BANGUS GALORE. The Bangus Festival highlighted the opening Monday, June 17, of the six-day celebration of the 56th Charter Day anniversary of Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte. Some 1,000 kilos of Bangus were deboned, grilled and feted in a boodle fight by the Dapitanons. (Photo courtesy of Mitzie Dulawan)

DAPITAN CITY, Zamboanga del Norte — The second Bangus Festival highlighted the opening Monday of the 56th Charter Day celebration of this city.

The Bangus Festival is the six days’ series of activities that will culminate June 22 in time for this city’s 56th Charter Day anniversary.

City Agriculturist Cyril Patangan said Tuesday the festival showcased some 1,000 kilos of Bangus for deboning, cooking and boodle fight by the Dapitanons.

Patangan said the festival aims to underscore the role of fisherfolk engaged in Bangus production.

Hundreds of Dapitanons and tourists participated in a boodle fight featuring grilled Bangus.

City Tourism Officer Apple Marie Agolong said Tuesday that the town’s Bangus products –mainly boneless and bottled sardines — have contributed enormously to the local economy. The annual festival, she added, has also become a tourist attraction.

Local residents Geopeter and Jechelle Laput said the local Bangus industry has helped them send their kids to school.

“Bangus deboning has been our livelihood for the past eight years,”Jechelle said.

Patangan said the city has some 1,150 hectares of fishpond and fish cages, harvesting around 200 tons of Bangus monthly.

He said the Bangus produce are delivered in the Visayas areas as well as in Iligan City and Bukidnon in Mindanao.