Monday, May 26, 2008
Galunggong food for the poor? It is NO more! The first and only food for poor is only in Guimaras the “TULTUL” The government has hard time solving problems on, energy, education, employment, health and more over on food (supply). The government is spending enormous amount of money just to answer those problems specially on food. Guimaras is an island province in western visayas. That could be reached when you are in Iloilo through a pumpboat. A warm welcome is always readily available as you step on the Jordan wharf. Guimaras is an island surrounded by white and beautiful beaches. Almost 50 percent of the income of family is taken from the sea like fishing, beach resorts, shell gathering, fishpond, pumpboat for tourist and “tultul making” Tultul-making has become a rarity nowadays. In Guimaras, the traditional craft is kept alive by the husband-and-wife team of Serafin and Emma Ganila, both 55 years of age, whose residence is in Hoskyn. According to the couple, they are the only ones engaged in the manufacture of tultul in Guimaras today. In fact, their expressed main concern is that they are afraid that eventually tultul will disappear because no one from among their children is interested in continuing the tradition. The reason is that the process of making tultul is long and tedious, and requires hard work and discipline. Also, it cannot be done throughout the year because of the low salinity of seawater and lack of raw materials during the rainy season. Thus, it is limited only to the months of December to May, a period of six months. The process of making tultul begins with the gathering of sacks full of dagsa, an assortment of reeds, twigs and small pieces of bamboo carried to the shore by the sea tide. These materials have been soaked in seawater for some time already. The gathered dagsa is then burned in large quantities while continually being doused with salt water on a daily basis. This step alone takes five days to accomplish. As soon as there is enough quantity of ashes, they are collected and put inside two large kaing or bamboo containers put on an elevated platform. Seawater is then poured on the first kaing to wash down the salt from the ashes. The strained water that is caught below by a pail is poured on the second kaing and the process is repeated where the strained water is caught below. The next step involves a hurnohan or cooking pan made out of large cooking oil tin containers. As viand just press it over a hand full of rice. After eating just keep it inside a salt container. Always readily available as viand anytime, that could stay for more than a year. The finished tultul is called a bareta that weighs about twelve kilos. The Ganila couple can only manage to process from fifteen to twenty bareta a month. One bareta costs from P500.00 to P600.00, which is not bad considering the economic situation of the country. It is hoped that the tradition of making tultul will go on and that it will be a source of cultural pride for the future generation.