At five each morning I am already awake to start my day to get my pick of fresh catch from the Barangay Guinhalaran fish port and transports it to my tapahan. I dries, brines and then smokes tubs of round scad (galunggong) and milkfish (bangus), a trade that I’ve learned from my parents. My parents business started in 1970’s and continues to thrive from the big buyers like Bascon Restaurant, Bobs, El Ideal etc. “Di ko naisip na lalaki ito”, says Gina. I was content on earning just enough money to survive, but then customers started coming to buy my produce as presents to Filipino based in other countries. I was so young then when I started selling smoked fish or tinapa here in Silay and usually you’ll find me right beside the door of El Ideal Bakery with my baskets of tinapa. Now on my 40’s widowed with one child, I am still enjoying my time selling tinapa and thanking GOD for putting fish in the sea. I was able to send my daughter to school and get a degree from selling tinapa. Tinapa business it isn’t that easy at all. Leaving home early in the morning to buy scad and milkfish was tiring at times. It is called commitment to buy ice to load on your basin to put the fish on. It is called patience to carry out the tedious task of smoking fish. But I still come everyday and smoked and sell tinapa as I can because it is an income. I sell my tinapa and I enjoy selling tinapa.
(Note: I bought and tasted her fresh tinapa and it was superb!!! Still moist, but nicely smokey and not overly salty. If you happened to drop by in El Ideal look for Gina she is right there beside El Ideal Bakery door with her baskets of yummy tinapa perfect for your breakfast 🙂 ).