Bulan Priorities: Local Technology and Environmental Protection

by: jun asuncion


THE STATUS OF BULAN. Bulan has all the basic  infrastructures needed to develop itself  to an economically strong town and the potential of becoming a city in the future. Bulan has the sea port integrated in the Central Nautical Highway program of the national government and fully-developed Maharlika  highway that connect it to the rest of the Philippines. And with the addition of the Bulan Airport which is supposed to be operational by 2010, Bulan has completed the requirements for mobilization and transportation and will be practically connected with the whole world. What else does Bulan need? Is it consciousness of  its powerful potentials? A dynamic and proud LGU? A business and technologically- oriented community? A politically active constituency?

BE PROUD OF YOUR TOWN. In any case, Bulan is moving forward, slowly but surely, to the place it is destined to, to a status worthy of its inhabitants. This is something each one of us should be  proud of. To be proud of your town- this is applied Utang na Loob, which is a way of looking back to pinanggalingan, to one’s origin,  a topic we have deliberated  quite at length already. Let us as individual Tagabulans redefine our relationship to our town and ask how we can help each other realize our common dream of a progressive Bulan. If you are a student, study well and perform well and just think of giving out your best. The same way if you are a teacher, a fisherman, a farmer, a businessman, a policeman or a politician- altogether the effect is the enhancement of our town. This is synergia, a Greek concept first demonstrated by the Spartans in ancient Greece, which means  that combined effect of two or more forces is greater than the sum of their individual effects. This concept of synergy should guide our town planning and management.

BULAN DEVELOPMENTS. Development is not only the production of ideas but also the realisation of these ideas materially. Since we know that Bulan is also endowed with marine and agricultural resources, the focus of economic thinking should be not only on the available local raw materials, capital and labor but also in encouraging and supporting new  technologies developed locally geared at harnessing the local resources to the maximum of profitability. This is the other factor needed to boost local economy aside from the infrastructures. From an agrarian and fishing community to a modern IT-Community? From Tricycles to BLRT- Bulan Light Rail Transit System- plying from the Bulan Airport to the other reaches of Bulan? How about a Bulan Mall? A Technorama, a Zoological Garden, a Planetarium, a Bulan Symphony Orchestra, a Concert Hall and a huge Sport Stadium? 

 THE ENVIRONMENT FIRST. It’s all a matter of time, of creative time starting now. A town, once its momentum of  growth  has been set to motion at the right time, develops itself to completion, obeying an inner logic. The main concern is that a town tends to be blinded by its  achievements – becoming a city but forgetting the very foundation of  its success- the natural environment. This has been the case of many cities of today: hardly perfected, are already in the brink of collapse because the rivers and seas are already dead, trees cut, water, soil and air polluted, people sickened-  like some parts of  China today. It is therefore imperative to have a sincere desire to protect and conserve the ecosystem right from the start: each Tagabulan by doing  all the things he knows about environmental protection and the government by educating the public continuously, building and maintaining the appropriate infrastructures and investing in technological research and environmental programs.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A COMMUNITY SEWAGE SYSTEM: But before everything, we should pay attention to this question: What happens when you pull the plug, wash your clothes, have a shower or flush the toilet – where does all the water and wastes go?”. For me, this is the central issue in any environmental program and this should complement solid waste management. Bulan should start realizing this concept for otherwise its environmental program will remain incomplete. This question suggests to us the necessity of a  community sewage system to which ideally every household must be connected. Network of pipes (reticulated sewerage systems) underneath Bulan should be built and should carry sewage from homes to modern sewage treatment plant located in any ideal place in the outskirts of  Bulan. Once treated, only then is this water released into the environment, i.e.. back to the rivers, streams or seas. I am aware that at present this costly project lies somewhere above every Bulan household but this should at least be taken into account in community planning by now.

 MARKETING  BULAN AND ITS PRODUCTS. Marketing of local products is the core of economic life. The Bulan  airport will be a big factor in marketing the local products and in rousing the interest of local, national or maybe international investors. But for the marketing of Bulan, we are all task to do that. Let’s be positive this time and help one another in introducing our town to the rest of the nation and the world. We know that Bulan has made a name in our nation because of its Waste Management Concept and the Ecopark. That’s already a substantial achievement indicative of the vast developmental potentials of Bulan community. But it’s no reason now to rest on one’s  laurels for it is just the beginning. We should defeat this attitude of complacency  which seems to be inherent in us if we want to improve the quality of life and living standards in Bulan, should not be satisfied with little achievements but continue on raising the standard of our concept of quality and on improving already existing and well-recognized programs.

Market synergy means creating an environment that is conducive to business and entrepreneurship growth by developing a local  investment strategy that promotes networking among local  and regional business people, products providers, raw materials suppliers, retailers, consumer organizations, local policy makers, local and regional academe, technological and marketing  research institutions, transportation, etc. The existing town  industry clusters- fish ( marine) and  rice (agricultural) industries in Bulan should be intensified in order to assert their  regional and national competitiveness. The Bulan Airport will bring with it the emergence of new industry clusters like tourism, etc. but an open eye must be kept for other local products that would significantly enhance investments once fully developed and marketed.

A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR BULAN. What is of utmost importance  is a functioning LGU with stable and modern bodyof political concepts translated into actions by visionary yet competent and professional local politicians. A performance-oriented and transparent LGU who leads the people to new frontiers. This is the foundation, a transparent politics and efficient leadership  anchored in public trust without which nothing can be achieved. It’s not a question then of who is running the administration and for how long but of how is Bulan being administered and for whom.

BE READY TO WELCOME GUESTS. Start cleaning your surroundings not only today but everyday so you will not be ashamed when tourists come. Put permanent trashcans in every corner of the town and along the seashores so that people will stop throwing their wastes directly into the  sea or seashores. Now we have in Bulan many good environmental programs like Fiesta Sa Kabubudlan, Ecopark, Tree planting activities, etc. How about calling to life a program like Clean Bulan- whatever you name it- whose goal is community cleaning on a big scale, and this should be held annually. Special attention should be given to our rivers, streams and sea and their natural regeneration. To this effect, the LGU-Bulan should let its creativity work in devising environmental protection programs which involve partnership with the private sectors. Remember that Bulan was twice the cleanest and greenest town of Sorsogon under Mayor Guillermo De Castro, Sr. Our concept of cleanliness should be divorced from the ningas cogon attitude that is somehow always within each of us.

The town should always remain clean and presentable even when there is a change in the administration so that the people- especially the children- will feel good. Take note that children growing up in dirty and squalid places will have a very poor concept of hygiene standards. The town should start now educating the young Tagabulans by example and by regular cleanliness program. As in many other things, cleanliness also begins in the head (consciousness).’This is of high priority that pays off in the long run.

FEATURED ARTICLE. In this post I feature an article from DOST V ( Department Of Science AndTechnology ) I found in the net which was written by my brother Engr. Jerry Asuncion- DOST- Provincial Science Officer- where he introduces the newly-developed technology of Pili pulp oil extraction. Pili is one among the raw materials that could help define positively the future of Bulan if farmers and investors are given the incentives to grow them locally, or at least stimulate investment  in the development of mechanical Pili pulp press  in diverse models and capacities from manually-operated machines that would meet a household need for Pili oil extraction to motorized units for industrial production purposes. For as Jose Dayao- the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Executive Director for Bicol – said  “The government is revitalizing the Pili nut industry in Bicol through a program designed to commercialize production of the crop and transform it into one of the Philippines’ export winners”. Bulan should venture into this dream of our national government and find local ways to help realize it. Pili nuts and oil are products unknown yet to European markets but- as to my observation- these are quality products that will easily find its place  in the European palate once introduced to them.

Bulan Observer




DOST V Develops Pili Pulp Oil Extraction Technology

Written by Engr. Jerry N. Asuncion, S&T Media Service
Friday, 18 July 2008                                                                                             

The Department of Science and Technology’s provincial office in Sorsogon developed a simple method of producing oil from pili nut pulp. The process extracts oil from freshly harvested pili nuts using minimal heat and simple cooking and filtration tools. Because the process retains the aroma and natural green color of pili pulp, the resulting oil can be considered of premium or virgin quality.

DOST-Sorsogon provincial office initiated the development of the technology as an alternative to the process introduced by National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at University of the Philippines in Los Baños, which uses enzymes in extraction and chemicals in refining pili pulp oil. This technology, while more efficient, is rather complicated and requires substantial investment and may not be suitable in a micro or village scale pili nut-processing venture.
There is also a need to satisfy the demand of local organic groups, which took interest in the product for naturally processed, chemical-free, and virgin quality pili pulp oil for food, health, and cosmetic applications.

Oil Yield                                                                                                                       

Using manual extraction, the technology was tested using different varieties of pili obtained from different areas in Sorsogon province. Oil yield, computed as percentage by weight of whole fresh pili nut, varies widely and is clearly associated with the variety of pili nut. However, the maximum yield recorded so far is about 6 percent, which translates to about 65 ml/kg of fresh whole nuts.
Establishing the varietal differences in oil yield requires further study. But oil recovery is expected to increase if a suitable mechanical pulp press or extractor becomes available.

Oil quality

Analyses conducted at DOST V laboratory showed that the oil produced by the process has a very low free fatty acid (FFA) content of 0.06% and moisture content (MC) of only 0.04%, which favors a longer shelf life of the product.
Chemical and Nutritional Analyses
Chemical and nutritional analyses of pili pulp oil are very similar to olive oil. However, pili pulp oil have more beta carotene, a known vitamin A source, and carotenoids, which makes it more nutritious than olive oil.

Other Benefits

Pili oil has always been featured in traditional medicines and herbal remedies in Bicol region where it abounds. Indigenous knowledge gathered attest to its efficacy in treating skin diseases such as scabies and de-worming capability for livestock such as pigs and chicken. Recent testimony to its ability to cure diabetes was published by Fernando Simon of YAMANKO enterprises.
Some groups that advocate and promote organic products reportedly believe in the potential health benefits of pili pulp oil, which they claim could equal or even surpass that of virgin coconut oil.



Technology Transfer

The simplicity of the technology allowed for its easy diffusion through technology transfer trainings to pili processors, traders, and farmers in Sorsogon. Since October 2004, DOST Sorsogon provided technology transfer training to the following:
Melinda Yee[proprietor of Leslie Pili Products, Sorsogon City]
• Pili Producers Association of Sorsogon (PPAS)
• City Agriculture Officers/personnel of Sorsogon City LGU
• The Lewis College
• Prieto Diaz LGU
• Gubat LGU

Developing the industry

The introduction of the technology generated renewed interest among local stakeholders and is paving the way for the establishment of the pili pulp oil production industry in Sorsogon. At present, raw pili pulp oil sells at P100 per liter. In support of the industry’s development, DOST V is currently working to develop technologies on mechanical extraction and other non-chemical approach in oil refining.    (Engr. Jerry N. Asuncion, S&T Media Service)


Note: I have included here other sources of informations about Pili for further studies. / jun asuncion


New Crop Fact SHEET:

Pili Nut                                                                                                           pili-nuts

Contributor: Francis T. Zee, USDA-ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Hilo, HI.
Copyright © 1995. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.


English: pili nut
Philippines: pili, anangi, basiad, liputi, pilaui, and pili-pilauai.
Scientific Names
Canarium ovatum  Burseraceae        


Pili nut kernel is the most important product. When raw, it resembles the flavor of roasted pumpkin seed, and when roasted, its mild, nutty flavor andtender-crispy texture is superior to that of the almond. Pili kernel is also used in chocolate, icecream, and baked goods. The edible light-yellow color oil from the kernel is comparable in quality to that of olive oil, containing 59.6% oleic glycerides and 38.2% palmitic glycerides. The young shoots and the fruit pulp are edible. The shoots are used in salads, and the pulp is eaten after it is boiled and seasoned. Boiled pili pulp resembles the sweet potato in texture, it is oily (about 12%) and is considered to have food value similar to the avocado. Pulp oil can be extracted and used for cooking or as a substitute for cotton seed oil in the manufacture of soap and edible products. The stony shells are excellent fuel or as porous, inert growth medium for orchids and anthurium.

Philippines: abundant and wild in Southern Luzon, and parts of Visayas and Mindanao in low and medium elevation primary forests.
Crop Status

A minor crop produced only in the Philippines. The bulk of the raw nuts are supplied from wild stands in the mountains around Sorsogon, Albay and Camarines Sur in the Bicol region. The average annual production between 1983-1987 was 2925 tonnes of dried nuts from an estimated 2700 ha. Pili nut has the potential to become a major nut crop. Improvement of nd knowledge in efficient vegetative propagation, ecological and cultural requirements of pili as a commercial crop, and the mechanization for commercial processing are needed.


Synonyms: Canarium pachyphyllum Perkins, Canarium melioides Elmer.

Pili is a delicious evergreen tree up to 20 m tall with resinous wood pili_tree1and resistance to wind. Leaves are compound and alternate with odd-pinnate leaflets. Flowers are borne on cymose inflorescence at the leaf axils of young shoots. Pollination is by insects. Flowering of pili is frequent and fruits ripen through a prolonged period of time. The ovary contains three locules, each with two ovules, most of the time only one ovule develops. Fruit is a drupe, 4 to 7 cm long, 2.3 to 3.8 cm in diameter, and weight 15.7 to 45.7 g. The skin (exocarp) is smooth, thin, shiny, and turns purplish black as the fruit ripens: the pulp (mesocarp) is fibrous, fleshy, and greenish yellow in color, and the hard shell (endocarp) within protects a normally dicotyledonous embryo. The basal end of the shell (endocarp) is pointed and the apical end is more or less blunt; between the seed and the hard shell (endocarp) is a thin, brownish, fibrous seed coat developed from the inner layer of the endocarp. This thin coat usually adheres tightly to the shell and/or the seed. Much of the kernel weight is made up of the cotyledons, which are about 4.1 to 16.6% of the whole fruit; it is composed of approximately 8% carbohydrate, 11.5 to 13.9% protein, and 70% fat. Kernels from some trees may be bitter, fibrous or have a turpentine odor.



Crop Culture (Agronomy/Horticulture)                     

There are three pili cultivars in the Philippines, they are : ‘Katutubo’, ‘Mayon’, and ‘Oas’. ‘Poamoho’ is the only cultivar in Hawaii.
Production Information

Pili is a tropical tree preferrring deep, fertile, well-drained soil, warm temperatures, and well distributed rainfall. It can not tolerate the slightest frost or low temperatures. Refrigeration of seeds at 4 to 13C resulted in loss of viability after 5 days. Seed germination is highly recalcitrant, reduced from 98 to 19% after 12 weeks of storage at room temperature; seeds stored for more than 137 days did not germinate. The seedlings take 40 to 50 days to emerge; year old seedlings can be used for rootstock. Asexual propagation is best through patch budding, which claimed to have a success rate of 85-90% in the Philippines. Marcotting is too inconsistent to be used for propagating in commercial  production. Production standards for a mature pili tree is between 100 to 150 kg of in-shell nuts. Most of the production in the Philippines are from seedling trees and are highly variable in kernel qualities and production.

Harvesting is from May to October, peaking in June to August, and requires several pickings. Fruits are de-pulped, cleaned and dried to 3 – 5% moisture (30C for 27 to 28 h). Nut in shell with a moisture content of 2.5 to 4.6% can be stored in the shade for one year without deterioration of qualities.
College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines at Los Banos, College, Laguna 4031, Philippines.
USDA/ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Hilo, P.O. Box 4487, Hilo, HI 96720 (limited).


 Latest News About Pili:

Gov’t to make pili nut industry more globally competitive


The government is revitalizing the pili nut industry in Bicol through a program designed to commercialize production of the crop and transform it into one of the Philippines’ export winners, Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Executive Director for Bicol Jose Dayao said.

Dayao said the proposed P150-million Pili Development Program (PDP) will involve a massive replanting of seven pili varieties in the Bicol provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Sorsogon, which account for 82 percent of the supply of the crop. “Pili has high potentials for being a top export commodity for the Philippines, as it can very well compete with macadamia, cashew, almond and walnut in terms of quality,” he said.

The PDP, Dayao said, will kick off with the production and distribution of quality planting materials through the DA nurseries, the private sector, local government units (LGUs) and research outreach stations. Through the LGUs, the department will also put up technological demonstration farms and pili orchards; distribute organic fertilizers and provide soil analysis services; conduct training and provide extension support to farmers; undertake research and development work, marketing activities and monitoring and evaluation of the PDP.

Dayao said the target areas under the PDPcover5,000 hectares that will include 3,750 hectares in the municipalities of Bacacay, Malilipot, Malinao, Sto. Domingo, Tiwi and Tabaco City; Rapu-rapu, Camalig, Daraga, Manito and Legazpi City; Guinobatan, Libon, Ligao, Pio Duran, Oas, Polangui and Jovellar in Albay.

For Camarines Norte, Dayao said the target area is 150 hectares, while for Camarines SurtheDA is aiming to expand pili production in 600 hectares. For Catanduanes, the covered area is 150 hectares, and Sorsogon, 350 hectares, he added.

Under the PDP, the DA will promote production and processing technology through model farms to be put up at the local level, particularly within the region’s Strategic Agricultural and Fisheries Development Zone.

Dayao said the research, promotion and development efforts under the PDP would involve the production of quality products with vast market potentials; establishment of strong marketing linkages between users and producers; and improvement of the packaging of pili products and by-products.



Categories: Bulan Developments, Science, Views and Concern

2 replies


    Bulan, Sorsogon, April 23, 2009. A big new development in the maritime transportation between Bulan Town and the mainland of Masbate Province was announced today by Sta. Clara Shipping Lines, thru its General Manager Antonio Sugahid, that it will start operations of their roll on roll off ferry on May 1.

    In a courtesy audience with Mayor Helen De Castro, Municipal Administrator Luis G. De Castro and PIO Antonio G. Gilana, Mr. Sugahid said that that one ferry boat will ply the Masbate-Bulan route. It will have a two-hundred passenger capacity and can accommodate about nine buses. Departure time from Bulan Pier will be at 8:00 in the morning, arrival at Masbate port around 11:30 AM. Then it will depart Masbate at around 1:30 and arrive in Bulan by 5:30 in the afternoon.

    Mayor De Castro welcomed this development as will be another added investment in the municipality and can help boost the economic sector especially among those living in the Port Area of Bulan. She added that Bulan is an investor-friendly municipality, and thanked the shipping line executive for the trust given the municipal government.

    It can be remembered that on April 28, 2008, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo launched part of the Philippine Central Nautical Highway here in Bulan. This forms part of her economic agenda of linking the whole country through the nautical highways.

    Historically, passengers from Masbate Island used to make Bulan as a connecting point for their travel to Manila and other Bicol Cities, but with the opening of the Pilar Port in Pilar Town, Sorsogon, many of the passengers were diverted to that area. Only those coming from the Dimasalang, Masbate area came to Bulan for their trips to Manila. But the M/V Kathleen sea tragedy in November last year and the closure by the DOTC of the Dimasalang Port once more prevented Dimasalang passengers from coming to and from Bulan.

    With the start of the roro operations, it is projected that there will be a resurgence of maritime trips between Bulan and Masbate, since it will be more convenient on the part of the passengers plying the Masbate-Manila trips to utilize Bulan as connecting area.

    In the meanwhile, at the Bulan Integrated Terminal there will be no change in the volume of transaction since most of the clientele served by it comes from Ticao Island towns and Bulan. It is even expected to increase services in view of the increase in the number of public convenience vehicles and private vehicles which will be coming in and out of Bulan.. (PIO-LGU-Bulan)


    Bulan, Sorsogon, May 5, 2009 — Four fishermen from Barangay Zone 7, Bulan, Sorsogon were rescued by the Bulan Rescue Team headed by Municipal Councilor Simmy Gerona on May 3, a day after Typhoon Dante hit the Bicol Region.

    These four fishermen, in an attempt to provide for their livelihood, braved the rough waters but unluckily their boat capsized off the Bulan shorelines.

    Fortunately, it was very timely that the Bulan Rescue Team was immediately informed of the incident and they responded to save the fishermen’s lives.

    The Bulan Rescue Team was organized by Mayor Helen C. De Castro in 2006 as a component of the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council to respond to evacuation and rescue efforts during calamities and emergencies. It is headed by Administrator Luis De Castro and SB Member Simmy Gerona. Its members include Ryan Cantre, Antonio”Daday Amilano, and Victor Gubat, who were all involved in the rescue. The Bulan Rescue Team was also involved in the retrieval operations of several corpses involved in the Sulpicio Lines Princess of the Stars accident sometime last year.

    A day before, at the height of the massive flooding brought about by Typhoon Dante on May 1 and 2, the Bulan Rescue Team has its hands full in providing evacuation efforts to the residents of Barangays San Isidro and San Ramon.( LGU-PIO )


    Bulan, Sorsogon, May 4, 2009 – Once more, the spirit of Bayanihan and volunteerism was displayed by many Bulanenos at the height of the massive rains and flooding brought about by Typhoon Dante on May 1-2, 2009.

    The Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council headed by Mayor Helen De Castro and Municipal Administrator Luis De Castro, provided the impetus in inspiring various groups to volunteer in evacuating families , saving lives and providing for relief operations at the height of one of the worst floods ever to hit Bulan Town in decades.

    Based on partial reports from 26 out of 63 barangays, 2,065 families comprising 10,233 persons were displaced by the floods. 85 houses were partially destroyed, 63 were totally damaged. The Rural Health Unit in Barangay Obrero was partially damaged, together with several schools reporting to be underwater causing destruction to various school facilities and documents. Damage to agriculture, livestock and fisheries was estimated to be around 13 million pesos. Infrastructure was severely affected amounting to 38 million pesos, mostly farm-to-market roads. The estimates can go higher with the reports coming in.

    Fortunately, due to the timely warning system of the Bulan Municipal Government, through the MDCC, majority of the Bulanenos were able to prepare. No casualty was recorded. It can be noted that Bulan people are very much aware of these alarm systems due to the consistent disaster management program of the Local Government Unit.

    The volunteerism of the Bulan organizations were once more brought to the fore with the participation of several responders like the PNP Municipal Station and 509th PPMG, The Philippine Army Scout Rangers based in San Isidro, Kabalikat Civicom 426, USWAG Bulan, TOFY, a youth group, DepED, and the various BDCCs of almost all barangays in Bulan.

    During the the height of the floods, barangay officials were busy, together with civic-hearted residents in evacuating and helping their community-members.

    Various areas of the National Highway all the way from Sta. Teresita to Zone 8 were submerged under water preventing all forms of land transportation.

    The floods started around 3 o’clock in the morning of May 2 and did not easily recede until around 5o’clock in the afternoon. Some areas in Bulan experienced up to 10 feet of floodwater. ( Bulan PIO )

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