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PCC is In this

Newsletter Official Publication of the Philippine Carabao Center of the Department of Agriculture ISSN 1655-2496 • VOL. 10 NO. 4 • October-December 2011


ic m o n o tr A gas for the treat lover beef

Carabeef is no 2nd-class meat


‘Pigar Pigar’




It’s for the high-class taste, too

stands out as the night’s delight

‘balbakwa’, ‘pisawawan’ They are Maranaos’ food bliss

The other exquisite delicacy of Davao:



‘Dahil sa Iyo’ is for partaking



The rising star of epicurean menu



table of contents about the cover


Carabao’s meat or carabeef is the primary raw material used in the local meat processing industry such as in the making of corned beef. Meat processors favor carabeef over beef because of its high water-holding capacity especially in comminuted form. Further, the production cost is highly competitive because of the lower price of carabeef than cattle beef.

Official Publication of the Philippine Carabao Center of the Department of Agriculture • Vol. 10 No. 4 • October-December 2011

Editorial Staff Rowena Galang-Bumanlag Joahna G. Goyagoy

Editor-in-Chief/Layout Artist Managing Editor

Khrizie Evert M. Marcelo

Editorial Assistant/ Circulation Manager

Rowena G. Bumanlag Joahna G. Goyagoy Khrizie Evert M. Marcelo


Mark Lyndon F. Antaran Ramil R. Carbonel Leinefe B. Libres Ivy Fe M. Lopez Carla F. Padilla Kimberly B. Turaja

Contributing Writers

Eufrocina P. Atabay Simabanatao S. Batugan Gloria M. Dela Cruz Danilda H. Duran Nasrola Ibrahim Rosalina M. Lapitan Pendatun R. Masanang Ernesto N. Caluza, Jr. Celso P. Quinet

Subject Matter Specialists

Anselmo S. Roque Eric P. Palacpac

PCC engages international experts to intensify livestock biotech efforts PCC takes stride on the possible use of sexed-semen for buffalo R&D PCC is resource agency on livestock training for Myanmar under JICATCTP Japanese expert pushes for silage production for farmers’ extra income DA family info officers convene in PCC for its annual consultative meeting 7th ‘Nuang’ fest in San Agustin bringsout novel amazement PCC scientists attend PSAS convention; one bags 1st place in best poster tilt KOICA experts train PCC scientists and researchers


Editorial Consultant Chief, Knowledge Resource Management Division

Libertado C. Cruz Executive Director/Editorial Adviser Contributors are welcome! The PCC Newsletter welcomes industry-related articles not exceeding 800 words, with photos and corresponding caption. Success stories of farmers, cooperatives, and other beneficiaries and stakeholders of the Carabao Development Program are preferred. PCC encourages reproduction of articles from this publication with proper acknowledgment. Topic suggestions and comments are also welcome. Please send your articles or comments to or mail them to


industry news

THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF PCC Newsletter Applied Communication Section Knowledge Resource Management Division Philippine Carabao Center National Headquarters and Gene Pool CLSU Cmpd., Science City of Muñoz 3120 Nueva Ecija or call Tel. No.: 044-456-0731 (loc) 479 PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

10 Carabeef is no 2nd-class meat; It’s for the high-class taste, too 12 ‘Pigar Pigar’ stands out as the night’s delight 14 ‘Randang’, ‘balbakwa’, ‘pisawawan’: They are Maranaos’ food bliss 16 The other exquisite delicacy of Davao: ‘Bulcachong’ 18 ‘Dahil sa Iyo’ is for partaking ‘pakdol’ 20 ‘Pindang damulag’ is centerpiece in Kapampangan cuisine 22 ‘Pindang na kalabaw’ is Mangaldan’s OTOP 24 ‘Lechon Kalabaw’ is topnotch food biz in Isabela 26 Tita’s Special: ‘Carabeef Tocino’ 28 Specialties of the North: Carabeef ‘tapa’ and longganisa 30 Bohol’s other allures: ‘Kilawin’, ‘adobo’, ‘sabaw’ng kabaw’ 15 Carabao’s meat sells like hotcake in Marawi City 17 Davao City’s Bankerohan Market

sidebar stories

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industry news

PCC engages international experts to intensify livestock biotech efforts By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY Two internationally renowned scientists were recently engaged by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) for technical consultancy in PCC’s livestock reproductive biotechnology program and other related research collaborations. The scientists were Dr. Masashige Kuwayama and Dr. Xiuchun “Cindy” Tian.

Dr. Kuwayama is the chief executive officer of the Reproductive-Support Medical Research Center and the director of the Kato Ladies Clinic in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Tian, on the other hand, is a professor in the Animal Science Department and Center for Regenerative Biology in the University of Connecticut, USA.

Dr. Kuwayama also gave a hands-on training among PCC scientists at the PCC Reproductive laboratory on his vitrification method using Cryotec, his most recent modification of the Cryotop method.

A component of the technical consultation was a symposium on reproductive and molecular biotechnology held on December 19 at the Edsa Shangri-La hotel in Mandaluyong City. This symposium was attended by experts in the field of livestock biotechnology and researchers from the University of the PhilippinesLos Baños, Department of AgricultureBiotechnology Program Unit, the Philippine Carabao Center, and from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). Professors and students in animal science from various universities, and practitioners in human medicine also attended the event. Dr. Kuwayama presented his topic

on “successful vitrification of oocytes and embryos in human and animals” “Technology is continuously which highlighted his team’s efforts evolving to improve production in successfully vitrifying human efficiency, generate good quality oocytes and embryos particularly of infertile and cancer patients using the products, and address the rapidly Cryotop vitrification method. Cryotop increasing human population.” is a vitrification method which Dr. —Dr. Xiuchun Tian. Kuwayama developed for human oocytes in 1999 and human embryos in 2000. With the same method, he the benefits of the common infertile established the first human cryobank in patients, but also for cancer women to 2001. realize their dream of fertility. I hope that this technology can contribute “Clinically optimized vitrification widely among humans as well as in the protocol has been established in this animal industry of the Philippines,” he decade and extremely preferable results added. have been repeatedly reported for human oocytes and embryos in many Dr. Tian, on the other hand, advanced IVF (in vitro fertilization) presented the topic “functional centers in Japan, USA, and Europe,” Dr. genomics in early bovine embryos from Kuwayama said. assisted reproductive biotechnologies” “I wish that the success of this technology can create significant impact around the world not only for

and on the importance of the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) or

continued on next page

Presentations on the recent advances in reproductive biotech were given by renowned scientists in the field, Dr. Masashige Kuwayama and Dr. Xiuchun “Cindy” Tian, who are practicing in Tokyo, Japan and Connecticut, USA, respectively. 3

PCC takes steps on possible use of sexed semen for buffalo R&D By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY

After several advances in livestock biotechnology undertakings, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) strides to yet another research endeavor—the use of sexed semen or sperm-sexing technique in buffalo. Sperm-sexing makes gender selection possible, that is, produce an offspring of the desired sex following artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Dr. Giorgio A. Presicce, director of ARSIAL (Regional Agency for the Development and the Innovation of Agriculture in Lazio) in Rome, Italy, said during his presentation at PCC that using sexed sperm for AI can be reduced from 20 million sperms per dose to two million and still arrive at the same rate efficiency. He added that to arrive at the desired efficiency rate, the sexed sperms should be deposited in the fallopian tube of the female carabao instead of its uterus to induce the probability of sperm and oocyte fusion. Aside from AI, sexed semen can also be used for IVF (in vitro fertilization) to produce sexed or

PCC engages int’l experts... 3 from page

cloning in animals.


pre-determined embryos for embryo transfer technique as well as ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection). The research will be carried out by a team composed of Dr. Libertado C. Cruz, executive director; Dr. Danilda H. Duran, senior agriculturist; and Dr. Peregrino G. Duran, supervising science research specialist and coordinator of the reproductive biotechnology unit.

They attended the 8th annual conference of the Asian Reproductive Biotechnology Society (ARBS) in Guilin City, China from October 25-30, where they consequently established collaboration and research linkage with Guangxi University in Nanning, China on sperm sexing project in buffalo. At present, Dr. Kehuan Lu of Guangxi University has about 30,000 doses of sexed buffalo semen whose sperms were sorted using a flow cytometer.

Dr. Lu and Dr. Cruz agreed that both parties will be jointly working on this project. Both parties also look forward in the possible supply of available sexed buffalo sperm samples that will be brought to the Philippines through PCC for intensified R&D undertakings. Further, the team also had dialogues with the representatives from Guangxi

scientists to develop technologies that could ensure production efficiency and food sufficiency. “Some of these technologies are already here. What we need to do now is to make people understand them better,” she said.

Recognizing that various animals such as sheep, cattle, goat, pig, buffalo, among others, have been cloned successfully, she said that introduction PCC executive director Dr. Libertado of this advanced technology on Cruz, on the other hand, said: “When reproduction might not be fully we see the progress of these animal embraced by the public due to fear, biotechniques, such as artificial misunderstanding, and ethical concerns. insemination (AI), super ovulation, nuclear transfer, and IVM/IVF (in-vitro Dr. Tian further explained that by maturation/in-vitro fertilization), we 2050, there would be 10 billion people realize that these are becoming more and there would not be enough food practical. Same thing goes with somatic for everyone. This, she said, calls for PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Water Buffalo Research Institute on developments and trends of water buffalo research in China. Currently, the research institute focuses its R&D efforts on ovum pick-up (OPU) and on the use of sexed-sperm for the production of sex-predetermined calves that will also help magnify China’s dairy buffalo industry.

Aside from establishing research collaborations on the sperm-sexing project, the team also discussed possible research linkage in the field of oocytes vitrification with Prof. Junya Ito of Azabu University, Kanagawa, Japan.

Meanwhile, the team also presented a paper titled, “Effect of pyruvate and lactate with increasing concentration of serum and addition of glucose to basic medium, TCM 199, on the production of water buffalo embryo in vitro”. With deliberate efforts for advancements on reproductive biotechnology continuously being done in the Philippines, the Executive Committee of ARBS identified the Philippines, through PCC and PSAS (Philippine Society of Animal Science), as the venue for its 9th annual conference tentatively slated in October this year .

cell nuclear transfer.”

“With continuous efforts on improving the efficiency of this technology, perhaps SCNT will become a practical technology in the farm 10 to 20 years from now,” Dr. Tian seconded.

With the consultancy engagement of the two experts, PCC positively looks forward to a strengthened PCC reproductive biotechnology unit in the areas of oocyte and embryo cryopreservation; genomics/ genetic researches; and establish international linkages through research collaborations along the areas of cryopreservation and molecular reproduction.

industry news

PCC is resource agency on livestock training for Myanmar under JICA-TCTP By ROWENA G. BUMANLAG Recognized for having a premiere pool of scientists in the area of livestock biotechnology research and development, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) was recently tapped as a resource agency for the training on water buffalo production system and breeding technologies for the government of Myanmar. As such, PCC formulated the curriculum for the trainees composed of two modules. One is a “Study Program on Water Buffalo Production System” and “Study Program on Water Buffalo Breeding Technologies”. The first of the two modules was already conducted at the PCC national headquarters last November 13 to December 3. Ten select staff members of the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in Myanmar participated in the training course. The second module will be conducted on January 12 to February 19 next year.

Module1 included topics on buffalo reproduction and management, carabao-based dairy products processing, communitybased participatory monitoring and evaluation, training designs and module development, and action planning. Meanwhile, Module 2 will be covering various subjects on genetic improvement, care and management of breeding animals, reproductive biotechnologies, calving and postcalving management, reproductive disorders and abnormalities, and artificial insemination as a means of livelihood.

Participants of the PCC-JICA’s study program on water buffalo production system from Myanmar present here their token of appreciation to PCC received by its executive director Dr. Libertado C. Cruz (4th from right) during the closing ceremonies last December 2. (Photo By MFAntaran)

The training was supported by the Aside from the lectures given by top Japan International Cooperation Agency PCC scientists and experts in course (JICA). topics, actual fieldwork and practicum were conducted for the trainees for In the record of discussions (ROD) validation. between the PCC and JICA signed last September 30, the purpose of the The study programs are under the training was to provide LBVD staff JICA Third Country Training Program members the opportunity to study the (TCTP) in the Philippines. The TCTP said areas on livestock reproduction is one of the cooperation modalities and management which PCC has already implemented in collaboration with gained a notable reputation for. resource countries in the ASEAN region such as the Philippines. The objectives of the course, as stated in the ROD, is for LBVD JICA has been providing assistance staff members to “learn from the to support the socioeconomic advanced experiences of the Philippine development in developing countries Carabao Center and obtain technical such as the Philippines. Its mission is knowledge and skills on production to bridge the people of Japan and other and management system and breeding countries for closeness and to advance techniques for water buffalo for the international cooperation through the establishment of buffalo farm and sharing of knowledge and experiences. production system in Myanmar.” 5

By CARLA F. PADILLA Farmers can now consider venturing into silage production as a profitable business enterprise. It is a profitable business especially during the dry season when there’s scarcity of green forages. It is much better if they can organize themselves into a cooperative and run the business.

Dr. Tsutomo Fujihara, a former professor at Shimane University, Matsue, Japan and now a visiting animal nutrition consultant at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) is pushing for a silage production business venture for farmers.

I am determined to stay in PCC to help improve the nutrition of carabao and to help farmers form cooperatives. Cooperatives are good but many are not properly managed so we hope we can be of great help in their regard. —Dr. Fujihara

He sees the potential of silage production not only to satisfy the requirement of feed source for the dairy buffaloes during the dry season but also as a profitable business for dairy farmers. Dr. Fujihara, a Japanese national, works full-time at PCC to further refine and improve the quality of carabao feed sources. He is a renowned animal scientist whose work is particularly focused on mineral nutrition for more than 40 years.

He was first engaged in PCC when he worked on a three-year project on buffalo and goat production in the Philippines with PCC executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz and Dr. Edgar Orden of Central Luzon State University as partners.


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Currently, Dr. Fujihara’s work takes him to Lupao, Nueva Ecija to help farmers establish the first ever farmers’ cooperative in the country that will focus in silage production.

“I visited the Philippines more than 40 times and I observed that the smallholder farmers are in need of assistance and organizing a cooperative maybe something new to them. If they are able to form a cooperative, they will be empowered and earn more easily,” Dr. Fujihara said. Most green forages in the Philippines, he said, are abundant only during the wet season. Thus, these can be preserved for buffaloes in the dry season feeding through the process of ensiling or anaerobic fermentation.

Silage, the output of ensiling, ensures the sufficient supply and quality of feedstuff for carabaos regardless of weather conditions and location. Silage is also a roughage source that provides high energy and high protein to the animal. The Japanese scientist said that an average buffalo can eat 40-60 kg of silage per day. If farmers are able to produce the silage themselves, a kilo of grass silage will only cost Php0.90, which can be marketed at Php1.50 to Php1.75 per kilo.

He, at one time, taught Filipino agriculture and animal science students on animal nutrition and even sent some of them to pursue their doctoral degree in Japan. One of them was Dr. Orden.

“Actually we labelled him consultant but we did not hire him as a consultant. He is already retired and volunteered to assist PCC especially the dairy farmers,” Dr. Daniel Aquino, a PCC animal feeds and nutrition expert, said.

Being an expert in animal nutrition, specifically mineral nutrition, Dr. Fujihara examined the different soil compositions in Luzon to determine if there is a deficiency of macro and micro minerals in them.

Dr. Tsutomo Fujihara

Photo by Mark Lyndon Antaran

Japanese expert pushes for silage production for farmers’ extra income

His studies, done in the past two decades, in South-East Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia (Sumatra), were on the improvement of mineral nutrition mainly trace elements in grazing goats.

After his investigation in Luzon Island, he said the main possible cause of poor reproduction and high-mortality of newborn kids in goats is the low selenium and zinc levels in the pasture forages. After several basic practical examinations, he demonstrated that the legume tree leaves and stems of many locally available feed resources can be an economical supplement to grazing goats. This supplement technique is becoming popular in raising goats in the country as well as in other Asian countries.

“The Philippines is a very interesting place to study goat nutrition and production of forage because I also get to analyze the farmers’ situation here and teach them,” Dr. Fujihara said. After his success in the fundamental studies on protein nutrition in small ruminants, he aims to expand his experiments in carabao fattening and increasing its milk production by improving its mineral nutrition. He is now developing research proposals for the analysis and improvement of carabao feed which he wants to bring to Japan for further research.

Every time he visits the smallholder farmers, he said he observes that their problem in animal feeding comes from the insufficiency of feeds, especially good quality forage, that the animals need. He said he has been sharing technologies and opinion regarding this problem to farmers.

industry news

Public information officers of the Department of Agriculture’s bureaus, attached agencies, corporations, and foreign-assisted projects pose here for a photo souvenir during their 2nd semester consultative meeting held at the Philippine Carabao Center, National Headquarters and Gene Pool, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija last November 15-17. (Photo by JGGoyagoy)

DA family info officers convene in PCC for its annual consultative meeting By ROWENA G. BUMANLAG

Aware of their crucial role in the attainment of the goals of the Department of Agriculture (DA), 37 public information officers of the DA bureaus, attached agencies and corporations, and foreign-assisted projects convened in a consultative meeting last November 15-17. The second semester meeting was held at the national headquarters of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

Director Noel Reyes of the Agriculture and Fisheries Information Service (DA-AFIS), in his message, emphasized the PIOs “important role” in promoting the DA’s agenda on attaining food sufficiency. “With our pooled and harmonized efforts in promoting the programs of the DA, particularly on the food sufficiency program, Secretary Proceso Alcala hopes to attain this goal despite

the odds that we are facing due to the calamities that struck our country,” Dir. Reyes said.

In a special message sent by the Secretary, he said the consultative assembly should be a way to “harmonize the efforts of the DA family PIOs in the implementation of their respective communication-information plan and advocacy campaign activities with the Department’s major programs, goals and thrusts.”

Program directorates and their representatives were also invited to the meeting to present updates on DA’s program on rice, corn, high-value crops development, livestock, and fisheries. Agencies in the science city community also presented their programs and current projects to the meeting. PCC executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz presented the agency’s programs and activities. PhilRice’s presentation was made by its deputy director for development Dr. Eduardo Quilang, while that of PhilMech was done by chief science research specialist Dr. Rodolfo


In his presentation of the PCC program, Dr. Cruz emphasized that PCC only uses the carabao as a medium in implementing a smallholder farmerfocused social program with the end goal of establishing village-based carabao enterprises for increased income and nutrition in the countryside. During the opening ceremonies, Dr. Cruz gave his warm welcome to the PIOs saying that he hoped for the participants a pleasant learning experience at PCC. He thanked Director Reyes for selecting PCC as the venue for the meeting of the PIOs.

“We hope that your stay here, though very brief, will be a learning experience for you about the programs of PCC and its neighboring R&D agencies,” Dr. Cruz said. Toward the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the next assembly would be slated in the first quarter of 2012 to be conducted in a yet to be selected place in the Visayas.


The town of San Agustin in Isabela adopted this year the theme “San Agustin: Carabaos are strong, hard-wearing and faithful allies of farmers” for its 7th “Nuang” Festival held last October 30.

7th ‘Nuang’ Fest in San Agustin brings out novel amazement By RAMIL R. CARBONEL and MARK LYNDON F. ANTARAN Holding a festival is like bringing-out a dish with distinct taste for better appreciation. The “7th Nuang Festival” of San Agustin, Isabela brought out a distinct offering this year in line with the 62nd Founding Anniversary of the town last October 30. The festival was one of the highlights of the celebration. “Nuang” is the Ilocano term for carabaos.

Carabaos, as usual, were the stars of the festival. But this time, they became the canvas of college students in the painting competition that was the main part of the festival.

In the individual category competition, adjudged winner of the “most number of milk produced and delivered to the Philippine Carabao Center-San Agustin office from October 2010 to September 2011” was Arnel Cosilit. His lactating cows produced 1, 937.25 liters of milk.

Tony Tamayo placed second with his milk collection of 1, 796.5 liters and Loreto Baroga, third, with his 662 liters of milk collected.

For the district category, District 4, composed of Barangays Palacian, Sinaoangan Sur, and Sinaoangan Norte, bagged the 1st place with 4, 626 liters of produced milk followed by District 1 (Barangays Nemmatan, Masaya Norte, and Masaya Centro), with 834 liters of milk and District 2 (Barangays Santos, Masaya Sur, and Calaocan), with 814.50 liters of milk.

(San Agustin: Carabaos are strong, hardwearing and faithful allies of farmers). The affair was graced by the presence of LGU officials led by Mayor Virgilio Padilla, PCC at Cagayan State University director Prof. Frank T. Rellin and provincial veterinarian Dr. Angelo Naui. Town’s sweet success

San Agustin town became one of the finalists of “Gawad Galing Pook Awards 2010” with its entry titled “Crossbred Buffalo Production”. The town banners the “Carabao Upgrading Program” in its development undertakings. “Being the finalist of ‘Gawad Galing Pook Awards’ in 2010 is really an outstanding achievement, not only for the implementing agencies, but to the populace of San Agustin who accepted the program leading to its fruitful success that we are experiencing now,” said municipal agriculture officer Julio Lamug.

There was also a competition for the “best-dressed buffalos”. Given awards Painted carabaos walked the center According to Dr. Naui, San Agustin also were the “earliest owner/caretaker area of the San Agustin’s gymnasium for has the most number of crossbred with his/her buffalo to arrive in the the judges’ evaluation. Each received carabaos in Region II based on the June venue” and the “barangay with the most applauses from the amazed public. 2011 census of large animals. crossbred carabaos that attended the activity”. Students from the North Eastern The town has 1,688 heads of College bagged the 1st place in the All the winners received cash prizes crossbred carabaos, 998 males and contest whose concept was based from the local government unit (LGU) of 690 females, and 4, 502 heads of native on the theme of the town’s founding carabaos composing of 2, 609 males and San Agustin and from the PCC. anniversary: “Nanamem ti sam-it ti 1, 893 females. balligi a bunga ti napudno ken napasnek The theme of the festival was “San Meanwhile, a dairy processing plant nga panagserbi” (Reaping the sweet Agustin: Kas iti Nuang napigsa, nakired was already built at Barangay Masaya success brought about by honest and ken naibtor nga agserbi, kadagiti umili” Centro and will be inaugurated in 2012. righteous service).


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011


PCC scientists attend 48th PSAS convention; one bags 1st place in best poster tilt Fifteen scientists and researchers from the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) joined the more than 100 participants in the 48th Scientific Seminar and Annual Convention of the Philippine Society of Animal Science (PSAS) held last October 2628 at the L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. Bearing the theme “Responsible Animal Production for Better Human Health”, the convention served as a venue for sharing new knowledge, practices and experiences in animal production and health.

It featured different sessions emphasizing local initiatives to strengthen the country’s food security with focus on the production of safer food products.

The PCC scientists who attended the convention were from the National Headquarters and Gene Pool (NHGP), PCC at University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), PCC at Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), and PCC at Central Luzon State University (CLSU).

The three-day event was highlighted with presentations of scientific papers and posters of various scientists and researchers and the recognition of distinguished scientists and their researches that made an impact to the advancement of the livestock industry. The competing and non-competing papers and posters were categorized under the following fields: anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, biotechnology, breeding and genetics, diseases and diagnostics, medicine and surgery, nutrition, production and processing, socio-economics and undergraduate thesis.

The research paper titled “Cloning of the 2B Region from Foot-and-Mouth Disease Viral Genome as Potential External Positive Control for FMD Detection” won first place under the undergraduate thesis category. The thesis was authored by Jacob Anderson Sanchez, a former veterinary student from Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) and now works in the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR). He was coauthored by Dr. Ruby Paraguison-Alili, Science Research Specialist II of the PCC Molecular Genetics Laboratory.

PCC scientists also participated during the presentation for noncompeting papers under different categories. Dr. Eufrocina P. Atabay (PCCNHGP) presented for biotechnology, Dr. Jesus Rommel V. Herrera and Dr. Rosalina M. Lapitan (PCC at UPLB) for production and processing, respectively, Jose C. Canaria (PCC at UPLB) and Grace Marjorie Recta (PCC at MMSU) for socioeconomics discipline. The annual convention also inducted new set of PSAS officers for the year 2011-2012.

Two elected officers came from the PCC delegation. They were Dr. Rosalina M. Lapitan of PCC at UPLB as the new auditor and Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, Division Chief of the Knowledge Resource and Management Division (KRMD) of PCC NHGP, as council member. The 29th PSAS Visayas Scientific Seminar and Annual Convention was also held on the same date.

PSAS currently has 4,000 members consisting of veterinarians, animal scientists, researchers, academicians, agricultural economists, animal nutritionists, agricultural extension providers and industry representatives. Dr. Thelma Saludes of PCC at They support livestock and poultry UPLB bagged the first place in the production, poultry and livestock Best Scientific Poster category. The raisers, farm managers, laboratory poster was based on her study titled personnel and government personnel “Performance of Buffalo Calves Fed with working in the field of animal science in a Commercial Milk Replacer”. the country.

industry news KOICA experts train PCC scientists and researchers As part of the US$3 million grantin-aid project on “Enhancing Livestock Sector Performance in the Philippines”, staff members of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) were selected to participate in the training course on “Empowerment for Genetic Improvement of Dairy Cattle in the Philippines”. The project is a joint undertaking by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA). The course enhanced the competencies of PCC scientists and researchers along the disciplines of molecular genetics, breeding and genetics, bioinformatics, reproductive biotechnology, cryobanking, disease detection, and embryo transfer.

Generally, the training was meant to help improve the overall performance of dairy cattle industry and semen production in the country, establish a system through technology application to enhance the performance of the dairy cattle and stock production, and maintain continuous exchange of technology for the dairy cattle development.

The nine trainees underwent a threemonth on-the-job training at Hankyong National University in Gyonggi-do, South Korea. Their training was held from October 11 to December 22.The training design included a mix of lectures and on-thespot practices for technology sharing, direct experience of knowledge through study visits to related institutions and in-depth learning from expert groups on animal improvement technology. Under the KOICA-DA agreement, which will end in November this year, equipment and laboratory facilities will be donated to PCC to be manned by those who underwent the training.

The second training will be held this March to June. Seven new trainees from PCC have already been selected.


f e e b a r a C d class meat ist’snfoor t2henhigh-class taste, too I

Text and photo by ROWENA G. BUMANLAG

Plating by Thelma Marcelo


arabao’s meat is no second-rate beef. Nor is it a trying hard copycat. In fact, it has occupied a distinct niché even among consumers of the more popular and omnipresent cattle beef. At the PCC station in UPLB, this distinction has been reinforced with the processing of carabeef as a gourmet sausage that is comparable with the high-end European sausages. PCC scientist and carabao-based products development expert Dr. Rosalina Lapitan takes pride in her team’s efforts in making carabao’s meat well-liked in the local market where in fact it is called as the “better beef”.


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Photo by Anna Reylene J. Montes/PCC at UPLB Dr. Lapitan says they are “happy that carabeef is no longer considered a second-class beef that is next only to cattle beef” with the growing number of customers who patronize the carabeef sausages. PCC at UPLB started to offer carabeef sausages only in 2007. Initially, she said, customers were hesitant to buy their carabeef sausage because of its high price which could range from Php230 to Php410 per kg. These prices, however, were lower by Php50 to Php100 compared to the existing brands available in the market. “When our customers have tried the quality of our sausages, they became willing to pay the high price and would even place bulk orders knowing that our stock is limited,” Dr. Lapitan said. “More and more customers come here and inquire when we are going to process again. Even before we could display them, our sausages are already sold out,” she added. Currently, PCC at UPLB has 13 variants of gourmet sausages. Among these are schublig, beerwurst, knockwurst, Italian (sweet and hot), mortadella, salametti, summer, kielbasa, kabanosy, breakfast, cocktail, and Hungarian. The latter is the most hot-selling item. Recognizing that these gourmet products cater to well-off consumers and are offered only in fine

delicatessen, PCC at UPLB added in its food line low-end and more affordable products such as hotdog and batutay.

high-end sausages. We are not yet into large-scale business due to the limited supply of meat,” Dr. Lapitan said.

Labeled as “Carabest Premium Carabeef Sausages,” they are processed by the Animal Products Development Center (APDC) of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Marulas, Valenzuela City, which was commissioned by PCC at UPLB for the purpose.

“Even if we want to satisfy the growing demand of our customers, we don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the meat that we process by outsourcing it from other suppliers,” she added.

Using cheaper lean cuts or trimmings, the sausages are formulated with natural spices such as fennel seeds and coriander, and basic spices such as salt, onion, garlic, and pepper. A few ounce of pork fat is also added in the sausage mix. The mix is then bound in a hog casing followed by curing and smoking. The sausages are grilled, boiled, broiled, or pan-fried to taste. Depending on the diner’s distinct preference, they are usually served during breakfast or as a sandwich filling. Epicureans, though, like it pompously served with pumpernickel, pickles, mustard, and a generous pour of beer. However, due to the limited supply of carabao’s meat, “Carabest” sausages are made available only on a quarterly basis. An average of 100 kg of carabao’s meat is processed during this period. “For the moment, we are only modeling the processing of carabeef into

The meat used for processing “Carabest” premium sausages is derived from culled animals from the PCC at UPLB institutional herd. These are animals that are either no longer productive or are male crossbreds. Only 30-month old buffaloes are slaughtered for the processing of “Carabest” food line, Dr. Lapitan said.

A healthier beef alternative Dr. Lapitan said, “the reason why carabao’s meat is said to be tough, making it an unattractive choice for consumers, is because, traditionally, old animals are slaughtered for meat.” As such they are animals that have already been utilized for farm work and have reached their unproductive age,” Dr. Lapitan said. Studies show that meat from carabaos that are slaughtered at the end of their working life is dark, coarse, and tough. However, it is already proven continued on page

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Rommel C

Text and photos by KHRIZIE EVERT M. MARCELO


ecognized for being the “Bangus Capital of the World”, Dagupan City is also known for the best culinary offerings, historic tourist adventure, and gateway to the North. As a center of trade in the northern part of the country, travelers can expect Dagupan to be lively even at night.

‘Pigar Pigar’ Stands out as the night’s delight

For an individual, a typical night starts with a dinner. The city is peppered with restaurants offering different types of cuisines to choose from, making every dining a worthwhile experience. There is one gastronomic delight that stands out during night time in the city. It is known as Pigar Pigar. Pigar Pigar is Dagupan city’s version of stir-fried beef. This popular street food is made of thin slices of carabao’s meat seasoned with salt and pepper, deep fried and served with fried onions. Pigar Pigar is a pangalatok (native Pangasinan dialect) for “turning over” that refers to the process of cooking which requires constant turning over of meat while deep frying. It all started during the 1980’s with the late Manny Vent Cornel, a veteran newspaperman, who concocted the famous dish. According to some locals, it was Cornel who gave instruction to a woman named Ising, who owns a cart that serves coffee and bread to butchers, to cook the freshly-butchered beef from a meat dealer. After some time, the use of beef for cooking Pigar Pigar changed to carabao’s meat for a lower cost. Since then, Pigar Pigar made a name in the city that, by just saying this word, one’s mind races immediately to one place---Galvan Street. The busy Galvan Street at day time turns into a commercial food area of Pigar


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Pigar at night time. The street is located near the city’s public market. A Pigar Pigar stall is where a piece of freshly slaughtered carabao’s meat is hung and displayed for the customers to see. The food is prepared only once a customer makes an order for it. One of the best places to head out for, is Great Taste Fast-food, a 24-hour Pigar Pigar stall owned by Rommel Cerezo. The quality and quantity of Pigar-Pigar plus a good service from the owner and the crew make this place stand out among the rest. “It was in 2009 when I decided to open a store here in Galvan Street. Looking back, I had no idea what kind of business to venture into. Because Pigar Pigar was already popular then, I decided to put up one,” Cerezo shared. Unfamiliar with this delicacy, he mastered his own recipe for three months before venturing into it. Because he has a passion for cooking, this helped him produce the perfect blend of seasoning for his Pigar Pigar. Nightly patrons of Pigar Pigar are weary travelers, late night diners and people who want to drink and relax, he said. Cerezo said, Pigar Pigar is a food for everyone. “For individuals with a tight budget and a hearty appetite, this could be a great food find,” he said. A kilogram of the raw meat costs Php300 which can serve six to eight persons. For four to six persons (3/4 kg), it retails at Php225. A half kilogram, which is good for two to four servings costs Php150 while a one-fourth kilogram, good for two servings, costs Php80. Daily peddlers of Pigar Pigar start to put up the stalls along Galvan Street at 4 p.m. By this time, livestock inspectors start to inspect the meats delivered for every stall. “On a daily basis, meats from six to seven head of carabaos are delivered here in Maningas Market. These meats are either from Mangaldan, Urdaneta

or Malasique towns’ slaughterhouses,” explained Fernando Bancheran, City Veterinarian. He added that hundreds of kilograms of carabao’s meat are delivered every day at 3 p.m. for Pigar-Pigar stalls only. During peak season, the delivery reaches 200 to 300 kg. The peak months are April, during the “Bangus Festival” and from November to December. “We do the inspection from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m,” Bancheran said. Only meat from accredited slaughter houses are accepted in the public market. They should bear a National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) seal and a document duly signed by the city veterinarian, livestock inspector and NMIS representative to support the inspected meat. “The Great Taste Fast-food operates 24 hours a day. Meat deliveries for the night’s supply are delivered at 4 p.m. and 3 a.m. for the stock during day time. For regular days which is from Sundays to Thursdays, we can consume 5 kg of carabao’s meat during the day and 10 kg of it during the night, while in peak days, from Fridays to Saturdays, the stocks goes up to 20 kg to 30 kg,” said Cerezo. Cerezo said the preparation of PigarPigar is simple. “The meat is cleaned first by cutting the fats and removing the ligaments off the fresh meat”. This process takes three hours to do. Usually, brisket, quarter or rear flank are used, since these parts have leaner meats with less fats. The meat then is thinly sliced into bite size, seasoned with our secret ingredients and set aside for ordering. We don’t marinate it to maintain the redness of the meat,” he said. Asked about the process of cooking the dish, Cerezo said: “The recommended cooking time should only last for 15 minutes, otherwise, the meat will become chewy. Constant stirring is needed while deep-frying the meat under moderate heat. Adding of vegetables is done before removing the meat from the heat.” He said depending on the customer’s preference, one can request for addons like onion rings, sliced cabbage and

cauliflowers for an additional fee of Php20. Other than that, the customers can choose if they like their Pigar Pigar to be pure meat with a mixture of liver or fat or added with “papait” for additional flavoring. “Papait” is a juice that comes from the undigested grass stored in the stomach of the carabao. The stomach enzymes cause its bitter taste, hence, the term. When an order of Pigar Pigar is served, one sees slivers of meat garnished with lightly cooked onions. These light and crunchy sweet onions highlight the taste of the carabao’s meat. To enhance more the richness of the meat, available dips of soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, calamansi and chili are served. “The demand for Pigar Pigar usually doubles up during special events like the Pigar Pigar Festival, a mini-festival included in the Bangus Festival and during holiday seasons,” Cerezo said. “Pigar Pigar Festival” is a product of collaboration between the LGU and the Dagupan City Pigar Pigar Association, headed by Cerezo. The group was organized two years ago and he has been its chairman since. Being the chairman, he proposed to have a standard pricing for Pigar-Pigar to avoid conflicts among stalls. He also plans to have a common concept of taste, servings and service for all Pigar Pigar stalls to maximize profits out of the business. Currently, the group has 20 active stall owner-members from different parts of Pangasinan. In addition to Cerezo’s menu for a healthier option is the Chicken Pigar Pigar. He launched this product last November 20. “This new dish serves as an alternative choice in case we experience lack of supply of carabao’s meat,” Cerezo said. In the meantime, there’s no dearth of carabao meat supply. Hopefully, there will be none so that carabao Pigar Pigar can continuously satisfy the gourmands’ delight.





‘Randang’, ‘balbakwa’, ‘pisawawan’

They are Maranaos’ food delights

Text and photos by ROWENA G. BUMANLAG


ntricacies in their Muslim culture set the Maranaos apart from other Philippine ethnic groups. Their innate inclination to artistry is one, the other, their palpable passion for cuisines that are no less than exquisite. For food delights, their favorites are randang sa ranao, balbakwa, and pisawawan a carni.

An eatery, the “Balbakwa and Kambingan Restaurant”, offers these Maranao favorites that certainly beguile anyone with a finicky taste bud. Randang, a traditional Asian dry curry and a popular viand among the Maranaos of Lanao, uses buffalo meat as the main ingredient. What makes this dish a delightful masterpiece is the paste or gravy. It reflects such characters of richness and texture that are borne by the various spices which are expressive of the Maranao’s love for spicy foods. It uses one of the distinguished mainstays in the Maranao’s kitchen, which is palapa, a traditionally prepared condiment. A mixture of sakurab (scallion bulbs or what the Maranaos also call as sibuyas Bombay) and luy-a (ginger), the palapa is what makes randang truly a Maranao special.

PCCNewsletter Newsletter••October-December October-December2011 2011 14 PCC 14

With over 15 years of experience as a restaurateur in Marawi City, Amer Sab Lalanto, owner-cum-master chef of the “Balbakwa and Kambingan Restaurant,” perfected his culinary rendition of randang to satisfy the discriminating taste and appetite of the Maranaos. In a kilogram of buffalo’s meat, he shared, they use a half cup of chopped chili, ¼ kg of sakurab, ½ kg of tomato, a spoonful of ginger, and two coconuts with both their flesh and milk. The coconut flesh is desiccated and dry toasted over low-heat temperature. Amer Sab said that 50 kg of randang is used for food preparation in the restaurant every day. For a small restaurant such as his, which has about a 60-seat capacity, a particular dish can indeed be considered a specialty if such a big volume is sold out at the end of the day. A serving of randang, which is good for two persons, is at an affordable cost of Php50.

Another bestseller at Amer Sab’s place is the balbakwa. His wife, Rasmia, said this dish is one of the reasons why their first-time customers would instantly become their loyal patrons once they have tasted it.

Couple Rasmia and Amer Sa

Balbakwa uses the buffalo’s knuckles or leg parts. Each serving usually comes up as a steaming hot dish in a bowl. At the “Balbakwa and Kambingan Restaurant”, Amer Sab aced the art of balbakwa cooking in such a way that the skin and meat attached to the bones are tenderized and soft for nibbling. This takes him two hours of slow cooking. The preparation of Amer Sab’s balbakwa broth is what makes his recipe different from the string of other balbakwahans at the Marawi City’s public market.


At Php70 per serving, a bowl of balbakwa is any soup lover’s delight. The broth, which can be smooth-to-sticky consistency, is garnished with onion leaves, ginger, and a dash of salt and pepper. Amer Sab said a generous quantity of tomatoes in his recipe is what makes his dish appetizing. Customers of Amer Sab’s restaurant, who are mostly local government officials and visitors from other places, are so pleased with balbakwa that local residents consider it their comfort soup. Others also believe that balbakwa is some kind of an aphrodisiac and an instant remedy for people with stomach problems. Although these beliefs are not scientifically proven, they seemingly add to the “charm” that this food offers to food enthusiasts. In other restaurants, balbakwa is a stew of buffalo’s skin sans the bones. The other mainstay cuisine of Amer Sab is pisawawan a carni. It is basically of the same ingredients as the balbakwa except for the use of more tender cuts of buffalo’s meat. A serving of it is priced at Php50. A buffalo meat supplier delivers stocks to the couple at Php220 per kg. The retail price of buffalo meat in the public market is pegged at Php 230 to Php250 per kg. The viands served at Amer Sab’s restaurant are made more palatable with a plate of yellowish rice also peculiar to Amer Sab’s menu. The rice, shared Rasmia, is added with turmeric powder. It is a favored spice among Maranaos, adding color and flavor in their food. Amer Sab and Rasmia said that their

Carabao’s meat sells like hotcake in Marawi City In a Muslim area such as Marawi City in Lanao Del Sur, the carabao meat is considered “halal” which means it is a food permitted under the Islamic law. As such, the carabao takes the centerpiece in every Maranao family’s dining table. In fact, it is a staple item in the menu of almost all eateries and households in Marawi City.

He said Ramadan and election periods are peak seasons for the business.

This makes selling carabao’s meat truly a profitable business at the Marawi public market. As an example, Ali Ditucalan, one of the five carabao’s meat sellers in the city’s wet market, rakes in an average income of Php100,000 a day from meat sales. At the city’s public market, each of the vendors has laborers who do the purchasing, hauling, slaughtering, and dressing of the animals. Each vendor only sells on a designated day of the week. The carabaos are usually imported from Molave, Zambonga Del Sur, which is about 175 km from Marawi City.

success in the food business is largely attributed to the quality of food that they serve to their customers. Both hardworking and hands-on entrepreneurs, the tandem is able to earn and sustain good stature in their hometown’s society. They are also able to support their 10 children, including their good education, solely from the income of the restaurant. To Amer Sab and Rasmia, every day is a challenge to face head on knowing that they have to keep up with their customers’ fantastic appetite for good food. They, thus, keep on safeguarding the quality of the dishes they prepare and in so doing they maintain their competitive edge. They now plan to expand their restaurant business.

A kg of carabao’s meat is sold at Php230. Eatery owners get theirs at a discounted price of Php220. His buyers, Ditucalan said, are usually eatery owners and those who are observing a wake or celebrating a festivity.

This is evident in the stretch of eateries in one of the streets along the Marawi public market. Anyone can get a dose of the Maranao cuisine with the offering of dishes made of carabao’s meat such as randang and balbakwa. These two are the everyday favorites among the Maranao diners.

A carabao costs Php20,000 to Php30,000 whose ages range from three and above.

According to Ditucalan, he slaughters two to three carabaos per day, which means he can sell an average of 450 kg of meat every day.

Aside from selling the meat and the skin, Ditucalan said the other parts of the carabao are sold. The bones, hoofs, and horns are bought by an accessory maker and exporter from Cebu. The bone parts are sold at Php12 per kg while the horns are priced at Php75 to Php100 per pair.

“Bismillah hirahmanir rahim, nawaito anajbah hajihil majboh halalan lillahi ta-Allah (In the name of Allah, I intend to slaughter this animal halalled by Allah)” IN the Muslim culture, this is the Islamic ritual recited by an Imam (Islamic leader)or ulama (Islamic scholar) before a carabao is slaughtered for it to be considered “halal” (lawful).


r. Jane Tranquilan of the Mindanao State University, who has gained expertise on animal products processing, found out in her study that “canned beef randang” showed a very promising demand. Its feasibility was based on the higher internal rate of return, higher benefit cost ratio, and higher net value of the money.” Thus, she said, canned “randang” will make a good business in Muslim-populated areas such as Marawi City. 15 15


avao City is a dazzling cornucopia of things to see and do.

From exquisite landscapes to extraordinary treasure-trove experiences, Davao City speaks of nature’s beauty and the trappings of modern life all at the same time. And when it comes to unique, extraordinary food offerings, the city has a long list of must-see restaurants that can sate the rumbling stomach. The long list includes various seafood cuisines and other delectable nourishments that one can choose from without having second thoughts.

One particular eatery in the downtown area which carries an intriguing name stands out as it has become a talk of the town for locals and tourists alike. It has become a favorite stop-over for travellers, too. The name of the eatery is “Bulcachong”. It offers a unique dish that one must partake to capture its essence. The dish is also named bulcachong, a concoction whose secret is known only to its master chef-Chong. Bulcachong is a buffalo meat recipe which can be similar to bulalo (Filipino beef shank and bone marrow stew) but is uniquely different when it comes to appearance, aroma, and taste.

The chunks of meat are meticulously cooked for three hours until they become very tender. It is then mixed with various ingredients that include extract of atsuete, a natural coloring, and a minute amount of flour which makes the soup orange and thick. It has a strong aroma which fills every nook and corner of the restaurant. But what makes bulcachong particularly different and loved is its gingery taste which gives an extra spicy kick that lingers in the partaker’s mouth for at least a minute. It is not the most appetizing description to a dish but certainly a Davaoeño’s favorite. In fact, it has become a must-try exotic food like that of the famous durian fruit.

The other exquisite delicacy of Davao


Bulcachong, the top-selling dish of Bulcachong restaurant, offers a mouthwatering goodness that continually lures more and more customers to try it.

16 PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011


Davao City’s Bankerohan Market An array of buffalo meat dishes has always been a sought-after food among Davaoeños and even tourists in the huge city of Davao. Because of them, several restaurants and eateries or carinderia mushroomed all over the city offering a repertoire of buffalo meat recipes. These restaurants include the Blue Carabao Diner, Brown Carabao eatery, Louwezen’s eatery, Kabawan sa Calinan, Bulcachong, among others.

ouple Nara and Rolly “Chong” Bartolore For a first timer, the first reaction is to back out due to its strong aroma, but as the thick soup slushes down the throat and the extra soft meat melts in the mouth, the wonders work by itself where the partaker finds himself or herself keep stuffing more into his or her mouth until his or her stomach can take no more. And what’s the other secret? The calamansi juice, which can be poured over the soup, makes it all the more mouthwatering that one opts to order again. The master chef, Chong, commonly mistaken as a Chinese, is a Filipino. He is a gourmet cook and he likes preparing esoteric dishes such as the bulcachong which have gained popularity among locals and tourists alike over the years. He cooks the way he lived his life--meticulously and very properly.

These restaurants usually purchase 80 to 200 kilograms of buffalo meat everyday at the Bankerohan Market, the second largest market in the city, next to Maa. The buffalo meat is prepared and served into a range of dishes such as ‘bulalo’ (Filipino beef shank and bone marrow stew), ‘pochero’ (classic Filipino beef stew), ‘hinalang’ (spicy beef soup), ‘bulcachong’ (similar to bulalo but with orange and thick soup), and ‘paklay’ (carabao’s internal parts), and many others. The carabaos slaughtered from the

districts of Panacan and Maa in Davao City are brought to the Bankerohan Market between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. The carabaos usually come from Calinan in Davao City and in Digos City, Davao del Sur. The carcass or dress meat is sold at Php110 to Php155 per kilogram. For bone parts, it is priced at Php100 to Php125 per kilogram. Buffaloes are priced at Php15,000 to Php25,000 each depending on their age. The mataderos (butcher) at the market said that the younger the carabao, the lower the price. At the Bankerohan, though, most of the carabaos slaughtered are native with age ranging from five to eight years old. Based on the inventory of the City Veterinarian Office, a total of 2,700 carabaos was slaughtered in 2010 alone. Other abattoirs in Davao City are located in the districts of JaenPanacan, Soylon-Mintal, Calinan, Toril, and Arandia.

Bulalo Special is one of the top-sellers at Bulcachong restaurant.

His love for cooking started when he was six. At a very young age, he was already aware of life’s hardships. Being the third child among six children, he would cook for his siblings when his parents are away at work. continued on page




akdol’ is a waray term for buffalo meat stew. The soup exhibits more tasty character than the usual bulalo of Luzon, which reflects the Spanish tint in the Filipino cuisine.

Text and photo by IVY FE M. LOPEZ

Dahil sa Iyo” is one of the most visited restaurants in Tacloban City.

Located along the highway of Real St. and corner P. Burgos St., it offers the most delicious and reasonable viands, foremost of which are those from buffalo’s meat. “Dahil Sa Iyo” is like wine, the older it gets, the more exhilarating it becomes. Operating for almost 35 years now, it remains a much-sought place for travelers who always want to savor the taste of pakdol. The restaurant is owned by husband and wife Mr. Roman and Mrs. Anacoreta Guinto. Mr. Gunito is a pure Caviteño while his wife is from Barugo, Leyte. They decided to settle and have their business in Tacloban City. The couple started a small restaurant in 1976 offering pakdol as its centerpiece menu. From then on, this dish remained among the top picks of customers. Pakdol is a waray term for buffalo meat stew. The soup exhibits more tasty character than the usual bulalo of Luzon, which reflects the Spanish tint in the Filipino cuisine. In pakdol, the carabao’s shank with bone marrow and chinese cabbage are 18

PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

‘Dahil sa Iyo’ is for partaking


used as main ingredients. It is spiced up with a handful of ginger and lemon grass.

source of numerous vitamins and minerals.

Pakdol gained the attention of the diners in Tacloban because of its exquisite taste.

As the restaurant’s master chef, Mr. Gunito said buffalo meat is tenderized by simmering it for four hours under a low fire using charcoal.

According to Mr. Guinto, they use buffalo meat for pakdol instead of beef because it has rich and beef-like taste and the price is lesser. It is lower in cholesterol and calories yet higher in iron and protein making it a perfect beef substitute for the health-conscious customers. In addition, buffalo meat is a great

The Guintos’ restaurant was once featured by a national TV network and its pakdol recipe was included in a Canadian magazine. A bowl of this delicious soup, which is good for a serving of four persons, is offered at an affordable price of Php200.

‘BULCACHONG’ From page 17

When he was in second year high school, one of his friends took him to a cargo ship for a work. They did errands in the ship’s kitchen in exchange for supper. “Every Wednesday, I would skip from school to go to the ship and do errands for the Korean chef which was mostly washing the dishes. After that, he would give me free food. At times, he would give me extra food which I can take home for my siblings to eat for at least two days,” Chong recalls. “Since I was still a child, I didn’t mind if I wasn’t paid money in exchange for my services. Aside from the food that I can take home, the Korean was very, very friendly to me. In fact, among us, I was his favorite,” he proudly continued. They barely could understand each other’s language, though, except for a common greeting: “Come here… come here…” as the Korean waves his hands toward the kitchen. “Just before the Korean died,” Chong continued, “he asked me to cook for his customers. I was very nervous at that time because they might not like what I cooked. But after the customers had their lunch, the Korean happily told me that he and his customers found the food I cooked a winning meal. I was propelled to love cooking all the more.” The Korean did not teach Chong how to cook and neither did he share any of his recipes. He learned it through peeping at the Korean’s cooking activities while tending to his dishes. Silently, he would crawl into the Korean’s side and observe how he mixed and blended the ingredients.

known in Davao City.

They called their restaurant “Bulcachong”. It carries a tagline that says, “Rapa sa Toro, Sarap para sa lahat.” In Pilipino, that’s “delicious carabao dish for everyone”. Bulcachong comes from three words coined into one. “Bul” means bulalo, “ca” is short for ”cabaw”, a Davaoeños local term for carabao, and “chong”, Mr. Bartolore’s nickname. Today, Bulcachong has six branches all over Davao strategically located in Sulop, Davao del Sur; S.I.R (Sandawa Islam Resettlement) in Matina, Davao City; Tubalan, Malita; two branches in Digos City; and the main located at the downtown area near Gaisano Ilustre. Everyday, Mrs. Bartolore purchases 100 kg of buffalo meat at the Bankerohan market. The meat is usually cooked for the restaurant’s main dishes, bulalo and bulcachong, which are Bulcachong’s bestsellers that are generously offered in big servings. The bulalo special which is good for three to four persons is sold at Php300. For the bulcachong, serving of which is normally good for one person, there are two dining options. One can choose to dine outside the restaurant amid fresh air at Php75; or inside with an air conditioner which is served at Php90. Because the main store is open for 24 hours, the 100-kg purchased meat is consumed in a maximum of two days. Its peak hours, Mrs. Bartolore said, is from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. It has become very popular among locals who look for a hot

“Bulcachong” carries a tagline that says, “Rapa sa Toro, Sarap Para sa Lahat.” In Pilipino, that’s “delicious carabao dish for everyone”. soup to bring them back to a sober state after a night of drinking session. The couple’s enduring passion for business and cooking has rewarded them with establishing a house near the shore surrounded with fishpond plus a piggery. They were also able to acquire lot titles for their restaurant’s branches. While there are many restaurants and eateries that mushroomed all over Davao City, the Bulcachong restaurant continues to thrive because of its secret ingredient that no one has succeeded in imitating yet. Since the Bulcachong restaurant was built, many locals tried to mix and blend several ingredients just to come up with the exact exotic but delightful taste of the bulcachong but only to no avail. The secret ingredient, Chong said, will remain a “secret” in him and his most trusted cochef who have worked for the restaurant for 18 years now. After dining at Bulcachong, one, for sure, leaves with a satisfied and delighted stomach and exclaim: “Lami ah uy!” That means: “Unbelievably delicious!”

Before passing away, though, the Korean gave a secret ingredient to Chong which he now uses for his famous dish. The couple Nara and Rolly “Chong” Bartolore, started their business on December 8, 1999 as a small carinderia. Their main dish then was already the bulcachong. Because of its extraordinary taste, the Davaoeños found it very irresistible until it became a mainstay. From a small carinderia, their business gradually grew and has become well-

19 19

‘Pindang damulag’ is centerpiece in Kapampangan cuisine Text and photos by ROWENA G. BUMANLAG


apampangan cuisine is either masanting or malagu.

But there’s more to their dishes than being “nice” and “beautiful”. After all, both words can only be mere descriptions of their presentations or food plating. From merely being a Spanish apprentice in culinary arts during the Spanish colonization in the Philippines, the Kapampangans have imbibed the art and expertise and passed them on from one generation to the next.

Everybody's Cafe owner Pette Jorolan shows off in this photo some of her bestselling dishes. It has branches located at 105-106 BPI Arcade, Teresa Avenue, Sto. Rosario, Angeles City and in Sindalan, San Fernando, Pampanga. Customers can also get a taste of these exquisite dishes every Saturday at the Salcedo night market.


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Now, the Kapampangans are indubitably known to serve not just good food but fine cuisine. This “supremacy for good food” continues to live on. A proof to this is that Kapampangan cuisine is as always a delectable gustatory treat for anyone.

Everybody’s Café: Home to Authentic Kapampangan Cuisine Such can be experienced, for example, at Pette S. Jorolan’s Everybody’s Café. The restaurant was put up by Pette’s parents in the 1950s, a few years after the Japanese era. As signified in its name, Everybody’s Café was established with the thought that it should be anybody’s place, connoting it is not partisan or favoring a particular class.

Everybody’s Café, now considered as one of the culinary landmarks of San Fernando, Pampanga, evolved from being a carinderia known simply then for its pancit luglog and mami. Pette, who was a protégé of no less than the renowned culinary masters Pat Limjuco Dayrit and Sylvia Reynoso-Gala, took over the family’s business in 1967. Pette shared that she grew up with keen enjoyment and passion for cooking. She said this is the same character that gives her restaurant the cutting edge among other restaurants serving Kapampangan cuisine in San Fernando.

Betute (pork-stuffed frog)

Everybody’s Café enjoys the loyalty of gastronomes and lures new ones to try out its dishes. The originality in its menu is an expression of Pette’s profound ingenuity to offer sumptuous, savory, and bizarre food that can instantly elicit approval among gourmands. Topping the roster of Pette’s bestsellers, fit for an epicure, is the tapang kalabaw or pindang damulag (dried or cured meat). Unlike how it is usually perceived, Pette’s tapang kalabaw is a “convenient” food, meaning it requires less effort to chew it. The meat is so tender that a bite-size practically melts in the mouth! On how to do just that, Pette said it’s a tightly guarded secret. She offered to share, though, quite a few details in the making of her superb tapang kalabaw. She said it takes seven to 10 days of fermentation before it can be cooked and served on the customers’ table to become part of a sumptuous meal. She uses lean or choice-cut buffalo meat for her tapa. Customers at Everybody’s Café have only high regards on Pette’s tapang kalabaw. They say that her tapa is soft and easy for the jaws. This is a boost, they say, to its already flavorsome character that is simply sweet and sour. Another uniqueness in this recipe is that it does not stick on the frying pan when cooked due to the melting of its sugar component. Unlike the regular tocino, Pette’s tapang kalabaw saves one the burden of having to worry about scouring the pan after cooking.

Morcon (rolled meat like embutido)

A short order of the tapang kalabaw is priced at Php170. It is also sold on a per kg basis at Php220, which is good for two to three persons. Pette gets her supply of buffalo choice cuts twice or thrice a week from her supplier. About 10 kg of tapang kalabaw is consumed in the restaurant every day, she said, or up to 20 kg during the peak season. Her customers during the holidays are Manileños and expats who also like to bring her food abroad. Tapang kalabaw or pindang damulag is best served during breakfast with chokolate batirol. This chocolate drink, usually served hot, is made up of peanut and cacao beans. It is mixed in a “batirol” (mixing bowl) using “molinillo” (chocolate frother or whisk). More bestselling entrées are a musttry at Pette’s menu. These are the betute (pork-stuffed frog), morcon (rolled meat like embutido), paksiw na bangus (using big-sized milk fish from Dagupan City), camaru (fried cricket), and deep-fried or marinated native duck. The other sought-after items in Everybody’s Café are the pako salad (fiddlehead fern salad with balsamic

vinaigrette dressing) and fresh papaya lumpia (spring roll with grated papaya). Pette believes that for an entrepreneur to carve a steady niché in the food business, customers must find something special about the food that is not to be found anywhere else to keep them coming back. “Kapampangans live to eat, that is why Everybody’s Café also live up to our customers expectation of nothing less than a satisfying dining experience,” said Pette. Pette adds, “We maintain our position in the business amidst challenges because we stick to our mission of leaving a legacy of fine cuisine to our young generations. We also like to preserve our culture through the dishes that we make at Everybody’s Café.” Melencia Manalastas, 75, who has been with Everybody’s Café as an aide since 1952, said the mission that they continue to live by and the passion that they put in the preparation of their dishes, consistently make their restaurant and food masanting and malagu in the eyes of their patrons. 21

Photo by RGBumanlag

‘Pindang na Kalabaw’’ is Mangaldan’s OTOP


Pindang na kalabaw”, also known as “tapa” or dried or cured meat, has become a topseller in Mangaldan town in Pangasinan. In fact, when one mentions about Mangaldan, among the first things that comes to mind is this food delight.

As it is largely a bestseller among local folks, pindang has become the town’s OTOP or one-town-one-product under the Department of Trade and Industry’s products’ boosting.


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Why it became the town’s OTOP, Roberto C. Tamontong, municipal agriculturist explained: “Tatak na ito ng Mangaldan noon pa (This has been the brand of Mangaldan many years ago) and I can say it is the best tapa in the Philippines.” “There are two types of pindang - one dried and the other, juicy,” he said. Since it became Mangaldan’s OTOP, every meat vendor in the town’s public market has this product in their queue of most sought-after meat products.

and tender that’s why there are many buyers),” Manang Tassie said.

Quick ‘pindang’ preparations Pindang, contrary to the common belief that it entails meticulous preparation, is not difficult and laborious at all to make ready for serving. Manang Tassie unveils her easy-andquick to prepare pindang. First, she said, the carabao’s meat is thoroughly rinsed. After rinsing, the mixed spices, composed of garlic, and black pepper are poured onto it.

Tassie Estrada, or Manang Tassie, one of the meat vendors, said although To make it very tender, she adds, Saturdays and Sundays are the regular a minute amount of softdrink to the market days in the town, she and the meat and then packs it immediately in other vendors still sell pindang everyday starting from the wee hour in the morning cellophane to avoid any contamination. up to nine o’clock in the evening. “Noon, ibinibilad pa namin ‘yung karne, pero nilalangaw kaya diretso na “Masarap ang tapa namin dito at naming i-pina-pack ngayon (Before, we malambot kaya marami talaga ang used to sundry the meat but flies swarm bumibili (Our tapa is really delicious on it so we now pack it immediately after

Photos by KBTuraja

pouring the mixture),” she said. She prepares 20 to 50 kilograms of buffalo meat everyday. Her product is available in packs of ¼ kilogram, at Php55, or ½ kilogram which is priced at Php110. The peak month, Manang Tassie disclosed, is December because many of the local folks love to serve it on their noche buena table.

Oldest ‘pindang’ maker One of the oldest and original makers of pindang in Mangaldan town is Mrs. Marcela Barrozo, fondly called as “Nanay Cela”, who is now 67 years old. Aside from being the oldest in the business, she is also dubbed as the “best tapa maker” in the whole of Mangaldan. She has been in the business for 46 years now. This distinction is justified by the award she received for coming out with “the best product” during the 2006 “Bangus Festival” in Dagupan City. Her tocino, on the other hand, was accorded the same citation during the same festival in 2007. “Noon, sumasama lang ako sa palengke. Walang nagturo sa akin ng ganitong uri ng trabaho basta natuto na lang ako. Noong nagtapos ako ng sekondarya, nagtinda na ako ng karne

na inaangkat ko lang. Nang lumaon, nagsimula na akong magkatay ng kalabaw, baka, at baboy (Before, I just used to join others in the market. Nobody taught me about this kind of job. I just learned it. When I finished my secondary course, I started selling meat which I get from others in the business. But later, I started to butcher carabaos, cattle, and pigs which I sell).

“In processing the meat,” she continued, “ligaments should be cleaned thoroughly and stored in a freezer for a few minutes. Then, the spices are strewn over it.”

With her humble beginnings, Nanay Cela rose to own meat stalls, food house, and a meat shop which she named “Cela’s Meat Shop”. Her meat shop offers the bestselling tapa which carries the brand “Mangaldan’s Best”.

What makes Nanay Cela’s tapa or pindang different from the rest of the tapa makers in Mangaldan is its distinct taste and extra tenderness. Its taste has the right blend of being sweet and spicy in one bite which makes her pindang very much loved by patrons.

Her meat shop has its own processing area which is accredited by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) with an “AA” status. Compared to other meat such as pork and beef, Nanay Cela said she prefers buffalo meat for pindang because of its tenderness and palatability. Pindang is available at her shop at affordable prices. The wholesale price for 400 grams (assorted parts of carabao) is at Php110 while the tenderloin is priced at Php130 per 400 grams. Nanay Cela delivers her product to the public market and to some restaurants. Customers from other provinces like La Union, Baguio City, and Manila, directly buys the product at her meat shop.

Her own style Preparation of pindang is easy, Nanay Cela shares. “The first tip is to always use the meat of young carabaos, which is naturally tender,” she said.

After mixing the ingredients, Nanay Cela said the meat should be marinated for at least one to two days. The meat is ready to be packed by then, she said.

In her four decades in this business, she said her success is a product of her diligence, hard work, and patience. “Mahirap ang buhay namin noon. May mga pagkakataon na lumilipas ang isang araw na kumakalam ang aming mga sikmura, (Life for us was difficult then. There were times that the day passes by with our stomach grumbling),” she confessed. This experience, she said, goaded her to strive hard to overcome poverty. In the Mangaldan slaughter house, approximately 500 head of carabaos are being slaughtered monthly mainly for tapa or pindang processing. Veronica P. Junatas, slaughter supervisor III, said that in 2010, 7,116 head of carabaos were slaughtered. From January to November this year, a total of 6,000 head had already been slaughtered. The carabaos, Junatas said, are brought by viajeros coming from different provinces such as Isabela, Cagayan, La Union, Nueva Ecija, and Pangasinan. 23


ith “lechon kalabaw”, you can always have a plateful of your favorite “fiesta” offering without having to worry much about your cholesterol skyrocketing.

By KHRIZIE EVERT M. MARCELO Interview by RAMIL R. CARBONEL Photo by RGBumanlag Plating by Thelma Marcelo


Kalabaw’ is topnotch food biz in Isabela


is no 2nd-class meat From page 11 in research that carabao’s meat is comparable to cattle beef in terms of its physiochemical, nutritional, and palatability characteristics. Carabeef, according to Dr. Lapitan, has low marbling or fats within the lean making it suitable for processing. This characteristic, she said, affects the flavor, tenderness, and juiciness of the meat when cooked. PCC Newsletter Newsletter • • October-December October-December 2011 2011 24 PCC 24


n the Philippines, among the things Filipinos are known for is their penchant for lechon.

From the Spanish term leche or milk, the lechon has been part of the country’s history since the Spanish-era. It connotes a whole roasted pig commonly called lechong baboy. Originated from Spain, this mouthwatering and delicious food has certainly become an icon prepared by Filipino families throughout the year for any special occasions, festivals and holidays. It is usually the centerpiece food adorned with apple in its mouth. In Ilagan, Isabela, lechons are made

Of late, carabeef has become a more popular alternative to beef lovers due to its healthy values. It contains less than 10 percent of fat, 40 percent less cholesterol, and 55 percent less calories while it has higher protein by 11 percent and more mineral by 10 percent over beef.

and chemical processing and sensory traits.”

In a comparative study conducted by PCC at UPLB on the meat characteristics of cattle and carabao, it was concluded that “crossbred carabao can grow as fast as cattle and can be raised economically under an intensive production system at 90 days fattening period.”

The only difference, she said, is in the color of the carcass. Carabeef can be distinguished from cattle beef with its white fat. Cattle beef has yellow fat, she added.

The study also indicated that “carabeef is as good as beef in terms of its physical

Dr. Lapitan said if cattle and carabaos are slaughtered at the same young age, the quality of the meat has no difference at all.

In Metro Manila and other open markets in the country, it is a common knowledge that carabeef is passed off as cattle beef by enterprising vendors.

popular in a different way. The town offers an extra treat to lechon lovers--the lechon kalabaw, an equally tasteful experience but with less healththreatening pleasure. Isabela is an agricultural area that has many carabaos. Lechon offerors here thought of capitalizing on it for other uses aside from farm works. The fine succulent meat of lechon kalabaw comes from wellselected carabaos infused with special mixes of food condiments for distinct flavor. Topnotch in the lechon business in the town of Ilagan is “Flor’s Lechon”. It offers lechon baboy (pig), kalabaw, baka (cow), tupa (sheep), pabo (turkey) and kambing (goat). The food establishment also offers a catering service. Jayson Claraval, 25, started the “Flor’s Lechon” business in 2009. As himself also is a lechon enthusiast, he started his enterprise by buying the right formula of roasting lechon kalabaw from Alex Ramos who is also famous in doing it in Ilagan. He bought Alex’s secret recipe for Php30,000.

from the place and high profile politicians. His lechon price ranges from Php15,000 to Php20,000 each. For added promotion, his mother offers free lechon kalabaw and baka in their catering service. Another lechon maker famous in the town is “Ely’s Lechon”.

to look for the appropriate carabao to be roasted. The carabao is slaughtered and scrubbed for cleaning. The innards are removed and once cleaned, the stomach is stuffed and spiced with 22 liters of seasoning consisting of calamansi, hot sauce, soy sauce, and iodized salt.

It was in 1960 when Eliseo L. Reyes, 70, started doing lechon kalabaw. A native of Talavera, Nueva Ecija, one of his closest friends, Dante Ramos, taught him the process of doing lechon kalabaw and other kinds of lechon. When he came to Ilagan, he saw the potential of doing this business.

The slow but constant turning of the raw carabao’s body over fire is done to ensure an even browning of the skin as the juices and oils swirl around. Roasting is for about four to five hours (depending on the size) in a specially designed charcoal-powered lechon pit covered with a roof. Mang Ely’s lechon is served with a liver sauce.

For over 50 years, Mang Ely, as he is fondly called, has been satisfying the cravings for lechon kalabaw of many residents in Isabela and nearby provinces.

Mang Ely said “the carabao’s meat tastes different as it has been sufficiently well flavored and also not greasy.” “If for instance, lechon baboy and lechon kalabaw are served at the same time, I am for sure that the lechon kalabaw will be savored first instead of the lechon baboy as the latter is noted for its high cholesterol level,” he added.

Jayson thought he made a good deal out of it since he found out that he can apply the roasting process to other animals, too.

Mang Ely usually sells his lechon kalabaw from Php15,000 to Php17,000 each. His supply of carabaos comes from farmers who sold their animal for additional cash. He usually selects carabaos whose age ranges from 12 to 18 months old for a more tender meat. The purchase price ranges from Php8,000 to Php10,000 each.

Aside from accepting orders of lechon in his establishment, it also offers home service wherein lechon will be roasted in his customer’s house, at Php6,000. Most of his clients come from wealthy people

“The order for lechon kalabaw is placed a week before so we have time to look for a carabao to be roasted if the customer doesn’t have one,” Mang Ely said. He sometimes travels to Tuguegarao

Carabeef is manufacturer’s grade beef

because of the lower price of carabeef than cattle beef.

beef with choice cuts sold at Php200 to Php290 per kg.

Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed that the Philippines imported nearly 48,995 metric tons of carabeef in 2010 mainly for the meat processing industry.

The low production cost correlates with the affordability of canned meat products, making it beneficial to a large portion of Filipino consumers.

Studies show that carabeef comprised 40 percent of corned beef, 35 percent of hotdog, and 30 percent of meat loaf.

Dr. Lapitan said this other “important” Carabeef, records proved, is cheaper role of the carabao, which is expanding than other manufacturing grade beef such in the local meat processing industry, is as those coming from Brazil, Argentina, creating far greater niche. and Australia.

The reason why meat processors favor carabeef over beef is because of its high water-holding capacity especially in comminuted form. Aside from this, the production cost is highly competitive

According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), importation cost per kg of carabeef is currently posted at $2.70. The landed cost, which is about Php127 per kg, is way cheaper compared to cattle

“Surely, more and more consumers will gradually recognize that carabeef is no less than the healthier beef. It’s not a second class type of beef. Not at all...and we have already proven that,” she said.

In the local meat processing industry, it is not commonly known that carabeef is an important raw material for comminuted products such as sausages, meat loaf, hotdog, and luncheon meat.

Devoted to his business, Mang Ely said that he will never stop cooking lechons especially lechon kalabaw, as long as the customers continue to patronize it and are satisfied with his service. “This is my profession and I am happy that I can be of good service to my customers,” he added.

25 25

Workers of Tita’s Special say of their ‘carabeef tocino’: “Approved!”

'carabeef tocino' By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY Photos by RGBumanlag


ouple George and Teresita Dungao started processing meat products from only five kilograms of fresh meat. They energized their efforts with a robust determination which became a vital engine in powering up a family business.

The first five-kilo meat products they produced easily impressed the discriminating tastes of the Kapampangans which propelled them to double, and even triple, their production. With constant innovations in keeping their customers’ satisfaction, the kitchen-type business turned into one of the leading meat products processors and dealers in Central Luzon sporting the name “Tita’s Special Pampanga”.


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Included in the array of their best products are carabeef tocino (tapang kalabaw), longganisa, hotdog, patties, bacon, and ham which come in various cuts, sizes, and flavors from quality cuts of pork, chicken, or beef. These products, according to Wilfredo Dungao, vice president of Dungao-Olalia and Sons, Inc., are immediately processed from the time the meat arrives from the slaughterhouses or from their suppliers.

While the company processes several frozen, ready-to-fry products, one of their products that never run out of consumers is the carabeef tocino, a cured buffalo meat.

As it is largely in-demand, Tita’s Special now processes 200 kilograms of buffalo meat for carabeef tocino every week. The carcass is supplied by the slaughterhouse in San Fernando City in Pampanga. To ensure quality, the carabaos in the slaughterhouse are inspected from 6 to 8 a.m. before they are finally brought to the chopping block. Tita’s Special prefers young native carabaos as it is tastier, said Wilfredo. To arrive at its exact Kapampangan taste, the meat undergoes a determined procedure for its processing.

From the time the meat arrives at the processing area, it is immediately Carabeef tocino is a traditional checked for contamination and is readied Kapampangan delicacy that is widely for processing. Then it is loaded to a sought-after among connoisseurs because machine for slicing and then reloaded to of its distinct taste. It is meticulously another machine for tumbling or mixing fermented for several days just to for at least three hours. After mixing and deliver the exact taste looked for by the blending, the meat is unloaded to a crate Kapampangans who are known to be food and is fermented without refrigeration for gourmands when it comes to food choice. five days. What makes the Tita’s Special distinct The fermenting medium acts as a from other carabeef tocino processed tenderizer which makes the carabeef elsewhere in the Philippines is its blend tocino extra soft, easy to chew, and of sweet and sour taste which is truly a makes it literally melt in the mouth. Kapampangan original.

Aside from walk-ins, locals, and travelers, Filipinos abroad like to have carabeef tocino and thus always make orders for it back home or request others to make it a “must” product for a pasalubong. “Many balikbayans come to our store, especially during summer time, looking for our carabeef tocino. Most of the time, too, they buy bulks of frozen carabeef tocino to bring abroad,” Wilfredo said. Ana Bais, who has been working at Tita’s Special for 10 years now, said that almost every day, five out of 10 customers look and buy a kilo or two of carabeef tocino. The retail price of carabeef tocino is at Php200 per kilo and for wholesale it is priced at Php150 per kg. Today, Tita’s Special has already three major outlets in San Fernando City in Pampanga. It has also branched out in Quezon City, Manila, Baguio City, and Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija. Asked how Tita’s Special maintains its

big name in the local and national market, Wilfredo said: “We take quality seriously in our business.” This is evidenced by the company’s strict compliance to national standards on good manufacturing practice (GMP). The company has an AA status per accreditation by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and it has a permit from the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) of the Philippines. What also makes Tita’s Special a successful business is its social responsibility of providing more jobs to the needy people. This is emblazoned by its objective, “Helping Filipino people make livelihood”. To date, Tita’s Special has at least 60-80 regular employees working in its several branches. Asked about the best reward they gained from their years of unwavering commitment and perseverance to make their business work well, he said: “It is family bonding, more than wealth, which is our best reward. This grows stronger and deeper as the years go by.” He finally said: “We will deliver quality products to our customers. For as long as they patronize our products, that is a big reward for us, too.”

Wilfredo Dungao

“We take quality seriously. With strict compliance to Good Manufacturing Practices on standard food safety, backed-up by scientific supervision and state-of-the-art processing facilities, we aim to provide more than delicious food to our customers but also healthy and fresh meat products at affordable prices.” 27 27

By KHRIZIE EVERT M. MARCELO With reports from and photos by RAMIL R. CARBONEL


reakfast is the most important meal for the day. A typical Filipino breakfast is very simple. For so many years now, our palates often crave the union of sinangag and garlic (fried garlic rice), meat and egg, popularly known as “silog” meals. The fried meat is always the highlight of the meal. Among the favorite choices are tapa, longganisa, and tocino.

Customers say carabeef ‘tapa’ has a unique taste. It has a lighter, sweeter flavor and doesn't leave a greasy feel in the mouth compared to cow’s meat. The meat is also tender unlike the common notion that carabeef is tough and chewy.

Specialties of the North

Carabeef ‘Tapa’ and ‘Longganisa’ “Tapsilog” is the term used when tapa (tap), garlic rice (si-nangag) and fried egg (it-log) are combined in one “silog” meal while “longsilog” is for the longganisa lovers and “tocilog” for the tocino aficionado. In northern Luzon, local residents of Tuguegarao and Isabela, added a new meaning to this all-time favorite Pinoy breakfast. Aside from being a vacation hot spot and ideal getaway for retreats and religious attractions, these places also offer their visitors a gastronomic adventure; tasting the region’s famous version of tapa and longganisa uniquely made from carabao’s or buffalo’s meat (carabeef).

Carne Ybanag Tuguegarao City is well-known for its garlic longganisa and other meat products. One of the major producers of these classic Pinoy breakfast foods is the Lighthouse Cooperative. It was in September 2004 when a Cagayano meat brand was born. The 28 PCC Newsletter Newsletter •• October-December October-December 2011 2011 28 PCC

Lighthouse Cooperative named its processed meat products Carne Ybanag as a tribute to the first inhabitants of Tuguegarao, the Ybanag people. “We thought of coming out with a product that can be developed and stand out among other regional products offered here in Tuguegarao. So, we came up with a table survey and found out that tourists love to buy longganisa whenever they visit the place,” Arthur Tabbu, general manager of Lighthouse Cooperative explained. Innovating on this classic recipe, the cooperative pioneered the makings of sweet and spicy carabeef longganisa. The coop sought the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for processing technology and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the product development, package design, labeling, skills and entrepreneurial training and marketing assistance. “We decided to create a new look for the classic longganisa and came up creating the carabeef longganisa

and spicy beef longganisa. Part of our strategy in processing was adapting the technology of the DA and applying our local techniques in making longganisa. Through the technical assistance of DTI we were able to develop the product. They even helped us in the promotion aspect,” Tabbu said. “At first, the marketing of our carabeef longganisa was impressive, but when we began introducing the carabeef tapa, the consumers’ attention was diverted to this product,” said Tabbu. “With the technology employed in processing the meat we were able to make it tender and easier to cook. Carabeef is naturally tasty; it needs no spicing up with lots of condiments and sauces to hide its flavor. All natural ingredients are used for processing it,” he said. “In 2005, we started promoting the carabeef tapa in trade fairs in Manila. During food tasting, people here were amazed when they learned that what they are eating is made of carabao’s meat,” he

added. With great demand for this product, the coop now processes 1,000 kg of carabeef tapa in one month. The meat is sourced out from licensed butchers and delivered thrice a week. Only the choice parts (rump or butt part) of carcass are used for processing the tapa. The meats are delivered clean and ready for processing.

(HACCP). We have regular trainings from DTI and a Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) certification, which gives assurance to our consumers that our products are clean and safe to eat,” he added. Currently, Carne Ybanag maintains 15 staff members for manufacturing the meat products. It regularly supplies local grocery stores, regions 1 and 3, Mountain

tapa, Leilani replied: “We only select the best carabaos for slaughtering to get quality meats for processing as tapa. We don’t add preservatives. Only natural ingredients are used for marinating the meats.” “What’s good in our business is that we get to choose the best meat parts for processing tapa from the stocks coming from our own slaughterhouse. We also have our own butchers to do the slaughtering of the carabaos,” she added. The Livestock Inspector guides them in selecting animals for slaughtering. The meat shop sells

When processing, the ligaments of the meats are removed and cleaned. It is cut into ball shapes and frozen for 24 hours for easy cutting. The frozen meat balls are then cut to about 3 to 4 mm thickness. Slicing is done across the grain of the meat. The meat is weighed by batch. Each batch weighs 10 kilograms. After weighing, the mixture is added and then marinated for 24 hours. After marinating, the meat is packed and vacuum-sealed at 500 grams each. Each pack is retailed at Php120. Tabbu said, “The excess meats from processing tapa are used for the longganisa product. The same mixture is used except that the meat is ground and cased in hog casing. It is made available in 500 grams per pack containing 12 pieces of longganisa. For spicy flavor, we just add chili and pepper.” “It became a habit for local tourists here to drop-by in our store and buy a pack of tapa and longganisa. I think we are the only local brand that is trained with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

Province, Baguio and SM Baguio, and some restaurants in Manila.

Cabagan in Isabela is best in home-made carabeef ‘tapa’ The first people to introduce carabeef tapa in the town of Cabagan, Isabela is couple Pranquilino and Leilanie Talamayan. Meat shop is their primary business. It was in 2001, when Leilanie tried making homemade tapa with just two kilos of the most tender part of carabao’s meat, the tenderloin. One kilo of her homemade tapa costs Php160. She was able to market it for Php180. With the good feedbacks she received from her buyers, she saw the potential of earning an additional income out of it. Their homemade tapa business has been thriving for 10 years now. The tapa is sold in their own meat shop—JL Triangle Meat Shop. Popular to locals and tourists, it is bought as token or gifts for politicians due to its quality taste. Asked about their secret in making

Couple Pranquilino and Leilanie Talamayan two kinds of tapa, the tenderloin (Class A) tapa and the hind leg (Class B) tapa. It is made available at 460 grams and 910 grams priced at Php100 and Php220, respectively. It has a shelf life of 15 to 30 days if frozen. With much passion in their endeavor, the couple continues to improve its homemade carabeef tapa business and dreams of making it big in the meat processing industry. 29 29

Sabaw’ng kabaw

Bohol’s other allures

Natividad Mandin

‘Kilawin’, ‘adobo’, ‘sabaw’ng kabaw’ Text and photos by LEINEFE B. LIBRES


or years, Loboc has been a most visited place in Bohol because of its startling offers to tourists and even passersby. One offering, though, which visitors, as well as locals, fail not to relish, is a dish that satisfies the yearning stomach and gratifies the expectations of food lovers—the carabao dish offered by Tres Hermanas restaurant.

Inspired by their three daughters, Mr. Lino Mandin, 71, and his wife Mrs. Natividad, 69, named their restaurant “Tres Hermanas”, which is a Spanish term for “three daughters”. Their cuisines, though, are purely of Filipino style. Topping their list for gustatory orders are sabaw’ng kabaw, kilawing kabaw, and adobong kabaw.


PCC Newsletter • October-December 2011

Sabaw’ng kabaw comes from the two Visayan words, sabaw which means soup, and kabaw for carabao. Over time, Boholanos are known for their distinctive character of being soup-lovers.

this dish undergoes the same process as other adobo variants but the only difference is that it provides a diverse flavor, which Mrs. Mandin said is a guarded secret.

The oozing aroma of the 35-peso soup that is good for three servings, is largely enthused by spices, which Mrs. Mandin believes, make it a favorite among jeepney and bus drivers since the restaurant started operating in 1984. Amid lively chat, the drivers find it most rewarding for their body and well-being to sip the carabeef (carabao beef) soup of their choice.

This dish is also reasonably priced at Php35 which is good for three persons.

Over the years, not just the bluecollared employees but also executives were enticed to partake of the nutritive and tasteful soup. Tourists, and even females of any age, have become ardent lovers of the soup as well.

“Lobocanons are fond of eating carabeef dishes, that’s why we decided to specialize on them,” Mrs. Mandin said.

As an alternative to those who do not fancy a carabeef soup, there is the adobong kabaw, a sautéed dish which is best complemented by a cup of rice. Made of pure meat and a little bone part,

Kilawin is also available at Tres Hermanas. It is not sliced into cubes and its flavor can be discerningly tasted by eaters as a blend of spicy and vinegary flavors once it touches the tongue. Also at Php35 per serving, it is also one of the most saleable viands.

Mr. Mandin strongly agreed with his wife’s statement based on his experience in the buy-and-sell business of farm animals. “In fact, not just Lobocanons love them but many others from different places, too,” he added. Before they got married, Mr. Mandin

found the potential of engaging with the buy-and-sell business when somebody approached him to look for a carabao that can be slaughtered. When he did, he thought of the many possible clienteles in the business. He delved into it and expanded to other towns. He even shipped live carabaos for the Sunpride Foods Incorporated in Mandaue City, Cebu. “During the early years of our marriage, he continued carrying on with that business while I pursued teaching,” said Mrs. Mandin who is also a Grade IV teacher in an elementary school in Loboc. Because their daughters are growing up fast, they decided to put up a carinderia for additional income. They decided to specialize on carabeef dishes.

(ICM), and Plaza Marcela but it was not successful. Thus, they focused on tending their restaurant. For 27 years, the couple continued to satisfy their customers through their innovative carabeef cuisines. Aside from the three most pickedup dishes, much liked also in their food counter queues are menudong kabaw, balbacua (a soup prepared from the skin of the carabao), and other alternatives like vegetables, pork, and fish menus. In attending to their customers, they always endeavor to serve them in the most efficient and caring ways possible. They also do catering service at a low price of Php100 per person consisting of a main course, a side dish, and a dessert. Available also for take home are the

it. Nevertheless, it is still the top-selling delicacy at Tres Hermanas. Tourists, both local and foreign, love its puffy and flavorful yet low-fat attribute. Purely prepared from carabao’s skin, this favorite “pasalubong” also comes in selection offered by their bistro. “Readyto-eat” chicharon sells for Php15 a pack while raw pieces ready for deep-frying costs Php20 a pack. This averagely sized bistro in front of the municipal hall with only three workers, aims to continuously serve the best to their customers. This is the reason why the couple had not considered putting up a branch. Aside from that, their children, Josephine, Jennifer (now staying abroad) and Judilyn, all married, requested them not to expand their

Adobong kabaw

Couple Lino and Natividad Mandin business anymore as they are already in their retirement age.

Kilawing kabaw “I am not really a business-minded person,” Mrs. Mandin, who is the manager and chef of the restaurant, humbly said. She said the knowledge gained from her parents, who are into the copra buyand-sell business and her parents-in-law who also ran an eatery, helped her and her husband put up the restaurant. They tried slaughtering carabaos and selling carabeef to the meat retailers and even delivered to the malls like Alturas, Bohol Quality Store (BQ), Island City Mall

kusahos and carabao chicharon. Kusahos is a salted dried meat usually served as “pulutan”. It is prepared in the traditional way of preserving meat food. In Tres Hermanas, the kusahos is made of carabao’s intestine or dinlog in Visayan. It is sun-dried for three days. A pack of it costs Php50. Carabao chicharon is not something new in their area as many are producing

“Serving the best means serving quality foods to the customers. We also ensure fulfilling requirements of the Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Food and Drugs, and other agencies for the good of our business and our clients,” Mrs. Mandin said. For sure, Tres Hermanas is sometimes met with problems. But Mr. and Mrs. Mandin, through their determination, patience, and prayers, overcame them all. 31


arabao’s meat or carabeef is steadily becoming a “star” in the epicurean menu. Not only is it favored for its distinct taste and palatability but also for its symbolic value in the Filipino culture.

[Photo of “Carabeef Pot Roast” by RGBumanlag]

PCC News Letter vol10 no4  

pcc news letter vol10 no4

PCC News Letter vol10 no4  

pcc news letter vol10 no4