Fried sun-dried danggit (rabbitfish or spinefoot in English) with diced tomatoes and sukang paombong (white palm sugar) with chillis, sunny-side up eggs and fried rice make a yummy, mouth-watering lunch.
Danggit, also known in other parts of the Philippines as kitang, samaral, taragbago, tabago, etc. is part of the siganus family. Danggit thrive in Philippine waters and are split open and dried in the sun with salt. The best dried danggit are usually those that were dried just a few days before with the meaty part of the fish still moist and yet crispy after being deep-fried.
Danggit are widely available in the Visayas provinces particularly Cebu, Bohol and Leyte were the fish is caught. To complete this ‘poor-man’s feast’ a meal with danggit is best eaten when the fish and rice are served on freshly-plucked banana leaves.
Malapascua Island is located in the Visayan Sea, across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of Cebu Island (from Wikipedia).
The town’s name is derived from two Spanish words “mal” (bad) and “pascua“ (Easter or Christmas). According to local lore, the Spaniards, during the colonial period, named the island Malapascua since the colonists arrived there on a stormy Christmas day.
The island is only about 2.5 kilometres long and 1 km wide and has eight hamlets. As a diving destination, Malapascua has been promoted only recently (since the early 90s) but has quickly earned the reputation as the ‘new Boracay,’ the popular resort island in eastern Visayas known for its white, fine powdery sand beach.
Malapascua is loved by divers for its beautiful coral gardens and excellent local dive spots such as those located near Gato Island, Monad Shoal and Kemod Shoal. Monad Shoal is an underwater plateau where thresher sharks and manta rays can be sighted on a regular basis. Most of the islanders live on tourism, although there are still families living on subsistence fishing and farming.
Long live Malapascua Island!