AGRI NEWS:  LOLA'S  SARDINES  HAVE COME  A  LONG  WAY

MANILA,
SEPTEMBER 1, 2008
(STAR) It is something we have all apparently taken for granted – “mag-sardinas ka na lang” whenever we are at a loss as to what to serve. It is also one of the cheapest foods in the market, and quite versatile – as an ingredient in a pasta sauce, sauted in onions and tomatoes with a slightly beaten egg, part of a salad, a dip or even an omelet.

Mindanao has always been the source of good sardines, with Dipolog City as a prominent source of the herring (malangsi) in a small tin or bottle. Today, they come not only in the traditional Spanish-style but also in tomato sauce.

In Dipolog there is this family who has been engaged in the production of sardines, under their family brand name, Montano, for three generations, starting with their matriarch Concepcion Macias Montaño.

As with other culinary aficionados, the good lady found inspiration in the small fish from their waters and started concocting a sardine recipe. The finished product was given away to relatives and friends. Needless to say, the demand soon became so great that she was encouraged to go into business starting with a home-based production unit.

Word got around fast and soon fishermen started supplying Mrs. Montaño with their catch. In 1970, her son Nick started marketing the sardines.

Today, after their father passed away, his sons Taz and Stephen, already the third generation, expanded the business. The expansion included other prepared food – bottled bangus, Spanish chorizo, beef tapa, pork tocino, ginisang bagoong, fruit preserves, chicharon and peanuts. Not bad for a family which started with the Lola’s sardines recipe.

Montaño products are found in all Robinsons Supermarkets, with the sardines retailing at P56 a bottle of 240 gms. The Metro Manila distributor is Lourdes Montaño Madlangbayan at 34 Don Ramon in Don Enrique Heights, Quezon City, tel 951-7387.

In Cebu it can be found at Woodmont Processed Food Products at 32 D Ranudo, tel. 032-2536466. The main office is at Turno, Dipolog City, 065 212 4376.

The company has been a recipient of both regional and national awards in the First Business Excellence Awards for SMEs given by the Philippine Small and Medium Business Development Foundation.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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