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Jun 09th
Home Sections Food Turning Sorsogon’s “Tabugok” Into Calamari and “Chicken Sh_t into Chicken Salad”
Turning Sorsogon’s “Tabugok” Into Calamari and “Chicken Sh_t into Chicken Salad” PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Food
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Thursday, 12 January 2012 15:54


How the “ReVOTElution of Hope” Can Use Calamari and Chicken Salad to Propel Sorsogon to Become the Richest Philippine Province In Less-than 25 Years – Without Using Fancy Slogans


By Lolo Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon City and West Covina, California


I NTRODUCTION. This writer has a long-time German-American good friend, Henry von Seyfried, whom our coalition honored by making him an “Adopted Filipino” on Nov. 30, 2001. I befriended Sir Henry when we were both members of the Filipino-American Press Club of Los Angeles in the late 1980s.


Sir Henry is presently the Los Angeles chapter commander of the Order of the Knights of Rizal. He co-chairs also the Media Breakfast Club of Los Angeles (MBCLA), as he was one of the club’s six cofounders I invited to form its nucleus in July 1993. He was also a former commander of the American Legion, Manila Post 464. Sir Henry is a member of the (mainstream) Los Angeles Press Club and he was an independent Hollywood movie producer at one time. He has visited the Philippines on many occasions and he even trained as a paratrooper with the Philippine military. He is a retired major in the United States Army. Then  President Ronald Reagan pinned a medal on Sir Henry (and we will eventually insert in this article a scanned photograph of the medal-pinning ceremony with the President, after we receive a copy of it.)


Sir Henry has promised to help push to a successful conclusion the “ReVOTElution of Hope” and its Bicol-Leyte-Samar Socio-Economic Development (BLeSSED) Program with Sorsogon as a pilot province. He has read many of my articles about the “ReVOTElution.” He has promised also to help in doing an Oberammergau-like festival and the Oktoberfest in Bulan town of Sorsogon.


But Sir Henry advises that I should reduce the development concept for Sorsogon into an easily-understood plan. He and I belong to the old school of journalism that says that to write more effectively, writers must assume that the average reader has reached only the Fifth Grade in education.


So, I asked Sir Henry his favorite foods. He said that he likes calamari and chicken salad, aside from pig’s knuckle with sauerkraut plus his other favorite German dishes.


C ALAMARI ANALOGY. And so here’s what I used as analogies for some of the proposed socio-economic projects for Sorsogon Province and the BLeSSED regions.


Sorsoganons (and Bicolnons) call the octopus the “tabugok.” The root word for it is “bugok,” which means stale or rotten. If not immediately refrigerated, an octopus really smells more than rotten fish. And unfortunately many local-government units (LGU) and even national-government agencies (NGA) in the Philippines smell like the “tabugok” that has been left un-refrigerated for a day or two.


But the fresh “tabugok” can be made into delicious calamari, which is normally fried (pun intended, Sir Henry) squid, a dish in Mediterranean cuisine. It consists of batter-coated, deep fried squid (or octopus), sautéed for less-than two minutes.


I told Sir Henry that in order to catch many squids and the “tabugok,” we have to develop first the fishing industry of Sorsogon, which has both the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, aside from its Sorsogon Bay (SorBay). The BLeSSED provinces can operate state-of-the-art fishing boats and Mother Fishing Vessels (MFV) that can process the catch into fish fillets, fish meal, sardines (that can be processed, if not canned, on board) and even batter-coated squid or octopus in plastic cases ready for delivery to supermarket outlets or to food courts. The smaller boats and their MFV can operate within the 200-mile economic zones of the country, which unfortunately the Philippine national government cannot police or control for lack of patrol boats and aircraft. The BLeSSED provinces can generate the right equity to purchase said patrol units to drive off foreign fishing fleets operating illegally in the said EcoZone.


In order to have a viable fishing industry, we must develop marinas and piers that can service the fishing fleet and inland refrigeration units and canning factories. I said that eventually, the fishing industry in Sorsogon and the BLeSSED provinces can become a multi-billion-dollar industry.


C HICKEN-SALAD ANALOGY. I told Sir Henry a line that actor Ted Danson used in telling Isabella Rossellini in the movie “Cousins” in answer to her query on what he was doing. Mr. Danson said: “I’m turning chicken sh_t into chicken salad.” Of course, Sir Henry knows that line, as he is still connected with Hollywood.


Unfortunately many of the LGUs and/or NGAs can be compared to chicken sh_t. We are launching the ReVOTElution of Hope so that we can hopefully turn those agencies into the equivalent of tasty Filipino chicken salad.


But to have the salad, we must first raise chickens (and pigs for their knuckles and of course cattle, goats and other ruminants)  in clean environmentally-sound farms using only fish meal (as described in the 7th paragraph of this article) and other organic feeds. For Sorsogon has to become the first “organic province” of the Philippines if it wants to attract devotees of organic foods. Then we have to grow (again in environmentally-perfect surroundings) lettuce, pepper and other salad-and-dressing ingredients. Most of the chicken sh_t  (plus pig manure and cow dung) can be turned into methane and/or fertilizer that can be used for cooking the chicken, the squid, the “tabugok” and other fresh foods.


And with organic fertilizer being produced in Sorsogon, the provincial and/or  national governments would not have to buy over-priced and/or “ghost-delivered” inorganic fertilizer, thereby reducing the docket of the country’s criminal courts. It can also save the public coffers of billions of pesos involved in fertilizer-supply scandals, scarce resources that the government can channel instead to providing social services for the Underprivileged.


With so many revenues from raising livestock, food exports, tourism and other industries, Sorsogon can declare not “statehood” but “steakhood,” as explained in an article the hyperlink of which is found at the end of this article. People would prefer being “Calamari Commandoes” and not like the anti-Marcos’ United States-based opponents then-called the “Steak Commandoes.”


Foreign tourists spend an average of US$1,000 per visit (excluding air fare). So a million of them will bring in a billion dollars (in American greenbacks, as spelled with a B) per tourism season. Sorsoganons can afford by then to eat lots of calamari and even chicken salad, day in, day out.


N ECESSARY DOWNSTREAM PROJECTS. Next I told Sir Henry that to cook the calamari and prepare the chicken salad, we must first build state-of-the-art kitchens, which will not become viable if they are not part of food courts. For us to have in turn viable food courts, we must build cultural-and-gaming resorts and to have them we must construct an international airport. For how can foreign calamari lovers and/or chicken-salad eaters and gourmet connoisseurs like the Sir Henry von Seyfrieds of the Western World come to our tourism version of a Gastronomic Paradise of the Pacific Rim if we do not have a viable international airport?


Once there are many eateries in so many food courts, there is now a need to make ceramic plates. A modern ceramic factory can also produce wall, floor and roof tiles, aside from bricks and sanitary wares.


Editor’s Notes: The Sorsogon Ceramic Manufacturing Company (SOCERMAC), if revived, intends to set up – tri-ventures – the ceramic and cement plants in Camarines Sur, which has ample deposits of silica, gypsum and other clays, aside from deposits of more-than 62-million cubic meters of marble.


An international airport would also be needed to export in 747 jumbo jet freighters thousands of tons per day of blast-frozen prawns, squid, octopus and other seafood and live crabs, seasoned seaweed, etceteras, etc.


But then to power the kitchens, the food courts, the hotels, the airport and other infrastructures, Sorsogon must first declare energy independence from The Imperial Manila, so as to avoid brownouts and provide affordable electricity to end users and consumers.


Now Sorsogon must provide foreign tourists like Sir Henry entertainment because they cannot use all their hours in our cultural-and-gaming resorts just eating calamari, chicken salad and other delicacies. We have to build theme parks and even a movie studio so that film producers like Sir Henry can do documentary films or full-length movies. This is why we will build a movie studio and facilities like the Universal Studio theme park close to the proposed international airport at the Bulan-Magallanes Corridor.


And in case Sir Henry and other foreign and domestic tourists would get sick (definitely not from eating freshly-cooked calamari or chicken salad or other delicacies) or they want to avail of our Medical-tourism facilities for check ups, beauty-treatment or treatment, we will be operating medical centers as part of our tourism-oriented facilities.


And for the adventurous like Sir Henry who want to eat calamari while drinking beer or piñacoladas while they tour Sorsogon Bay or the Pacific Ocean and experience how the mariners of old like Fernando de Magallanes prepared and ate squids, we have to build galleon replicas at a revived Spanish shipyard in Magallanes town of Sorsogon Province. And/or they can visit our planned “Molluscanville” by the sea, which is our local version of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville.”


And to have an ample supply of beer, we must build a brewery and obtain licenses to brew German, Chinese, American or Canadian beer. We have to grow also pineapples for the piñacolada.


There are really no shortcuts to developing a viable tourism industry. Mere fancy slogans will not suffice.


“Wow,” that was all Sir Henry could mutter, after I finished relating to him a short summary of how the calamari and chicken salad can propel to the 21st century and beyond the economy of the BLeSSED provinces, starting with Sorsogon.


Yes, all because of the simple “tabugok” and home-grown chicken and of course foreign tourists, if not stakeholders, like Sir Henry von Seyfried, can help in “reinventing” a people and make their country become part of the First World. Because the bottom line is if the people attain economic independence, then they can easily achieve political empowerment.


To read related articles, please just click on the following hyperlinks:


“Reinventing” Sorsogon Province So That It Becomes a Prototype of a People-oriented Paradise in the Pacific Rim


Bringing Home the Bacon to the Poor Towns of Sorsogon and Not Just to a City


Sorsogon Bay Can Deliver Energy Independence from NAPOCOR But SORECO and Sorsogon’s Water Districts Have to Be “Reinvented” First


A Priest’s and his Altar Boy’s Dream of an Oberammergau-like Festival in Bulan, Sorsogon  (Article discusses also the beginning of the SOCERMAC-led integrated ceramic project.)


Why Select Magallanes Town as the Site of a World-class Movie Studio with a Revived Shipyard for Making Galleon Replicas and Sailboats?


Using the Magellan-led Voyage’s 500th Anniversary as a Prestige Project to Propel the Philippines to Prosperity


Sorsogon Is Lolo Bobby’s and his Friends’ “Five O’Clock’s Somewhere”  (that describes what a “Molluscanville” is all about)


The “Save Our Sorsogon (SOS) Bay” Initiative (Part I out of 14 articles in the series)


Steakhood Is Better than Statehood  (Part I of 5 articles in the series) # # #


Last Updated on Thursday, 12 January 2012 17:35

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