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marcial tayag caniones
marcial tayag caniones PAMPANGA PRODUCES more than enough munggo, or balatung (native mung bean legume variety), to feed its people with plant protein as an alternative to animal meat.

Pinoys can never skip a week's meal fare without a mung bean soup as part of their standard viand selection. Rural Kapampangan folk have theirs with ampalaya (bitter gourd) tops and leaves, sautéed with fish paste or fish sauce, and sprinkled with chicharon (crispy deep fried pork fat). Others prefer it with malunggay (moringa) leaves, sautéed with shrimps or shredded tinapa (smoked fish). Urban Kapampangans relish it with finely sliced celery stalk and leaves instead of ampalaya, probably because of the seasonal availability of the vegetable.

In the southern parts of Luzon, people add fresh, yellow miki noodles and chunks of meat (either pork or beef). In the Bicol region, they add fresh coconut cream and pechay (green leafy vegetable from the cabbage variety). While in the Visayas and Mindanao, the favorite add-on is alugbati (vine, seaweed-tasting, leaves).

To cook balatung, the hard dry seeds need to be boiled first for over 30 minutes or so until a good, smooth consistency of the seeds is reached. Most Kapampangans love the soup-meal mashed and very smooth— they do this by using a strainer, mashing the boiled seeds out off the skin and collecting the purée.

Balatung is also used for dessert: The brown variety is used for halo-halo, (roasted in) ginatang malagkit, rice cakes, and hopia.

Balatung is planted during the dry season, usually after rice is harvested. The balatung plant spreads its leaves that serve as shade, preserving the remaining moisture it needs from the soil. Farmers discard the mung bean leaves and stems in the rice paddies, leaving them to rot into organic and nutrient-rich fertilizer for the soil.

Now, what is my point in writing all this?

Analysis: Resource availability, regular (although tedious to) use.

Market opportunity: Canned pre-boiled balatung, in boiled-raw form or sautéed in various flavors— shrimp, smoked fish, pork, beef— and add-ons of preferred fresh vegetables and leaves.

What a convenient energy-, cost-, time-saving food item for users. Almost instantly, we get a hot meal-soup out of us Pinoys' favorite balatung, a staple in most of our meals.

Export the product, see what happens: Income to local farmers, income to the manufacturers, jobs and income to the unemployed.

To the Kapampangans, especially: A raw material to work on to exhibit culture, creativity, innovation, culinary expertise.

Here's more, to the flowering of an industry: Mung bean oil, mung bean noodles, mungfu (mung bean curd-tofu), mung bean fermented paste, mung bean dried protien chunks, salted mung bean sauce (green sauce), and so on.

And on: The humble balatung, canned, competing with the regular American pork-and-beans convenience meal, and with the ever-present Chinese tokwa and by-product concoctions.

What do you see in the balatung? A seed, merely? Me? I see possibilities. The balatung: A source of pride to harness its usefulness and profitability.

[About the author. Marcial Tayag Caniones, a Political Science graduate, is assistant manager at the Community Extension Services Office of Clark Development Corporation. He was born on the 10th of July, 42 years ago, became vegetarian 18 years ago, started serious reading 10 years ago, and began writing three years ago. He admits to being ugly but claims to ooze with sex appeal.]

-Posted: 8:08 PM 10/15/07 | More of this author on eK!

Ces Yumul (of Angeles City, Philippines) writes...

Mayap a aldo Marcial. Matula at mapagmaragul uling metung ka karing e me likawan ing balen at keti ka magsilbi. At karing sablang mamasa ni eK!, masanting ya pu y Marcial. Anta eyu wari balu ding mala "Paquito Diaz" at "Charles Bronson" ding tune ma appeal (ana pin mismo) uling matikas la pangalalaki.

Now on to serious discourse.

Just to add on your mouth watering Balatung and its uses.

Given its bounty, here in Pampanga, we have our version of palabok, which we call pancit luglug. The difference being the luglug (aside from the meat, hipon, and the dildak a chicharon) is also topped with tauge (young bean sprouts, just lightly cooked by immersing in boiling water to retain the "lutung") and Kamias (which is also very useful in countless ways, from cooking to bleaching to home remedies to candies— kutnan yu laman ding Carmelite sisters). One Kapampangan owned resto serves it this way, Perfect Loaf.

Here in Pampanga, a variety of Asian cuisine have multiple use of the bean sprouts like the lumpiang sariwa or the fried lumpiang gulay. The different food chains that proliferate in and out of the mall areas also have extensive use of our bean sprouts as a mixture for their vegetable offerings, among others.

Growing them is also very simple. Simply put the balatung in a tightly sealed container with enough mositure. After an overnight, wash off and drain and seal again. On the third day, if you want them very yojng and tender without the elongated tail, they are ready for harvest.

Recently I have experimented and successfully grown them in open containers and with a shade of green at that, plus two to four young leaves. You may keep them under the sun in open plastic containers like you would in growing seedlings. I have found good use for plastic containers where the cup noodles come in dozens. I simply distribute a scoop in them and allow them to sprout and harvest as I need them.

Needless to say, it can be a backyard or home business for anyone or simply a supplement for vegetable variety on your meals.

Epu masakit ing bie, gewa dang masakit uli na ning milalako tana sariling diwa.

Subuknan taya pung ibalik ing prinsipiyu ning BAHAY KUBO at malawut tamung duimanup at dagpanan ning sakit lalu na ing miyaliwang cancer manibat king instant food at instant a pamulug.

-Posted/Via Email: Wed, 17 Oct 2007 18:45:20 -0700

The author Martial T Caniones replies...

Kaswelu ku pung mekaram dam. "matsura ku man, manyaman na ku man..." hehehe. Apin pu, tutu ing sinabi yu...aku pu buri ku ing tauge, and the idea of home grown sprout is revolting, I mean radical, a source of protein readily available salad sprout with local ferns and litsyugas, kamatis and cashew nuts, virgin coco=oil and aslam sasa, ala na cigurung dumanup a Kapampangan.

Ala ku rugung puhunan, sana a pakanan dakayu keng "Kape Racko." Talakad ke pa pu sana...Tsyuklating baturul paired with pritung suman ebus ampo santan or sweet mango puree with caramelized brown sugar kalamansi-pandan...

Instead of pasta.. a buffet of native noodles and varied kapampangan sauces ready to pour, with native organic vegetable, fern, leafy sidings...

Sampalok juice to perks ones morning, and papaya shake to calm the nerves with luscious condense milk or boiled sweetened carabaos milk...

All this amid a soothing, Kapampangan music-pulosa during breakfast and "chorus" during dinner/supper... Walls decorated with Kapampangan artistry works and decorated with native classy crafts... Novelties available for sale, bilao instead of plates....

So, agri-will evolve creating micro enterprises...strengthening and building new enterprises...preserving and promoting local culture... Kayabang ta ping Kapampangan ne... Saup-saup tamu...ning ating pwestu at puhunan ken?

Dakal pung salamat, aku pu sana, let's make an industry out from our rich culture and process all local products for daily and regular use... Local economic patriotism. Salamat pu...

-Posted/Via Email: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 10:46:47 +0800

Bernie Bituin (of Canada) writes...

Abe Marcial, nukarin keti Pampanga ing dakal a tanam balatung?

Tauling abalitan ku (2001-2002) keng JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) ampon OADA (Overseas (Japan) Agricultural Devlopment Agency), ing buong Pilipinas mag "import" yang balatung China.

Akutang ku kang Mr. Motoi Mori nung bakit, sabi na, king "observation" da, akatamaran da neng itanam ding Pilipino ing balatung. Muna, mura yang saliwan da ring intsik Divisoria. Kadua, mapagal yang pupulan. Gagamatan ya ampon alang makinaryang agamit. Katlu, dakal a taung kailangan. Kapat, ding tau eno bisang mibilad, manggatal, ampon magbitse. Mas buri da pang mag "tonking" ding babayi king barrio, ampon mamasadang "tricycle" ding lalake lalu na nung ibat na la Saudi.

Ding intsik king 'Mainland China' king sobra la dakal ampon ala lang kapanintunan ila na ing tatanam balatung. Ing bansang Japon, dakal ya tutung gagamitan 'tauge.' Manibat pa China aldo-aldo.

-Posted/Via Email: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 07:34:35 -0700

The author Marcial T Caniones replies...

Bernie Bituin... Apin dugu ne... mebigla ku king sinabi mu, ala na pinbisa atang mananam balatung, nung makanyan man pin na ditak tana balatung, cguru kailangan magpatanam ampo saling makinaryang pamamupul mabilis...

Kung sakali, eku paisaul at masikan ku lub na sana tanam tapa... uling keragulan ta ngan ing balatung, abe, at mesyas tamu ngan tud uli ning balatung...

Nyaman cgurung manambulang balatung ngening biyernes ne? Sana itang pupul ta Pampanga ing lutu tamu at ali itang bat China, pero nung man... ok mu ita, basta mananam ta pang dakal a balatung.

Salamat, abe, king obserbasyun mu... this will add to our ongoing research for the humble seed... Anti-keti pa mu rin... lulugud balen.

-Posted/Via Email: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 16:08:44 +0800

Aida Aguas (of USA) writes...

Sibukan ku naman ing ma-sprout balatung, masanting pin kesa sali kang tambing makalsut. Sabi nang Ima ku kanita marinat la reta sasalwan.

Ninyaman pin ing pancit luglug patye atin malutung a bean sprouts babo, ampong kamias a bayung gili.

Keni deng Vietnamese pane lang babye dakal a bean sprout patye meg-order kang pho o aliwa pang lutu ra.

Ing sotanghun ibat balatung ewari? Makananu ing maligwang magpalsut ligang balatung? Abutan naku ning siyam-siyam, anya malagad kung magsabo balatung.

Wa pin pala, pamalaman mu naman hopia ing balatung saka motsi ampong motsi o plain sorbetis.

Salamat, yanapamu, pota lumbag tana keng balatung.

-Posted/Via Email: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 20:08:14 -0700

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