Mark Jun Ruta, a 30-year-old fisherman, was astounded as he withdrew the hook-and-line from the Balabac seas. They caught a 270-kilogram blue marlin early on the morning of February 22.

“Wow! Nagulat talaga ako nung unang nakita ko. Naghalo yung gulat at saya. For the first time, nakakita ako ng ganyang kalaki,” he recalled.

Ruta has been fishing for about 11 years, and he has spent 5 of those years in Balabac. In all of that time, he has never caught a fish of that size.

“First time. Madalas [ang] pinakamalaki 100-120 [kilos] Ayan? Grabe! Bihira na makakita ng isda na ganyan!” he said.

Ruta and his six other companions decided immediately to deliver their catch to Puerto Princesa, where they were able to close a deal for it.

Although he did not disclose the amount they earned, Ruta said a kilo of blue marlin is priced at P280.

Last Saturday, February 25, Ruta posted pictures of their unusual catch on Facebook, which soon went viral.

In the description of his post, he summed up his entire experience: “Thank you, Lord.”