The Versatile and Environment-friendly BANTILLO STOVE

The Versatile and Environment-friendly

BANTILLO STOVE

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The versatile stove invented by Mr. Alex Bantillo Sr. of Tacurong City can be fed with rice husk, wood, or charcoal. The ingenious stove was conceptualized and designed when Mr. Bantillo opened a restaurant in Tacurong city with an operating cost that, as part of the plan, should not eat up a big portion of the earnings. Raw materials and manpower are out of the question as they are basics in such kind of trade. After a series of afterthoughts, he decided to ponder on the aspect of cooking fuel. Among the products of the city is the charcoal. On the other hand, the city is surrounded with rice fields and rice mills. Firewood is also abundant.

 

Based on the three locally-available and likewise, abundant traditional fuel, he thought of designing a stove that could be fed with any of them. His design is such that the emitted smoke is filtered, hence, the emission of carbon dioxide is minimized…making the contraption nature-friendly. As regards the rice husks, practically, big heaps are belched out by rice mills. Charcoal and firewood on the other hand are from planted trees and felled forest trees to give way to rural development. In principle, the stove shall also serve as an incinerator as it can also be fed with combustible household waste.

 

At a glance, the stove of Mr. Bantillo looks like an ordinary box as practically, no smoke is emitted. And, only the big cauldron of broth sitting on one of the burners could make one suspect that it is a stove. According to Mr. Bantillo, he has already received orders for units of his stove from his appreciative customers. He confided, though, that as much as possible, acceptance of orders is controlled as he might not be able to catch up with the demand.

 

The Bantillo stove is a prominent feature of the operation of the Alex Pata chain that covers the cities of Tacurong (two branches), Koronadal and Isulan. Those interested should better have a close scrutiny of the stove by visiting any of the Alex Pata outlets, for better appreciation and eventual filing of order.

 

A Simple Celebration…

A Simple Celebration…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

When I visited the children of my elder sister who passed away followed by her husband, one of them remarked about the wedding anniversary of their parents on that day. Right then and there I decided to help them commemorate the occasion with a very simple celebration. I purchased a 3-kilo chicken to be cooked as adobo, two kilos each of mudfish and catfish to be broiled; turnip (singkamas), pineapple and radish for salad to be garnished with sweet onion and sprinkled with palm oil vinegar; and, sweet potato to be boiled as snacks in the afternoon to be downed with a cocktails of melon, avocado and papaya.

 

Being Sunday (21 May), the family of Joy, with husband, Junjun, and children, Marianne, Brianne and Zian Josh came for a visit from Polomolok (South Cotabato). Joy is the eldest daughter of my niece, Mary Anne who works in Canada in the company of her other daughter, Micah. Completing the family were Jonathan, and Nonoy and his wife, Bingbing.

 

On that Sunday morning, everybody had something to do. Junjun took charge of the broiling. Jongjong, the husband of my niece, Neneng, cooked the adobo, the no-frills way that he knows best as a retired soldier – only soy sauce and vinegar as flavors. The rest of the children, Nicole, Kate, Kris and Joy prepared the salad. My deaf and mute elder sister, Nida, took care of Joy’s youngest child, Zian Josh. The rest of the children, Chubs and Johnhon were on standby for errands.

 

The highlight of the celebration was the visit to the grave by the children at the Shangri-La Memorial Park as a gesture of respect and love, complete with the lighting of a candle and a gift that consisted of a bouquet of orchid from the family garden. My sister loved to raise orchids and other rare plants when she was still alive.

 

What we had was a kind of celebration that I would like to implant in the mind of my sister’s children – no taint of unnecessary luxury, but simple honesty of affordability….none of ice cream, barbecue, fried chicken, sandwiches, cakes, or pancit, the usual simple fare. I would like to make them understand that a celebration does not necessarily mean sumptuous food.

 

IN MY MIND, WHAT COUNTS MOST IN COMMEMORATING THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE, IS THE MEMORY MADE ALIVE FOR AT LEAST A DAY AND PRAYERS THAT GO WITH IT…NOTHING ELSE.

 

 

May Isang Roger…

May Isang Roger…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

May isang Roger (hindi tunay na pangalan) akong nakilala sa barangay na aking dinaanan. Napansin ko kasi ang isang magandang resort na pang-international and kalibre. Nang magtanong ako ay binanggit ang pangalan niya kaya hinanap ko. Ang nakilala kong may-ari ay naka-short ng maong at t-shirt na kupasin at may mga butas, parehong halatang binili sa ukayan.

 

Ayon sa kanya, hindi siya degree-holder dahil kapos sa pera ang kanyang mga magulang. Magsasaka ang kanyang tatay at may maliit na tindahan naman ang kanyan nanay. Pagtatanim at pag-aani ng palay ang kanyang kinalakihang trabaho at isa pang kapatid na lalaki na si Zaldy (hindi tunay na pangalan). At kahit sa baryo ipinanganak at lumaki, hindi naging hadlang ang kanyang katayuan sa kanyang pinangarap na maginhawang buhay pagdating ng tamang panahon.

 

Wala siyang diplomang pinagmamalaki , pero proud siya dahil ang kanyang kapatid na babae ay naging degree holder at nagkaroon ng mataas na puwesto sa isang government agency, at tatawagin kong Myrna (hindi tunay na pangalan). Hindi rin siya naiimbitahan sa mga pagtitipon sa bayan dahil ang mga barkada niya ay tulad din niyang mga taga-baryo. Lahat silang magkakapatid ay nagsikap sa abot ng kanilang makakaya upang mapakinabangan ang kapirasong lupang kanilang nililinang. Ang buong pamilya nila ay nagsiksikan sa isang maliit na bahay na unti-unting dinugtungan upang magkaroon ng kaluwagan sila sa pagkilos sa loob lalo na sa pagtulog.

 

Hindi siya nasiraan ng loob nang pumanaw ang kanilang mga magulang, at sa halip ay pinag-ibayo pa niya ang kanyang pagsisikap bilang panganay sa mga lalaking magkapatid. Sinubukan niyang mag-buy and sell ng palay at nagtagumpay naman hanggang makapagpatayo ng gilingan (rice mill) at makabili ng trak ng panghakot ng mga palay. Lalo pa siyang nagtagumpay nang makapag-asawa ng isang masinop at magaling humawak ng pera. Sa pag-usad ng panahon nagkaroon sila ng mga anak na naigapang nilang mag-asawa upang lahat ay makatapos ng kolehiyo.

 

Dahil ang kanilang baryo ay nasa paanan ng burol kung saan ay natuklasan ang isang bukal, naisipan niyang magpatayo ng isang maliit na resort na sa kalaunan ay lumaki at lumawak ang nasasakupan. Nagkaroon ito ng mga overnight facilities at mga fish pond na ang inaaning tilapia, hito at dalag ay binebenta rin sa mga taong hindi naliligo sa resort. Sa kabila ng pagiging busy ay nagawa pa niyang tumakbo bilang Barangay Chairman at nanalo naman. Lalo pang naging tanyag ang kanyang resort dahil sa kanyang katayuan bilang opisyal. Sa kabila ng natamong tagumpay, hindi nakitaan ng kayabangan si Roger. Naka-tsinelas pa rin siya palagi, naka-maong na short pants at t-shirt na binili sa ukayan.

 

Bilang pasalamat sa natamong tagumpay, regular na nag-aambag si Roger sa isang parukya (parish) na nag-iipon ng pera na magagamit sa pagpapatapos ng simbahan.

SI ROGER ANG PATUNAY NA HINDI KAILANGANG MAGKAROON NG DIPLOMA UPANG UMASENSO. KAHIT ANG ISANG TAO AY GRADUATE PA SA ABROAD O KILALANG UNIBERSIDAD KUNO (NA ANG MGA ESTUDYANTE AY MAHILIG MAG-RALLY PARA LANG MASABING MATALINO KUNO DAHIL ALAM ANG MGA NANGYAYARI SA GOBYERNO), WALA RIN SIYANG SILBI KUNG WALANG DISKARTE SA BUHAY….ANG NABANGGIT KONG URI NG MGA ESTUDYANTE ANG MASASABI KONG NAKAKAHIYANG BATIK NG LIPUNAN!

 

 

When you are the example of Faith to your child.

The Modern Day Catholic Family

As a parent we want the best for our children. We know we do for Frankie. That is why it is essential that we lead by example. There are things that they might not like, not understand and things they do enjoy, but we must enforce it no matter what. We know at times it is tough even for us adults!

There might be some of you out the reading this who are not Catholic like us, or from a different denomination, religion or even orientation, but we can all relate that if it is kindness you show, your child will mimic that. If it is love, then love they’ll be portraying. If it’s telling, fighting and other horrible habits you show them then they will think it is normal.

We teach Frankie what we think is right as HIS parents. In our household​ we don’t eat until we pray…

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Resourceful Cooking

Resourceful Cooking

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

With the soaring prices of various food items that include vegetables, fish, meat and spices, one must be resourceful to be able to scrimp on these. Along with the effort, one must also use ingenuity in coming up with recipes that make use of cheap ingredients and quick cooking to save on fuel, such as gas, electricity, wood or charcoal. The following are some suggested and simple recipes with cheap ingredients:

 

  • “Okoy” or fritter using strips of singkamas (jicama, turnip), squash and monggo sprouts (toge), flavored with dried krill or kalkag. This can be eaten as snacks or as viand (ulam).
  • Vegetable combo using all kinds of indigenous vegetables – camote tops, alogbate, eggplant, saluyot, okra, tomatoes, onions and ginger, especially, those wilting in the ref.
  • Pickled radish, eggplant, string beans, mustard or cabbage using cheap old stock of the said vegetables, the prices of which could be 50% less than the fresh ones. The mentioned vegetables can be pickled separately using vinegar and salt. As a salad, they can be prepared with slices of fresh tomatoes and onions.
  • Mashed eggplant using the old, hence, cheap ones. Boil the eggplants into soft consistency, mash and sauté in oil, chopped tomatoes and onions. This can be used as a bread filling or as appetizing main dish.

 

Other cheap ideas are:

 

  • Steaming vegetables by placing them on top of about-to-be cooked steamed rice. Remove them when ready to be served. Dips or sauce can be soy sauce mix with vinegar, chopped onions and tomatoes. This is the cheapest way to cook steamed vegetables and is more nutritious than boiling.

 

  • Flavoring vegetables or fried rice with the sauce of canned sardines while saving the whole fish for pasta dishes or as a separate dish sautéed in plenty of tomatoes and onions.

 

  • Preparing skinless tomatoes by freezing ripe ones after which bringing them out, and as they start to thaw or soften, starting to peel them. Skinless tomatoes can be frozen again to be used when preparing salad or sauce for pasta dishes, or can be mashed and cooked in oil, little vinegar and salt, to make tomato paste. The traditional way of peeling tomatoes is by soaking them in boiling water for a few seconds, but could be messy.

 

  • Preparing ready-to-use tomato and onion sauce using cheap old stock of the said vegetables. Cook the chopped vegetables in oil after which, apportion in small container for freezing and bringing out only the needed portion….this is a time and fuel saver.

 

  • Not continuously boiling monggo beans. Upon boiling, remove from stove and allow a few minutes “rest” to give the beans time to absorb the water, then return to the stove for another round of boiling; remove again…and on the third time, cook over slow fire until the beans become mashed in boiling water. This technique is best if only a single-burner stove is being used, as other dishes can be cooked while the monggo pot is “resting”.

 

The problem with most Filipinos today is that they refuse to think of ways to live on a tight budget, yet, they have the gall to waste food such as a spoonful or two of rice left on the plate or throw the left-over instead of recycling them. Also, they have the courage to blame the government for their travails due to low wage and soaring prices of commodities but they do not exert effort to save! They forgot the adage, “kung maikli ang kumot dapat ay mamaluktot” (one should exert effort to be covered with a small-sized blanket by lying curled on his side.)

The Crooks in our Midst

The Crooks in Our Midst

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The crooks in today’s world are known by several names – skimmers, hackers, scammers, pickpockets, pimps, fakers, drug lords, drug pushers, etc.

 

There are jet-setting crooks who bring their dubious trade in other countries. In the Philippines there are foreigners who are ATM machine skimmers, and who successfully entered the country as tourists. Some of these are bomb-making experts who ply their trade in many countries for varying handsome fees….with some already in the Philippines sharing their knowledge with local terrorists in the name of religious advocacy. Filipino pickpockets travel to Hongkong and the casinos in the US to ply their trade.

 

In Manila, particularly, along the stretch of Recto Avenue, fakers of documents, openly solicit clients. Not far away is the Avenida where pimps approach moneyed-looking guys who are shown photos of supposedly “virgin” and pretty and still, supposedly “young students” who need money for their tuition fee. And, of course, among these crooks are the pickpockets, with some of them decent-looking.

 

Air-con buses that ply the provincial routes from Manila are not spared by fake evangelists who deliver lines from the Bible and then approach passengers to ask for “donation”. And, another group of bus-hoppers is composed of distraught-looking guys and women who show Xeroxed copy of death certificate of supposedly relatives whose remains could not be interred due to lack of funds. I encountered several crook women who showed photos of supposedly members of their family and who are in the hospital and who badly needs financial assistance.

 

Fly-by-night tour operators have their own kind of modus operandi to successfully swindle sucker tourists, both local and foreign. They advertise too-good-to-be-true cheap tour packages to popular tourist spots complete with several days stay in first class resorts or hotels….payment is online, as the transaction has been made in the same way. Soonest as payment is made, the swindled client is left hanging in the air, as not even the promised transfer service did not materialize.

 

Other crooks in our midst are those who can’t seem to have a peaceful mind until they have borrowed money from “friends”, and without any intention to pay. I consider them “leeches” as they suck blood from their trusting friends. Unfortunately, many of this kind are supposedly educated, professionals who know that what they are doing is wrong, yet, they persist on exploiting others.

 

There are many more crooks, as those I mentioned are just some of them. Every one could have been a victim in one way or another, and through small or big deal….as the world is full of them!