Friday, May 30, 2008


Its around this time of summer that panagdapil is being conducted. Around the months of November and December where farmers start harvesting their sugar cane and initially do the dapil.

Panagdapil is the process of extracting sugar cane juice from its pulp using a conventional or a modern machine. The use of traditional type of dapil is getting rare nowadays since modern machines are much more convenient. With the old type, they employ the service of a carabao to pull the wooden dapil to rotate clockwise while the farmer is busy inserting the sugar cane stems to be pressed. The juice flows down as they collect it into a big pot or silyasi. If they have collected enough then they heat it through the fire. The heat varies depending on what product you want to achieve. Slight heating is necessary for making basi or the wine followed by suka or vinegar. Further heating is required to turn it into molasses ready for kalti. It’s a way to dip papaya strips, malagkit to make cascaron for snacks. Silamot is a term use to pinch the cooled molassess and eat it. Everyone in the neighborhood helps to make this happen and party over the kalti and silamot.

I had the chance to witness and take part in the conventional way of panagdapil during the San Nicolas Fiesta on December of 2007.

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