>Jagna Bohol Public Market


By Joe Espiritu
Columnist, Bohol Sunday Post
If the goods from the greengrocer and the wet market in the Jagna Public Market are to be observed, this may be an indication of the change in the diet of the local consumers. This is because of the availability, or preference or necessity or whatever. It can be said that Jagnaanons were finicky in their choice of foods.
That was originally. But now, no more.
It can always be said that Jagna is made up of fish eating people. We rely upon marine products for our protein needs. Meats such as pork, beef and carabeef are found on tables only during fiestas and special occasions. Poultry is available on ordinary times if stolen or those, which met traffic accidents. Most of the times we rely on fish.
However, we are choosy even in fishes. We prefer deep-sea fishes. We prize the any specie coming from the blue waters like the tangigues, tunas and mackerels.
Even then, we like scads flat bodied such as anduhaw or kutob and round bodied gg or tabudlos yet we discriminate against the pink tailed scads or baksawans. We welcome the flying fish and the sanga with its ammoniac smell, both abhorred by most fish eaters out of Bohol. In short we appreciate offshore marine products even if they are dragons, hippopotamus, giraffes or elephants.
We prefer near shore pelagic fishes like the sardines, anchovies yet we avoid demersals with reason since they exude strong fishy smell like the parrot fish or molmol and its subspecies but we also include delicacies like the grouper or lapulapu or the sole, pikas to you my friend, in our non preference. Freshwater fishes are taboo. Even the catadromous bangus was once avoided.
Since Jagnanons became cosmopolitan, their diet changed. The bangus is now an ordinary fare, the molmol is now made into sweet and sour dishes. The eels and morays are now highly appreciated. They seldom stay long on fish stalls when displayed. When deep-sea fish products are not available, trash fishes of the reef are displayed hoping for a sale. In stormy weather freshwater tilapias are sold.
It is not surprising that the once discriminated fishes are now appreciated. Other foods once considered unacceptable are now consumed on the sly. Turtle is now prized and land turtles are practically extinct. Dog meat was once favored but the rabies scare put an end to that. Or the consumption had gone underground. There are those who like snake meat particularly from the python. It is not surprising since snakes are openly sold in Hong Kong.
On the vegetable consumption side, the Jagnaanon taste had diversified.
Previously. madre de familias rely upon the leaves of the horseradish tree or kamonggay, malonggay to others. Those are available in backyards or the neighbor's backyards. When this vegetable appeared for sale in the market many avoided it claiming the came from the cemetery even if it came from barrios with no cemeteries. Next to the kamonggay is the bago a tree, which seems to be native only to Bohol.
Now once exotic vegetables can now be found on sale such as cabbages, carrots, Chinese cabbage and on rare occasions mushrooms and green peas. Ordinary vegetables like the aliugbati and others are now on sale. This means the Jagnaanon diet is now diversified. Perhaps, the sociologist sees this as a sign of progress. With the availability of these foodstuffs in the market the Jagnaanon could be well nourished. What is needed is only money.

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