Organizing the vinegar industry in Brgy. Saravaia is a portal for peace and economic development in the area. The stakeholders (tri-people, LGU and DepEd) converged to help the vinegar business to its original quality - pure coco nectar vinegar. A portal that also gave way to the tri-people to talk about each biases.
"Organizing the vinegar industry had a good impact to us. We, the vendors and the suppliers are now talking how we go about the pricing, quality and volume”, said Rosie Larano.
Koronadal City’s forefront product is now branded as SARAVIA’s Best Coco Nectar Vinegar as banner product line. SARAVIA’s best Langkawas Sinamak was simultaneously launched.
Vinegar is basic in every household for its food and therapeutic values. As of food condiment, it improves the taste and savor of a recipe; as medicinal treatment, it is an immediate remedy for cold, fever, and muscle pains. In the muslim belief, it is a “blessed seasoning”, it benefits health in varied ways though vinegar “miracles” were known in the olden times (Karima Burns, MH, ND).
The sinamak (spiced vinegar) has chili (siling labuyo) and langkawas as main ingredient. Alpinia galangal or langkawas in a local name for galangal: galangal root; galingale. A herb and rhizome with a hot, ginger-pepery flavor. Galangal is used primarily as a seasoning and have a distinctive flavor and aroma.
People in Brgy. Saravaia is very proud of their chosen brand name – SARAVIA’s BEST. It bears a high quality assurance from the industry players – the coconut farmers, the sappers, the processors, and the vendors. Observing good production practices from choosing the tree to get the sap, collecting the daily sap, fermenting, and packaging, up to labeling just to ensure the product quality tag.
Through the joint initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry Promotion Programme (RuMEPP), The International Fund for Agricultural Department (IFAD), LGU of Koronadal City, LGU of Bragy. Saravia, and Kapayapaan Kapatid Council, SARAVIA’s BEST products is now in the local market aiming to internationalize the industry.
In one of the exhibits visited by the Brgy Captain – Gregorio Presca, he wanted that all products in Brgy. Saravia will be branded. The group form their association named, Saravia Tri-People Rural Workers and Entrepreneurs Association.
Branding the Vinegar and Sinamk - SARAVIA's BEST VINEGAR and LANGKAWAS Sinamak
Soft Product Launching at Koronadal City's Chapter Anniversary, October 7, 2011
Saravia Tri-People Rural Workers and Entrepreneurs Association
Vendors at National Highway, Brgy. Saravia, South Cotabato
THE PRODUCT: SARAVIA’s Best Coco Nectar Vinegar and Langkawas Sinamak
Koronadal City’s forefront product is now branded as SARAVIA’s Best Coco Nectar Vinegar as banner product line. Saravia’s Best Langkawas Sinamak was simultaneously launched.
Vinegar has been the usual household kitchen requirement. It serves as one of the condiments, to get the desired result of the recipe. According to the Muslim Holy Book, the prophet considered vinegar as a “blessed seasoning”; it is one of the five (5) best condiments since it offers good health. Based on Shomatsu Osada’s article, with Kreb’s Theory, vinegar helps in eliminating fatigue since it burns the undesirable substances absorbed in our body. “Vinegar talks about many ways in which vinegar benefits our health, and cites numerous scientific proofs of this claim. However, vinegar "miracles" were known even before the time of the Prophet (SAW). The first-century Greek doctor Dioscorides, who traveled widely with the Roman army, was a careful observer of the medicine of his time. In his writings, he describes the use of a substance he calls 'oxymel,' or sour honey, for arthritis-like pains.” as articulated by Karima Burns, MH, ND.
The sinamak (spiced vinegar) has chili (siling labuyo) and langkawas as main ingredient. Alpinia galanga or Langkawas in a local name for galangal; galanga root; galingale. A herb and rhizome with a hot, GINGER-peppery flavor, galangal is used primarily as a seasoning and have a distinctive flavor and aroma.
Quality is assured among the Saravia Best vinegar industry players-coconut farmers, tappers, processors, and vendors. Good Production Practices is observed from the choice of the tree to get the sap, daily sap collection, fermentation and packaging, up to the labeling for the ensured product quality tag.
Formation of SARAVIA BEST vinegar industry is initiated by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-South Cotabato through the Rural Micro Enterprise Promotion Program (RuMEPP) duly funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and assisted by Kapayapaan Kapatid Council, Inc.
SARAVIA’S BEST COCO NECTAR VINEGAR and SARAVIA’S BEST LANKGKAWAS, for better health, quality life, and for harmonious community of the tri-people in Saravia.
Barangay Saravia has the opportunity for economic growth and sustained peace once collaboration among the tri-people, Christians, Muslims, and Indigenous Peoples shall be realized. The social divides however have to be addressed—economic, religious, and tribal.
Barangay Saravia of Koronadal City is still suffering from sluggish economic growth since the previous conflict among the MNLF and NPA insurgents with the military. The Indigenous Peoples are usually the ones greatly affected, especially the children, that resulted to insufficient food and difficulty to reach higher education.
The said Barangay is also currently offered with economic opportunity, being accessible to the national highway, where the prospective customers pass. Vinegar and farm products are being displayed for the market. The existing challenge however is the vinegar’s bad quality feedback. The other challenge is the tri-people biases that led them not to trust one another especially in the business transactions.
The vinegar industry shall be a venue for the tri-people to converge their resources (land, coconut trees, skill-sap production/ vinegar production, product development, and marketing) to increase their income, build their trust to one another, and raise better citizens--> It is recognized however, that a converged effort to guide them from the institutions has to be there as the main catalyst for change.
The Indigenous Peoples have been the victims of all forms of atrocities brought about by various divides in Mindanao. The case of Barangay Saravia, Koronadal City manifested holds the same story. Sometime in 1980-1990, the area has experienced arm-conflict between the New People’s Army (NPA) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). In the year 2000-2003, there was arm-conflict between Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The NPA’s were Christian-dominated while the MNLF’s were Muslim-dominated. Since the usual withdrawal of the insurgents are in the highlands where the IP’s live, they became the natural care takers called as “masa” for NPA’s and members for MNLF’s out of fear. They became the subject of suspicion also by the military as collaborators, leading them to heed to the latter’s demand just to keep their lives. With those, trauma, fear, hunger, lack of education, beset their lives, most especially their Children.
IP’s marginalization in the society has been prevailing, with the discrimination of their ways for being different in physical disposition, and inefficient government programs. By keeping themselves different has led them to earn continuous discrimination.
SARAVIA has a tri-people presence, namely Christians, Muslims, and Indigenous Peoples. Economic collaboration has not been strong despite its strategic location of accessibility to the market. They lack trust among themselves in realizing business transactions.
There were previous government interventions made in the area. But the impact is up to keeping them to have peaceful coexistence. Hunger, and lack of education is still being experienced. Currently the IP’s already noticed the marginalization and discrimination to them. In response, threats are slowly pronounced to reclaim from the society what they deserve to be theirs.
Recently, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) made an intervention for market development of re-known Saravia’s Vinegar, addressing concern also on product quality’s consistency. This project provides the initial venue for the Saravia’s tri-people to work together.