Monday, September 08, 2014

DZMM's Radyo Negosyo: 3 Sisters' Banana Chips

Last August 12, 2014, my mother was guest in DZMM's Radio Program "Radyo Negosyo" hosted by Dr. Carl Balita.

Mrs. Adela in DZMM

Here are some of the points I got from watching the interview:
1. The business started with only P200.00 as capital and a quarter of it was used to purchase raw bananas. 

2. The closure of Marcopper Mining Corporation led to the idea of putting up the business.

3. Mrs Adela's children (us) started selling the product when they were still in grade school.

4. The business was able to send all four children to college. All of them are now graduates.

5. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been very instrumental for the improvement of the product's quality.

6. The business helped the family in financing the construction of a house and acquisition of a car. 

7. The business was able to provide local employment.

If you want to watch the full interview, please watch the video below. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Steam Explosion Device: The First in the Philippines

Steam Explosion is a technology that is used for treatments involving high pressure and temperature. It is seen as the one with potential to reduce costs and is the most commonly used pretreatment method for celllulosic ethanol production from lignocellulosic feedstocks (McMillan, 1994). It uses both physical and chemical methods to break the structure of lignocellulosic material through a hydrothermal treatment. In the said method, treating the lignocellulosic material with high pressure steam at high temperature for a short time, then rapidly depressurizing destroys the fibrils structure. United States and Canada have already been doing demonstrations on this technology (Jorgensen, et al., 2007).

The FIRST Steam Explosion Device in the Philippines is housed at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), University of the Philippines Los Banos. This equipment, which is acquired through the DOST-PCIEERD-funded project on "Fuel Ethanol Production from Lignocellusic Feedstocks" headed by Dr. Fidel Rey P. Nayve, Jr., is being used for the pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials such as agricultural residues, grasses, and forest products.

Steam Explosion Device. 

A portion of my Master's thesis involved the use of this technology and results showed that steam explosion effectively destroyed the lignocellulosic structure of Cogon (substrate used).

The following video shows the operation of BIOTECH's Steam Explosion Device.


JORGENSEN, H., KRISTENSEN, J.B., FELBY, C. 2007. Enzymatic conversion of lignocelluloses into fermentable sugars: challenges and opportunities. Society of Chemical Industry.

MCMILLAN, J.D. 1994. Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. In: Himmel, M.E., Baker, J.O.,     Overend, R.P. (Eds.), Enzymatic Conversion of Biomass for Fuels Production, ACS Symposium Series, vol. 566. ACS, Washington, DC

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Mt. Batulao of Nasugbu, Batangas

Mount Batulao of Nasugbu, Batangas is one of the best hiking destinations we have visited. The view along the whole trail offers remarkable landscapes. The summit also gives you a 360-degree view of Nasugbu, Batangas.

I would like to share our pictures during the climb.

Group Picture before the Climb.

View of Mt. Batulao.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Marinduque Adventure Highlights

Marinduque is one of the underrated places in the Philippines. It is a province in Region IV-B that can be reached (as of the moment) through ferry in Lucena Port. Last summer, I brought my friends in my hometown for a vacation. I would like to share our adventure hoping that after seeing this post, readers would consider Marinduque as their next destination.

Since our 'barkada' loves the beach, we decided to spend one night in Maniwaya Island. A boat waited for us in Buyabod Port and the travel time is about one and a half hour.

On our way to Maniwaya Island

BORACAY Island: "The Best of Both Worlds"

Boracay Beach is the favorite summer getaway of celebrities and foreign tourists. And for a commoner like me, it is a dream come true to be able to step on those white sand which I only see in pictures. Thanks to the "DISCOUNTED RATES" of our local airlines, we were able to book our trip. This is something different to what we usually see - sand instead of chemicals, people instead of microbes.

The Researchers-turned-Travelers

Coron, Palawan: a Place for Nature Lovers

Coron in Palawan has a lot to offer to travelers. There are a number of snorkeling and diving sites, white beaches, and pristine lakes available for sight seeing and adventure. I had the luxury of spending a relaxing weekend in Coron which was made more special because I had my college friends with me.

Coron Island

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Unveiling the Story of Marinduque's "3 SISTERS' HOMEMADE BANANA CHIPS"

3 SISTERS’ HOMEMADE BANANA CHIPS, which is essentially on its 17th year, is a story of adaptation, survival, and continuous adaptation. Its mere existence is a story…a story of hardships, inspirations, and successes.

During those years when Marcopper Mining Corporation (MARCOPPER) was still operational, I personally think that life is easier for the locals of Marinduque. The mining company was the source of income for a number of local residents. Our family is in fact one of those who were dependent on MARCOPPER. However, in 1996, my father was laid off, together with other employees. In effect, our family had problems financially. And we had no choice but to adapt to the situation. My parents had a thorough deliberation on how we could raise our family given the fact that our primary source of income was gone. And they came up with a decision, that is, to put up a small business. But the problem did not end there. What kind of business? How much would be the capital? Can we afford to have one? These were some of the questions they had to answer.

Business…it took a while before my parents have decided on what specific business they are pursuing. After several considerations, 3 SISTERS’ HOMEMADE BANANA CHIPS was born. That time, they believed that it was a good choice because we were one of the pioneers of banana chips industry in the province. Also, the raw materials for the production were locally available and the capital needed was not that high. The procedure we used in production actually came from a livelihood training sponsored by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in 1996.

Banana, the main raw material.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Luzon Datum of 1911: Journey to the Center of the Philippines

Culminating my Mountaineering Year, 2013, was a climb to an underrated mountain in my hometown. It was very special because located in that mountain is the exact CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES. It is said that every Filipino Geodetic Engineers dream of reaching this marker as it serves as the Point Zero when making a map.

Luzon Datum of 1911/Station Balanacan. 
This Philippine Marker is located in the highest hill in the northwest point of Marinduque Island. According to, its institutionalization as geodetic datum origin is traced to the surveying and mapping activities in the Philippines of the then United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (USCGS). With the new territorial claim of the US following the Spanish-American War, the responsibilities of the USCGS grew which included the conduct of various scientific and cartographic initiatives in the Philippine Islands beginning 1901. Reference:

NHI Marker of Luzon Datum