Tag Archives: coconut

Copra

A specialized tool is used to to manually separate the copra from its shell. The meat will then be dried before extracting the coconut oil. How about the shell? It will be made into charcoal known as ‘uling bagol’.

A thick spatula-like tool is inserted between the meat and the shell.

Once inserted, the tool should be moved in a circular manner to separate the meat inch by inch.

Coconut Drink Stall Sign

Betel Quid Peddler

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When you hear sounds from a tambourine of crown caps, then most likely it’s the betel quid ambulant vendor with his sling of slatted wooden box containing neatly arranged betel quid in between slats. Most noticeably are the betel quid cones of colored grated coconut that are grouped together in alternating colors. I have seen more than a few betel quid vendors walking around in Colombo.

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About the betel quid, though it is prettily presented and happily chewed, its habitual indulgence will have adverse oral health impact according to this informative article from a medical journal.

Dual Priced Coconut Ice Cream

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This vendor was selling coconut ice cream served in half coconut shell with its coconut meat, then poured with condensed milk for a 30 baht refreshment. Moments later, one may find out that it was just 20 baht for locals but still consistently priced as 30 baht for foreigners. This realization came as I hung out just across the ice cream guy while quietly eating my delicious foreigner-priced ice cream.

Hoops in Coconut Tree

Where there is coconut, there is basketball.

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Coco Bamboo Seating

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Bench made from bamboo and coconut trunk

Coconut Accoutrements

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Accoutrements: Sliced tree trunk as chopping board, bolo, and tin buckets for easy decanting of coconut water into a plastic bag

The coconut guy in his small coconut shop would want to know first what you need it for. Usually you’ll say it’s for buko salad, or you need the water as beverage, or whether you’d want the meat thick, or gel-like and runny, is enough information. With that knowledge, his itak (bolo) would then make a tap tap on the hard shell and depending on the sound, he’d know which coconut is the right one for you.

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Hands free pouring of coconut water into the bucket while busy selecting another coconut

I’ve been here twice already for the same purpose – to buy three coconuts to make agogo (ice candy). Each time, he’d cut all chosen ones for me on the sliced tree trunk as chopping board, then save the water in a plastic bag, and will manually grate the meat for you, but I stopped him for I opted to do it myself at home (downside was I had to lug all three coconuts). All these value added services are free for each coconut that he’s selling at Php20 (.457 USD) only. Labor is indeed dirt cheap in this country. Though unintentionally, the coconut guy gets a nice arm strengthening workout on the side. I’ve never seen a fat coconut guy.

Tree of Life, That’s Why

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The coconut fruit (which can be broken down into plenty of uses) and the coco lumber

A couple of representatives among the many examples on why coconut tree is called The Tree of Life by my elementary teacher and by the Philippine Coconut Authority.

Carabao Horn as Implement

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Separating the coconut meat from its shell using a tool fashioned from carabao’s horn

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The implement

Masbate City Market

This market is busier in the afternoon than in the morning. 

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Green stemmed alugbati

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May puso ang saging (banana heart)

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Coconuts to grate to extract the milk

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Tanglad (lemon grass)

Hut Number

An ingenious and earth-friendly room number at Patrick’s on the Beach resort.

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