It was an ordinary day passing through the crowded sidewalk across Muñoz Market in Quezon City when I noticed a familiar plant displayed and sold by a woman.
To confirm what I have seen, I walked closer to check if I was not mistaken with what I saw. It was indeed a Nepenthes species or a pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant mostly growing in the forested areas of the Philippines.
|Nepenthes for sale in across Muñoz market|
I curiously asked the lady what she was selling and replied “orchids Sir, may mga bulaklak na po yan” (sir these are orchids with flowers already). The flowers she was referring to were actually the pitchers or the modified leaves of the carnivorous plant intended to trap insects as source of nutrients.
According to the lady, the “orchids” came all the way from Bicol and they harvested it directly from the mountains.
I felt a little dismayed to see more of these plants were in stock in huge plastic bags that in my estimate were more than 50 individuals. She was selling the wildlife for Php120 a piece.
The way I see it, the vendor seemed so confident selling the plant species in the area and looks like they have been doing it for a long time.
It looks like that the local government in the area is not so keen in tracking this illegal trade that is openly being patronized by the public.
There is seemed to be a problem in the information dissemination on the illegal trade of wildlife and its corresponding penalty for each violation. This open trading is a reflection of the lame implementation of the law to which, even the law enforcement in the vicinity is not aware of such illegal action.
For those who will be seeing this kind of wildlife trade please do not patronize this for the sake of saving what is left in our environment.