr Lapu-Lapu was already part of the household for 2 years. And eventhough I constantly joke around saying it is time to eat mr. Lapu-Lapu, we jus't can't imagine eating something close to our hearts already. My tita asked if she can cook mr Lapu-Lapu, but we refused and just decided to throw away mr Lapu-Lapu's body. Never in our wildest thoughts that we envisioned Mr. Lapu-Lapu to be in a bowl cooked like the one in the picture above - we just never could! May you rest in peace Mr Lapu-Lapu. Your memory and everything we shared will always be remembered!

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