MANGUDADATU, Maguindanao (MindaNews/31 January) – This town held on Sunday the first ever Taruk Festival, to highlight the economic significance of reputedly the country’s biggest freshwater fish that provides livelihood to local fishers.
Taruk, which can weigh from two to eight kilos or more, thrives in Buluan Lake and other tributaries that drain into the Liguasan Marsh.
Mayor Freddie Mangudadatu said the celebration was also a thanksgiving for and recognition of fisher folk.
He said it was just fitting to hold the celebration as fishing in Buluan Lake is the local people’s primary source of income.
Sunday’s festival featured a Taruk grilled fish fest, “boodle fight”, and a culinary contest featuring “kinilaw”, “ginataan” and “escabeche”.
January is the peak season for Taruk. Also known as “Taiwan Fish,” it is touted as the most delicious freshwater fish.
Bai Ayesha Mangudadatu Dilangalen, tourism secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said her office will promote the festival as well as the Taruk fish itself in other parts of the country.
Where in Maguindanao or in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that fresh water fish, weighing between 2 kilos to 8 kilos, can be found? It can be found in this 4th class municipality, Mangudadatu town in Maguindanao named after Pua Mangudadatu, father of Provincial Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.
Mangudadatu , named after Pua Mangudadatu, the father of incumbent Governor Esmael Mangudadatu, is a 4th class municipality with a population of 25,046 according to the 2015 census.
It was created out of eight barangays of Buluan, by virtue of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 204, which was ratified in a plebiscite held on December 30, 2006. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)