23 Mar2010


At the same time we were feeding and photographing shrimp, hundreds and hundreds of these long pencil like fish kept swimming around us while we waded in the cool waters of Kayangan Lake. There were so many of them that you only needed to cup your hands and lift them up and out of the water to catch a live fish. We put them all back in the water, of course.


They had a wonderful blue green color and from afar, blended perfectly with the blue green waters of the lake.


We were all rather fascinated by the fish (and shrimp) and locals told us that these little fish would eventually grow up into large edible fish…


…and just a few hours later we spotted these fish at the Coron market and surmised they must be the older relatives. We were advised by locals that they are excellent when cut up and deep fried. :)



  1. kit says:

    haaay… i miss coron. the fishy population there are so friendly and not even afraid to be eaten. if the manila bay and metro manila rivers are as clean as the seas and rivers of palawan, wala ng gutom sa metro manila. wala na rin magswimming sa dagat ng basura.

    Mar 23, 2010 | 3:56 pm


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  3. millet says:

    another wow! and yes, i’ve tried that fish..the meat is kinda tough (or maybe what i had ws over-fried), but it was delicious fried and smothered with a sweet and sour sauce.

    Mar 23, 2010 | 3:59 pm

  4. www.triportreats.com says:

    Unbelievable! Did you try the big version, and what are they called? I wonder if this was any good? Coron now sounds exciting not only coz I dive but because of the food you’re featuring. Yummy!

    Thanks MM!

    Mar 23, 2010 | 4:13 pm

  5. junb says:

    Excellent shot!!! With this when you get back to civilization you’ll really feel bad realizing what the mankind have done to our mother earth :( and how I wish I have seen how nice manila before (Pasig river, manila bay etc…)

    Mar 23, 2010 | 5:16 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    ToT, I think the large ones are called “batalay”…

    Mar 23, 2010 | 10:02 pm

  7. Isa Garchitorena says:

    They look like swimming string beans! How cool is that.

    Mar 23, 2010 | 10:16 pm

  8. Brian Asis says:

    I haven’t seen those kind of fish before, if you happen to try one, please make a post about it :D

    Mar 23, 2010 | 11:44 pm

  9. Lou says:

    My mom would love to make them as daing marinated at least overnight in vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.

    Mar 24, 2010 | 12:03 am

  10. Anthony says:

    I think the English name is Gar fish.this is what I use for paksiw.

    Mar 24, 2010 | 7:42 am

  11. Jose says:

    Have you tried getting Lamayo from the market? They’re like Danggit difference is they’re marinated in vinegar, ginger and black pepper. Its around 50 pesos per pack. Great with fried rice (fried rice ala marketman?)

    Mar 24, 2010 | 8:18 am

  12. Fabian M says:

    so they’re called ‘Batalay’. They’re beautiful in the water

    Mar 24, 2010 | 10:06 am

  13. rache says:

    the smaller ones might taste just as good when coated with seasoned flour and deep fried, like dilis, and dipped in vinegar with garlic…yum!

    Mar 24, 2010 | 10:14 am

  14. kiko says:

    agree with anthony, they look like garfish to me… highly prized sashimi…

    Mar 24, 2010 | 11:48 am

  15. Betchay says:

    Hi MM! I remember seeing a lot of this fish from the dirty waters at the back of our school and was told that they eat debris that’s why they are always found near the shores.So it was imprinted in my young mind that this fish is “dirty”–not fit to be eaten and I never thought that it grows up that big! I’m glad you made a post on this fish to erase a myth from my childhood! :) I clicked on “garfish”(as anthony and kiko identfied it) in wikipedia and it does seem to be this fish.

    Mar 24, 2010 | 1:24 pm

  16. Ken Lovell says:

    Yes, garfish, with beautiful delicate white flesh. I’ve bought them at Navotas fishport and caught them wild in Australia. Please don’t cook for more than a minute or two.

    Mar 24, 2010 | 2:13 pm

  17. Bugi says:

    I was in that same lake, and this big shrimp kept on eating dead skin from my feet (I know its gross, but it was nature’s way of saying I needed a footspa). I caught them the same way you did. Man, I miss coron…

    Mar 24, 2010 | 5:16 pm

  18. corrine says:

    Betchay, the guide in Kayangan Lake told us the same thing.. that they don’t eat this fish because they eat all the dirty stuff in the water… as in he gave examples and it’s yucky! I asked if they were janitor fishes and he said “no” so it seems he is really in the know. Hmmm… but these beauties are fascinating!

    Mar 24, 2010 | 8:30 pm

  19. Betchay says:

    Hi Corrine! I guess it depends on the location.If from pristine waters, I guess, it’s ok to eat.But still I wouldnt dare eat it here in the city! You never know where it came from! I shudder to think of all the dirt and pollution in the nearby shores.

    Mar 25, 2010 | 7:27 am

  20. ted says:

    I think they are called lulungi by bulakenyos, and yes back in the old-old days we can catch them with our hands in the Pampanga river, they can survive in fresh waters also.

    Mar 26, 2010 | 4:38 am

  21. mayumi says:

    i remember having these in san vicente, further south of coron. the fishermen called it espada. we made it into kinilaw.

    Mar 27, 2010 | 6:26 pm

  22. kitchen says:


    Mar 28, 2010 | 12:07 pm

  23. emmanuel nikko quiogue says:

    In Cebuano, it is known as BALO. It one of my mom’s favorite dried fish… very tasty!

    Mar 31, 2010 | 11:30 am

  24. Larzy says:

    They are called catsawan by Mindorenos.

    Jun 21, 2010 | 8:53 pm


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