‘Tuba’: Wine of choice in Eastern Visayas
“Tuba” is the wine choice of people in Eastern Visayas, the second-biggest coconut-producing region in the country.
For centuries, tuba gatherers in the region have been climbing coconut trees early in the morning, carrying on their shoulders a bamboo container for coconut sap.
During the first climb, the tuba gatherer would look for an unopened flower in a coconut tree. He cuts the tip of the flower and attaches a footlong bamboo receptacle filled with chopped tan bark or “barok.” The juice would flow into the container that could hold about a liter of sap.
Every day, the sap from the receptacle in different trees is collected and transferred to a glass container for decantation and filtration. The tuba is decanted again and again until all sediments are removed. The container is then covered tightly.
The longer the tuba is aged, the finer and mellower its taste.
A yearold coconut wine is already good, but those aged three or more taste even better. The Waray call the tuba “bahal” and “bahalina,” respectively.
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