“Fishing, More Fun in Valenzuela!” was the clear message of the 5th Valenzuela City Fun Fishing Tournament held last Saturday, April 20 at Kap. Larry’s Pond in Barangay Coloong.
This year’s leg attracted over 283 anglers who were not just residents of the city but also those coming from neighboring regions and far-flung areas. Even at the last minute of official registration, walk-in registrants were eager to hoist their tackles to be this year’s champion in two categories – Biggest Tilapia and Bangus.
At cockcrow, participants were transported by boats to cast their rods at their choice spot out of the designated six stations around the vast fishing area.
By 2:00 P.M., a firecracker bang signaled the end of the competition. Selections of competing fishes were tight as each seems to outweigh one another for rankings.
Jun Duplon, 2011 winner for then Cream Dory Category, bagged this year’s championship trophy for the Tilapia category. A resident of Dalandanan, Duplon said that fishing was his hobby ever since he was young. He even travelled as far as Malaysia, specifically at Kota Kinabalu, just for his love for fishing.
Meanwhile, taking home the championship trophy for the Bangus category is Antero Antonio from Barangay Polo. He also joined last year but unfortunately his biggest catch was surpassed by others. “Matagal na akong sumasali pero ngayon lang talaga sinuwerte. At least ngayon, champion na. (I have joined in the past, but this year is the luckiest. At least now, I am the champion.)” he said.
Valenzuela City Fun Fishing Tournament is the kick-off of series of ecotourism projects lined up this year by the Cultural Affairs and Tourism Development Office (CATDO). This is to promote Coloong as an accessible yet beautiful spot for fishing which is usually overlooked due to the city’s façade of thriving industrialized centers.
Furthermore, City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian encouraged everyone to start and to continue fishing as a recreational sport. “This is also a good way of understanding and preserving nature, as fishing enthusiasts have deep perspective on respect for and preservation of aquatic species and their habitat,” he said in a statement.
Gracing the awarding ceremony are Congressman REX Gatchalian, Coloong PB Wilfredo Ramos, owner of venue and Former Coloong PB, Kap. Larry Ramos and Public Information Officer and CATDO Officer-In-Charge, Ahna Mejia.
On stand-by for emergencies on rescue and operation boats were Phillippine Red Cross Valenzuela Chapter and Valenzuela City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office personnel.
Raffle prizes courtesy of Mercury Drug added more excitement to the awarding ceremony.
For the past four years, the trophy has been made from glass but this year’s tournament boasts of resin trophies featuring a hooked tilapia being lifted out of water sculptured by Roen Capule, a celebrated artist from Bulacan whose works has been showcased in exhibitions. He was even commissioned as an artist for Mulawin: The Movie.
The Fun Fishing Tournament is a brainchild of Mayor WIN which started five years ago as the city’s contribution in instilling love for nature and as an affirmation that the City is one with the entire world in commemorating “Earth Day” which falls on every 22nd day of April.
With the help from local recreational and sport-fishing enthusiast Bien Peñaranda and, then Youth, Sports and Livelihood Office head, Councilor Lorie Natividad-Borja, fishponds at Barangays of Coloong and Tagalag are now gaining considerable popularity as accessible fishing areas for both Filipino and foreign anglers.
5th Fun Fishing Tournament Winners:
Champion: Antero Antonio (1.28 kg), PhP 5,000 and trophy
1st Runner-up: Ipe Soriano (1.23 kg), PhP 3,000 and trophy
2nd Runner-up: Sanny Cruz (1.22 kg), PhP 2,000 and trophy
Champion: Jun Duplon (1.23 kg), PhP 5,000 and trophy
1st Runner-up: Teng Reyes (1.12 kg), PhP 3,000 and trophy
2nd Runner-up: Abraham Tantingco (1.11 kg), PhP 2,000 and trophy