W is for Water Buffalo
Popularly known as carabao or kalabaw (Tagalog), Bubalus bubalis carabanesis is a subspecies of the domesticated water buffalo. It is one of the most important animals in the Philippines, especially in agriculture, being the farm animal of choice for pulling both a plow and the cart used to haul produce to the market. For a Filipino farmer, a kalabaw is a faithful partner in life.
The water buffalo is indigenous to Southeast Asia. Silent and docile, it is strong and a hard-worker. Without sweat glands, it cools itself by lying in a waterhole or mud during the heat of the day. Both male and female have massive horns, adults weigh 700 to 800 kilograms.
Until a few years ago, I didn't know there was a white [albino] water buffalo. The gray/black species is commonly used in farming. A friend told me that the albino is easily sunburned that they're not used in the fields but as a source of milk.
It looks like the albino, indeed, has a much easier life.:p
|beast of burden|
A parade of hundreds of water
buffalo in the streets of Pulilan town in Bulacan is held every 14th and 15th of May in honor of the town's patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. You can see photos here
In the early 90's, the government established the Philippine Carabao Center. It was created to conserve, propagate and promote the Philippine carabao as a source of draft animal power, meat, milk and hide. Also to enable small farmers to avail themselves of a good quality carabao; encourage backyard dairy development in rural areas to reduce dependence on imported milk by-products; and increase the annual population growth of Philippine carabaos.
|mother and child cooling off|