Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Maitum Town To Launch Bangsi Festival In Mindanao

A Filipino woman, Nerissa Ovalo, 23, collects half-dried bangsi (flying fish) in the village of Old Poblacion in Maitum town in Sarangani province, which is celebrating its 2nd annual Bangsi Festival on January 30-31. Maitum’s is promoting its “One Town, One Product” – the marinated flying fish. (Photo by Cocoy Sexcion)

SARANGANI, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 27, 2009) – The town of Maitum in the southern Philippine province of Sarangani is all set for the launching of the two-day Bangsi Festival dubbed as “Sugba Sugba sa Dalan” on Saturday.

Local officials said some 1,000 kilograms of fresh flying fish popularly called Bangsi would be offered free to residents and grill (sugba) them in front of the town hall.

A Bangsi Cooking Contest would also be held in the town. Officials said Bangsi has come a long way to become Maitum's One Town One Product (OTOP) from decades of providing livelihood to coastal households.

Maitum’s number one value-added product, the marinated and half dried flying fish, is popular among the locals and visitors.

“Marinated bangsi alone, roughly its P10-million industry, includes processors in Old Poblacion," said Engr. Nenita Barroso, the Provincial Director of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Other products were introduced last year,” she said, adding, entrepreneurs have also developed other value-added products such as bola-bola, tocino, siomai, rolls, chorizo, lumpia, embutido, burger patties and nuggets which are all made of bangsi.

“Packaging has improved from ordinary plastic pack into a branded and
labeled packaging,” Barroso noted.

Barroso said the DTI distributed a vacuum packing machine for some 125 households in Old Poblacion.

“Around a thousand households depend on bangsi industry, with average annual catch of more or less 600 tons,” said Beth Ramos, Palma Gil municipal information officer. (Serafin Ramos)

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