Thursday, April 22, 2010


AFTER OUR PURPOSE in Asturias, Cebu is finished for this day on February 24, 2010, we sped back to where we came from three hours ago to the Trans-Central Highway and then to Cebu City. This mountain highway links Metro Cebu to the western coast particularly to Balamban town where there is a major ship-building facility located.

Omar Pace drove the Suzuki Multicab to the Trans-Central Highway and as it climbed up the road it overheated and conked out at the vicinity of Cansumoroy in Balamban, a small village nestling at around 600 meters above sea level. Feeling stranded and nothing else to do until the small 3-cylinder engine of the multicab cools down, I decided to take a short walk to a small house with a palm-thatched roof and bamboo-shingled walls.

I exchanged pleasantries with the occupants - an old couple - and I learned that they sell freshly-collected coconut wine, known as tuba, where it is patronized by locals. I tasted a sample of their wine and it is indeed fresh and harbor a natural sweetness. I bought a gallon for just seventy pesos (1 Dollar=44.50 Pesos) including the plastic gallon and a small glass jar which I will utilize as drinking glass.

Hehehe. Naughty me.

Omar is all smile as I came back with a gallon of this locally-fermented drink which is a good alternative to those processed alcoholic drinks like beer, brandy or rum. Not only this is a natural beverage, it is also organic and an anti-oxidant. Instantly, Omar helped himself with the coconut drink and tasted a sample. He held a thumbs up sign to my direction and refilled the small jar.

After an exchange of two rounds, Omar started the multicab to life and we continued on our way climbing up 200 meters more above sea level until we reached high Gaas and rested the multicab for a while. Temperature here is a “cool” 25-degree Celsius and we both know that it will be a sizzling 35 to 36 in the urban jungles of Metro Cebu. We stayed and took four rounds each before leaving at noon.

We crossed the boundary and drove into the highlands of Cantipla in Cebu City and found a tributary road where there is a shady spot offering a good view of the Cantipla and Bonbon river valleys, the hills and ridges in between and the distant Babag Mountain Range. It is a nice place to spend siesta and to finish the rest of the coconut wine. It is also a good place to cool down the troublesome engine.

I ripped the seats from the multicab and placed it on the ground and I sat on it and enjoyed the scenery, the cool clime and the coconut wine. After the plastic gallon ran its course, Omar took a nap at the back of the vehicle while I tinkered with my Motorola V3 cellphone to find a good signal and, finding none, I decided to make use of the built-in camera to take pictures.

Then an idea flashed on me. I would test my bushcraft skill to kill time and carve a wooden spoon from an inch-thick tree branch with just a folding knife and take pics in between. In Bushcraft USA, it is a good test of your survival skill if you could make a spoon with a combination of cutting tools and knives and several threads are dedicated to this. In my case, I would just need my Boker folding knife.

Where I am resting, several hardwood species of trees abound. I chose a tangguele, an endemic variety. Some of the lower branches have been freshly-chopped and I selected a fine branch, still green and 1-3/8 inches thick. I cut above maybe six inches from the base by slowly whittling away the part from where I would break the wood then cutting it clean with the serrated edge of the knife from the rest of the limb. 

Having done that, I sliced and separated a 3/8-inch slat from my wood by levering my knife and working downwards until I freed the piece from the rest and work my spoon here. This is not easy and you have to use extreme caution else you break the blade or disjoint it from the swivel point of the handle. From there, I whittle and scrape off wood until I get the desired shape and thickness. 

One last thing. It isn't called a spoon if it cannot hold soup. With the same knife, I was able to carve a depression on the widest part of my wooden spoon. The knife is a tanto blade with a serrated back edge and I almost cut myself with it after countless slips. Anyway, I could slurp a bit of soup from this crude spoon and I'm smiling. This all done after 40 minutes, more or less.

Document done in OpenOffice 3.1 Writer


Anonymous said...

nice post, sir.

Ppip said...

Ahh, tuba. Nag-crave na nuon ko dah.

PinoyApache said...

Thanks for climbing in @bonvito...

@Ppip: I always love tuba...

Anonymous said...

Like the sppon and the coconut wine looks very tasty.

PinoyApache said...

Thanks for visiting @Sticks. I love your site and I learn a lot. Keep it up!

Allan Manta said...

Tuba! kalami ana... bag-o ra ko kapalit ug multicab sa davao,, so far wala koy probs nga na encounter.. ayos kaayo gamiton ang multicab.

SpaceMonkeyHD said...

Nice post :) Could you please tell me the full name of the knife? I got one of these as well(bought it in holyday), but I lost mine and can't find it in onlinestores without the name :(

Hope you can help me :)

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