Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Leaving plants for a while

Let us leave flowers and plants for a while. Let us talk about fish. I have been posting plants and some places for a few years, then maybe you will go along with me talking about fish! But i am sure you are not familiar with this fish. This is the smallest fish harvested for commerce. Most Filipinos don't know about this too, or have seen this, we were just a bit lucky!

'Sinarapan' or Mistichthys luzonensis is endemic in the Philippines found only in Lake Buhi, Lake Bato and Bicol River in Camarines Sur province. This province is in Luzon, the basis for its species name. Even at maturity its length only reaches about 12.3 mm. Being a delicacy it is a candidate for extinction, so care should be done to protect this species.

'Sinarapan' is transparent with only the eyes and the entrails being black. You can see its size in relation to a human palm. I even cropped the palm to magnify it a bit. 

From the nearest highway to Lake Bato, we walked through rice fields, hiked muddy circuitous paths, and crossed two rivers via hanging bridges. It was high noon, fortunately there are some trees and coconuts along the way that moderately sheltered us from the intense heat of the sun. 

A tree in Buhi town proper fully clothed with another plant species growing in its trunk. This is typical when the area is very high in humidity.

Top and bottom: the bridge we crossed to reach Lake Bato, which is still beyond these coconut plantation. 

It was a big challenge for me to cross this bridge that sway to our steps, and made me a bit dizzy and scared. Only one handle guides us through, which i found more difficult to hold because my short arms can't reach it. It took a long time for me to navigate the span of this bridge, which the locals cross so fast without hassle.

We found this purplish black basil near the path during our hike

A fisherman catching the famous 'sinarapan' in Lake Bato using specially made nets. 

The fisherman turning over his catch to his wife, either for their own food or for sale.

Our companion trying her luck to catch some 'sinarapan' using a very small fishnet. 

We were treated by the barangay chairman to lunch with two native dishes of 'sinarapan'. Eating it is the best reward we got after the hike. At last we were able to taste this famous small fish, which might not be available anymore for the next generations.

This is linked to Outdoor Wednesday, but the logo is a bit shy to show up! It is also joined at the end of Watery Wednesday.


  1. Andrea, your adventures are SO FANTASTIC! Man, I am brave, but even to me that second bridge looks like a challenge with my vertigo! Good for you for making it across! May this wonderful spirit of "can go!" stay with you throughout the coming year! Happy New Year! Interesting post about the tiny fish. Sayang it is being over-fished. [I was indeed in back in Manila for the noise and smog.]

  2. Happy New Years and what an interesting story.. Love your pictures that bridge is just hugs from Savannah, Cherry

  3. Oh what an adventure. I might not be able to cross that bridge.

    That purplish basil I believe is what they call here Thai basil.

    You must catch a ton of that fish to make a substantial meal.

    Happy New Year.

  4. Andrea, I want your life! You go on some of the most beautiful trips. I hope that there is something in place to protect that tiny fish. I'd love to cross that swaying bridge:)

  5. How exotic and lush everything looks Andra! What a precious life the tiny fish is. I would be a bit dizzy from crossing that bridge too but what an adventure! Lovely to see your outing. Beautiful trees. Happiest of New Years! Best wishes for 2012! Greetings from your friend in very cold Massachusetts.

  6. I always look forward to read about your travels. The bridge looks like something in my nightmare but the little fragile fish is worth it. This experience is priceless.

  7. Beautiful post, love your photos!
    I think that bridge is scary.
    Have a great day.

  8. I don't know if I would have been able to cross that bridge. It does indeed look scary! I enjoyed reading about your hike. How would you describe the taste of the fish?

  9. I am glad I get some companions with you not so brave in crossing this bridge.

    Francisca - sometimes i get vertigo also, but they just fade without medication. Like last time when i turn right it happened, so for a week i made sure i don't turn that way, and it hindered my sleeping habits. Anyway, in crossing this type of bridges, i seem to be the only weak one in the company. I also tried this in Nueva Ecija with the help of a friend who pulled the rails while i steadily looked at the top of his head, and slowly we went through. That is with a lot of drumming in the chest! I love that you already can say "sayang" with the emotion. Just like me being glad to emote the Visayan term, "kapoy kaayo"!

    Cherry - thanks for your kind words and for stopping by.

    Photo Cache - but my adventure is nothing compared to yours. You already know i always envy your travels, i hope i have more funds to finance my travel wishes! Thanks for telling me it is the Thai basil, that is a good lead for me to search.

    Rohrerbot - this is nothing compared to your exotic and high end travels. I most especially envy your Machu Picchu climb, which i might not be able to do in this lifetime, despite my intense intentions. I will be waiting for your story.

    Carol- this is just a simple adventure, sidetrip from an official one. I normally extend official trips for a day or two to maximize the time and savings, or else i might not be able to do that with little funds i have. Thanks for the wishes, which i also send your way. I hope it doesn't get still further cold where you live.

    Autumn Belle - yes i also treasure this little adventure, most especially because i am scared of heights and this type of bridges. I hope they remove the bridge to help the fish survive! haha.

    Camera Cruise - my companions didn't seem to be bothered with the bridge, in fact they enjoyed making it sway more, which i hated!

    Linda - I am glad i am not alone in being scared of this type of bridges. Even if it wont move, the height still scares me!

    [The taste of the fish is delicious, we had two recipes both tasting great. We also have another version of small fishes from salt water, which I prefer, maybe because i am used to it. Normally, those used to eat salt water fishes takes freshwater fishes at second choice].

  10. Andrea, This is a tropical paradise. When you mentioned talking about fish I thought I had better call my hubby down. He is an avid fisherman. Then I remembered he was at a Scout meeting. That fish is so tiny, can you even taste it? lol! Love the interesting facts and all of your pics. Can't wait for more adventures with you this year!

  11. Oh Andrea, I forgot to mention the bridge. I can't even read in a car or I get sick. I'm sure that I would have not liked the swaying either. A bit afraid of heigths also. I use to be a real dare devil when I was younger. I think it has something to do with having children. Makes you a bit more protective.

  12. Andrea, you have the most interesting and challenging hikes! You brave your heart to cross the bridge, what an achievement! It will take me forever to cross, only if I dare it.

    If the fish is going on extinction, have they ever thought of preservation or whatever...

    Happy New Year, and more girl power for our hikes!

  13. It is sad to see any creature meet an end to its existence. This fish is small and most would not even miss it if it was not used for food, but it will likely get fished out of existence like you said. The bridge looks like one in the movies. This is a very pretty place.

  14. Great adventure in search of this tiny fish..too bad it is not protected and may be gone...that bridge was too much for me!

  15. Good morning Andrea, thank you for you visit and comment about my sunset.

    You post about the small fish really caught my attention. what an adventure you had to be able to eat such a rare treat. Nice to be rewarded for the scary trip your adventure took you.

    Yes, we are blessed to live in beautiful surroundings.
    Hugs, Jeanne

  16. Admire your adventures with pleasures, new challenges to vertigo, and remorse for the unknown outcome of the 'little fish.'

    But then we all are 'litttle fish' in the pond of life.

    Sometimes it doesn't matter if you know how to swim when the current keeps changing.

    In this New Year may your slippers be filled with blessings and with each new step may you have increased blessings from gratitude.

    Best to you!

  17. I don't remember having tasted this fish, maybe I haven't yet. Just the name itself 'sinarapan' says its delicious. I hope I could find a way to sample it someday before it becomes extinct.

    And I do hope too that the government would do something before it vanishes completely.

  18. What an interesting outing you went on. That swing bridge looks a bit precarious! Thanks for stopping by my WW. Enjoy the new year!

  19. Jann - we are the same in those grounds. i wonder why most of my blog friends who commented here are all scared of these bridges like me. I also wonder why in most of the instances i am confronted by these bridges, it seems I am the only one who has the scared spirit! I wonder what we garden bloggers have common in our nervous systems. I wish someone knows!

    Ebie - yes i have some challenging hikes, however it looks like I am the only one in the group who is always different. I wish I am hiking with my blogger friends like you.

    Donna - please read my reply to Jann Olson above, because i have deep concerns why most of us are scared of heights and movements, and we are all gardeners and hikers! haha. Yes the bridge can be used for a movie.

    Jeanne - thanks for coming over. If only I have more time and finances, i will definitely love to take more of these adventures.

    Jean - Wow, those are so much profundities and very kind. Thank you so much. We are really just little fish in the stream of life, and all of us are predators and prey in the food chain. Something always wait and happy to feed on us. Morbid? No, that's just the facts of life. And i am filled with gratitude in knowing them. Please drop by again Jean, you are very inspiring.

    Solitude Rising - unless you go there in Camarines Sur, you will not be able to taste this. It is different than the more available 'dulong' which is from saltwater. Actually i prefer the dulong than the 'sinarapan'. I forgot to tell my readers the root word of 'sinarapan' is 'sarap' meaning delicious. I hope some will read this reply to you!

    Linnea - I always think of Linnaeus when i see your name, the father of binomial nomenclature of living things. The bridge is really interesting but scary for me. But i still try. Someone said i should experience falling from one to throw off my phobia with it. LOL.

  20. What a tiny little fish.
    Is there any possibility to propagate them to millions like any other fish?
    Here we have millions of guppies that just survive and rough it through by the drains and riverside.

  21. Thanks for an interesting and informative post. I am one of those who didn't know about this particular species of fish. You had quite a hike to get to the lake. My arms are fairly long, but I don't think I would enjoy crossing that bridge.

  22. Sent you an email for the watermark.

  23. Beautiful lake scenes. I'm scared of bridges like that as well. I usually freeze as well. Happy New Year!!

  24. Such a fascinating post, Andrea! I have never heard of this's amazing! I also loved reading about the entire journey. I doubt whether I'd have managed past that bridge!!

    I got some amaryllis bulbs two years ago from an aunt of mine. She told me that they bloom twice a year, in March and in November. No such luck for me. They bloom only once in March!:(

  25. I don't think I would have been brave enough to walk over that bridge with my camera! Was it not shaking as you all walked across?

  26. James - it seems like you are not posting anymore! How are you. Some people are studying it, however propagating them is difficult.

    George - there are still some remote villages here which are only reached by hanging bridges like this, which really challenge my courage! I wonder why most of you here are scared like me, when my companions just crossed it without any hesitation.

    Ebie - thank you very much!

    Jenn - I am glad that I have Jeanne, Jann and Jenn who visited. LOL. My heart leaps everytime i am confronted by bridges like this.

    Kanak - many literatures about this fish is available, maybe you don't have it in India.

    Our amaryllis blooms only once too, I wonder what triggers them to bloom twice. I love your red.

    Rosie of leavesnbloom - Yes it shakes a bit and sway to our steps. But actually others enjoy the movement, it really is my phobia of height which affects me. But it actually is strong and new!


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