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Cotabato’s mud crabs get limelight in feast

/ 10:44 PM December 13, 2011

COTABATO CITY— For a city that harvests up to 85,000 kg of mud crabs a year, a festival in honor of the crustaceans is in order.

From Dec. 15-18, this city will hold its first Crab Festival to put the spotlight on mud crabs that abound in coastal villages.

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Known for the sweet taste of their meat and the high-cholesterol fat that oozes from their shells, mud crabs generate an average of P21 million in sales every year here, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

Mud crabs from this city have reached some of the classiest restaurants in Metro Manila and have given this city the distinction of being their source.

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The income and fame that mud crabs have brought to this city prompted the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the US-backed organization Growth with Equity in Mindanao to support local government efforts to pay homage to mud crabs.

The first Crab Festival will coincide with the Sharrif Kabunsuan Festival, which is dedicated to the arrival of Islam in Mindanao.

“The Crab Festival will prove to all and sundry that Cotabato crabs are the tastiest in the Philippines,” said a briefing paper from the Metro Cotabato Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, which supports the holding of the feast.

Shamera Abobakar, chamber executive director, said in a statement that during the festival, crab growers could also “network” with investors.

Technology on crab culture would be disseminated during the feast, she said. And of course, there would be plenty of crabs to feast on.

Cooking buffs could display their skills in preparing crab dishes at a crab cooking contest scheduled on Dec. 16 in the City Hall.

On the last day of the festival, Dec. 18, crabs will be let out in a race.

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TAGS: Cotabato City, Crab Festival, crustaceans, high-cholesterol fat, Mud crabs, Sharrif Kabunsuan Festival
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