Saturday, June 23, 2012

Salvarro, Charming Bojo River and IBM Philippines | Going Beyond My Potted Garden

I took an unofficial day-off from my garden last June 16, 2012 and joined the IBM’s cause for a greener environment: to plant some trees in a garden much bigger than mine. Since this month marks my first year in blogosphere, there’s no bigger and better way to celebrate it than going beyond my backyard garden. This time it’s the mangroves, and a trip down mid-west of Cebu with some hundreds of IBM employees.

Poblacion Aloguinsan is some 2-3 hours of rough ride down south from Cebu City.  This fishing village is known for its scenic Bojo River, a more than kilometer stretch of mangrove ecosystem, rich both for its historical and ecological importance.
Mangroves play a vital role in our ecosystem. For one, they provide shelter and food to the early stages of most of the fishes and crustaceans. Protecting this ecosystem is ensuring our supply of seafoods that comes to our table. Consistent with Cook My Garden’s commitment of ensuring a clean food source, I readily jumped to the invitation of IBM Philippines to plant mangroves, a community-based initiative to preserve and nurture the environment.
IBM is celebrating a diamond milestone here in our country, and to celebrate their 75 years of strong foothold in our country, especially in Cebu, they are embarking in another opportunity to heighten their commitment to Cebu and to the environment. IBM collaborates with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. for this mangrove plantation project that aims to directly and indirectly boost Aloguinsan’s main source of livelihood.

This mangrove planting initiative is already two years in a row. Last year they worked along with PBSP in mangrove reforestation in Olango Island.

Planting on a muddy shoreline armed with just a bamboo stick on one hand and propagules on the other was an ephemeral experience, however the journey towards self  and appreciation for the ecosystem was lasting.

Aloguinsan’s Salvarro

Aside from long stretches of fine sand and good beaches, Aloguinsan has a lot to offer. Bojo River is one thing Aloguinsan is blessed and they should boast this beauty through eco-tourism. Along with these natural beauty is the signature food Aloguinsan is synonymous with – SALVARRO.

No, not the crisp, thin crunchy flakes we used to have as pasalubong. This rounded sweet native baked-on-the-street bread is made from flour, grated coconut, brown sugar and tuba (coconut toddy) as leavening agent, baked in a makeshift oven of galvanized iron with the heat placed at the top portion of the bread. This type of baking makes a good golden toast to the surface of the bread. The coarse texture of bread and the chewy coconut makes it a perfect treat for breakfast or for snacks. This bread is a relative of pan de coco, but the coconut were mixed along with the flour to make the dough as compared to the latter where the buns are filled with sweetened grated coconut.

What you will need: This delicacy is very simple to prepare as it needs only five basic ingredients: flour, sugar according to your taste, tuba, grated coconut and water.

How to do it the old fashioned way:

1.    Mix the flour, grated coconut, water, sugar and tuba and form a dough
2.    Leave for an hour to rise and then knead again until evenly mixed
3.    Cut small portions and form into flat oblongs, lined with banana leaf
4.    Bake for ten minutes or until brown
5.    Serve with your favorite spread over a cup of coffee or sikwate.

If you are using tuba, make sure the fresh one as it is still sweet and will not impart a sour taste to the bread. You can use yeast if tuba is not available. You can bake it in the oven if you don’t have that makeshift galvanized iron sheet oven.

I'm sure I will go back to Aloguinsan for its charming Bojo River, and for that street side baked goodie.

Photo Credits:

I forgot to bring my own camera when I covered this event. Photos used here are from my  blogger friends Mark Monta ( and Geezelle Tapangan ( as indicated in the photos. 

The photo of Salvarro was grubbed from a facebook page ( which is interestingly a delicacy of Buaya, Sabang, and Palompon Leyte. The way it is prepared and physical appearance are almost the same. I begin to wonder where this native bread originated, and how it got to Aloguinsan.


  1. Awesome post. Really have a good content in here.

  2. Was not able to eat my salvarro, I remember putting it in my bag but I think Mark brought it with him.. hahahahaha...


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