hard to believe that the monitor lizard here in the philippines is new discovery. it hasnt been hiding. its always around forested areas all over the country. even around the fringe areas of the metro capital.
go to boracay, bohol, el nido, palawan or almost any beach resort and wander around the forest areas you might just see one.
locally its called the Bayawak. and sometimes you will see some petshops selling them. or markets selling the meat