02 Apr2007

sahing1

Back from a long day of island hopping and sunning on the beach, we returned to the town of Coron (pier behind the market) and took a quick tour of the market only to discover there was practically no seafood on offer at about 4 in the afternoon. But I spotted these unusual looking poles that turn out to be the local equivalent of a humongous butane lighter… If my notes are correct, this is called sahing in Coron and it is actually made from the highly flammable dried resin of what was described as a “rubber tree.” A little more research suggests it is not a rubber tree per se, but Canarium villosum, a resinous tree that is closely related to the pili tree. It is endemic to Palawan but also grows elsewhere in the Philippine archipelago.

The resin is wrapped with dried leaves and tied tightly so that it resembles a very large matchstick. When lit, it can serve to light other large fires for cooking or other purposes and I was told that it could even serve as a torch, in case I wanted to wander like a savage on some deserted beach feeling like a participant in a reality television show like “Lost.” Speaking of which, some European version of such a show was in fact filming on one of the islands near Coron, and they had a humongous yacht on standby for the film crew et al… At any rate, I never saw this ingenous lighter in use but I thought I should do a post on it because it is the first time I have seen such a device and it was intriguing to say the least…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Hchie says:

    Very interesting! Would you happen to have a photo of the live tree?

    Apr 3, 2007 | 8:24 am

     
  2. consol says:

    Your post reminded me of the time i was in sagada with several friends — back in the early ’80s. Before we entered Sumaguing Cave (also known as ‘Big Cave’), our guide (a younger, more buffed version of Freddie Aguilar) lit up a ‘torch’ made up of pine needles (along with the trusty ‘petromax’ of course). I can still remember the pungent piney-resiny smell to this day. oh yeah, memories are not just made up of sights and sounds, but also smells.

    Have a blessed, peaceful Holy Week, to you MM, your family and your legions of readers!

    Apr 3, 2007 | 9:10 am

     
  3. Jason says:

    It’s good to see that foreigners have enough faith again in the Philippines to shoot here, considering our past problems with the Abu Sayaf.

    Apr 3, 2007 | 11:34 am

     
  4. honey says:

    We also have something like that in Bicol, MM. It’s not very well known here, I was only able to find it in the market in Gubat, Sorsogon. It’s called “salong” or “pulot”. It comes from the sap of the pili tree and it looks and feels like a suman as it is wrapped in a leaf. The first time I saw one, I thought it was a pili suman. good thing I didn’t take a bite. Sometimes, it is packaged in a coconut shell. Very aromatic, it smells like incense when burning. After burning, the sap looks like resin.

    Apr 3, 2007 | 10:52 pm

     
  5. wanda says:

    Out of topic, but might be interesting for you. Ever heard of the meatcake? Hehe, maybe you can try it next.

    Links here:
    http://www.blackwidowbakery.com/demo/meatcake/
    http://davidseah.com/archives/2006/11/26/thanksgiving-turkey-meat-layer-cake/

    Apr 4, 2007 | 2:10 am

     
  6. Ruth says:

    RE: ‘salong”/pulot”

    I wonder if the residue/sap can be useful for something else (i.e. making craft projects, gardening, etc.)?

    honey says:
    We also have something like that in Bicol, MM. It’s not very well known here, I was only able to find it in the market in Gubat, Sorsogon. It’s called “salong” or “pulot”. It comes from the sap of the pili tree and it looks and feels like a suman as it is wrapped in a leaf. The first time I saw one, I thought it was a pili suman. good thing I didn’t take a bite. Sometimes, it is packaged in a coconut shell. Very aromatic, it smells like incense when burning. After burning, the sap looks like resin.

    Apr 4, 2007 | 5:39 am

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Hchie, sorry, I don’t have a photo of the tree, but it must be similar to a pili nut tree. Consol, burning pine…nice. Jason, I think there must be a small garrison assigned to that ship and island… Honey, like you, I thought this had food inside…and what you describe is very similar. Yes, it comes from the sap of the tree, the dagta…

    Apr 4, 2007 | 10:26 am

     
  8. honey says:

    ruth, I’ve never seen the salong used for purposes other than starting a fire. The dagta is not that sticky. it’s less sticky than the glue in a post it note. Oh, we use it for keeping insects like cockroaches away. it seems these little creatures hate strong smelling substances

    Apr 4, 2007 | 9:34 pm

     
  9. Dodi says:

    A Blessed, peaceful Holy Week to All!
    I think what they’re shooting is the French version of “Survivor”. Wanda, that’s a very interesting cake, maybe we can try it after Good Friday, for Easter! hehehehehe, sarap sana but its seafoods muna.

    Apr 5, 2007 | 10:11 am

     
 

Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2014