DAGUPAN CITY – A four-time fastest bangus classifier in the Bangus Rodeo clinched his fifth championship trophy after besting nine other classifiers in the 2019 Bangus Festival Rodeo held in front of the city museum on April 23.
Melecio Melendez of barangay Salapingao emerged as this year’s champion for again becoming the fastest bangus classifier after sorting two “banyeras” both containing the equivalent of more than 200 pieces of bangus into small, small medium, large medium and large in just two minutes and 39.94 seconds.
Melendez credited his string of accomplishments to his years of practice in classifying bangus, admitting that he acquired the skill during his high school days.
“I make sure to practice intensively, going beyond my normal work hours just so I can maintain my speed and precision. You have to think and work fast because you’ll have to be able to determine the size and weight of the bangus just by looking at it and holding it in your hands,” added Melendez.
For his superior classifying skills, Melendez went home with P5,000 and a medal as his prize, while Jonathan Campos of Magsaysay Market and Tomas Alejo of Pantal went home with P3,000 and a medal for two minutes and 53.69 seconds; and P2,000 and a medal for three minutes and 5.43 seconds, respectively.
Non-winning contestants received P500 as their consolation prizes.
Meanwhile, Jaime Bucao, Jr., last year’s Fastest Bangus Eater champion from PNR Mayombo, failed to defend his crown against Ruben Fernandez, who recorded the fastest time in consuming two pieces of charcoal grilled bangus in one minute and 2.17 seconds.
This year’s champion from Pantal received a medal and P5,000 cash prize.
Bucao finished second after consuming his bangus in one minute and 25.27 seconds while third placer Joel Seran of Pantal Norte landed third place registering one minute and 28.28 seconds.
Bucao received P3,000 and a medal while Seran brought home P2,000 and a medal.
This year’s Fastest Bangus Deboner was Rosalie Pascua from Pantal West after deboning two pieces of fresh bangus in one minute and 36.6 seconds.
Second and third place winners were Jessie Niel Bandera of Pantal Guibang and Mark Joseph Bandera of Pantal Norte who competed neck to neck in one minute and 53.21 seconds; and one minute and 53.95 seconds, respectively.
Pascua received P5,000 and a medal as first placer; Neil Bandera, P3,000 and a medal for second place; and Mark Joseph Bandera took home P2,000 and a medal as third placer.
Other contestants also received P500 each as consolation prize.
The 2019 Bangus Rodeo was chaired by Liga ng mga Barangay Vice President Marcelino DS Fernandez, assisted by the City Agriculture Office with Feedmix, manufacturer of fish feeds, as sponsor. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)