One childhood memory that literally and figuratively marked me for life was when my parents took me and my brother to the Manila Zoo. As growing kids who watched Sesame Street and Batibot and ate in Jollibee and McDonald's, my brother and I somehow thought that all animals were as cute and cuddly as Big Bird, Pong Pagong, Kiko Matsing, Ms. Chickee and Birdie. We were so wrong.
Toward the end of our little excursion, my parents took me to the see the crocodiles. I still don't know what my Mom and Dad were thinking back then, but they left me right in front of the cage just when a croc gobbled up a chicken. I was so terrified to say the least that I ran aimlessly, fell on the ground, and got a nasty wound on my right knee. To commemorate the auspicious occasion, my parents had the temerity to photograph me for posterity, with all the snot, tears and a bleeding knee to boot. Years later, animals remain a constant in my travels although those I have seen are not as remorseful as those ugly crocs (I now choose my battles, hehe).
Sheep in Amsterdam, the Nethelands. We don't have them in the Philippines so I really got excited. I think I've photographed sheep in Europe whenever I could... and ate their unfortunate cousins when given the chance.
A house cat in Kalampaka, Greece. The country is teeming with cats. This one in particular was my alarm clock, as she was scratching at my hostel door at the same time the alarm went off. She might have sensed that I needed to get up early and visit the Meteora monasteries.
A peacock in Valladolid, Spain. The Campo Grande, once the place where people condemned by the Spanish Inquisition were burned at the stake, now offers a welcome respite to weary university students like me. The kings of the place are the 10 or so peacocks that roam freely in the enclave and hog all stale bread that visitors give to all the birds.
Donkeys in Hydra, Greece. Locals make good business with these donkeys by offering a ride to tourists around the scenic island. I wanted to ride one, but with my size, I might cripple the poor creature and bankrupt its owner.