The Busyador Of Pabellon Island

Busyadores (nest gatherers) scale the high rock faces of Pabellones in Taytay Bay to gather the nests of balinsasayaw (swiftlets).

Bong is comfortable in the soaring limestone walls. Gifted with climbing skills and balls of steel to reach heights others would dare not attempt, Bong is able to gather more balinsasayaw nests than his peers. He started out as a poacher, sneaking in in the dead of night to steal nests of other busyadores and was shot in the leg in one of those escapades. The concessionaire, recognizing his talents, asked Bong to work for him instead of having him prosecuted.

The busyador not only gathers the balinsasayaw nests but cleans them as well of impurities accumulated inside the caves. A kilo of this delicacy can fetch a price of as much as P170,000 or $3,400.