Lolong’s legend lives on in Pasay’s Long-long
Want to add ferocity to your selfie?
Then “Long-long” and his wide toothy grin are waiting for you at Crocodile Park Manila, an attraction in Pasay City that seems to capitalize on the Filipinos’ fear of and fascination for the ancient reptile—which undeservingly is also the cartoonist’s favorite mascot for graft and corruption.
Long-long is the name given to the robotic, fiberglass creature that was transported from Davao and arrived at the Pasay park on Roxas Boulevard early Saturday.
It was a homage to Lolong, the real big biter caught in September 2011 in Agusan del Sur, which later landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest saltwater crocodile in captivity.
When Lolong died in February 2013 at an eco-tourism park in Banawan town, the Guinness title was regained by a crocodile in Australia named Cassius.
Just about half-inch longer than Lolong, the 21-foot look-alike was created by artists Jessie Suerte and Juvy Bangot at the Davao Crocodile Park, according to staff member Serge Acquiatan. It was created precisely to give people an idea of what Lolong looked like, he added.
During its three-day trip by land, Long-long immediately made heads turn. At one point, traffic enforcers stopped the truck to get a better look at the scaly cargo. “I already had it covered with tarpaulin, but the snout still showed because it was really long, that’s why onlookers got more curious,” Acquiatan said. Kristine Felisse Mangunay