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Posted by W von Papineäu on March 23, 2003 at 22:13:08:
MANILA TIMES (Philippines) 23 March 03 Snake catcher taps cobra’s healing power (Ceasar M. Perante)
Concepcion, Tarlac: Humans have an instinctive fear of snakes.
In the Book of Genesis, a serpent caused man to be cast out of Paradise while in the Book of Numbers, God sent venomous snakes to punish impatient Israelites.
But not all snakes are deadly.
Poisoned Israelites were saved when they obeyed Moses’ order to look up to a snake mounted on a pole.
That healing symbol, which later became known as a caduceus, is now the emblem of the medical profession today, said Dr. Frederick Fabian, chief surgeon of the Cagayan Valley Veterans Regional Hospital in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
Lauro Bulanadi, a snake trapper in Barangay San Francisco, Concepcion, Tarlac agrees with Dr. Fabian. Snakes, Bulanadi says, are actually beneficial to human beings.
Bulanadi believes man should not fear snakes, even the deadly cobra, whose venom can kill a man in just a few minutes.
Cobras (Naja naja philippinensis), he said, make up the bulk of the land snake population in the Philippines. In Pampanga, they are called camulalo. They are carasaen in Ilocano and ulupong in Tagalog.
People fear the venomous bite of the cobra and prefer to kill them but Bulanadi uses them to produce a powdered capsule, which he claims is an energy supplement.
Bus drivers in the area believe Bulanadi and take his concoction to keep alert on long trips.
Farmers here are familiar with Bulanadi’s fascination with cobras and he is often called on to solve their snake problems.
“Often, local residents ask me to help them get rid of the deadly reptile from their rice fields, fishponds, and poultry farms,” he said.
The cobras he catches are turned over to his cousin, Mark Anthony Cao, to be processed into his power capsules. The other snakes are transferred to other areas and released in their natural habitat.
To Bulanadi, experience has taught him how to harness the cobra’s power. How he does it, though, is, according to him, a trade secret.