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Showing posts from April, 2010


"Yes, I grew these orchids. No, I did not plant them, but when I came, they were already here, although no one had been tending to them. They were neglected, unwatered, the fence was falling down, and weeds were about to choke them." The Bishop, my childhood friend, proudly explained. I looked around and drank in the beauty of the garden of orchids -- pink, yellow, white in their tender strength and with just a whiff of fragrance. I remembered a friend who told me orchids are costly. They last longer than ordinary flowers, and do not easily wilt. "I use them for the altar," the Bishop continued, "during feasts. And I send some to the priests around the province. People appreciate them." "They are indeed beautiful," I said. "A high school teacher quit teaching to raise orchids, and was soon grossing one million pesos annually." They are expensive, but I don’t sell them," the Bishop remarked when he saw I was about to suggest so…

Sweet Success in Rice Cakes - INQ

VIRAC, Catanduanes—After several business flops, Simplicio Mendoza finally found a formula for success by making this town’s most popular fare—caramelized rice cakes.

“I tried operating a small bakery, but it did not prosper. I also tried to pursue other businesses, but like the bakery, they did not do well,” Mendoza, 58, recalls.

Impling’s Special Delicacies was born in his house in Barangay Sogod-Tibgao in this capital town.

In 1997, Mendoza went full-blast in the production of rice cakes with “latik.” He says the food business “seldom goes awry, and people prioritize food over other commodities.”

Now, his daily sales amount to at least P2,000. Costing P10 each, his rice cakes come in different baskets.


Mendoza wakes up at about 3 a.m. to start preparing quality rice cakes with six employees.

“Thoroughly cleaning the rice grains (malagkit) prolongs the shelf-life of the rice cakes,” he says. He estimates shelf-life at up to five days.

Malunggay” extract is added to the

Discovering the Hidden Wonders of Catanduanes

Many sights and beaches in Catanduanes are still waiting or partly been discovered particularly in the northern part. Most of these places are hidden from public view, obstructed by lush vegetation or by mountains.

Since, it would take years before someone could discover and promote the natural splendor of these places at the ground level. So we thought of using Google Earth to illuminate these areas to give tourists a striking panoramic view.

The image above is located at the eastern shores of Viga Catanduanes, off the Pacific ocean. Included in the image are the Barangays of Tambongon, Buenavista, Botinagan, Soboc and Tinago.

Wild apes still inhabits in some areas, a local once told me. These creatures can be seen while taking their morning swim in nearby shores.

Sparsely populated, most of the locals rely on deep-sea fishing and upland farming as a form of livelihood. Local households are connected to the local power grid and telecommunication is available in some areas (you just …

Tabog-Tabog or Barangay Paraiso

This place is popular among local motorists, Barangay Paraiso, fondly called by locals as "Tabog-tabog". It is where public transport and private vehicles usually refill their heated radiator tanks before pulling-off to a 15-minute of continuous uphill climb towards Barangay Summit. For the commuting public, it is a time to stretch or take a light snack. For those of you who are curious how this small village got it's name, "Tabog-tabog". You can ask a local once you pass by this place.

1st Catandungan Summer Bazaar Kicks Off for its 2-Week Show - CT

The first ever Catandungan trade fair on a summer season is set to open on 29 March 2010, thru a simple ceremony at the JMA Memorial Park. Dubbed as “Catandungan Summer Festival”, it will feature the different local products in the province such as caragumoy crafts, rattan crafts, furniture, abaca twine products, handmade paper by-products and samhod. Also, the bazaar will offer an array of food delicacies like pili treats, latik, polvoron, rice coffee, sugarcane juice, instant salabat, bukayo, ampaw, banana chips, sampaloc candy and many more. There will be about 30 local producers from around the province who will participate as exhibitors in this event. To herald the event and at the same time kickstart the opening of the trade fair, a motorcade around the poblacion will be held on March 29 at 1:00 PM, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:00PM. After these ceremonies, the exhibit will now be open to the public for viewing and selling. The Catandungan Summer Bazaar will be…