Livelihood in Miagao as presented by Lin-ay sang Hablon 2019
By: Rosan Frances Anselle G. Famatid
• Farming is an ideal livelihood in Miagao having an agricultural land area of 4,983.17 hectares. This industry plays a vital role in our economy. The municipality’s main agricultural produce is rice base on the Crop Production for Calendar Year 2017. Our way of farming was once associated with manual labor and backward customary farming methods using beasts of burden (carabaos/cows) and wood-and-iron plough (arado). Through time, progress entered the farming industry “slowly but surely”. With the latest trend especially in high-value crops production such as bulb and spring onion, organic rice and vegetable, fruits, coffee and cacao, Miagao’s Farming Industry remains as the backbone of the municipality’s increasing economy.
• Salt-Making, commonly known as budbud in Miagao has been practiced for several centuries where our forefathers made clean crystalline salt directly from seawater through traditional salt-making processes utilizing solar energy to dry concentrated saltwater distributed among rows of bamboos cut lengthwise in half. This was once a vibrant cottage industry in our municipality engaged in by residents of our coastal barangays that formed part of our marketable commodity but because of the laborious production methods only a handful of communities are presently engaged in this industry. Thank you to those few remaining salt-makers, production of salt in Miagao lives and will continue living.
• Native Delicacies are essential part of the Filipino food culture, Miagao included. The delicacy can be a local food that is eaten commonly or a food that is prepared for a special occasion. Preparations for these native delicacies are painstaking but all these make them really special and worth all the work! Delicacies that are native to our municipality include rice cake (puto), baye-baye, sticky rice (kalamayhati), suman among the many lists of kakanins that would make you want to return to your town…Miagao.
• Fishing is one of the major sources of livelihood of the people of Miagao being one of the coastal municipalities in the southern part of Iloilo. The likes of Bullet Tuna (Aloy), Yellow Fin Tuna (Bantalaan) and Blue Marlin (Malasugi) frequents our municipal waters from November to April. Local fisherfolks use traditional fishing methods such as hook and line (bunit or sibidsibidan), lift-net (vintahan), fish corral (punot) and beach seine (sahid) among others to provide foods for their family and sell to the market for additional income.
• Animal husbandry refers to agricultural farming of animals that are raised for meat, fiber, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock. This industry is profitable in Miagao given the high demand for locally produced meat in the market due to its good quality and competitive pricing. The “appetite” of Miagaowanons for beef, pork chicken meat and their by-products made this industry highly viable and sustainable. Other than providing a steady source of income to farmers and backyard growers, raising pigs and other animals is interesting and a fun learning experience for them. Due to an increasing quantity of meat in the market, Miagao exports them to provide for the demands of other municipalities.
• Pottery is not only a great creative activity but it also a means of livelihood. Local residents of Barangay Cagbang are the living proof of how this craft was able to bring them economic prosperity. Earthenware is made from water and clay to form a masterpiece which can be used as cooking and flower pots, vases, storage vats and others. This skill was handed down through generations and the locals are keen enough to preserve this legacy for future generations to appreciate.
• Weaving specifically of Patadyong is an important cultural heritage of Miagao. The local weavers use wood handloom (tiral) to interlace threads to produce a masterpiece from simple combination of colors and designs to intricate ones. This weaving tradition once lost its vibrance as modernization set in and people would prefer factory-made textiles but with the municipality’s confidence in this heritage industry – combined with the locals’ wide range of ingenuity plus the boost in tourism and trade – it rebounded to regain its crown as the premier cottage industry of our town. With the massive production of Hablon, Miagao becomes one of the suppliers of this textile to renowned fashion designers.
• Bamboo are evergreen perennial flowering plants that belong to the grass family known for its versatility and many uses. Because of its strength property which is comparable to other hardwood species, it is the best substitute for wood in furniture, handicraft and even construction enterprises. In our municipality, bamboos are abundantly growing along farm, roadsides, riverbanks and even backyards. Bamboo Craft Industry in Miagao also brings food to every family’s table and able to send children to school. Our town produces products such as hat (salakot), basket (alat), grains-storage (tabungos) and the like.