16 April, 2008on
In the heat of the Daklis: Reeling in the catch
A and I have decided that we would spend the day enjoying our resort, Sitio Remedios. We would enjoy the beach, get a massage, catch up on our reading and of course, stuff our faces silly. Essentially, we would take in everything that makes Sitio Remedios such an amazing destination.
While we were tucking into our mid-afternoon snack of mangoes and a myriad of rices cakes like Impalatao, Linapet and Bingkat (our fourth meal of the day), something by the seaside catches our eye. A line of men, women and even children begins to form, tugging on a rope of red. Upon closer inspection, what seemed to be a rope has become a wide, scarlet-colored, nylon fishing net.
The line of people grows even longer. The heaving is steady and coordinated, punctuated by shouts of ohs and ahhs. There is excitement in the air and it is infectious.
From top left, clockwise
They call it the Daklis.
During the week, the men of Currimao will set out a large fishing net in the early morning. Spreading it out in as wide an area as possible. The net is guarded by a lone fisherman who sits on a raft attach to the apex of net. He sits, waits and watches while the hot morning sun beats down.
Years of experience have taught these fisher folk when to reel in their catch. And that moment has now arrived. Without missing a step, the men grab hold of thick ropes attached to the net and begin to pull. As they tug, they shout in unison. This is not only for encouragement but also to maintain the coordination of their movements so as not to damage their straining nets filled the sea’s bounty.
As the net slowly comes closer to shore, the women take their place in the line of fishermen and start to heave. The net inches forward. Little boys and girls laugh in anticipation, wiggle their way the ropes and try to help out. A fiesta-like atmosphere is now in full swing.
The pulling becomes urgent and begins to quicken.
From top left, clockwise
Weighing the day’s efforts, Picking up the strays,
Taking account of the shares, Getting ready for tomorrow
While the adults do business, some children have grand time picking up the stray fish left behind. They play, holding their catch in their hands or creating little ponds in the sand. Older boys and girls watch and learn from the adults, knowing that they will have their turn soon enough.
As the day comes to an end, the frenzied activity dies down. The lone fisherman who had spent his day vigilantly watching at sea, now untangles the net, spreads it on the shore and prepares it for the next Daklis.
Many thanks to Rene Guatlo for letting us pick his brain.