Thursday, 13 September 2007

Naming of the Parts: Pisangan Reef

I really shouldn't have been so surprised that the local people here in General Luna know their reef, and have a mental map of it. I can't translate all the names, but I can tell you that Daku na pasang is the high bit, and Gamay na pasang, the low bit. Taiwan commemmorates a local shipwreck, and Sabangan means reef passage. The main reef passage goes out to the Payaw, a fish attractor far out to sea, where the Payaw Men troll for bolis (skipjack tuna).

It's a very useful food source; at every full moon, when the spring tide is low at midday, whole families go out there to scavenge for fresh seafood. You can see some of what they get here and here and here

Not all of those foods come from Pisangan (alimango, shrimps, etc, come from the mangroves) but most of them do.

And all of them are delicious. The scavengers pass by every so often, selling tajum (sea urchins), saliwake (another sea urchin), ganga (spider conch), lato (Philippine Caviare) etc. They would cost a small fortune in a Parisian seafood restaurant, but here we get them very cheaply indeed, usually by the glass (a half-pint empty Nescafe jar) or by the Caltex (a pint plastic oil can).

Straight out of the sea, onto the table; what could be better?

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