Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tea processing

The utilization of herbal tea as stimulant and health drink has been a part of the cultural heritage of the indigenous people in Northern Sagada, Mountain Province. The main herbal ingredients that abound in their ancestral domain have been known to contain therapeutic properties that are essential in the improvement of people’s health and thereby the quality of life.

Herbal tea has in recent years generated keen interest and increased popularity among the different sectors of our society. Firstly, it offers a relief organic beverage as an alternative to synthetic drinks coming from the factories. Secondly, the general public has already come to realize not only its potentials as means of maintaining a healthy lifestyle but also its economic significance and contribution to natural resource conservation.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mon 28 Apr 2008
Published in Northern Dispatch Weekly
Makan a la Pinoy: Squash noodlesPosted by editors under general , food

A popular tourist destination, Sagada offers another novelty attraction – canton noodles fortified with squash.
Last week, the Montañosa Research and Development Center (MRDC), a non-government organization based in this town, launched the Sagada Squash Canton Noodles, the very first variety of squash canton to hit the market in Mountain Province and the Cordillera region.
The Sagada Squash Canton Noodles is made from a mixture of squash puree, wheat, egg, squash, and salt. “Our squash canton noodles is very much improved and more nutritious compared to other canton noodles sold in public markets that are just made of flour, food coloring and preservatives. Ours has more nutrients like beta-carotene or Vitamin A,” according to MRDC nutritionist, Charlotte Camfili.
In an analysis conducted by the Food & Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), a serving of 55g of Sagada squash canton noodles will provide 9%, 12% and 35% of the RDA for energy, protein and vitamin A, respectively.
Marketing of the product is very encouraging. In Sagada alone, orders for squash canton noodles have been increasing.
“We are flooded with orders from hotel owners, retailers, and residents. This only shows people are very supportive of this new product from their hometown,” Camfili added.
She said that during the Lang-ay Agro-Industrial Fair held in Bontoc recently, they turned down the offer of some businessmen to market the product due to limited production capacity at present.
MRDC’s plant initially produces 600 packs of 150g vitamin A-enriched noodles every week. But with the growing demand in the local market, it expects to increase production to 150 to 200 packs daily. Each pack costs P20.
Dr. Matthew Tauli, executive director of MRDC, thanked the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the FNRI, for providing the necessary information and technology for the manufacture of squash canton noodles.
He also commended the provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) headed by Ms. Juliet Lucas for offering its consultancy services and providing training on product labeling and marketing. #

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Project Management Training

pictures were taken during the project management training on July 21-24.

Leadership Training

pictures were taken during the Leadership Training on July 14-16, 2008 at the Banaue, Ethnic Village and Pine Forest resort.

Moscovado processing Training (photos)

pictures were taken during the first provincial moscovado training on May 16-19, 2008.

Kalinga communities train for muscovado production
Why spend much on commercial sugar if we can produce our own right within the community? This is especially true to interior communities in Kalinga province, whose limited cash earnings are spent on sugar as coffee sweetener. A case study on the sugar consumption of Brgy. Mabaca in Balbalan municipality revealed that a household has an average consumption of 2-3 kilos sugar every week or 8-12 kilos every month, which costs P50 per kilo. This means that a family consumes 96 to 144 kilos of sugar yearly or an annual expenditure of P4,800 to P7,200 on sugar alone. Annual expenditure on commercial sugar, with a barangay with a 145 household-population was computed to P696,000to P1,044,000, an expenditure which could otherwise be saved to serve as potential source of capital to increase tools of production for muscovado sugar production.
Challenged with the situation, the Timpuyog ti Mannalon iti Kalinga (TMK) or the provincial peasant alliance under the Cordillera Peoples Alliance-Kalinga chapter embarked on a program to increase sugarcane production in their respective communities and process muscovado, a granulated molasses as an alternative to commercial sugar.
Muscovado sugar production training
A joint effort of the TMK and the CPA’s NGO network namely-Montañosa Relief and Rehabilitation Services Foundation Inc, (MRRSFI), Montañosa Research and Development Center (MRDC) and Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC), a province-wide training on muscovado sugar production was conducted in Tanglag, Lubuagan, Kalinga from May 16-19, 2008 and was attended by 56 representatives from different TMK local chapters. Dagson Buyagan from Tubo, Abra was invited to help facilitate the training and share his community’s knowledge and experiences on muscovado production.
The training provided a venue to collectively assess current practices in molasses production and discuss ways on how to improve such practices by integrating the lessons learned from a cross-visit to a muscovado mill site in Panay and the village-based experiences of Pananuman in Tubo, Abra on muscovado sugar production.
One trainor-participant shared, “the sensitive process of making basi or sugar cane wine must also be followed, which involves the proper selection of sugarcane at right maturity and segregating parts attacked by pests such as rats and civets. The duration of pressing the freshly cut sugar cane must not exceed 24 hours while cooking of the sugar cane juice should start within 2-3 hours from pressing to avoid spoilage and sugar inversion which causes the bitter and sour taste of the muscovado sugar, discouraging us to use it as coffee sweetener”.
Dagson compared the cooking process as similar to rice, “it is just like cooking rice, that in order to come up with the texture we want, we need to observe proper fire control, the final reference point where we could say cooking is enough. The proper timing of mixing and cooling of the cooked sugarcane syrup is crucial to come up with granulated molasses (muscovado sugar) similar to brown sugar.”
The training ended with the participants satisfactorily drinking coffee sweetened with muscovado. Everybody was confident to go back to the community to share and re-echo what they have learned as they go about with their campaign to become self reliant on sugar by producing their own local sweetener. #
(This article is published in Hapit-a regular publication of Cordillera Peoples Alliance)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Keynote address of Ms. Maria Elena Regpala

Good morning and greetings of peace to all guest from Kalinga, Ifugao and Mt. Province,…

In behalf of the friends of mrdc, we would like to congratulate the bod and staff for its 30 years of servcie to the peoples of the Cordillera. Congratulations for a job well done.

Let us all give the bod and staff a warm applause.

These past days, the newspapers headlines warn of a world facing a food crisis, and in the Philippines an impeding rice shortage. On the other hand, local newspapers say that the Cordillera have adequate supply of rice. Whatever the situation, we face hard times in the days to come.

It is in this context that we celebrate the 30th anniversary of mrdc with the theme “consolidate our gains, advance sa to attain food security.”

Yesterday, when I was reflecting on the theme of the anniversary, I asked a colleague on what she thought of the essential particularity of the Cordillera people’s practice of Sustainable Agriculture. And she replied that it is the recognition of Indigenous knowledge and practice of traditional agriculture. Yes, indeed and it includes the defense and continuing practice of traditional agriculture in our ancestral lands and domains. These is the essence and meaning of our peoples way of life.

Today, this way of life is increasingly being threatened by new ways of thinking and making a living. Among others, are mining, logging, chemical based farming. That is why it is urgent to strengthen our ip brand of sa that also includes appropriate technologies such as…water lifting devices, bio-fertilizers and others.

But there are also NEW ways of thinking and making a living that are positive and sustain our people’s way of life. Our challenge is to know what these are and integrate it to our people’s brand of sa. What are these new ways of thinking and making a living ?

In 1979, the first research problem that we had to work on was to know what practices of our people are scientific and what are superstition. Looking back, this research problem was rather strange…

Let us examine the ubaya, teer or rest days before seed planting, seedling transplanting, and before and after harvesting and the rituals, prayers and offerings related to this. At that time these practices were considered by others who do not understand the cultural practice as superstition. Deeper research and analysis of this practice indicate that it is an important agricultural practice to synchronize work in planting and harvesting and to avoid and minimize the attack of pests on rice plants.

The idaw bird as an omen of impeding events. This was really considered as superstition. But science today recorgnize that animals react strangely days before an earthquake. Therefore, animals are considered as a good early warning device of impeding earthquakes and other disasters.

The belief in spirits or spirit guardians of particular places, of the earth, of the rivers, lakes (Lake Danum) of gold veins. All these are strange beliefs. But today, the documented experiences of some farmers in Scotland, UK and the United States prove the existence of such beings and that farmers who communicate with them and ask their help for a good harvest have experienced bountiful harvests.

The science of pranic (energy) healing as applied to agriculture is another New technology that is being practiced in some parts of the world particularly in India and Africa that have improved the harvest of farmers.

These are some NEW / old ways of thinking and technologies that can enhance our brand of sa and can contribute to food security. The challenge is not only to know these NEW / old ways of thinking and technologies, but to practice them.

The last challenge is in the area of service. Again we congratulate the bod and staff of mrdc for their 30 years of service to the people of the Cordillera. We urge everyone here today to be of service to the people. One way of doing service is to continue our advocacy and practice of sa, because in doing so we ensure our survival as a people and our way of life.

Thank you. May the Supreme God of our ancestors smile on us and give us life!