24 April 2010

SBMA joins Bataan fishers in ‘Galunggong Festival’

MORONG, Bataan — With its brass band rendering festive marching music, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) joined fisher folk in this town for the “Araw ng Mangingisda” festival, which highlights the abundant “galunggong” catch at barangay Sabang.

Organized by the Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (MFARMC) of Morong, the celebration is intended to raise public awareness on the importance of the fisher folk sector to the provision of daily food to the community.

The festival is also part of a local fishermen’s program to seek recognition and support from the local government unit of Morong, as well as to broaden the fisher folk’s network of assistance in the province, said Morong FARMC chairman Restituto del Rosario.

“The celebration is the first in a series of events to showcase the large contribution of fisher folk to the larger community here,” Del Rosario explained.

In addition, the festival could serve as inspiration for the fisher folk to continue protecting the abundant marine resources of Morong, he added.

Highlight of the one-day festival was a cooking contest featuring different ways “galunggong” could be prepared.

Del Rosario said that each of the 60 fishing boats that went out fishing on the eve of the event contributed one bucket, or about 20 kilos, of “galunggong” for the cookfest.

The public was then invited to the Sabang barangay plaza to sample the results of the cooking competition.

To spice up to the celebration, the organizers also put up events like street dancing, beach volleyball, chess, table tennis, palosebo, sack race, and other traditional games for the community to participate in.

Later in the day, fisher folk leaders and guests awarded school supplies to winners of the kiddie basketball tournament, which fielded youth members of “Bantay Dagat”, and for teams that collected the most garbage during the coastal clean-up drive.

Del Rosario said that with the successful staging of the festival this year, they will hold the “Araw ng Mangingisda in Morong every year, with a different theme each time.

Del Rosario also lauded the contributions of Anvaya Cove, a private resort located in Morong, which provided cash prizes for the various contests, and the SBMA, which also provided school supplies distributed to schoolchildren in Sabang.

The SBMA has traditionally been a partner of the fisher folk community in Morong in terms of putting up environment-friendly livelihood projects.

After providing assistance for the “lambaklad” project of Morong fishermen several years ago, the SBMA also released early this year a P4-million financial assistance to fishermen for the sustainable development of the Subic Bay area.

The grant benefited fishermen in Morong, Olongapo City, and the municipalities of Subic and San Antonio in Zambales.

According to SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga, SBMA granted the assistance in fulfillment of the agency’s responsibility to communities affected by the development of the Subic Bay Freeport.

The P4-million assistance is broken down into four components: P2.3 million for the establishment of artificial reefs; P.7 million for the operating expenses of the SB-IFARMC; P.5 million for a scholarship fund to deserving SB-IFARMC members and their immediate families; and P.5 million to fund livelihood programs for SB-IFARMC members and their families. (SBMA Corporate Communications)
PHOTO: Residents of Sabang village in Morong, Bataan show the various ways that “galunggong” could be cooked during the “Araw ng Mangingisda” festival.