Saturday, September 8, 2012

Basi Wine wins BIDA award (Business Idea for Development).

Special Issue in Celebration of the 208th anniversary of the Basi Revolt (September 29, 1807 - 2015)
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Article edited and enlarged from earlier post in celebration of the  205th Anniversary of the Basi Revolt (September 29, 1806- 2012) 
Basi in small and long neck bottles (2 to 5 years aged) available.  Contact

Former NFA Administrator and Mrs Jesus T Tanchanco, 
pose with author (center) after the awarding ceremonies
Basi can be compared with the world's best.  Basi passed the European
 Standard for Port, Cherry, and Champagne (Food Development Center)

Senior students in Entrepreneurship at SPU-QC beam with joy and pride after successfully presenting and defending the product before an inter agency panel of judges. Group advisers are Dr. Evelyn Dinglasan and Dr Abe V Rotor.  

Basi was adjudged among dozens of products presented.  Although the occasion was nearly a decade ago, I find the event worth publishing to encourage entrepreneurs of many local products to look into the aspects Ilocos Basi  was singled out for its unique attributes.

1. Organically produced from the cultivation of upland sugarcane to fermentation and aging in earthen jars, as such basi is health- and environment-friendly.

2. Cottage agro-industry based, thus ideal as a rural enterprise integrating farming and processing and providing value-added advantage. 

3. Innovative technology, riding on age-old tradition process which the grassroots can readily adopt, in terms of tools and equipment, process, market, labor, and financial requirement.    

4. Universal application of process which is applicable in making related table wine products from mango, pineapple, banana, guava, chico, dragon fruit, duhat, bignay,  thus expanding the opportunity of business development.

5. Multiple products advantage.  Poor quality basi becomes vinegar or sukang Iloko (acetic acid).  Vinegar making is a complementary to wine making. A third product is nata de coco which has big demand as non-fattening food.  Nata laminate is substitute to  leather, and an important electronic component - the reason we used to export nata to Japan. 

6. Ecologically encourages full use of local materials and by-products.  Sugarcane bagasse is used in glass making; it is an excellent fuel.  It is used in particle board manufacture. Bottles are recycled.  Local materials are used in packaging -  banana stalk, coconut, buri or pandan are made into wine basket. Residues of fermentation (specially fruit wine) are excellent supplement of poultry and animal feeds.  Waste being organic are biodegradable, and made be converted into compost.   

7. Cultural tradition and pride.  Basi speaks of its origin - the Ilocos Region, the Philippines notwithstanding.  It reinforces cultural values and is akin to legends and folklore, adding quaintness to living. Basi was declared by President Ramon Magsaysay as the national wine, in the likes of narra as national tree, and sampaguita (jasmine) as national flower. 

8. Moderates drinking. Table wine is generally taken to improve appetite and sleep.  Basi revives the "old generation" and links it with the new. It is served with other drinks, and is found in a number of wine shops, particularly in Ilocos.  They say that the proof you have gone to the Ilocos region, is a bottle of basi.

This article is dedicated to the basi makers particularly San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, the site of the Basi Revolt or 1807.  The revolt is one of the most significant uprisings not only in the Philippines but in the world. It is a revolt in defence of an indigenous industry which is itself the culture of a people.  It is revolt for freedom - free enterprise, and to think it took place more than two hundred years ago.  We are still fighting for the same cause today (GATT, WTO).  We question Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Monopoly, graft and corruption, high bank interest rates, lack of incentives and business protection   We ask what Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are entitled to.  Why not revive the defunct NACIDA (National Cottage Industry Development Authority). So effective was NACIDA as a government instrument  and national movement that it propelled the country's growth just behind Japan in rank, surpassing the countries that have today overtaken us in development and stability.       

This article is also addressed to BIDA - an consortium of government agencies to promote small business. The first and last BIDA competition and awarding was at the time basi was a recipient pf such prestigious honor. Whatever happened to BIDA does not speak well of its name. ~    

Basi Revolt, 1807*

The Basi  Revolt took place in the Ilocos Region to protest Wine Monopoly imposed by the Spanish government upon the makers of this prized wine once exported through the Galleon Trade plying Ciudad Fernandina  (now Vigan City) and Europe via Acapulco, Mexico (1565-1815).  Scores of Spanish soldiers and Filipinos were killed in a series of battles, but the revolt ended on September 29, 1807 with the  capture of its brave leaders. Fourteen big oil paintings depicting the Basi Revolt in series are displayed at the Vigan Ayala Museum located in the original residence of Filipino martyr, Fr. Jose Burgos. The painter, Don Esteban Villanueva was an eyewitness of this historic event.  Today, the Basi Revolt lives on with the fine taste and tradition of this unique product standing among the best wines of the world.

Product Guarantee: Basi is brewed and aged in glazed earthen jars (burnay) from upland sugar cane, glutinous rice, and botanical ingredients – Pithecolobium dulce, Macaranga tenariusand Syzygium cumini. The final product is directly bottled after two years of aging.  No flavoring and coloring added, no filter and plastic containers used. The product meets the European Standard for grape wine – Champagne, Port and Sherry. (Reference: PFDCS 2493 and PFDCS 9429, Food Development Center, National Food Authority)  Approximately 21 proof. (Reference: 01-00-0CL-0017, Industrial Technology Development Institute, Department of Science and Technology) A former NACIDA product of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, Philippines.  Content 750 ml /375 ml. 

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