Salt Making in Pasuquin

Salt Making

Along the highway a few kilometers north of the town of Pasuquin, there are roadside stalls selling bags of what is arguably the finest salt in the Philippines. It is a common sight to see people riding in provincial buses that often stop at these stalls to purchase salt. Sold by the kilo and contained in plastic bags, the salt is cooked in large vats in huts which are usually found behind the stalls.

Pipes stretched from the beach to the huts carry salt water to the cooking vats. Although the initial cost of setting up and laying the pipes and then pumping salt water to the huts involves a significant amount of capital for these entrepreneurs, the convenience of having a steady supply of salt water becomes an added advantage. This process of salt making is quite different from the way salt is produced in the town of Paranaque (south of Metro Manila) where a thin layer of sea water is poured over salt beds and left to dry by exposure to the sun. However, the quality and fineness of the salt crystals made by this process does not come to par with the salt made in Pasuquin.

The salt makers of Pasuquin have improved their product by adding a minute amount of iodine to plain salt to help reduce the chance of iodine deficiency, which can lead to thyroid gland problems such as goiter. The conventional way of adding iodine to plain salt is done by using either potassium iodide or potassium iodate.

The salt makers of Pasuquin save on fuel by burning bags of sawdust during the cooking process. The sawdust, which are usually waste products in lumber yards, are now sold in sacks at minimal prices to those involved in salt making. In this cottage industry entire families are engaged in salt making, carrying on the traditional livelihood of previous generations.

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One Response

  1. […] huts serve as crude processing centers for salt, which is cooked in vats. According to this detailed guide on salt-making in the area: “The salt makers of Pasuquin save on fuel by burning bags of […]

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