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On December 12 last year Jesse, a friend of Dado, rose to the bait of high fish prices and left for the 60 mile fishing ground in a flotilla of seven bancas. They hadn't been fishing long when the wind rose. "It came out of nowhere," Jesse said, "One minute we were trolling and the next we were in a sea of spray and foam." Jesse was thrown into the sea as his boat was pitchpoled by a huge wave. Somehow his friends on another banca saw him and dragged him aboard. They spent the rest of that night trying to stay afloat. The next day only four of the seven bancas returned. From the three boats lost that night, Jesse was the sole survivor.

Today Jesse works as a guide, taking tourists to nearby resorts and beaches. When asked if he would ever return to fishing his answer is an abrupt, "No way! Tourists only."

Unlike the tourist boatmen, many fishermen wear the Basticol - a brightly coloured hat with a jaunty brim and a fin-like blob epoxied to the top. Made from plastic floats stolen from Taiwanese fishing nets this highly prized hat gives protection from the sun, acts as a spray dodger when pounding into heavy seas, and provides a place to keep cigarettes and matches dry. "Filipino ingenuity." says Dado.

Filipino ingenuity doesn't stop at hats. One fisherman subdued a stubborn marlin that refused to come aboard by soaking a rag in petrol and sliding it down the line on a sinker. Others have found that fish can't tolerate alcohol. "Just haul him along side and pour a spoonful of rum down his gills," says Dado, "Makes him sleep real quick."
"A waste of good rum." quips Leo.

Another fisherman, afraid his line would break, sent his partner down with another line to sink a second hook into a tired but still stubborn fish. Not very sporting? No, but to these fishermen sport has nothing to do with fishing. This is the world where you either catch fish or your family starves. Many believe anything is fair, including dynamite fishing.
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