Feature Post: Fishermen at Sea in the Philippines – Part 1

Tale of the Fishermen & Family at Lingayen Beach

These are my travel photos taken in the Philippines on an overcast day at the beach where I got to witness fishermen catching fish by way of traditional methods that their ancestors had done before them. It was a rare opportunity to see per the locals who have lived in this area for many years, and I was very lucky to have been at the right place at the right time. I don’t know much about them and have been unsuccessful with my Internet search (help, Google!), but this is what my auntie told me…

Bunn Salarzon - fishermen at sea in the philippines

They are Pangasinenses from a town in Pangasinan, Philippines. Pangalatok is their dialect that is very different from my husband’s family dialect: Tagalog, which is one of the twelve major languages in the Philippines. Fish is their main source of income to support and feed their family; each family consists of many children due to lack of education and resources that are mainly found in the city. Their catch of the day can be as high as 500 kilos of fish or as low as 200 kilos which makes it difficult when split by so many men also needing to support and feed their own families, too.

My husband, his siblings, cousins, and I quietly introduced ourselves then quickly lent a hand at reeling in the ginormous green net that spanned at least 20 men. It took maybe an hour to pull in the entire thing as they were using only their bare hands (and bare feet, too!); at one point something broke so they had to make up for the loss. As I continued to take as many photos as they allowed me, I was in awe the whole time that I nearly cried behind the lens … I just couldn’t believe that I was a part of this beautifully rare moment that even my aunt has yet to see— and she’s lived in the area for many years. When they sorted through their total catch (I think about 500 kilos), we purchased more than we needed as a way to thank them for welcoming us on the catch, still they included much more in our batch than what we paid for. Tears.

I hope to share more of their story as I learn it— help, Google!! There are so many images that I want to share so it’ll be split in to four equal posts, this is the first batch. (Mamiya 645AF + Portra 400 + Richard Photo Lab) P.S. The guy with the red bag is my husband Romie; he was holding my bag while I was holding my camera. :)

Bunn Salarzon - black and white photo of filipino fishermenBunn Salarzon - men pulling in fishing netBunn Salarzon - group of hardworking fishermen at seaBunn Salarzon - fisherman at sea in black and whiteBunn Salarzon - old fishing boat at seaBunn Salarzon - fishermen pulling in catch of the dayBunn Salarzon - old fishing boat in the oceanBunn Salarzon - woman selling fresh fish on the beachBunn Salarzon - group of fishermen pulling in fishing netBunn Salarzon - green fishing net of seafoodBunn Salarzon - green fishing netBunn Salarzon - young fisherman walking on the beachBunn Salarzon - fishermen taking a break on the beach