Hunting the Elusive Killer Titan Triggerfish. (And Yet More Turtles…..)

Well, I know you have all been clamoring for yet more turtle footage, so here it is!  Today I won’t be talking about some of the challenges of retirement in the Philippines or the potential pitfalls of getting into relationships here – I’m just going to concentrate on something that I love.  I am actually spicing the usual mundane turtle video up a bit, as I went on a quest last week in search of the elusive killer titan triggerfish.  You see, we had gone down to a house party the day before (Thanks, Mario!) and – as is my wont – I meandered off into the surf to snorkel with Rodney and Tom.  Rodney had told me off all the turtles just off the beach there, and sure enough, it wasn’t long before we spotted the first one.  We wandered off in different directions after that, and I skirted the deep-water dropoff looking for more turtles before eventually heading back in towards shore.

Then it happened!  Something hit my fins hard from behind, spinning around, I saw a big titan triggerfish acting all nonchalant.  I had heard about this monster, so I hit the record button on my GoPro.  He must have sensed that he was on film without signing a release form as he immediately started charging me.  Now, these titan triggerfish can grow up to 30 inches long.  This guy was about two feet, but what he lacked in size, he made up for with pure attitude.  They also have big mouths and sharp teeth that are strong enough to crush coral and their bites can be pretty nasty.  During nesting season, they can get very aggressive.  And even  though he hit my fins a few times as I swam backwards, I was absolutely thrilled to be getting the good, solid footage of it on my GoPro.  I finally got out of his “attack cone,” and got out of the water to spread my tale of aquatic (mis)adventures to my stalwart companions.

Then, when I got home to look at the video, I saw that my video card had failed, and I had only gotten .5 seconds of the titan .  And it wasn’t even attack footage!  Despondent, I made the ride back to Dauin the very next morning with a different SD card, intent on getting video of this rather extroverted fish.  Combing the depths, I finally located him, only to find that he wasn’t in the mood this morning to attack me.  After chasing him for a bit – at full-on, pumping-my-fins speed, I finally realized it wasn’t to be and had to content myself with finding two turtles to film.  They were shy as well, and I am hoping at some point that I can film one of the huge turtles around there that aren’t shy of people.  Heck, with a massive shell on my back, I probably wouldn’t be shy, either.

The object of my quest!
The object of my quest!

I mention Romana Alar day resort in the video, and I am including a map to the place at the end of this blog entry.  If you are in Dumaguete and want to spend a nice time away from the heat, hustle and bustle of the city, come down and check it out.  There is also another day resort right next door owned by a really cool European retired expat and his Filipina wife.  Entry and parking at both places is about 20 pesos.  You can either rent a 10 person cabana for 350 pesos for the day or bring your own beach mat and just lay on the sand.  There is good shade on the sand there and the breeze is always taking the edge off of the tropical heat.  You can also rent snorkeling gear and buy coffee, beer, and snacks.  Grilles are also provided if you want to cook something up.

Following the triggerfish video(s), we will put up the first video on Michell answering some of the questions that you all submitted in the comment section of our last video.

Salamat, all, and we’ll see ya next time.


** Thinking about retiring to a wind-swept tropical shore? Have a small pension and looking to get the most bang for your buck?  Ever wondered what it’s like to be an expat?  Follow us on My Philippine Dreams to learn how to NOT do it.   🙂


Map to Romana Alar Day Resort - Dauin
Map to Romana Alar Day Resort – Dauin


  1. Oh Boy!!
    It looks like a lot of fun. Just turned in my paperwork to leave my last job today. As far as going there it will be some time. Still healing from my hip replacement. The water is calling me–the second love of my life after my wife. Keep up the good pictures…

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