Frogs and mosquitoes

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Monday, July 7, 2014


SUNDAY'S banner story of this paper caught my attention and has awakened a frog-eater like me to consider the plight of these creatures.

Frogs are of course favorite delicacies of kapampangans cooked in adobo or tinola and the famous “betute”. The latter has even been made a trademark of kapampangan cooking and is known not only in the country but even abroad.

The “betute” is a frog stuffed with ground pork flavored with herbs and spices to complement its taste. Some use chopped leaves of “tangle” to add aroma and taste. It is then deep fried that makes the frog’s meat crunchy.

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While catching frogs and eating them is not unlawful, it is now urged that the practice be regulated if not totally banned.

During my elementary schooling days, we were told in our science class that frogs eat insects including the pesky mosquito that annoys us especially at night. Frogs do stick out their tongue and catch insects for their diet.

What happens now when the population of frogs dwindles will result to the mosquitoes’ increase in number. Chances are, the lesser the number of frogs would result into the greater number of mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are annoying. Their buzzing and their bites are infuriating. But what concern many are the virus they bring such as malaria, dengue, h-fever and others. These viruses can be transmitted to humans through mosquito bites to our skin.

With the onset of the rainy season, we need the frogs to somehow decrease the population of mosquitoes thus lessening the risk of getting bitten by disease-causing insects.

We can likewise help reduce the risk of mosquito bites through our own little way of cleaning our surroundings and the removing of materials that may contain rain water. Mosquitoes thrive in filthy places and lay their eggs on water.

Worse, the species of mosquitoes today can lay and hatch eggs even on dirty water, thus the need to really free our surroundings from rain catchers. These insects can even lay their eggs on overturned bottle caps which has water in them.

Going back to the frogs, we might consider that these little creatures are actually excellent deterrent to various diseases due to the fact that they eat the carriers. They are part of the eco-system too or the community of living organisms in conjunction with non-living things in the environment interacting as a system.

We may perhaps eat a piece of two of the “betute” and consider it a feast. Local officials meanwhile should come up with the local laws that may regulate the catching of frogs among local folks.

Information dissemination should likewise be undertaken in order to discourage frog catchers from catching frogs either for their trade or for their own consumption. This will increase the awareness of people on the help that frogs provide in our environment and for the people in their combat against diseases brought about by mosquitoes.

--oo0oo—

In 2003, three Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awardees conceptualized the holding of an annual festival in the City of San Fernando that is aimed at preserving the Kapampangan culture through the promotion of various frog traditions. Ivan Anthony Henares, Roland Quiambao and fellow SSP columnist Robbie Tantingco have started it all.

The Piyestang Tugak, usually held on the first week of October, includes the paduasan, a frog catching competition using traditional methods; various culinary events featuring Pampanga's unique frog cuisine such as the “betute”; and the frog Olympics which has fun games for young people.

I hope this year’s frog festival shall include a film showing on how frogs help the environment and the benefits we can get from them aside from their being favorite delicacies of Kapampangans.

--oo0oo--

For any comments, ideas, suggestions or opinions, text or call The Advocate at 09213636360 or send email at dencious@yahoo.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 08, 2014.

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