Valenzuela inaugurates metro's first fishing village 

By Joseph Pedrajas

Those who want to fish by means of angles or hooks no longer have to go to nearby provinces to experience angling as the local government of Valenzuela inaugurated Saturday the first fishing village in the metro.

(Joseph Pedrajas/MANILA BULLETIN) (Joseph Pedrajas/MANILA BULLETIN)

The inauguration of Tagalag Fishing Village, which lies beside a 1.3-kilometer boardwalk, aims “to preserve the rustic area of Barangay Tagalag,” which has been known as fishing site, “as an accessible tourist recreational fishing destination unique in Metro Manila.”

It is also expected to promote care for the environment and entrepreneurial spirit through sustainable tourism.

Valenzuela City offers various activities in the area, including recreational fishing, line fishing tutorials, bird watching, boating, photowalk, sunset watching, and solar farm visit, among others.

But those who only prefer to try angling should bring their own fishing rod or rent a bamboo rod, the local government said.

The fish caught will be sold according to the type of fish, mostly milkfish and tilapia, and their price per kilo, which range from P100 to P120, it added.

Roberto Cruz, 59, travelled from Manila and brought along his grandson, Jairus Argocino, 10, for a family bonding.

“It’s exciting and relaxing to fish. Aside from that, we’re able to breath fresh air here, unlike in Manila,” said Cruz in Filipino, who has been fishing in Tagalag for six months, even before the area was declared by the local government as an eco-tourism site.

During weekdays, Arnulfo Cruz, 57, catches fish off the waters of Navotas to earn a living. But on his rest day every Saturday, he still catches fish, but this time by hook, for him “to wind down.”

“Fishing by hook is still different from fishing by net,” he said, “Whenever we’re on the sea, we are exposed to sun. But here, we can breathe fresh air, relax and just wait for the fish to come to us.”

For several years, Tagalag has been a favorite destination for anglers (hobbyists who fish with angles or hooks) within the metro. Among them is Carl Mendoza, 38, who has been visiting the area for 10 years.

“There are other nearby fishing sites, including Malabon and Navotas. But it’s better here because there are a lot of fish, and more organized, more beautiful,” Mendoza said.

And with the local government’s finally declaring Tagalag as an eco-tourism site and recognizing it as a fishing village, more tourists are expected to come.

“It has a big potential to become a tourism site,” said Jonathan Balsamo, chief of city cultural and tourism department