Loving "Bahalina", pride of the Visayans

Thursday, September 27, 2018

sample label of Coconut wine in Cabucgayan
Coconut wine had been the traditional pride of the "Waray" speaking people of Eastern Visayas. Immigrants to these islands in central Philippines, and even the entire archipelago joined the Leyte-Samar natives in loving these fermented wine from coconut toddy, which has about 10% alcohol. And this "Tuba," as they locally call it, was the best the Samareneos could offer to Ferdinand Magellan's army during the country's early history.

I am a light drinker and I appreciate the taste of good coconut wines. But my obsessions in having to see "bahalina" as valuable as grape wines started when I realized many in the rural coconut planted areas depend on the industry, which was not even given emphasis on improving. Well, drinking may not be acceptable to many, but "grape wines" from the west is well accepted. So why not improve the coconut wine and package it to be known if not like the popular grape and other fruit wines, the rice wine of Japan, and others but at least establish its own name not to remain as a lowly local drink even considered as a "poor man's wine".

The coconut wine industry needed much more attention from researchers and government support agencies. There are several researchable areas I discuss below, these include: process standardizaton, identification and use of appropriate yeast strains, formulation studies, equipment design, and process improvement.

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DOST Biliran PSTC conducts Scholarship caravan

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

It's DOST Scholarship season once again, and DOST Biliran PSTC is promoting the DOST Science Education Institute's (DOST-SEI) scholarship program through a series of information forum around the Province of Biliran.

DOST in partnership with DepEd aimed to educate the students who are currently enrolled in Senior High School about the Science Scholarships intended for those who will be going to college next school year. While college tuition has become free for all state universities and colleges, the DOST gives opportunity to deserving students who want to pursue science and engineering courses special privileges such as monthly stipend, book allowance, uniform allowances among other benefits. They must however pass the DOST-SEI Scholarship examinations to be conducted on October 21, 2018.

As part of the forum, DOST distributed application forms to students and briefed them on how they are accomplished and what are the needed documents. Ms. Maria Catherine G. Maniba, Science Research Specialist II, led the DOST-Biliran Team who conducted the presentation and briefing on various DOST-SEI scholarship programs. Ms. Gracevillalyn Saldo, Project Assistant II, and Mr. Teddy Abenido, Project Assistant I joined the team.

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PTRI-DOST trains handicraft makers in Cabucgayan on dyeing of pandan fibers

Monday, July 30, 2018

Members of the Looc Cabucgayan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (CARECO) gained improved experience on quality dyeing of romblon or pandan fibers used in the manufacture of their popular products- the romblon bags and other handicrafts. This was made possible through the expertise of Engr. Thelma Sipin assisted by her staff Mr. Ronelo Vallente both from the Philippine Textile Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology who conducted the training on July 3-5, 2018 at the Multi-purpose Center of Brgy. Looc, Cabucgayan, Biliran. There were 24 members who joined the technology training.

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