Thursday, January 14, 2010

► OTHER BICOL PRODUCTS

Bicol is not only proud of its natural wonders and good food but has been also noted to be the major producer of abaca products even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines.

Abaca is grown almost everywhere in Bicol. Volcanic area like the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon, are best suited for abaca cultivation. The Philippines' tropical climate, high to moderate rain fall, and rich in volcanic soil are particularly important in the growing of these plants.

Some of the common abaca products now being sold all over the world are: Bags, Table Runners, Place Mats, Wallets, Belts, Slippers, Carpets, Hammocks, Wall Decors and even ropes.

Americans have been the largest importer of abaca since 1830s , followed by Japan, and Australia.... The American navy uses abaca rope because it has a remarkable strength and more resistant to salt water decomposition than other known fibers. In fact, it was and still is the strongest of all natural fibers. Such qualities that were also appreciated by other foreign shipping companies all over the world.

By 1925, the US Department of Agriculture officials attempted to grow abaca in the Central American countries but despite experimental planting in their willingness to expand the industry in several other central American countries, efforts came out to be futile. However, at the end of World War 2 they have finally succeeded cultivating Abaca somewhere in Equador.

The abaca plant is a restricted material and government regulated. So, while Abaca's seeds and flowers are freely shared among countries, Thus, if a country other than the Philippines claims to grow abaca, DNA testing will always trace its origin to the Philippines, especifically Bicol.

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