Bantayan in northern Cebu is also the northern tip of Tañon Strait protected area. Other than Sta Fe and the Virgin island, we visited Madridejos found north of Bantayan Island facing the Visayan seas. A town formerly known as Lawis, it was the first settlement north of the island. In 1917, the town was renamed Madridejos in honor of Benito Romero de Madridejos the former Archbishop of Cebu. Prior to World War II, Madridejos enjoyed being the “Little Alaska of the Philippines” because of its rich fishing ground. The first canning factory in the country was also here until it was bombed during the war. Our visit with Oceana Philippines seeks to observe and capture the communal richness of Tañon Strait with the people of Madridejos.
The bounty of the sea can be reflected on the variety of goods available at the nearby fish market. Madridejos Market is moderately sized, clean and well organized for a public market. It was interesting to interact to some of the sellers curiously asking why we were taking photos of them and their goods. Sapsap (pony fish), espada (beltfish), danggit (dried fish) and tocino isda (cured fishes) were some of the items they sell and also supply to bigger stores in and outside Cebu. We brought what we fancied (for me the tocino fish and danggit), even the camote fries and pinipig balls from a Senior Citizen Cooperative stall were not spared.
Kota park sunset on the next page…