Tamisan Festival, celebrating the rising industry of giant squids in Donsol

Donsol, Sorsogon – The municipality of Donsol in Sorsogon province has an annual celebration through its Butanding festival which is attended not just by locals but of foreign tourists as well.

Yet there is another rising festival, the Tamisan festival that will be spearhead by one of its barangays.

The Tamisan or giant squid is among the marine resources that is found in Brgy. Santa Cruz, Donsol, Sorsogon. The squid found off the waters of the barangay usually weighs 10 kilos above and over a meter in length.

“Yan po ang tinatawag namin na Tamisan, ‘yung giant squid po, iyan po talagang pinagmamalaki po namin, produkto ng barangay,” said Arlon Pendor, Punong Barangay of Sta. Cruz.

Tamisan fishing is considered as the primary livelihood of the residents of the barangay. But it also became an attraction due to its size which led to the increased demand in the market.

“’Yung mga fisherfolks natin na involve dyan, iyan po talaga ang pinagkakakitaan every day. Saka marami pong dumadayo sa’min para pagkakitaan din,” Pendor added.

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Hernando Razo, a resident of the barangay has been fishing tamisan for more than ten years now.

“Sobrang sampung taon na po kami sa panghuhuli ng pusit. Hindi naman pare-parehas may mga araw na wala kung minsan meron. Kapag sinu-swerte nakakalimang libo, minsan apat na libo,” Razo said.

Fermented fish is commonly used by fishermen as bait on their rods. Blinkers are also attached to the bait which looks like an umbrella, to get the attention of the giant squids. It is normally caught only in the deep part of the sea, approximately 200 meters deep.

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The local government of Donsol fully supports the barangay’s Tamisan festival that targets international market.

“Sa pamamagitan ng turismo, isa na ito sa mga gustong makilala talaga at maobserve talaga ng mga turista at mapuntahan itong giant squid kaya malaki ang naitutulong talaga,” says Donsol Mayor Ted De Guzman.

Donsol Tourism Operations Officer Don Llagas pledges to help the locals to promote its tourism product and other activities through the re-launching of Tamisan Festival this coming May 1. I Aaron John Baluis

Photos: Renato Jao