6 hrs We Eat What the Europeans and Scandinavians Do Not Eat – The Galunggong, Now the Poor Can’t Afford!

Delmar TaclibonBy Dr. Delmar Topinio Taclibon

With a Mind Boggling/Astonishing Price of Php2.00 in 1972, 1986 – Php25.00, 2011 – Php100.00 and now 2014 @ Php160.00 (Php150.00 as of 2016) with an Inflation rate of almost +-500%!

For almost Five decades, “Galunggong” or Mackerel Round Scad known to be the poor-men’s source of nourishment and daily sustenance of strength to survive the rigorous life in the Philippines with its price used as a barometer of stability, metaphor and litmus test whether the economy was better or worse off.

During the dispensation of President Ma. Corazon “Cory” C. Aquino, the Galunggong – other known a Gigi, became the centrepiece of prominence for the lowly fish was used as economic performance indicator in the 1986 Revolutionary Government up 1987 – 1992 Coup d’état ridden epoch as staged by adventurous military officers and civilians brought about by apathy and insatiable greed for power; because of this, the price of Galunggong began to rise.



In Europe and in the Scandinavians, the Mackerel Round Scad that is locally known a Galunggong is not used as food source but used as bait.

The Mackerel Scad, Decapterus macarellus, is a species of fish of the family, Carangidae. While mackerel scad can be considered gamefish, they are usually used as bait in the highly industrialized countries. Mackerel Scad are fairly important both to fisheries and to sport–fishing but are known to carry ciguatera in the Latin Americas, and are more often used as bait and not food, since large gamefish such as the blue-spotted grouper, giant trevally, and the one-spot snapper are all known to feed on them.

The price of Galunggong (known only as feeds for pig) in my younger years was only Php4.00. But galunggong has since slipped from the poor Filipino’s dish, with the price of the fish rising from P59.8 per kilo in 2003 to P107.7 per kilo last year, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

“Tilapia” or St. Peter’s fish is cheaper than galunggong, with the former retailing for P96 a kilo last year, likewise up from P59 in 2003.
“Bangus” or milkfish, which cost P125 a kilo last year, was more expensive even in 2003 at P75.2.

In 1972, the price of Galunggong was but Php2. 00 per kilo, in 1986 (after 14 years), Php25. 00 in 1992, Php70. 00, and in 2011, the price was Php100. 00 with an inflation rate of +-350% (see article: Key Terms That Depicts the Sorry State of the Philippine Economy By Delmar Topinio Taclibon, November 28, 2011 at 8:10am).

At present, the price of Galunggong has risen up to Php160 per kilogram, that almost at par with the price of Pork which is Php190. 00 with an gargantuan inflation rate of almost 500%!

NSCB (National Statistical Coordination Board)
Key Terms That Depicts the Sorry State of the Philippine Economy
by: Delmar Topinio Taclibon, November 28, 2011 at 8:10am
Key Terms That Depicts the Sorry State of the Philippine Economy
Smith-Vaniz, W.F., 1984. Carangidae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean fishing area 51. Vol. 1. [pag. var.]. FAO, Rome.
Tilapia’ replaces ‘galunggong’ as poor Filipino’s meat – NSCB, Darwin G. Amojelar, July 12, 2013 7:09 PM

You May Also Like