Myths and ancient stories that involve creatures invisible to the naked eye are often passed on from one generation to the other. Whether these stories are true or not is left to the imagination of those who have heard about it. Just like this mysterious story surrounding the seas of Aklan.
In a feature story by Jessica Soho, the staff decided to go on a journey to discover what was behind the stories about the so called “halimaw” or “sea monster” in the depths of the Aklan seas. Together with the local government and the Disaster Risk Reduction Team of Aklan, they went on their way to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of a 54-year-old fisherman named Pilo who the locals thought to have been a victim of the “halimaw.”
According to Pilo’s brother named Jose, they went to fish together but when morning came, he only knew then that Pilo never came home.
The residents of Buruanga say that this is not the first time that such case of disappearance happened to their locality. A few years back, another fisherman named Pepito was also declared missing. All these mysterious happenings are believed to have been caused by the Halimaw.
Just a few days after Pilo’s disappearance, the residents were shocked when tons of fishes were found on their shore. They find such happening hard to explain as it was the first time that something like that occurred.
So, Pilo’s family, the residents and representatives of their local Disaster Risk Reduction team searched for him but all they were able to find were the remains of his boat – with something coiled in it. It was as if a big tail was coiled in the boat and it was moving as the people tried to pull the boat towards the shore.
In an interview with Prof. Ronald Maliao, the head of Aklan research center for coastal studies, it was revealed that what was coiled in the boat is not any form of a ‘sea monster’ or halimaw but a specie of off-shore creature called mobula ray.
Mobula ray is a creature living in the middle of the sea but often choose the parts which are not too deep and not too shallow at the same time. Mobula rays live in warm oceans throughout the world. These fish have a pair of winglike fins that can extend up to 17 feet.
To dispel the fear of the locals, Maliao explained the Mobula rays do not feed on human beings. Despite their enormous size, they only feed on small fishes. He also explained that the presence of Mobula rays only mean that the area is productive.
You can watch the full documentation video below: