The Bangkathon festival was held last March 19, 2011 in Barangay Balite, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, as part of the city’s 13th foundation anniversary celebration.

The Bangkathon is an annual competition participated in by fishermen from the coastal communities in Calapan. Each barangay captain sends a participant to represent their community, and this year, 16 out of the 23 coastal communities joined in the race.

Barangay Silonay took home the first prize of Php5,000 in the motorised banca category followed by Barangay Canubing Uno in second place with Php4,000, and Barangay Maidlang in third place taking home Php3,000.

In the non-motorised banca division, Barangay Suqui captured first place with a Php4,000 cash prize followed by Barangay Gutad in second place with Php3,000, while Barangay Tibag got the Php2,000 third prize.

Mayor Salvador “Doy” Leachon and Vice-Mayor Antonio “Jojo” Perez both acknowledged the Malampaya Joint Venture Partners and the Malampaya Foundation, Inc. (MFI) for sponsoring the event. Briggs Straton, a private company, also served as one of the sponsors this year, providing company products as prizes for the winners.

Virgil M. Cantos, assistant city agriculturist and head of Fishery Management Office (FMO) said the Bangkathon has proven its effectiveness in strengthening the ties among fisher folk organisations particularly the Barangay Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils through competitive sports.

This year’s event, which drew hundreds of spectators from different barangays, was held in Calapan Bay in Barangay Balite which is overlooking the Mindoro-Batangas nautical passageway. [SPEX Communications]

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