It's free: Grill ur bangsi
By SERAFIN RAMOS JR.MAITUM
Sarangani (January 27, 2009) – A thousand kilos of fresh flying fish shall be offered free to the public on Saturday (January31) for grilling in time for lunch during Bangsi Festival's "SugbaSugba sa Dalan" in front of the town hall.
The Bangsi Cooking Contest follows to discover new recipes in bangsi cookery.
Bangsi (flying fish) has come a long way to become Maitum's One Town One Product (OTOP) from decades of providing livelihood to coastal households.
Its number one value-added product, the marinated and half dried flying fish, is a popular pasalubong and breakfast fare.
"Marinated bangsi alone, roughly its P10-million industry, includes processors in (barangay) Old Poblacion," said Engr. Nenita Barroso,provincial director of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)." Other products were introduced last year," she said.
Entrepreneurshave developed other value-added products like bola-bola, tocino,siomai, bangsi rolls, chorizo, lumpia, embutido, burger patties and nuggets made of bangsi.
"Packaging has improved from ordinary plastic pack into a branded and labeled packaging," Barroso noted.
Barroso added around 125 households in Old Poblacion are beneficiaries of a vacuum pack machine from DTI.
For those who drink with local buddies, bangsi kinilaw is still the best pulutan: fillet the fish, cut the head, peel off the skin.Include the head in your kinilaw if you like something crunchy.
The Bangsi Festival on January 30-31 is a marketing pitch for Maitum's OTOP.At the same time, the community honors the fisherfolk who capture flying fish or bangsi for livelihood.
"Around a thousand households depend on bangsi industry, with average annual catch of more or less 600 tons," said Beth Ramos – Palma Gil,municipal accountant and information officer.
In a Sangguniang Bayan resolution creating the festival, marinated flying fish or bulad was cited as "highly significant to the municipality because it is one of the top producers of marinated flying fish and other fish by-products within SOCSARGEN area."
The festival would give "more meaning to its One Town, One Product for purpose of promotion to boost the morale of its fisherfolk aiming for higher family income as well as its diverse culture, tourism, and economy."
Palma Gil said the festival's theme is "Inaalagaang Karagatan,Nagbunga ng Kasaganaan" (Maitum Sea, Sun, and Shore, bounty andbeauty).
Coastal barangays here offer high economic potential due to the abundant catch of flying fish, availability of local skills in fish processing, and unique technology on marinating fish being practicedby residents.
Majority of the fishing households has pamangsihan, a gear used in catching flying fish.This indicates how significant flying fish catching plays in the livelihood of the community, which is done whole year round, with peak season noted during September to May.
The men are the ones involved in capture fishing while the women are in fish drying and marinating activities.
According to Wikipedia, flying fish are found in all of the major oceans, particularly in the warm tropical and subtropical waters.Their most striking feature is their pectoral fins which are unusually large, and enable the fish to take short gliding flights through air,above the surface of the water, in order to escape from predators.(SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)