Hometown Snapshot

2 grilled ‘bangus’ gone in 67 seconds

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THE HEAVIEST “bangus” weighs 12.25 kilograms. WILLIE LOMIBAO/CONTRIBUTOR

DAGUPAN CITY—For gobbling up two grilled “bangus” (milkfish) in a little over a minute, Edgar Grado erased last year’s bangus-eating contest record during the Bangus Rodeo, an event of the Bangus Festival here.

“They are faster now. I think they prepared for this event,” said Emma Molina, city agriculturist and event vice chair.

Now on its 12th year, the Bangus Rodeo has become one of the most-awaited events of the festival, attracting bangus growers and fisher folk. A winner receives P3,000, while the second and third placers get P2,000 and P1,000.

Grado, a resident of Barangay (village) Lomboy, finished two pieces of medium-sized grilled bangus in 67 seconds, faster than the time of 1:18 posted by Joel Seran last year.

“They consider winning in this event one of their crowning glories in the aquaculture industry,” said Roberto Llamas, event chair.

Cris Alcaparas of Barangay Lucao was this year’s fastest bangus classifier, sorting out some 280 pieces of bangus according to sizes in 2:42 seconds.

This was a little slower than Melecio Melendez’s time last year of 2:23. Melendez placed second this year, clocking 3:29.

The fastest bangus deboner was Mark Joseph de Vera of Barangay Bonuan Binloc. He deboned two pieces of bangus in 1:43.

Oversized bangus were also pitted against each other, according to weight and length.

The heaviest, which tipped the scales at 12.25 kilograms and won P15,000 as top prize, was raised in the fishpond of Eduardo Fernandez in Barangay Pantal. This is lighter than Rene Landingin’s winning entry last year, which weighed 12.95 kg.

A bangus can grow bigger over the years in a pond, said Lino Fernandez, one of the leading bangus growers. These are usually the few fish left in the pond during harvests, he said.

“If you continue to just leave them there and feed them, they grow bigger,” he said.

He said he used to have several overgrown fish in his pond but these all escaped to the sea when his pond overflowed during a flood. He used to sell them to a bangus breeding facility in Sual town.

“The big bangus are edible, often cooked as ‘relleno’ and served during fiestas or special occasions,” Fernandez said. “It’s just that its flesh is quite rough because of its age and size. A young bangus is softer and juicier.”

This year’s winner, which is 12.25 kg, could be 10 years old, he said.

The longest bangus was 82 centimeters long and was raised by Renato Español of Barangay Pantal. It was more than a centimeter shorter than last year’s winner, which was 83.5 cm long.

Highlighting the activity was the bangus “beauty contest.” The “prettiest” bangus was raised in the pond of Romy Bautista of Barangay Salapingao. It had clear eyes, shiny scales, a round belly, smaller head and uneven tail.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Hey_Dudes

    What is the purpose of such feat except teaching our people how to be ‘maseeba?’

  • askal2u

    wala na bang maganda makuhang article sa PDI? pati kasibaan news na rin. tama ka dudes. bat di ibalita dito mga pinoy world breaker sa pinakamaraming anak sa labas, kabit, at corruption.

  • EC

    Bangus eating contest is promoting bad taste. It should not be included in Bangus Rodeo.

  • WeAry_Bat

    Eating contests have a chance of becoming deadly. It shouldn’t be popularized in any food festival.

  • kontra_boohaya

    mabuti na lang alang boo hayang epal na sumal yung bagang lahing alang kabusugan. kung di niyo kilala yun e tingin lang kayo sa mga tarps at nandun ang picture niya.

  • penoy2012

    Dapat may contest din na aling palengke ang may pinaku murang bangus all year round.

  • Mux

    Fish tales!

  • http://twitter.com/Olibo2 Olibo

    There’s should be three categories:
    1. relyenong bangus
    2.with bones ( tinik)
    3.boneless LOL

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