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