It’s indeed the year of the snake—especially for this farmer in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga.
Dennis Adlawan, 31, has been fighting for his life at the Zamboanga City Medical Center after being bitten by a cobra on a shoulder on Sunday, the first day of the Chinese New Year, while he was pulling weeds at a piece of land in Diplahan town.
He was rushed to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where doctors told journalists that Adlawan’s sensorium becomes very weak because of the venom that had been inflicted in him through the snakebite.
The doctors, who explained that sensorium is the part of the brain that receives and co-ordinates all the stimuli conveyed to various sensory centers of the body, are also worried since Adlawan’s wound is on his shoulder, which is near his heart.
The neighbours said Adlawan had passed up an offer to come with them and celebrate Chinese New Year in the city, saying that he had to rid his farm of weeds as he was planning to plant more rubber trees.
Adlawan was quoted by radio reports as saying that he saw the snake rear up and spread its hood (neck), but it was too late for him to duck or run away, as the snake attacked him with incredible speed. He said the snake must have felt agitated when he was cleaning the surroundings.
Cobras are usually found on the islands of Southeast Asia and through southern Asia and southern Africa.
Zamboanga City, where people speak Chavacano (broken Spanish), was the capital of the former Moro Province, which is now Mindanao, the country’s second biggest island.