We were still at the laboratory producing Vacuum-Fried Jackfruit, but I wandered out towards the other areas of this expansive facility. This area here is some kind of a display area (museum?) for old and new but all still operable food production implements big and small – from the cute and “nice to have at home” manual canning machine to those enormous kiln driers or ovens. Meron palang ganun?! You can dry fruits, fish or meat in various ways without literally bringing them out to open space under the sun and for the flies and insects to feast on!
Ah in this room, there are ovens with a twist and electric mixers with a tweak! Aliw! The professor told us some were made on purpose by their scientists based on research or scientific needs. Aren’t they all scientists here, anyway? And some were produced/created by students in various research phases down to their theses or dissertation requirements. Wow ha?! Here’s more, some are patented, some are not, some have been adopted by factories and institutions, while still some are not being given enough attention by the public. Like this one below.
We were particularly amused with this coconut grater with a pedal. Yeah, no need for electricity, and we wondered why it is not extensively used. Haven’t even seen this anywhere else. Should be fun making this a stationary bike for exercise while at the same time producing grated coconut. And there are even two sides where folks can simultaneously grate! The professor told us that this was made with the husband and wife team in mind - grating at the same time. O di ba?!
How? Once the coconut is broken in half, husband mounts the saddle and starts pedaling to grate the half coconut on his side, wife grates the other half at the opposite side and the grated shreds flow down the incline towards the side of the wife where a container should be placed as catchment. Nifty, right?! Fast and fun yet inexpensively productive! Aliw! And I “vehemently wonder” if there is such a thing hehe, why those manongs and manangs at the palengke only have electric powered graters or none at all. Everyone laughed when I said it should be the wife pedaling so she can lose those excess kilos of flab everywhere!
One last thing I saw in this place – the canal! Yes, their drainage canal in front of the building. I once went out to smoke, while the discussions were in progress and I stood by this drainage canal with a furiously flowing water that looked very clean. It resembled the water flowing down Lulugayan Falls. So I asked one teacher where all that water was coming from and where it was going. She told me that it comes from that mountain range at the back of the university (east side, where the twisting highway passes) and it just freely flows down to the sea!
When I asked if it was really clean as it looks, she told me “we can say that, since there is no human habitation from where this water is flowing”. Hmm, that only means this water in their drainage canal is pure spring water! Whoa! I asked if one can take a bath with this water. She said yes! I asked because I remembered a similar thing I encountered in Natividad, Pangasinan where folks can wash their utensils or wash clothes at a similar canal in front of their houses, while children could also take their baths or just play in the water. See?! This is still a great country!
The teacher told me that in fact, the university’s own filtration plant and water laboratory is located somewhere “upstream” from here. That made me ask her about a thing I saw by the side of the canal. There were markings as if for scientific use. I learned from her too that its just one of the tools the university uses for monitoring the “quantity” of water upstream. Ah, I did not anymore ask how, for I might not understand anyway. What’s a “RECTANGULAR WEIR” anyway?! That would have been information overload, so I stuck my brain to the yummy vacuum dried jackfruit hehe!