DAGUPAN CITY – The crowd-drawing Bangusan Street Party of the Bangus Festival over the years has become a venue for picnic or reunion for visitors, friends and families as they grill together and feast on the world tastiest ‘bangus’ freshly harvested from the fishponds.
The Bangusan Street Party, the Bangus Festival’s major culminating event, has been drawing crowds of at least 700,000 every year for the last three years now with families, friends and visitors enjoying the experience of grilling the fish over smoldering embers of charcoal.
On top of this, they can also enjoy the live performances of well-known bands in the country that are scattered around the venue of the event.
For this year’s Bangusan Street Party on April 30 along the De Venecia road extension, the city expects several famous guests like Senators Cynthia Villar and Sonny Angara, 4th District of Pangasinan Representative Christopher De Venecia, Representative Karlo Nograles of Davao and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos to lead the ceremonial lighting that will signal the start of grilling of over 20,000 pieces of bangus along De Venecia road extension.
Families, friends and visitors will also be entertained by well-known bands in the country when they perform live on stage. These include Bamboo, Parokya ni Edgar, Sponge Cola, Silent Sanctuary, Moira, Ex Battalion with Team Jolai, December Avenue, IV of Spades, Ben and Ben and many more.
Dagupan bangus is most preferred by bangus lovers as it has a distinctive taste as compared to the milkfish coming from Western Pangasinan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan and even Laguna de Bay.
Accordingly, the sweet taste of the Dagupan bangus may have been partly influenced by the clayish soil condition in Bonuan fishponds and rivers.
Director Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center (NIFTDC) in Dagupan and executive director of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), attested that the clayish soil of Dagupan fishponds was found to be low on phosphorous but high in calcium, which element is contributing in a large measure to the growth of bones of the bangus being raised in captivity.
As to the water, the type existing in Dagupan is brackish or a mixture of fresh water from the upland draining into the Dagupan river and salty water from the Lingayen Gulf which occurs during every high tide.
This makes the water in Dagupan truly unique than in the other bangus-producing areas of Pangasinan.
This is also aside from the fact that there are seven rivers crisscrossing the city whose water empties into the Lingayen Gulf.
It is generally believed that the mixture of fresh water and salty water to form into brackish water are the ones that makes the Bonuan bangus tastes better that won the acclaim as the tastiest bangus in the world. JOSEPH C. BACANI, CIO / ABN
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