Barangay Captain Monroe Galasgas led the community of fisher folks in highlighting tilapia, the notable produce of the barangay which hosts the Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant, the first and oldest hydro plant in the country.
Ambuklao is the major producer of fresh tilapia in the province. More than 80 tilapia fish cages are within the Ambuklao Dam reservoir.
The 7th Tilapia festival in October 25 featured the “eshel ni tilapia” or the catching of tilapia, “kedot ni tilapia” or the grilling of the hundreds of tilapia and the community boodle fight participated by the residents and visitors.
Other activities include the traditional and innovative cooking contests; indigenous, board and parlor games; showcase of talents such as songs and dances spearheaded by the Sangguniang Kabataan.
Bokod Councilor Arthur Solano related that the Tilapia Festival was conceptualized when he was the barangay captain of Ambuklao to promote and further develop the tilapia industry of their barangay which is supported by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Cordillera regional office and the SN Aboitiz Power Benguet.
It started in 2013 to give recognition to the fisher folks or the fish cagers association of Ambuklao Dam who has sustained the production of tilapia that started after the July 1990 earthquake and it has grown into an industry.
Congressman Nestor Fongwan represented by Claire Prudencio commended the barangay for sustaining the tilapia festival which he had been promoting since he was a provincial governor.
He expressed support to the upgrading and improvement of the festival which has been proposed to be moved and be celebrated in line with the Ambuklao Foundation Day in the month of March just like the Foundation Day of Benguet province which is celebrated every November thru the Adivay Festival.
In the message delivered by Executive Assistant Engr. Simon Diclas, Gov. Melchor Diclas commended the people of Ambuklao for aligning their festival with environment protection to ensure a sustainable tilapia industry by protecting its mountains and rivers thru its theme "Kalikasan ay Ingatan at Protektahan: Palaisdaan ay Laging Pakinabangan."
On the part of SN Aboitiz Power Benguet, Rose White said the support they are providing to the Ambuklao is part of their Corporate Social Responsibility to the host barangay of the Ambuklao power plant. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
The festival was highlighted by the traditional activities such as the eshel ni tilapia or the catching of tilapia, kedot ni tilapia or the grilling of the hundreds of tilapia and the community boodle fight participated by the residents and visitors during the festivities.
Other activities held includes the traditional and innovative cooking contests; indigenous, board and parlor games; showcase of talents such as songs and dances spearheaded by the Sangguniang Kabataan. RMC PIA-CAR