food and restaurants
By Nicole Ann M. Aguila
All people might not know how important sharks are on our planet, thus raising awareness is the key to finally educate the whole world reasons why we must protect them.
Who would have thought that an airline company will put an effort to save marine life? Yes, Philippine Airlines or PAL just announced the ban of shipping of sharks’ fins.
This is after Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Philippine Animal Welfare Society, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Earth Island Institute – Philippines and other concerned organization started a petition that protests against their freight policy.
“The announcement of PAL is also a victory for all sharks species who are brutally murdered for their fins,” said Anna Oposa, cofounder of Save Philippine Seas and founder of the Shark Shelter Project in Malapascua Island.
The airline was previously reported tohave shipped 136 x 50 kg bags accumulating 6,800 kg of dried shark fins at a Hong Kong storeroom run by Global Marine.
Shark fins are hailed as an important ingredient on soups and traditional cures in China. But animal welfare groups toughly disagree with the trade, which usually comprises of taking only the fins and leaving the main body dead in the ocean.
“Sharks help in maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem. Their dwindling numbers due to the growing demand for shark’s fin soup and other shark products, already upset the problematic status of our seas and oceans,” said Greenpeace Philippines oceans campaigner Vince Cinches.
“We are asking everyone to remain vigilant and make sure that PAL will honor its commitment and advise other airlines to adopt a similar shark ban to help save our marine ecosystem,” he said.
Shark finning is the practice of slicing off the shark’s fins while the shark is still alive and throwing the rest of its body back into the ocean where it can take days to die what must be an agonizing death.
Globally, tens of millions of sharks are slaughtered every year to satisfy the demand for shark fin soup; at least 8,000 tonnes of shark fins are shipped to restaurants around the world. Fishermen report that sharks are getting smaller because they are not being given time to mature.
Sharks are a critical component in an ecosystem that provides 1/3 of our world with food. The ocean produces more oxygen than all the rainforests combined, removes half of the atmosphere’s manmade carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas), and controls our planet’s temperature and weather.
Sharks play a vital role at the top of the food chain by maintaining balance in the oceans. Destroying shark populations could destroy our oceans and our life support system.
(Ms. Aguila is currently an intern for OpinYon. She is an incoming fourth year student in AB Communication Arts in Malayan College in Cabuyao, Laguna.)
The rebirth of a Philippine world-class product
By Allysa Faye Greganda
By 2020, the world’s need for cacao beans is projected to increase by 30%, yet the country’s production has yet to meet the demand. If our cacao industry can do so, then there is hope for the Philippine agricultural sector.
While Filipinos crave for imported chocolates, better think again: first-rate quality cocoa can be grownin your backyard. It is the same reason why the Department of Agriculture keeps an eye on this delectable opportunity for the country’s agri-production.
This month, DA just handed an initial P14M for cacaoagri-business zones (CABZs) in Davao City.
Being endowed with such perfect soil composition and sun temperature, the Philippine’s cacao industry is a potential big exporter—only if more farmers would invest into it.
The truth is, cacao seeds do not grow in thewestern countries known to produce these mouth-watering chocolates, including Japan. Raising cacao trees haveclimatic requirements.
Rainfall should range from 1250 to 3000 mm per annum while 1500-2000 mm during dry season of not more than 3 months. Maximum temperature is 32°C and the minimum is 18°C. Altitude of the area must lie between 300-1200 meters above sea level.
Cacao thrives best in areas with evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year. As of now, cacao plantations can be found in the areas of Mindanao specially Davao and CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) in Luzon.
The cacao industry has never grown into its full potential. Moreover, we even import 20,000 metric tons of cocoa beans from Africa last 2008 up to this date, costing $42 million a year.
During 1980s, Philippines has shared 20% of the world’s need for cocoa. The industry declinedaltogether with the rise of CARP.
Discovering these lost chances, the DA and Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) made partnerships with different companies to help boost cacao farming in the country.
BAR also collaborated with Cocoaphil for the Sustainable Cacao Program. The target now is to be able to produce 100,000 metric tons by 2020 from our usual production of 25,000 metric tons yearly.
As for the initial funding, P1.75 million has been allotted for the distribution of seedlings.
P2.5 million goes for production equipment’s and machinery. Post-harvest facilities and other infrastructure costs P6.22 million, marketing development services amounts to P200,000, while P615,000 budget allotted in training for new and current cacao industry players.
Made in the Philippines
“Dry like a full bodied well-aged red wine,” these were the words Shawn Askinosie of the world’s famous Zingerman’s Deli said to describe the Philippine Tablea (chocolate).
So far, there had been few who attempts in making it into the exporting world—all by themselves. Rob Crisostomo started as a simple farmer then eventually founded the Seed Core Enterprises in Davao.
He now exports container load of Philippine cacao to Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest supplier of high quality chocolate and cacao products. It just proves that cacao made in the Philippines is globally competitive.
This will not only give glory to the country but also provide livelihood for many families.
The secret of Philippine cacao beans is in how our farmers carefully process the seedlings from planting, harvesting and even in quality control phase. Filipino women are the usual laborers in cacao plantations. DA said that this type of farming is gender-sensitive, that is why women are the preferred laborers.
As of now, there are 20,000 hectares of cacao trees in Davao, and 70% of the annual production of the crop come from the same province. The industry has helped 16,000 farmers and 340 cooperatives, according to Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.
Indeed, this industry has becoming a good source of livelihood for most Filipinos in the South.
It is a wise decision for DA to finally revive the cacao industry. This can even lift the country into poverty. We should focus more into utilizing our lands because the Philippines’climate and environment has the perfect set up for growing such crops.
Our true wealth is our agriculture because not all countries are capable of producing crops such as cacao beans. Our government has to realize that prosperity in our country does not merely relyon just ICT, business empires and technology.
It will be beneficial for the country’s economy if the budget allocation for this industry is increased.
(Ms. Greganda is a graduating student of AB Communication in the University of Perpetual Help System Laguna. She is currently working in OpinYon as an intern. She also loves sweets, including chocolate.)
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Chicharrón (chicharon in Filipino), a dish made of fried pork skin, is popular in Spain and in Latin American countries. Part of the traditional cuisines of of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela—this tasty snack food has become a Pinoy favorite and a source of livelihood for many enterprising Filipinos like Rey Lapid.
One of the biggest names in the local chicharon industry is Rey C. Lapid who founded R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbecue back in 1974.
Lapid started earning from chicharon when he was just nine. He would accompany his father to their stall at a market in Quiapo, where he noticed customers would often ask for the skin of pork to be removed.
Rey thought of bringing the pork skin home and have his father deep-fry it. Rey eventually sold his chicharon and people liked it. Business started in a small stall along R. Hidalgo street in Quiapo, Manila. At the age of 23, Lapid was on his way to success selling chicharon and, later on, barbecue, longganisa and tocino.
Lapid’s goal was to sell his products to retail stores, moviehouses, supermarkets, office canteens and bars in Manila. He registered with the NACIDA (National Cottage Industries Development Authority) as a food processor with shop address at 485 Verdad st., Sampaloc, Manila.
Soon, Lapid’s Quiapo stall started gaining patrons and from one shop he expanded into over a hundred branches all over the Philippines.
‘Laging Bagong Luto’
In 1996, Lapid registered the slogan “Laging Bagong Luto” for his brand of chicharon. As the slogan suggests, Lapid makes sure that his chicharon is always freshly cooked to maintain its crispiness and delicious flavor. The company mission practically reads the same: “To provide our customers with freshly-cooked, clean, delicious, and reasonably-priced food in a quick and friendly manner.”
Lapid also experimented with a new vinegar mix—flavored with more chili and garlic— to add to the experience of eating his chicharon.
To further improve product quality and to complete in the global market Lapid began importing raw materials from the United States and Europe in 1996. In the same year, R. Lapid’s opened its first branch at G. Tuazon Sampaloc, Manila followed by 10 more outlets within Metro Manila, to serve the increasing number of chicharon lovers.
To handle ever-increasing demand, Lapid put up a two-story building in Valenzuela City to handle his cold storage, warehouse, and food processing requirements. The site also serves as Lapid’s main business administration office.
The Valenzuela plant manages the company’s total chain process: from planning and acquisition of raw materials and ingredients, warehousing, manufacturing of processed food for the stores and wholesale clients, physical distribution and logistics.
The facility also received a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certification from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS)—the first-ever chicharon processor in the country to be GMP certified.
A great opportunity was gained by R. Lapid’s when it received the “Gintong Sikap Award” from the Federation of Filipino Consumers, Inc., in recognition of its remarkable increase of sales in its first mall outlet at SM South Mall, Las Piñas.
The award was the key in the development of good relationship with the management of the SM malls which eventually led to the establishment of ten (10) more additional SM outlets by the end of 1998.
In 1998, SM awarded R. Lapid’s with a Certificate of Recognition from the SM Management for Consistent Observance of Cleanliness, Safety and Sanitation.
The first Provincial outlet located in Calamba, Laguna was opened on January of 1999 followed by an outlet in San Fernando Pampanga, Baguio City, Tagaytay and Lipa, Batangas. In the same year, Lapid introduced the Free Delivery Service to extend its customer reach.
A genuine Filipino entrepreneur, with passion to deliver to its customers high-quality products, R. Lapid’s has passed with flying colors the test brought about by stiff competitions, great sacrifices and hardships. However, after seven years, it has outlets serving not only its loyal customers but, in its modest way, contributing to the improvement of the country’s economy.
R. Lapid’s is not stopping here. It is taking its steps to continuously modernize its facilities, develop more products, make its systems more effective, and most importantly, harness more the capabilities of its human resources with the end in view of serving its customers from the four corners of the Philippines and neighboring countries.
Awards and Recognitions
1997 – Mr. Rey Lapid received the “Gintong Sikap Award” for being “Outstanding Businessman” by the Federation of Filipino Consumer’s Inc.
1999 – “Certificate of Recognition “for consistent observance of cleanliness, safety and sanitation inside the lease area for the months of February, March, April, May and August 1999 – SM Foodcourt – Ortigas.
2000 – Mr. Rey Lapid received the “Gintong Pilak Award” for being an “Outstanding Business Executive” by the Federation of Filipino Consumers, Inc.
2003 – “National Consumer’s Excellence Awardee” for being the “Most Outstanding Chicharon Maker”
2004 – “National Consumer Excellence Awardee” for being the “Most Outstanding Manufacturer of Chicharon & Barbecue”.
– “National Shoppers’ Choice Awardee” for being the “No. Chicharon (National)”.
– “Consumer Choice Awardee” for being the Most Outstanding Chicharon Maker
– “National Buyers’ Choice Awardee” for being the Most Chicharon
2005 – “National Consumers’ Excellence Awardee” for being the “Most Outstanding Manufacturer of Chicharon & Barbecue”.
– “National Shoppers’ Choice Awardee” for being the “No. 1 Chicharon”.
– “People’s Brand Awardee” for being the “No. 1 Chicharon Brand”.
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BUSINESSMAN and Philippine Special Envoy to China Carlos Chan is a newcomer to Forbes magazine’s list of the 50 Richest Filipinos [with a net worth of US$500 million as of July 2013]—but he is certainly no greenhorn in trade and commerce.
The eldest son of Chinese immigrants from Fujian province, Chan is big boss of the family-owned Liwayway Marketing Corporation (LMC), distributor of the popular laundry starch and now the Oishi brand of food products.
Notoriously shy and elusive to the media—often introducing himself as the brother of Ben Chan, founder of Bench apparel—Chan has propelled Liwayway Marketing to international recognition. #OpinYon #Feature #Success #Oishi #LiwaywayGawgaw
read cont | http://bit.ly/1bTOpb7
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by: Ramon M. Borromeo
MY wife and I received a last minute invitation from our dining partners to join them at what is practically a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Happi Hen on Aguirre Avenue in BF Homes Paranaque. I forget the corner street it is on but it is right beside Panaderia Pantoja.
When we got there rather late, thanks to traffic, our hosts and their granddaughter had already ordered ahead. Since we tend to eat a lot more collectively, my wife and I ordered an additional order each of what was already on hand.
On hand was the house specialty, Hainanese Chicken (a whole quarter for P130.00), which is a complete meal in itself. Hainanese Chicken is simply simmered in initially boiling water with salt and ginger for a little less than 30 minutes. Thereafter the chicken is removed and plunged in ice water until it is no longer hot. Around 12 to 15 minutes should be adequate time. The chicken is then removed and hung to drip dry. Later on, the chicken is to be served at room temperature with hot flavoured rice and soup. #OpinYon #Living #food
read cont | http://bit.ly/19CJHuB
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