Is there a Tokay gecko or tuko trade in Bukidnon?

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Truth be told, this tuko or Philippine tokay gecko issue has been known for quite sometime. Apparently, a lot of Filipinos (yes, even those from Bukidnon) are into this buy and sell tuko trade because a lot of foreigners specifically Malaysians, Indonesians and Japanese buy geckos at high prices.

How high? According to a tuko buy and sell website found, a gecko or tokay gecko that weighs at least 350 grams will fetch as much as US $200,000 or roughly Php 8 Million. Another gecko buy and sell website Bukidnon Online found says that they can pay as much as Php 10 Million for a 400 gram tuko. No, we’re not kidding. That’s how much foreigners are willing to pay for these Philippine tukos.

And, as fate would have it, there are a lot of tukos here in Bukidnon. In fact, at least 5 people have already sent emails to us here at (!!!) asking if they can post ads of their geckos for sale!

Now, if you’re wondering why foreigners want to buy tukos, there are reports that claim that these nocturnal geckos can be cures to asthma, cancer or even HIV/AIDS. Naturally, the World Health Organization has released a statement saying that there’s no basis for this at all especially since there isn’t any cure for AIDS yet. Still, a lot of people engage in the tuko trade…and if the prices are that high, then we shouldn’t even wonder why people sell and buy geckos or tukos.

So do you want to buy or sell a tuko? Read on…

But ah…seriously, the question now is — are the Philippine government agencies responsible for monitoring these tuko traders doing something? More importantly — are the Bukidnon government agencies doing something or are they at a loss as to where and how to start monitoring and capturing the tuko traders? Or worse — are the Bukidnon government agencies just turning a blind eye?

In one website alone, we already found TWO interested buyers of geckos. These buyers are willing to pay big bucks for tuko. Now we can’t help but wonder if the Bukidnon government agencies know how to track these people down especially if there are interested people from Bukidnon who will contact these tuko buyers.


According to Wikipedia: The Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) is a nocturnal arboreal gecko, ranging from northeast India and Bangladesh, throughout Southeast Asia, Philippines to Indonesia and western New Guinea. Its native habitat is rainforest trees and cliffs, and it also frequently adapts to rural human habitations, roaming walls and ceilings at night in search of insect prey. Increasing urbanization is reducing its range. In the late 1980s and early 1990s it was introduced into Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Belize, and several Caribbean islands, where it can be considered an invasive species.

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  • Hi maam!

    uhm, i think mao na jud ning tinuod right?

    kay what i know is mao pud ni ang reason – to be used to cure some diseases. Pero, daghan man pud nag-ingon maam nga gagamiton daw ning tuko sa pagtabok2 ug mga drugs. Ipakaon daw sa tuko ang mga drugs, then ipadala…

    • Hi Jonnel! How are you? Visited your blog — you have a great one ha! Keep it up 🙂

      Re: tokay gecko trade — I haven’t heard of yung mga drugs na pinapakain sa mga tuko but that’s really possible. I think that should be one thing that the DENR, wildlife bureau and other concerned government agencies should look into.

  • Guys,
    Please take note that there is NO article available which states explicitly that this animal can effectively treat cancer or even HIV.
    This was a hype and it is now dying off because there are fewer and fewer buyers out in the market. This is probably due to the fact that the actual cure hasn’t been validated by any legitimate medical institution.
    This hype is already dying off in Indonesia and Malaysia and I reckon that the Philippines will follow suit.
    Here’s another misconception: Many pinoys would capture smaller Geckos (below 400 grams) and attempt to take care of them in their own homes – thinking that sooner or later, these reptiles would grow into sellable sizes.
    Geckos are very difficult to take care of and you can ask anyone about the mortality rates when keeping these reptiles confined indoors.
    Even an ant bite can kill this reptile!
    With regards to nutrition, these animals feed not just on insects and grubs, but also on small mammals like newly born rodents, etc.
    Most marginalized people, who dream of making big bucks on this animal, have dozens of Geckos in cages but cannot afford to provide them with the correct nutrition.
    Poor nutrition equals slow growth rate and high mortality rates.
    The sad story is that greed has caused a massive decline of this animal in the wild and the lives of such animals are wasted when they die in captivity.
    Anyways, hope this doesn’t get any worse than it already is.

  • yeah, agree with you friend,, until now there no scientific claims. i been searching in the web but i found nothing..

  • According to Tokaygeckosorg, a compound present in the Tokay gecko’s saliva and other body organs is responsible for inhibiting the HIV virus. A healthy Tokay gecko weighing over 300 grams is used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The creature’s blood and bile has also been purported to have anti-tumor property in cancer patients based on traditional chinese medicine.

  • The thing is… This issue will not proliferate unless there are no truth to the claims of those who patronizes geckos as alternative medical treatment. Lets take it as maybe they have a medicinal breakthrough regarding gecko as medicine. The fact that its breakthrough it is not published or is unfamiliar to the general medical practitioners. however, as an environmental threat we have the role to protect this species from all forms of abuse. The challenge is how can you control given the fact the these creatures voluntarily lives with humans especially old houses.

    • I don’t know if we guys should be happy or not in this current Gecko Trade Craziness, a long time ago these lizards can live there in the wild freely without any direct purpose in uplifting the suffering of the sick people. I can still remember when I was young, my uncle kill this lizards because they always create noises. Why do you think that the government agencies are now also interested and are now focusing their efforts to stop and imprison those people who are involve in this kind of trade and take the lizards to their so called “care”? because it is illegal? because if they become extinct their can be a big problem in the environment? are they the only one’s who eat insects? if a community can have a lot of them, is there any chance that manila can lower its cases of dengue victims? guys this lizards are not yet endangered species.. Or maybe because it can also give them a lot of money too. As of now DENR and other government agencies focus their energy to catch those people who are involve in this business instead of securing the sea, from illegal fishing and the forest, from illegal logging? Why? Money talks. Just like this cases: Gambling is illegal, isn’t it? why lotto is legal? because the government allow it, therefore it is now a legal because it gives money to the government. Cigarette and alcoholic drinks for some country are prohibited, why? because it doesn’t have any positive effect to the society, specially when in terms of public health. This supposed to be illegal items. Why is it legal? It generates billions of pesos for the government in the form of taxes. The system is like a stinking garbage as you can see.

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