Fish be with you

By on February 21, 2014

Fish be with you DipologThe alluring atmosphere of a place mirrors the nurturing and welcoming attitude of its people. There is a prodigious reason why tourists enjoy visiting places and why natives consistently cultivate its resources to keep people coming.  Majority can say that it is because of the magnificent scenery of towering buildings, the specialty foods being offered at affordable prices, and the locals’ warm welcome. Every tourist loves that.

Dipolog City, being the capital city of Zamboanga del Norte, is eminently known as the Bottled Sardines Capital of the Philippines. Not only known for its sardines industry, this place is geographically recognized as the “Gateway to Western Mindanao”. Many may be asking on how the people dwelling in the place are living their everyday lives in this interesting city. What keeps its wealth? What could be most of them doing for a living?

There are sophisticated buildings built in the city. The course of business is undeniably competitive. Headed by mostly Chinese as successful businessmen, this city gives you so many options in to where to shop and where to enjoy yourself. There are malls, department stores, food courts, resorts, and other tourist spots enough to lure your eyes and fill your adventure lover spirits.

However, behind those buildings, behind those spacious malls, and those intoxicating foodstuffs, lies the peaceful shorelines of Dipolog City. This is where noble figures in Dipolog inhabit– the heroic fishermen.

While many thought that the city’s main livelihood involves in large scale business because of the numerous buildings sprouting in the city, in Dipolog, you might want to think otherwise. Business is an underlying concept because fishing is primarily the source of living to local Dipolognons. Yes, this is the way of living for most of the locals in this progressive city. How do you think it became the Bottled Sardines Capital of the Philippines without these industrious folks? Possibly impossible, eh!

Here in Dipolog, there are no dark nights for fishermen guided by their lamps at fishing time. When the odds are on their favors and the moon shines lustrously; watching them fish, are the best times. The waves seem to them as little bottlenecks that can be easily overcome with patience and courage. Fish be with you

Typhoons are the biggest antagonists of all fishermen’s story and Dipolog fishermen are no exception. It is surely frustrating to them at times that even how hardworking they can be, there is nothing they can do with storms. Every day, these men strive for survival. Funny how these men bring in wealth to the city, yet most of them live below the poverty lines. This is the bittersweet truth that as bitter as it is, needs to be accepted.

Their stories can be just like any other ordinary story overheard on roadsides but behind these stories are warriors of all time. Warriors that battle the endless crashing of waves on every boat rides; warriors that risk their lives every time they went on board; and warriors that despite their struggles still persevere to continue and push through the sea of endless trials in life.

The abundance of fresh seafood in the Dipolog City Public Market reflects every breathtaking journey of a fisherman. This is quite melodramatic in a way but come to think of it; a lot of people admire the building structures, a lot of people salute professionals, and a lot of people get stunned about strategic plans of businessmen but only a few salutes hard-working laborers. Only few see the heroism of simple townsmen, which despite being crushed in their daily grind, still pushes through, regardless of how big the odds.

This is the majority of Dipolognon’s way of living, way of surviving. Long live the fishermen! Soar higher Dipolog and fish be withyou!

Shiela Mae Laput
Saint Vincent's College 
2nd placer, Feature Writing
Living in Dipolog category, College level

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