Thursday, March 14, 2013

Success Stories

Calbayog Smoked Fish

The Department of Science and Technology, through its Packaging R&D Center (PRDC), in collaboration with the Office of the President for the One Million Jobs, Regional Offices of DTI & DOST, and the City Government of Calbayog extended technical assistance to the smoked fish industry in Calbayog City.

Prior to this undertaking, the PRDC had initiated a packaging project with Pingping's Tinapa in Calbayog City. It was a project attuned to the thrust of President Gloria Arroyo. Her instructions to develop the packaging of Calbayog Smoked Fish therefore, simply enforced the goals and objectives of the PRDC.

Intervention of the PRDC included the development of a packaging system for smoked fish; graphic design; labeling requirements; carrier box; and a technology-based business plan. With this intervention, the smoked fish industry of Calbayog City created an impact to the economy of its City in particular.

The Office of the Mayor, Calbayog City spearheaded the operation and organization of a cooperative of fishermen dedicated to supply fish for the producers of "tinapa". The move generated additional jobs for both fishermen and tinapa producers. This resulted to an increased production, which enabled them to penetrate more and bigger markets.

The finished product came in a much-improved package that contributed to the product's extended shelf-life from 5 short days to 6 months. Their production volume increased from 2,730 to 4,095-5,460 kg/mo.

The estimated value likewise increased from P 244,800 to a range of P 367,200-489,600/mo. The product definitely became competitive and saleable to markets outside of the region and eventually, outside of the country.

Currently, the product is distributed in 10 outlets in Metro Manila; 2 outlets in Tacloban City as well as in Calbayog City.

The vacuum-packed product (after PRDC intervention) proved its viability in Bahandi Festival, which was held at the Mega Trade Hall in Mega Mall, Mandaluyong City.

It generated sales amounting to Php 89,000 and attracted big investors like Ayala Corp. for its Cebu Operation. In a trade exposition in Cebu, the same product was promoted and it generated sales amounting to P50,000. These ventures led to trial shipment to Hongkong.

Today, the Calbayog smoked fish is being exported to Singapore, Brunei and Australia.

Calbayog City History


Calbayog began as early as 1600 in a settlement called Hibatang by the river bank of the present Oquendo River.  It had 2,000 inhabitants under the spiritual guidance of a certain Jesuit, Father Ignacio de Alzina.

The present barangay Anislag was the forerunner of Calbayog settlement.  The barangay is located along the river bank of Oquendo river, about ten kilometers north off the city proper.  Historical remains of what was once a village church can be noticed by travelers passing this barangay.

The place was often visited by flood during stormy days, so Anislag settlement became unsafe.  The hardy settlers left the place in “balotos” (bancas) and hastily rigged bamboo raffs following the river towards the sea.  At Cahumpan (now barangay Cahumpan) they decided to stop just for a moment’s break.  Somehow, at the spur of the moment and by common consent, they settled down at Cahumpan to start life anew.

More settlers came.  Some crossed the river to Sabang (now barangay Trinidad).  After a certain period of time, the restless settlers moved again and settled at Taboc (now barangay Obrero), a settlement which directly face the open Samar sea.  The place was once a vast swampland which extended from the present Nijaga Park, where the monument of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal and local hero Benedicto P. Nijaga now stand.

Taboc is the place where the name Calbayog began.  Taboc, so legend says, once abounded with “Bayog” trees.  They were cut down and burned for fuel in making “Cal” (lime) out of sea shells and corals.  From these two things, the Spaniards called the place “Calbayog”.  The second version says that there was once a man named “Bayog”.  It so happened that there was no other path leading to the sea except at Bayog’s place.  Fishermen used to say “tikang kami kan Bayog” (we came from Bayog) or “makadto kami kan Bayog” (we shall go to Bayog).

One day a “guardia civil” asked for the name of the place.  The fisherman mistaking the query for another thing, answered “tikang kami kan Bayog” (we came from Bayog), with the correct query and a wrong answer, the Spaniard took the last words, “kan Bayog”, for the name of the settlement. A lot of tongue-twisting and mispronunciation changed the original name of Calbayog.

POLITICAL HISTORY by: Narciso Y. Miano

Philippine history tells us that our country had been ruled by three foreign colonizer Spain, America, Japan from 1521 up to 1946. For more than four hundred years the Filipinos fought courageously and heroically to gain freedom and independence. While it is true that some Filipino leaders handled low level positions in government in any of the periods of dominance, yet those officials were considered as puppets. When America overthrew Spain in 1898 she established a military government, opened schools , and introduced English as a medium of communication for the purpose of implanting unity and understanding among the Filipino people who speak diverse dialects. It was during the American Regime when the Filipinos began to learn the ways of democratic governance, especially when Manuel L. Quezon became the President (in 1853) of the Commonwealth Government, and followed by Manuel Roxas as the first President of the Republic (in 1846).

Just like any other municipality in the country, Calbayog had her own Chief executives during each of the aforementioned regimes up to the present. 

tinapa from calbayog city


I had my fair share of making and selling these smoky delights.  Being by myself for the first time I got to do whatever I wanted and didn’t have to worry about what time I should be getting home. It was a stress free and enjoyable task.

We learn how to make Tinapa and Daing in the process. It was not salty at all and the fish was still moist and soft. I learned my lesson the hard way about how valuable money is and how hard it is to earn it.

3c Tinapa (Smoked Fish)


Now we’re going to talk about a dish that would make most Filipino’s mouths water even if they just smell it. 3C Tinapa (smoked fish) is a favorite and definitely very popular among Filipino’s. You will find this dish sold at street vendors all over the Philippines.

Tinapa or Smoked Fish – this dish is served at breakfast, lunch, and definitely around dinnertime along with tomatoes, onion on the side and garlic flavored vinegar for dipping sauce. This will surely bring out your appetite. Most western cultures might not agree, but for most Filipino’s it would be a homerun.

Making Tinapa is a two-stage process, the brining part and the smoking part. Brining the fish gives it a good salty taste and also makes it moist. The smoking part cooks the fish and obviously gives it the smoky flavor.


5 Lbs of Galunggong fish

1 Quart of Salt

3 Quarts of water

2 Lbs. of Hickory wood chunks for smoking


Note: Soak wood chunks in water two days before using it.

For the Brine:

In a large bowl or small bucket add warm water and dissolve the salt. Clean the fish and add the brine onto the fish. I just use our kitchen sink for this (make sure your sink is clean and rinsed thoroughly). Let it brine for 1 hour while stirring the brine every ten minutes. The rule of thumb: brine the fish for ½ an hour for every half inch (thickness) of fish. After an hour remove the fish from the brine, rinse it well, and set aside.

The Smoker:

Depending on your smoker, the best way to do this is to keep the fish away from the heat source as much as possible. Place your fish on the rack and add your wood chunks to the heat source. Cover the smoker and let it smoke for 1 ½ hour. You will need to add wood chunks every 20 minutes to keep the smoke going. Enjoy your freshly made Tinapa. Serve with fresh tomatoes and onions and don’t forget the garlic flavored vinegar dipping sauce.
Tinapa one of the products of Calbayog where authentic quality can be found particularly in Brgy. Matobato. It is a favoritepasalubong.