Bakasi King lures back regulars-A A +A
Thursday, August 22, 2013
“BAKASI King,” Florencio “Entoy” Escabas, a 65-year-old restaurant owner in Barangay Buagsong, Cordova, has seen his sales drop since Aug. 18, two days after bodies of ship passengers started to turn up in coastal town.
He said his clients are afraid that their favorite eel might have eaten humans.
But Allan Poquita, assistant regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and , said fish that earlier consumed human flesh is not hazardous to health.
“Ni-undergo naman gud na og biological process,” said Poquita.
Escabas, whose restaurant by the sea in Kamampay Beach Resort serves seafood and Cordova’s famous “bakasi” or moray eel, said he used to earn around P3,000 daily from 30 kilos. The eel is known among local folks to be an aphrodisiac.
But since last Sunday, he said, “Maglisod na ko’g abot sa P300 nga halin (I barely reached P300 in my daily earnings).”
His customers are doubtful as the eels he served might have consumed humans, as some bodies drifted into the town.
“Naay mga tao lud-anon (Some people can’t take it),” he said.
Cordova Police Chief Julius Umpad said his station so far recovered seven bodies and a human arm since the night of Aug. 16 when the m/v St. Thomas Aquinas and Sulpicio Express 7 collided.
Most of the bodies that drifted to Cordova’s coastal barangays and islets were in their advanced state of decomposition.
Escabas said oil had started drifting into the shores of Buagsong last Sunday, prompting Capitol and other government agencies to come in.
But despite the oil drift, his eel supply remains, although his clients decreased.
Poquita said not all fish are carnivorous as some are plankton feeders.
Poquita advised consumers to examine thoroughly the fish or eel and smell it for any traces of chemicals before preparing it. He discouraged eating it raw or “kinilaw.”
He said that in preparing the dish, one has to remove the gills and internal organs before washing it in running water and then cook it thoroughly.
Cordova’s seawater is known for its huge solid rocks with holes, an ideal home for moray eels that made the town famous for its “Bakasi Festival.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2013.