Currimao town promotes ancient fishing skill

CURRIMAO, Ilocos Norte, June 4 (PIA) – To preserve the traditional trade here known as daklis (Ilocano term for fishing with the use of a large fishnet), the Currimao local government created a festival in honor of the town’s principal income source.

The annual coastal feast Dinaklisan Festival was meant to create attractions and showcase the fishing skill as a source of livelihood.

The fishing method involves placing a large fishing net into the sea by not less than 30 people. It is anchored with empty galloons on both sides of the fishnet to prevent it from sinking.

The “daklis” stays underwater for almost an hour until it catches sufficient volume of fishes ready for simultaneous pulling by 30 or more people to the coast line.

The annual festival, held during the last week April, was also a thanksgiving celebration for the bountiful harvest and safe voyage captured in a fluvial parade in honor of the town’s patron saint, Nuestra Senora de la Paz or Our Lady of Peace and Safe Voyage.

For the people of Currimao, daklis is not merely a source of livelihood. It is also a way of remembering and acknowledging its contributions in building a strong unity and camaraderie that passed one generation to another.

Fisherman Ruben Rabara, 87, a resident of Barangay Gaang, Currimao town, said the festival was an opportunity to revive interest in the vanishing traditional fishing skills among the younger generation.

Rabara said the fishing method is the town’s heritage that has long been practiced for decades.

“Nowadays, daklis is gradually forgotten because of the new, faster and easier way of catching fish such as going to the middle of the ocean with motor boats or having fish cages along the riverside,” he said.

Through the Dinaklisan Festival, he said, the significance of “daklis” to the livelihood of the people of Currimao is preserved.

“This Dinaklisan Fest is an avenue to remind the people how lucky and blessed they are to have daklis fishing skill as the enduring source of livelihood of the people in the coastal areas in Currimao town,” he said. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte/ Gilliane Micha Niño, Intern – DevCom, MMSU)