|Different variants of suman from Naval, Biliran|
Suman is a rice based delicacy using white and black glutenous rice cooked in coconut milk then rolled and twirled alongside, for black and white type (tinambiran), or rolled single either white or black, then wrapped either using "anahaw" leaves or banana leaves, then steamed. The white suman comes in salty or sweet taste.
|L-R: Bacordo-MSWDO Naval, Vice Mayor Villordon|
Mr Dignos-DOST, Mr Jamin-DTI, Ms. Solite
It all started when the local government of Naval decided to name it as its One Town One Product and launched it during the Suman Festival in 2010 spearheaded by Hon. Mayor Susan Parilla and Vice Mayor Redy Villordon. The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of Naval, Ms. Norma Bacordo lead the Search for Naval's Best Suman which was technically backed up by the expertise of the Department of Science and Technology-Biliran Provincial Science and Technology Center through Mr. Romeo L. Dignos, the Provincial Director, and his staff Engr. Ma. Catherine B. Gonda.
As an offshoot of the festival, "suman" started to become talk of the town. DTI and DOLE Biliran Provincial offices joined the crusade and organized the producers into what has become now, Naval Suman Makers Association (NASUMA). DTI through its RUMEP and with convergence support from DOLE, DOST, NSU and LGU Naval trained the members for new techniques in suman making. DOST-8 also trained the group on food handling and GMP appreciation. Later on DOST Biliran through the request of the MSWDO's Ms. Bacordo, prepared proposals for DOLE funding which was later approved. NASUMA members were able to acquire sets of equipment for suman making such as coconut grater, coconut milk extractor, steamer, heavy duty stove, large woks, and some supplies for suman production.
Soon, Naval will become suman capital of the Visayas and its quality product will be distributed from Biliran to Manila and out of the country through suman loving Balikbayans. There could never be a trip to Biliran without a taste of suman. So the next time you visit the Island Paradise of Biliran think and taste the suman of Naval.