VIEW FROM CALUMPANG: Diego Cagahastian

Not Just Lukban, But Durian, Too

Mar 3, 2023, 12:21 AM
Diego S. Cagahastian

Diego S. Cagahastian


DRIVING from my farm in my hometown of Paete, Laguna to Lucena City, I always make it a point to take the Pagsanjan-Cavinti route (as if there is another shorter way!) just to breathe the fresh air of the mountain and to enjoy the picturesque view.

Another reason for the trip is to visit Lucban, Quezon for its longganisang Lucban, which is a delicacy appreciated by Filipinos anywhere in the country.

Lukban, the fruit, is also grown in the provinces of Quezon and Laguna. One famous Lucbanin — singer Zsa Zsa Padilla — did not know then that "lukban" the fruit is what Metro Manilans and Davaoenos call "pomelo."

While Davao's pomelo is sweet and better tasting than Quezon-Laguna's lukban, it should interest many to know that the area also grows durian in abundance, and marang, too.

Durian and marang are my favorite fruits, apart from atis. In one of my visits to Lucban, I bought and ate the local durian and these were very good, and can rival those from Davao, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro.


Speaking of durian, the country will start shipping durian to China starting March this year, Malacañang announced.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa has informed President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. the scheduled shipment of durian to China during a meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC). Should we call this panel the Aboitiz committee?

According to De Mesa, there is an initial volume of 7,500 metric tons (MT) of durians ready to be sent to the Asian country, which will be sourced from 59 different farmers or producers covering some 400 hectares of production area.

This followed the agreement reached by the Philippines and China during Marcos' state visit in January to allow more Philippine fruit exports to Beijing.

Marcos said the protocol for the export of fresh Philippine durian was already signed, paving the way for Chinese importers to source the fruit from the Philippines.

Manila and Beijing agreed on a protocol of phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh durians from the Philippines to China between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and China's General Administration of Customs.

The US$2.09 billion in purchase intentions for Philippine fruit exports secured by the Marcos administration also covers coconut and bananas, among others.

The durian growers, represented in the meeting by the Davao Durian Industry Association, "have long waited for this opportunity and are ready to meet the demands of the Chinese market."

The Davao region covers 78 percent of the total durian production in the country.

In 2021, total durian imports from Thailand amounted to US$4 billion, more than triple the total Philippine agricultural exports to China in the same period.


VIEW FROM CALUMPANG: Diego Cagahastian

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