Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bubuk - Landing at the new Muara Miri

The fishermen from Kampong Melayu Miri had gone out to sea early in the morning. All hand phones had started to ring that it was a good day for shrimping and four boats went out together with their special nets. Just five years ago they were using their traditional pangkak to catch the everlasting bubuk on the shallow waters near Long Jetty. Today the peninsular which is home to a beautiful golf course and Kampong Melayu has a man made outlet into the sea and more than twenty motorized boats of all sizes dominate the once slow and quiet river.

The tip of the peninsular was once where the Miri General Hospital stood and the Nightingale ferried patients and families to and fro free of charge. The casuarinas are all gone now and reclamation has changed the landscape forever. A new channel has cut the peninsular into two. The deep channel now is the route for all fishing boats and other tug boats to come into Miri Resort City. Not too far away is the high end and upscale man made Marina Bay.

As those on the land waited impatiently they had gotten their lorries on standby. At the first ring of their hand phones (a sign of progress in their lives)they knew the shrimps were coming in. Even from a great distance in the South China Sea there was connectivity!

There was a great deal of excitement as the lorries pulled up at Muara Miri even before the boats came in! The hurry and flurry only indicated that the catch was good!

Laugh as you might - I impress myself sometimes. I do have some Extra Sensory Perception this morning I might have a good chance to take photos before I went to see my doctor for an eye infection(not my excuse for any poorly taken photos). So here they are...

The first tub of BUBUK that precious little treasures gleaming in the morning sun.

An old wooden chair for a river bank fisherman is unoccupied. Men were standing by the concrete landing to watch the catch!

More men trying to help carry the tubs.

The fishermen and their colleagues on the land went silently on their work. This was a mark of local respect for the bubuk. It was as if to be excited would make the little shrimps go away and never come back again. So in quiet reverence they landed the shrimps and carried them into the lorries. No loud excitement allowed!! They even whispered into their handphones!

Ski masks for the fishermen. Are they young? Are they old? How much longer would God provide us with His Gift. With global warming looming up will the shrimps ever disappear? That's a horrifying and nerve wrecking thought!

Scraping the bottom for more Bubuk - good to the last bit! Not even to waste the last few small ones.

These are the shrimps which energized the local families - fresh belacan will soon be made! Lips Smacking Good! Better Appetite! Nostalgia!

9 memories:

pennylane said...

aiyo... miss the cencaluk... over here we have to drive up to places like cherating and to get them... that's what i was told if i want cencaluk

pennylane said...

cencaluk, a bit of like and finely sliced chilli and hot rice... just that is a meal on its own...

sarawakiana said...

I will try to write an article on my friend's cencaluk making if my timing is right. Right time right place as they say.

Thanks for visiting. Hope all goes well with you and your work.

yvonne said...

Interesting write up - I like cincaluk too.

Some of the freshest cincaluk come from Miri and Bintulu.

siran said...

Hi - I often have my meals around the waterfront. But your photos which captures the activities now make the area very interesting.

My family loves to catch bubuk actually - but in Lutong side.


sarawakiana said...


I was told that when the bubuk comes in as early as eight in the morning that is the best time to make fresh cincaluk. If a person buys the bubuk in the evening it might not be a good idea to make this wonderful sauce.

I really think that cincaluk is a great appetiser!

Thanks for visiting.

sarawakiana said...


I am sure the Lutong side is also a good place to catch bubuk. I do hope that the tradition will continue for a long time to come.

Happy Shrimping!

Ozzie Connection said...

hi there. I don't like cincaluk however I do like belacan in my cooking and enjoy watching bubuk harvest.
Your Ozzie Connection

sarawakiana said...

Hi Ozzie Connection

Your comments are always welcome!! Hope this year the Miri Belacan will be plentiful and wonderful.

But I did hear that the bubuk harvest is not the best.

thanks for dropping by.


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