Return of Cordova delicacy hailed on Valentines
The return of the ‘Bakasi‘ — a delicacy known for its aphrodisiac qualities in Cordova town, Cebu — has become a symbol of sorts for the rapid recovery of coastal areas hit by an oil spill in central Philippines in mid-2013.
Word of its return spread after enthusiasts who swear of the local aphrodisiac’s efficacy went out of their way to Barangay Buagsong in Cordova town to buy this 8-12 inch saltwater eel that is abundant in the muddy waters off the seashore during the recent Valentines weekend.
Sold out on Valentines
A post-Valentines report in an online publication tenminutes.ph — After the oil spill, bakasi is back in Cordova. But what on earth is Bakasi? — helped spread interest in the Bakasi in social media.
Banat News, a local Cebuano-language daily, reported about the return of the delicacy that was “sold out” at the usual sources in Barangay Buagsong because of the huge demand on February 14, 2014 and the post-Valentines weekend. Check out the story “Mga isda ug bakasi namalik nas Cordova.” Just six months ago at the height of the oil spill crisis, the paper reported, “Bakasihan sa Cordova gilangaw.”
The oil spilled from the sunken MV Saint Thomas Aquinas of the 2GO Group after it was rammed by the Sulpicio Express Siete in Lauis Ledge off the Port of Cebu. The oil spill hit hard the shores of Cordova especially in Barangays Buagsong and neighboring Day-as.
Soup No. 5
Bakasi belongs to the muraenidae family (moray eels) with the scientific name Anguilla anguilla (Europe),A. japonica (East Asia) or A. rostrata (North America). It is abundant all year round and caught by local fishermen using a trap called “bantak.” Enthusiasts eat the bakasi cooked fried or with the soup number 5-like linarang.
Experts like Prof. Rex Sadaba of the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas and Dr. Franck Laruelle, technical team manager of the International Tankers Oil Pollution Federation (ITOPF) , nevertheless expected the rapid recovery of the environment in the hard-hit shores of Cordova.
Immediately after the collision, foreign experts from ITOPF and the London Offshore Consultants (LOC) arrived in Cebu to help the authorities assess the situation.
The ITOPF and LOC representatives shared their expertise and advise during various meetings and consultations on the most appropriate oil-spill response . The 2GO Group engaged the oil cleanup agency Genetron International Marketing Inc. to do the actual cleanup in coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard.
It also contracted Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation and Nippon Salvage Ltd. to remove oil from the sunken ship. The Inter-Agency Crisis Management Team headed by Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III lowered its response level to ‘normal mode’ some 22 days after cargo vessel Sulpicio Express Siete rammed passenger liner M/V St. Thomas Aquinas off the coast of Cebu.
More on Cordova’s bakasi (eskinasugbo.com)
Cebu’s answer to soup no. 5 (Yahoo! News)
2GO mulls filing suit v. Sulpicio (metrocebunews.com)
“Where is Sulpicio?” Cordova official asks (inbetweencolumns.wordpress.com)
In this GMA 7 Exclusive, note the men in eco-suits hired by 2GO: