Fisheries & Fish Industry

Fetalvero: Fishing lessons

Fetalvero: Fishing lessons

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A MOVIE from the 1960s entitled The Shoes of the Fisherman intrigued me as to why the producer chose the title. Oftentimes, I see barefooted fishermen carry a boat from the beach to the shoreline as they get ready to go out to the open seas to do their trade. Barefooted, I see them use their toes to get a better grip of the ground in order not to lose their balance when carrying the heavy load.

Fishermen rely much on nature and the climate change has not been cooperative with their chosen means of livelihood. When I used to go to a nearby beach for my morning stroll, I got up close and personal with some of our local fishermen in Compostela, Cebu. I saw their dismay when they got very little catch—so little that it was just enough for the family’s consumption for the day.

“Had there been enough catch, I would have been able to sell some of it and have some money to buy rice.”

While out at sea, I see these fishermen from a distance casting their nets and patiently waiting for a good catch. In God’s wisdom, most of His disciples are fishermen. The virtue of patience must have some bearing on the selection.

Last Saturday, when my son invited his family to go fishing at a nearby fish pond in Liloan, I observed how my grandson Kenneth was patiently waiting for a catch. In common situations, Kenneth is not who I would consider a very patient boy. However, when he is out fishing, he is the most patient person. My heart leaps with excitement when I see his radiant smile when he catches one.

Last Oct. 15, on his birthday, Kenneth caught more than 20 bangus and was proud to tell his dad about it. He was very much disappointed when he caught only two last Saturday. My grandson’s love for fishing is purely for the sport. One could just imagine the level of frustration of a fisherman when the motivation to go out to fish is survival.

I cannot equal the Lord’s energy level when his disciples caught a huge amount of fish as narrated in a parable, but the narrative connection of experiencing the same feeling, generates a priceless gift of joy.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 10, 2016.

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