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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Selling Mussels, Paros etc

My barrio, Sagrada, is one of the coastal areas of Hagonoy where most people would have jobs related to the sea or fishponds -- building boats (like norways, a big fishing vessel), building fishponds like doing pagtatambak (workers would be called mananambak of whose job would be building the fishpond enclosure called pilapil in Tagalog) or pamamanti (fishing using fishnet...leaving it in the waters where fish would be trap, mamamanti would go back after awhile to check if the trap worked).  When I was a child, some of the young people I knew would sometimes end up fishing instead of going to school.  That was the time when the sea was still rich and when people thought it would end.  My cousins would go out fishing with their fathers.  They would usually leave at night and come home early in the morning with fish, prawns, mussels, oysters etc. 
Some would go to the "pakapa" . This is done after the fishpond owners harvested their bangus (milkfish) or prawns.  They would usually allow people to go to their property to clear the fishpond.  This is quite a big feast for the fisherfolks since they would be able to get mud crabs which are quite pricey when you sell them in the fish market or just around the street.  My cousins would sometimes use salakab (a fish trap made from bamboo) to catch fish.  Oysters are usually harvested though. Speaking of oysters, my cousin bought us a sack of this yummy aphrodisiac for Php200.  Goodness, here in Australia, you buy oysters by piece, $20++/dozen!!!  I will definitely eat a lot of oysters when I go back and visit the Philippines late this year.  This time I can eat as many as I want since I am not pregnant (LOL).

One thing that I am proud of, is that, I was able to experience to sell oysters, mussels, paros, and fish on the street with my cousins, Baby and Nora. I remember the buyers haggling the price with us and we would always say "tapat na po" (last price).  We would get the seafoods that we were selling from our uncle and male cousins and in the end they would give us a percentage of the amount we sold.  I could not remember though how much they gave us.  But to me it did not matter...what I love was the enjoyment I got from selling on the street.  The fun of doing it was really the best part!


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