DAGUPAN CITY – The search for the biggest, heaviest and prettiest bangus drew an impressive array of milkfish in this year’s Bangus Festival Rodeo held in front of the city museum on April 23.
This year’s Heaviest Bangus Award went to Wilsorick Felix of barangay Lucao whose entry weighed 5.58 kilos. This was Felix’s second consecutive win, surpassing his previous winning entry last year of 5.55 kilos. He received P15,000 cash prize and trophy.
Miguel Matthew Valdez’s entry of 4.56 kilos earned him the second spot with P10,000 and trophy, while Blue Andre Caneng’s 3.95 kilo bangus landed him in third spot, winning P5,000 and a trophy. Both contestants are from Pantal.
Meanwhile, the Longest Bangus Award went to Lia Felix of barangay Lucao, whose entry measured 80 centimeters long. Felix’s bangus was just a few centimeters shy from the longest bangus ever recorded in the last six years which measured 87.5 centimeters.
Blas Gabriel Caneng of Pantal, who earned the top spot in 2017, landed second this year with a 77 centimeter-long entry while Christian Yuan Caneng, also from Pantal, earned the third spot with his entry measuring 74.5 centimeters long.
Winners received P15,000; P10,000 and P5,000 plus trophies, respectively.
The crown for the prettiest bangus with P7,000 and a trophy as prize was given to Armand Caguioa of barangay Caranglaan. This was the second title for Caguioa after earning the crown in 2014 while he also placed third last year.
Second and third place this year went to David Delos Reyes of barangay I and Rene Melendez of Caranglaan who received P5,000 and P3,000 with trophies, respectively.
The selection of the prettiest bangus was based on the following standards set by the board of judges: having clear and well-rounded eyes; scales that are fine, smooth and orderly; head is small and beautifully crafted; stomach is bulging; gills are red and fresh; tail ideally are not of equal length and the lower fin is shorter; flesh is firm yet soft; odor is pleasant and alluring; and the bangus weight is not less than half a kilo and not more than one kilo.
The Bangus Rodeo was one of the major events of the Bangus Festival along with Gilon-Gilon, Bangusine: Family Recipes with a Twist and Bangusan Street Party. It was assisted by the City Agriculture Office with Feedmix as sponsor.
Event Chairman and Liga ng mga Barangay Vice President Marcelino DS Fernandez underscored the importance of holding the competition every Bangus Festival.
“This is one of the events that are completely original to our festival. The bangus rodeo is the perfect opportunity to showcase our bangus, and to give importance to those who raise and culture them. Lahat ng tumutulong sa ating bangus industry (pati mga classifiers at deboners) ang mga bida dito,” added Fernandez. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)