Isabela folk gather clams to augment food during quarantine
CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela –– Boy Bartolome, 60, a tricycle driver, who was forced to stay home due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, went out on Wednesday (March 25), along with about 100 villagers, to gather clams at the Cagayan and Pinacanauan rivers.
“We were forced to look for food and we gather clams to ease our hunger,” Bartolome said because many of them had yet to receive food packs from the government.
Aside from augmenting their food stocks, Maryann Salinas, a clam gatherer, said some of them planned to sell their harvest to neighbors.
A small container of clams would sell for P20, while a small sack of clams can be sold for P400.
“Mas mabuti na ito kaysa magnakaw kami dahil wala na kami makain (This is better than stealing food because we do not have anything more to eat),” she said.
The clam gatherers came from the villages of Osmena, Lullutan, Calamagui 1st, Calamagui 2nd, Baligatan, and Guinatan. They were not stopped from traveling to the rivers.
The quarantine requires everyone to remain indoors, except for provisions allowing a member of each household to go out for supply runs.
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