Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Lamangan" - taking advantage unfairly

Abe V Rotor and Melly Tenorio
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid
DZRB 738 KHz AM, 8-9 evening class Mon - Fri

Wa-is, coming from the word wise, is the local parlance to describe a person who puts one over his fellowmen. It is taking advantage of others of their situation, ignorance or weaknesses (lamangan). Here are common cases.

• It is the culled piglets (bansot) that are made into lechon. The robust ones are grown for meat.

• Broken and inferior peanut is ground into peanut butter. It is high in aflatoxin. Healthy nuts are sold whole peanut.

• Coffee is adulterated with ipil-ipil (Leucaena glauca) seeds. The seeds contain mimosin that retards growth and causes baldness.

• Papaya seeds are mixed with black pepper. They look similar.

• Inferior quality fruits such as strawberry, orange and mango are made into jam and puree.

• Ordinary milkfish (bangus) is passed on as prized Bonoan bangus from Dagupan. The lower half of the tail of Bonoan bangos is shorter than the other.

• Unscrupulous traders add water and salt to bagoong and patis to increase volume. If patis settles at the bottom or forms a layer other than the top, it means that the product is raw - it has not undergone the needed aging.

• Premium grade fruits are arranged on top of kaing (basket); inside are of inferior grade.

• Ordinary rice is mixed with premium rice, and passed on to buyers as premium grade.

• Cabbage grown on the lowlands of Ilocos is brought up to Baguio and passed on as Baguio cabbage which commands a higher price.

• Before a large animal like cow is sold to the auction market it is first bathed with patis to make its body to swell and appear fat. This is a malpractice observed in Padre Garcia, Batangas, the biggest animal auction market in the Philippines.

• Tomatoes are forced to ripe when price is high, This is done by uprooting the whole plant laden with fruits and hang it upside down until all the fruits, including the immature ones, appear to be ripe by their color.

. Bocha or "double dead" meat is made into longganisa and tocino.

. Fish, usually unsold at the end of the day, and has lost its freshness for the dining table, is made into bagoong and patis. As a rule quality depends on the freshness of the raw materials.

. Tahong (green mussels) and talaba (oysters) are the principal carriers of the Red Tide poison, known as Paralylic Shellfish Poison or PSP. Government through DOH issues warning to the public, and prohibits the marketing of these marine products. Violations are not uncommon. Unscrupulous traders sell contaminated products outside of the prohibited zone. Processing into sauce and other products does not destroy the poison.

It is by being aware of these, and other malpractices, that we protect ourselves from becoming unwary victims. ~

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