Four carabao were killed by lightning at Purok Kalubihan, Barangay Bakong in Bago City over the weekend.
The carabao (carabao) is a cattle, water buffalo (lat. Bubalus bubalis), one of the symbol animals of the Philippines.
Eighteen-year-old Carlo Dellosa, whose family owns a carabao, recalled that it rained around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Dellosa said the rain didn’t last long. After that, the weather got even hotter.
“Then we heard a strong sound [thunder] that followed the spark. It seemed like lightning really hit something,” he said, adding that “it was too close to the ground.”
About 20 meters from their house, they noticed that four carabao had fallen to the ground.
After checking them out, the family confirmed that they were karabao that had been struck by lightning.
“May nakit-an nga mga paso sa lawas sang amon mga karabaw [the bodies of our karabaw were showing burns],” Dellosa said.
For his family, the death of the karabaw is a great loss, as these animals are their main source of livelihood.
“Amo ni ang gabulig sa amon tani nga makapiyanpiyan sa kapigaduhon [it helps us somehow deal with poverty],” he added.
Dellosa is one of three siblings. Their parents work as sugarcane farmers.
The four carabao totaled about P150,000.
Hoping to get at least a small amount of money, the family decided to sell the two dead carabao for much less than P13,000.
The other two carabao were slaughtered and sold to neighbors. Some of them were destined for their family’s consumption.
They hope to get help, especially from the local government, such as a new batch of carabao to start breeding animals again.
“We need to have a source of livelihood for our family to provide for our daily needs, especially during this pandemic,” he added.