Binmaley’s Sigay Festival pay tribute to fish farmers

BINMALEY—This town, known as the Fishbowl of Pangasinan, celebrated the bounties of its fish produce through its Sigay Festival held on Feb. 3 via simultaneous grilling of 600 kilos of bangus and tilapia.

The town ‘s top produce like bangus, malaga, tilapia, lapu-lapu prawns and oysters, all raised and harvested in Binmaley fishponds were the main items for the “Kalutan ed Dalan (Grilling on the Street).”

“It had a great impact because we grilled seafood from Binmaley as a promotional campaign for our produce,” Butch Ferrer, municipal agriculturist said.

About 300 grills were used by townsfolk and guests, including balikbayans, as live bands from Metro Manila and locally provided entertainment capped by a fireworks display.

Mayor Simplicio Rosario said he was overjoyed by the increase in the number of people that joined the merriment for the Sigay Festival. Residents and their guests stayed up till the wee hours, dancing.

It has become a tradition since he assumed post as the mayor to celebrate the bounties of the sea and its fishponds through grilling, dancing and merry-making.

Rosario has institutionalized the Sigay Festival every town fiesta celebration.

Binmaley has about 3,120 hectares devoted to aquaculture like bangus, tilapia, prawns, shrimps, malaga and crabs, with bangus as its primary produce.

Other families go into poly-culture.

Binmaley has the biggest number of inland fishponds in Pangasinan and in Region 1, Ferrer said.

“We may not be considered as the highest producer of bangus because we do not have fishpens and fish cages in our rivers unlike in other towns which have bigger stocking density, but we grow our products in fishponds” he said.

Sigay is a Pangasinan word that connotes fishing. Because of its abundance of fish production, the town is known as the Aquaculture Center of the North. The town is located along the central coastland of Pangasinan, facing the Lingayen Gulf, sandwiched by Lingayen, the capital town of the province and Dagupan City, the Bangus Capital. (Eva Visperas/With contribution from Rona Roca, CDG)

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