Nov 9, 2008

Dandansoy, inom tuba laloy

Dili ako inom,
tuba pait aslom...

The last time I heard this song was on the Loboc river cruise with my classmates from college. It brought back a ton of childhood memories that I don't ever want to forget.

My earliest memory of tuba (coconut wine) is Nong Kikoy coming to my house early in the morning to do his magic up the coconut tree by the kitchen. After some time, he'd give us vinegar or tuba depending on what his agreement was with my grandparents, I guess.

The other thing I heard was that tuba is only good if you're selling it. It helps make money for the family. Tuba is not good when someone in the family drinks it. It is very potent and people get drunk. And some drunks are not nice.

Tuba gatherers, locally known as Mananangot are also called Piloto sa Lubi (Coconut Pilots). Because the coconut trees tend to grow very tall (some are 30 meters = 100 feet) and tuba gatherers spend so much time up there, they might as well be pilots! That's what the local drunks told us when we were kids. These mananangot are awe-inspiring. Not everybody is brave enough to climb tall coconut trees without a safety harness and have a sharp knife strapped to the waist for a living!

One of Argao's specialties is the torta - a sweet cake. It is made with tuba used in place of yeast to make the batter rise to make the cake fluffly. Of course, there were favorite torta makers who had their favorite tuba suppliers. Something about when and where tuba was harvested.

BTW, tuba is made from the sap that comes out from trimming the coconut flowers. This was why Nong Kikoy would climb up the coconut tree by the kitchen every morning. He'd slice off a thin piece of the coconut flower where it has dried from yesterday's cutting. Sort of keeping the wound fresh and sap flowing into the bamboo container secured unto the tree. He also collects the sap gathered from the previous day and takes his home to process into tuba.

And oh, the smell! I don't know what kind of desperate person decided that tuba is good to drink because the smell is simply atrocious. It makes the durian smell like roses in comparison.

1 comment:

dr tes said...

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