Tagalag Fishing Village small-medium fish vendors, fisherfolks, and even mothers receive a two-day blended skills training in partnership with the Department of Tourism – National Capital Region (DOT-NCR) this November 15-16, with the City Government of Valenzuela solidifying its commitment to sustainability and replicability of its programs through continuous livelihood trainings.
“Catch to Cash (C2C): A Farm-to-Table Culinary Training” was launched in Barangay Tagalag to promote sustainable aqua-business enterprises with empowered communities having the right skillset to strengthen the aquaculture of Tagalag Fishing Village, Valenzuela City’s esteemed program which recently won the 2021 Galing Pook Awards.
In the training, participants learned the basics of fish processing, traditional methods of food preservation, and practical food preparation. New recipes like ginataang black-chinned tilapia and bottled sardines are among the outputs produced in the skills-based training.
DOT-NCR, in collaboration with the Tagalag Fishing Village Tourism Council, crafts the training program from which local fresh produce of the fisher folks can be turned into a sustainable source of income using a farm-to-table approach.
With businesses in Tagalag Fishing Village offering a unique “by the river” experience in an al-fresco dining set-up, the sustainable livelihood training program shall equip the training participants with supplementary means of earning through fish processing.
DOT-NCR Regional Director and concurrent OIC-Assistant Secretary Woodrow C. Maquiling, Jr. states that the training is “very timely and responsive” and “shall provide a holistic approach to help participants in this pandemic situation” – opening the avenues for tourism entrepreneurship as an alternate source of income for Tagalag Fishing Village residents.
Raquel Sanchez, a solo parent participating in the training, said she was inspired to put up her own business as the training serves as an eye-opener for her knowing that she has livelihood opportunities without leaving Barangay Tagalag.
“Mahirap ang buhay, nag-pandemya pa at solo parent lang ako. Wala talaga akong negosyo at namamasukan lang bilang dishwasher. Dahil sa mga natutunan ko at sa mga pinakita nilang proseso kung paano gawin ang Spanish sardines [at] ang Arroyo fish, naisip ko na pwede ko itong gawing negosyo… Gusto kong gawin ito para magkaroon din ako ng sariling negosyo,” Ms. Sanchez shared.
In a statement, Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian affirms that these sustainable livelihood trainings for Tagalag Fishing Village entrepreneurs are “a key to manifest great impact among Tagalag residents toward an effective and sustainable community-based program that will continue on in Valenzuela City when it comes to transferability and replicability of the model program”.
Together with the Tagalag Fishing Village Tourism Council, active consultations are being held with the barangay and the stakeholders to maintain community involvement in the picture of inclusive planning and development.
The humble fishing village and ecotourism zone is also undergoing conservations efforts, with the livelihood training program provided by DOT serving as a huge step forward to equipping “eco-champions” in Tagalag Fishing Village.