04 May 2011

Subic fisherfolk celebrate “Pamalakaya 2011” for bountiful harvest

Fishermen in the Subic Bay area gathered themselves together the other day in a lengthy fluvial parade around the bay to celebrate“Pamalakaya 2011: Araw ng Mangingisda,” a festival to thank Mother Nature for a year--round bountiful harvest.

The fluvial parade was part of the week-long festivities “Subic Ay!” that was organized by the municipal government with the theme, “Tuloy ang Pagsulong Tungo sa Subic City.”

The Subic Bay Integrated Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (SBI-FARMC) initiated the fluvial event. Delegations from the coastal barangays of Calapandayan, Calapacuan, Matain, Wawandue, Asinan and Baraka in this town joined the parade, which was led by a fishing boat carrying the image of Saint James (San Tiago), the patron saint of fishermen.

“The Pamalakaya is our way of thanking Mother Nature and our patron for providing us with a continuous source of livelihood and keeping us safe while catching fish offshore,” said SBIFARMCI chairman Laureano Artagame.

Aside from the fluvial parade, the Subic Ay! Festival also enlivened the streets around the poblacion area of Subic by the cheering songs of fishermen, as well as women and children who joined the karakol or street dancing.

The fluvial parade was followed by boat races in various categories: paddle-driven, motorized, and mini-banca, which used recycled materials.

The SBIFARMCI is among the sectors being assisted by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) through the Environmental Guarantee Fund, which was tapped for scholarship grants and various livelihood programs for fisherfolk in the Subic Bay area.

Members of SBIFARMCI include fishermen from Olongapo City, Morong in Bataan, and Subic and San Antonio in Zambales.

Last October 2010, SBIFARMCI received P2.3 million from the SBMA for the production of 60 artificial concrete reefs modules that were later installed in coastal areas in Morong, Subic Bay, and San Antonio in Zambales. In addition, the SBIFARMCI also purchased two new motorized bancas for use as monitoring, controlling and surveillance (MCS) patrol boats.

Outgoing SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga said during the turnover of the fund that the SBMA aims to implement a program that will benefit the marine environment from which Subic stakeholders derive their livelihood.

“It is a common endeavor of the stakeholders in the Subic Bay Area to promote higher marine biodiversity in Subic Bay and create better and healthier marine environment for fishing, recreation, tourism and related livelihoods,” Salonga also said. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

Fishermen from Subic, Zambales paddle their boats against a backdrop of merchant vessels in a boat race held during the "Subic Ay!" festival held recently in thanksgiving for bountiful harvests.