Catanduanes wants to be PH's crab capital

Posted at 07/31/11 4:04 PM

A hard-shell crab, known in Catanduanes as kinis, is caught in a net. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism

MANILA, Philippines - Catanduanes, an island province located in the Bicol region, is aiming to become the crab capital of the Philippines.

"The king crabs here are really delicious. What I want is to grow out crabs here, for Panganiban to be the crab capital of the province, and Catanduanes the crab capital of the Philippines," said Robert Fernandez, mayor of the municipality of Panganiban in Catanduanes.

Panganiban recently celebrated its annual festival for hard-shell crabs, locally known as kinis. Now on its second year, the festival serves as thanksgiving for the surge of crab production amid perennial typhoons.

Festival activities include crab racing, crab tying and net making.

"While its original intention is entrepreneurial, Panganiban's promotion of crab under the One Town One Product government program may serve a tourist function, as it does with the Crab Festival accompanying this year's Town Fiesta," Tourism Secretary Alberto LIm said in a welcome message for the festival.

Panganiban and 2 other municipalities in Catanduanes that host natural sanctuaries for kinis -- Viga and Bagamanoc -- are hoping to reverse a provincial order that allows the gathering of young crabs, and to establish a center that will govern the crab industry of Catanduanes.

This as more people tend to sell young crabs to outside buyers for quick profits.

Aside from crabs, Catanduanes is also known as a surfing destination among locals and foreigners. Surf season in its most popular site, Puraran beach in Baras, runs from September to November.

Other places of interest include the Spanish-era Bato Church, the Buto ni Kurakog rock formation in Bagamanoc, the historic Luyang Cave in San Andres, abaca plantations and waterfalls and beaches.

The island province is accessible by air and sea via ferry from Tabaco, Albay.