Aug 14, 2007


Guess what was served at a Korean restaurant last night? Aside from our favorite bulgogi, kimchi(not my favorite) and veggies(not my favorite); they served bulad bolinao! BOLINAO! It's that dish closest to Darren's hand in the picture.

In Argao, bolinao is caught by Baling. When it is in season, a 'spotter' will watch the horizon for birds that are tell-tale signs of a school of bolinao nearby. He tells the guys who are in charge of deploying a fine-mesh net in a U around the school of fish with both ends of the net touching shore. Everyone in the community is welcome to help pull the net into shore. It is very hard work.

When the net is completely hauled into shore, the people in charge would then give shares to the people who helped. Usually its' a 'Caltex'-full. Caltex here is the can that held motor-oil. And people always asked for 'pakapin' - another handful or two on top of their share. Then the ladies who sell fish at the market would buy bucketfuls, too. Then everyone goes home to some bolinao torta that evening. The rest would be dried(bulad lansang) or made into ginamos.

My grandparents don't like it when we slip off to go help with Baling. Kids don't get as much as adults do and my grandparents buy fish from their regular fish vendor anyway. My grandma said it's not worth having her three grandkids covered in fish scales and raw hands. But it was a lot of fun for us.

And that was my bolinao story.

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