Local dishes from maliputo (Caranx ignobilis) will be featured in PINAS Sarap, an in infotainment show broadcast on GMA Network hosted by award-winning documentarist Kara David. The show aims to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of Filipino cuisine.

The shoot was held at the Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (FFRDC) in Butong, Taal, Batangas on May 28, 2024.

The episode will highlight the maliputo technology developed by the Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) through the FFRDC. It will also feature a maliputo cage operator from Lemery, Batangas, who will demonstrate the various ways of cooking the fish, including “grilled maliputo” and “sinigang na maliputo.”

“Dito [NFRDI-FFRDC] matatagpuan ang ang kaisa-isang breeding facility probably in the Philippines and probably in the whole world para sa mga maliputo. Gusto kasi ng mga taga Taal, Batangas na ma-preserve nila ang population ng maliputo sa wild para hindi ito maubos, kaya ginagawa nila bini-breed nila dito [NFRDI-FFRDC]” said David during the shoot.

“Alam niyo ba kung anong isda ang makikita sa likod ng ating 50-peso bill? Ito ay ang maliputo, kung saan makikita natin ngayon dito sa fishpond” she added.

Meanwhile, FFRDC Chief and Scientist I Dr. Maria Theresa Mutia, also known as the “Mother of Maliputo” explained the importance of breeding and culturing of maliputo for the livelihood of fisherfolk. “Nagsimula ang aming study sa breeding ng maliputo nong 2006 at hanggang ngayon patuloy parin ang aming breeding at pagaaral tungkol dito, sa ngayon patuloy parin sinusuporthan ang mga small scale cage operators ng maliputo upang makatulong sa kanilang pangkabuhayan” she said.

Giant trevally is a high-value food fish in the country. Locally, it is also known as “talakitok” when caught in marine water and “maliputo” in freshwater like Taal Lake. It is usually caught in the wild and culture in grow-out cages and ponds as a primary source of livelihood and income of fisherfolk. The price of maliputo per kilogram ranges from 400 to 700 pesos depending on the water source. To sustain its population, NFRDI achieved the first recorded spawning of maliputo in captivity in the country for seed enhancement and pioneered grow-out culture technology.

The NFRDI-FFRDC is a central breeding facility for freshwater ornamental fishes and a prime research center for maliputo and other non-traditional species. One of its primary functions is to conduct training activities and render technical assistance to fisherfolk, technicians, local government units, and other clients on aquaculture technology and management of fishery resources.

The episode of PINAS Sarap featuring maliputo will be aired on June 15, 2024 via GTV.

Thanks to the leadership of DA Secretary Francisco Laurel Tiu, Jr., NFRDI Executive Director Dr. Lilian Garcia, and FFRDC Chief Science Research Specialist Dr. Maria Theresa Mutia. ### (James Carl Arespi)