Red Onions (Lasuna)
Onions are one of the world’s most popular and versatile vegetables, delivering an unmistakable, pungent heat – some more than others. They’re in demand for cold salads and hot soups, sliced in rings or solid disks on burgers, and chopped in relish. The delicious caramelization that takes place when onions are sautéed is due to their high sugar content.
The sharp fragrance and flavor emitted by onions is due to the sulfur compound allyl propyl disulphide; it’s allyl sulphide that brings you to tears when peeling one, serving the good purpose of washing the thin epithelial layer of the eyes. Holding peeled onions under cold water for several seconds before slicing minimizes this effect.
Health Benefits of Eating Onions
Onions are loaded with numerous health benefits, and scientists are still discovering how beneficial this vegetable really is. They’re a very good source of vitamin C and B6, iron, folate, and potassium. The manganese content in onions provides cold and flu relief with its anti-inflammatory abilities.
Two phytochemical (plant-derived nutrient) compounds in onions – allium and allyl disulphide – convert to allicin when the bulb is cut or crushed due to enzyme activation. Studies show these compounds to have cancer- and diabetes-fighting properties, while decreasing blood vessel stiffness by releasing nitric oxide. This can reduce blood pressure, inhibit platelet clot formation, and help decrease the risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular diseases, and stroke. Significant amounts of polyphenols (another phytochemical in onions) and an antioxidant flavonoid called quercetin (which has proven anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic functions) account for the reputation onions have for disease prevention.
Garlic, scientifically known as "allium sativum," is a species in the onion genus "Allium." Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakko. According to agriculture old hands and experts, garlic, locally called "bawang," has a history of human use of more than 6,000 years ans is native to Central Asia. It has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, including the Philippines, Africa, and Europe. Garlic is relatively good source of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Its leaves are sources of protein and of Vitamin A and C.
In Pinili and much of the Ilocos Region - the green tops are used for "pinakbet," a stewed mixture of vegetables which is an Ilocano delicacy. Culinary experts say garlic contains antibiotic substances that inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi. This root crop that is native in the Philippines, particularly the Ilocos Region, which is the country's biggest producer of garlic today based on current Department of Agriculture Statistics.
The hand woven textile “inabel” or more popularly known to many as “Abel Iloco” has been through a lot in the course of history. It has both gone through good and bad times but remained to be the toughest living treasure of the Ilocanos of all time.
It was in the 16th century during the Spanish regime when people from Ilocos Norte started to include their local products in the trading business of export and import or commonly known as barter system with the foreign countries, which included their hand woven cloth as their main product.
Not long ago, weaving of the local textile has become the most perpetrated livelihood which most of the Ilocanos ventured into.
To the Spaniards, the Abel Iloco has become the identity of the Ilocanos which in return brought to them a higher tax collection from the Filipinos as the proliferation of the local products has extended to the foreign land.
However, during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines, inabel weaving was put into halt because the Japanese saw the potential of the local product as their biggest competitor in the market. The pedal looms used for weaving the inabel were destroyed and at the same time, Ilocanos discontinued weaving because they feared being reprimanded by the Japanese occupants.
But after the war, the Ilocanos as resilient as they are, went back to venturing into weaving and began to innovate more techniques and intricate designs to develop the old textile.
But modernization along with the development of trade and business came. Modern products such as imported cloth used for sewing blankets, pillow cases, clothes were introduced which became the greatest rival of the inabel.
It was during this time that the Ilocanos’ greatest treasure has been put into stale light as more trendy products were more appreciated. Even the youth started to disregard the ancient practice of weaving.
To date, there are only two municipalities in Ilocos Norte where “Panagabel” (Inabel weaving) are still being practiced and nurtured namely in Pinili town where the national folk art awardee in the field of loom weaving, Magdalena Gamayo live and in Paoay town.
Source: Ilocos Sentinel