Meg, the Fighting Fish

Disturbed and urged by a text message from Citibank stating a 70 percent discount on Levi’s jeans in a trade fair in SM Megamall, my dad called us up from Quirino telling us to buy him a pair. It’s my first time in a trade fair where I found out things never superficial — which made me happy. For one, the participating businesses are mostly those you cannot find in mainstream stores. Second, there are a lot of rare items ranging from specialized wrist watches (where numbers are 3+3, and 2+1, instead of simple 6 and 3) to unusual gift items like mini-anitos. Third, I was able to buy a new pet – a fighting fish.

The trade fair was called the Super Brands, Super Sale fair with items classified according to their nature, located at three different Megatrade halls. The first hall housed various furniture with a Filipino touch blended with an Asian style.

Shoes, flip-flops, and sandals graced Megatrade Hall 2 but we were not able to visit the section. It was the largest hall among the three.

The third hall was where we bought pants for my dad. He was so certain as he even sent us a message of what kind of jeans to buy. The jeans cost about 3,000 pesos, 40 percent off from the original price.


There was one booth there named “Pangregalo”. As you hear it, you may think of a Christmas gift item shop. Well it is except for the fact that you may think twice before giving it. The items were not the conventional. There were native wooden crafts from Ifugao, miniature pottery (also native, I think, but uncertain if they’re from the Philippines), and fighting fishes in a small glass bowl.

I bought one after some few questions and information from the stall owner. It was a single blue-colored fish wafting. The only living thing he lived with was an underwater plant.

The stall owner told us fighting fishes live alone in an aquarium, as when they are with fishes of the same kind, they tend to kill each other. He said the fish was already an adult, and would take 2-3 years before it dies. It is a tiny creature, measuring only up to five centimeters.

Having a pet fish is like having a child. It teaches you responsibility, as what the owner told me.

It’s my very first personal pet. I placed him inside my room beside the piles of books on the bedside table. As advised by the stall owner, I searched for information about the fish online only to find out they’re highly interesting creatures, in terms of behavior.

Fighting fishes originated from Cambodia and Thailand. They are also called Siamese fighting fishes.

I named him Meg (my mom suggested it, getting the word from ‘MEGatrade’ or ‘MEGamall’ where I bought it) – only to find out it’s a male. It was one of the questions I forgot to ask from the owner. It was in Wikipedia where I found out that blue fighting fishes are males.

Fighting fishes are nicknamed “The Jewel of the Orient” because of the wide range of colors they are in. Their colors are quite impressive as much as their behavior would impress you.

They puff their fins and gill covers to appear more impressive. Males are more aggressive than female fighting fishes. When a male fish sees another male fighting fish, they would kill each other. Sometimes they would respond differently even with their reflections on the aquarium walls.

What amazed me is how they behave with humans. They may respond to feeding cues, if trained. They are also curious of what humans do everyday and would tend to watch them as they move.


I would see him grow, act, and behave in the next years. There might be some reason why I was compelled to buy him. I would anticipate those moments when I would think of him while I’m outside like a mother to a baby.

It silently lies there on my side table inside a small fish bowl, curiously watching us. As I write these words, Meg rests on a stone underneath the plant. I still have to feed him. Good night!


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