"Asin Tibuok, The Revival "


11/10/20236 min read

"The revival of Asin Tibuok"

"It all began with a brief discussion, and interest quickly followed".

The formation of our family corporation is rooted in the dedicated efforts of Msgr. Cris Manongas, At that time, he held the position of vicar general in the Archdiocese of Zamboanga City and is currently serving in a parish in Australia. Msgr. Cris harbored a long-held aspiration to rekindle and preserve the age-old, enduring practice of salt production in Albuquerque. This aspiration was more than a personal endeavor; it was a vision deeply intertwined with preserving a rich tradition.

The historical significance of this endeavor is underscored by the fact that the skill of salt production had been transmitted across generations. The knowledge, techniques, and methods were passed down from one era to the next, marking a continuum of wisdom and expertise. However, in this transmission of skills, one aspect remained veiled in mystery—the origin. Despite the passage of knowledge from one generation to another, the point of origin, the precise source of this time-honored practice, remained elusive and enigmatic.

In essence, Msgr. Cris Manongas's efforts to establish our family corporation were driven by a profound desire to rejuvenate and perpetuate the traditional salt-making techniques of Albuquerque, an artistry shaped by history and memory. The preservation of this practice took on even greater significance as it sought to unravel the enigma surrounding its origins, adding depth and intrigue to the endeavor.

Challenges that Ignited Motivation
Founded with Love

The Asin Tibuok processing faced various challenges in the past, and one of the primary obstacles was the unpredictable impact of weather conditions on the production process. Weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, extreme temperatures, or excessive humidity, could significantly disrupt and even jeopardize the entire salt-making process.

Historically, the dependence on natural conditions left the Asin Tibuok production vulnerable to factors beyond human control. For example, a sudden downpour could disrupt the process, rendering hours of hard work futile. Extreme rain and wetness could slow down the evaporation process, leading to extended production times and potentially compromising the quality of the final product.

However, with the current endeavor, there is hope to reduce these weather-related risks. The incorporation of machinery and technology provides a level of control over the production environment that was previously unattainable. For instance, ensuring the salinity of the seawater, our primary source remains consistent and efficient

By mitigating the influence of adverse weather conditions, this modern approach to Asin Tibuok processing not only increases the likelihood of successful production but also enhances the quality and reliability of the end product. This transformation enables the industry to become more resilient and less vulnerable to the capricious forces of nature, fostering greater sustainability and growth.

Initial resources

Due to a lack of financial resources, the corporation made the decision to secure a loan to cover the initial startup capital, which encompasses expenses such as acquiring environmental permits, other necessary governmental licenses and permits, and the construction of the manufacturing facility. This financial assistance was facilitated and funded by a non-profit organization called BUSWACC (Bol-anon United Sectors Working for the Advancement of Community Concerns), chaired by Msgr. Feliciano Nalzaro and managed by Mr. Alvin Acuzar the Project Coordinator.

The corporation's primary objective is to breathe new life into the age-old practice of salt production. This ambitious goal is pursued with the invaluable assistance of advanced machinery that plays a pivotal role in eliminating the labor-intensive and strenuous aspects of traditional salt-making processes.

By harnessing modern technology and machinery, the corporation strives to make salt production more efficient and less physically demanding. These innovative tools work in tandem with the expertise of the salt makers, lightening the workload and streamlining the entire production process. The incorporation of machinery not only increases productivity but also ensures a consistent and high-quality output.

In essence, the corporation's mission is to honor tradition while embracing progress. By combining the wisdom of the past with the advantages of the present, we seek to preserve a cherished heritage while making it more sustainable and accessible for future generations. The utilization of machinery is a testament to our commitment to the craft and the well-being of the salt makers, making the revival of this tradition not only achievable but also a more comfortable and efficient endeavor.

Although rock salt making used to be a way of life for many generations of the people of Albuquerque, many eventually abandoned the industry due to the arduous manual labor required in the production. Even with the prospect of a good market, the strenuous manual labor and limited production capacity discouraged many from continuing in the trade. To illustrate, two people working ten hours daily for six days a week could only produce a maximum of 300 pieces of rock salt in three months' time.

As stated above, with the use of equipment and machinery, production may increase, ultimately making the industry sustainable and attractive. The machinery, in combination with the redesigned production building, is the key to boosting production and maintaining quality. The initial cost of the project was relatively substantial requiring an initial capital to construct a fully functional production facility.

Founded with love, it means that we the founders were not merely driven by financial gain or self-interest. Instead, our primary goal was to contribute to a cause, share with the community, nurture or nudge a cherished tradition with an immense and genuine love for what we are doing.

In October 2010, Tan Inong Manufacturing Corporation was founded by the original incorporators:

  • Cris Manongas             President

  • Renante Manungas      Finance in charge

  • Veronica Salupan         Secretary

  • Maximiana Plaza          Board of Director

  • Corazon Jumawan       Board of Director

  • Eutropio Manongas      Board of Director

  • Nestor Manungas         Board of Director

The Tan Inong Corporation derives its name from the esteemed figure known as Saturnino Balo, who gained widespread recognition and was renowned under the monikers "Tan Inong" or "Kapitan Inong." By naming the corporation after Tan Inong, we, the founders pay homage to a visionary leader whose influence extends beyond the realms of salt production. It is an acknowledgment of the enduring impact that one individual can have on a craft and a community. The Tan Inong Manufacturing Corporation, with its roots anchored in tradition and guided by the spirit of its namesake, aspires to carry forward the torch of excellence in Asin Tibuok production, ensuring that the legacy of Tan Inong lives on for generations to come.

The incorporators of the corporation are a significant part of the story of Asin Tibuok production, serving as direct descendants and heirs of the remarkable Tan Inong, whose legacy in the world of Asin Tibuok production is both illustrious and historic.

Tan Inong earned his reputation as a paragon of excellence in Asin Tibuok's production during his era. He was celebrated far and wide as the preeminent producer of the finest quality salt, and his name became synonymous with the highest standards of salt-making. His dedication to the craft and his unwavering commitment to producing salt of exceptional quality set him apart as a true master in the field.

The fact that as incorporators of the corporation are the descendants of this legendary figure adds a profound sense of heritage and tradition to this endeavor. Our determination to carry on the legacy of our esteemed ancestors speaks to their desire to not only preserve the rich history of Asin Tibuok but also to elevate it to new heights.

In this modern age, the corporation, guided by the Tan Inong principle, aims to blend the traditions and expertise passed down through generations with contemporary technology and innovative practices. The incorporation of machinery, equipment, and controlled production environments represents a commitment to advancing the quality and sustainability of Asin Tibuok production while honoring the heritage established by our distinguished forebearer.

The corporation's mission is to continue the legacy of Tan Inong by producing Asin Tibuok of exceptional quality and significance. Through our dedication and innovation, we aim to ensure that the reputation of our esteemed ancestors remains intact while ushering in a new era of Asin Tibuok production that combines the best of tradition and modernity.

Quality, not quantity

We have made quality our habit. It’s not something that we just strive for – we live by this principle every day.