Small tweak turns charcoal stove into North Cotabato hit | Inquirer News

Small tweak turns charcoal stove into North Cotabato hit

/ 06:15 AM September 07, 2014

LIZA Aller arranges units of super kalan that she sells in Kidapawan City. WILLIAMOR A. MAGBANUA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines—With prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fluctuating between P800-P1,000 per 11-kg cylinder, residents of North Cotabato began their search for cheaper ways to cook their food and found their answer in a tweaked version of the charcoal-fired stove.

It remains unclear who started it, but versions of the charcoal stove here appeared with a modern addition: small fans used to cool computer mother boards.


Powered by cell phone chargers, the improvement proved to be cost-effective that many residents now use it. A single house might have even more than two of the stoves, which residents here call “super kalans.”


Herma Daduros, a resident, said as a minimum wage earner, she could not afford the price of LPG anymore and switched to the super kalan.

Daduros said one day a friend encouraged her to use super kalan instead of an LPG stove. Uncertain at first because of what she thought would be the additional cost of battery power needed by the fan, she was convinced after her friend offered to pay her electricity bill if the device dramatically increased her power consumption.

“I was challenged to use it,” Daduros said.

After the first month of using super kalan, Daduros said her electric bill increased by just P45 and was able to save P800 on cooking expenses even with prices of coal being unstable, too.

Mila Coresis, who owns an eatery beside the national highway in M’lang, North Cotabato, said that she used to spend nearly P2,000 on LPG as she uses about two cylinders each month.

When she shifted to super kalan, the fuel expenses went down that she is able to save at least P500 a month.


The popularity of super kalan can be better gleaned from the income of businessmen selling these.

Liza Aller, who sells super kalan here, said she now has buyers from such areas as Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao.

Each day, she sells a minimum of seven stoves at P750 each.

The super kalan being sold in Aller’s store is made from defective rice cookers.

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For the unbelieving, Aller has this to say: “The power consumption is negligible. It’s as if you were just charging a cell phone.” Williamor Magbanua, Inquirer Mindanao

TAGS: LPG stove, Mlang

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