Capiz is known as the Seafoods Capital of the Philippines produces all kinds of sea products which are not only for local consumption but for export as well like prawns, crabs, and bottled preserved fish caviar and other sea shells. But it is not only the meat of the sea shells that are used for food are valuable for the people of Capiz but the shells itself have many uses. For example, the scallop shells also known as Capiz shells can be used as material for windows of houses which are very common before when glass windows and jalouses were expensive. Capiz shells are used also as wall and window decors, ladies bags, vases and other home and personal accessories.
As a Capizena, I don’t even have any idea that not only the Capiz shells have many uses but also oyster shells which abound along the sea shore when we have our outings Roxas City Beach, that these seemingly neglected shells can be used as an ingredient for chicken feeds. I only knew it when my teacher gave me an idea that since, I am from Capiz, I will find out where is the place that produces chicken feeds out of grounded oyster shells.
So, I started asking people from our place who can give me some information about it. I went to nearby stores selling Poultry and Hog Supplies, made some calls to my friends and relatives who may have any idea. At last my Uncle who is connected with the Department of Agriculture(DOA) told me to contact the son of one of the owner of a Poultry Supply who is a Veterinary Medicine student and ask him if they are using powdered Talaba shells in their chicken feeds and when we answered “yes”, and told me where, I immediately called my cousin who is residing in Dao, Capiz, the place where my friend told me was selling the feeds, to verify the existence of the factory and to assist me to accomplish my mission. I was so happy that the pioneer in making chicken feeds from Talaba shells is just in Dao, Capiz, a neighboring town of Dumalag, my hometown.
I immediately ask my brother to borrow the car of my Tito so that it is easy to come and go if ever we will lose our way if we have our own transport so together with my brother as driver and my mother we proceeded to Dao. My cousin also met us there and introduced me to the owner and I asked him if I can interview him and take pictures as well for documentation as a requirement for my output in our school, WVSU. Since, I’m wearing my type B uniform complete with my school ID for formality, maybe he was convinced that my going there is serious business.
The owner of the factory , Mr. Perceival Bocalid aging 76 years old said that he has been in this business for more than 20 years already. I was amazed at his ingenuity that despite of the fact that he has not gone to College due to financial problem, he has discovered this business that involves only a little amount of capital but lots of hard work and patience.
I’m proud of Mr. Bocalid because he was the first who conceived the idea of inventing a grinding machine when he saw many oyster shells just thrown anywhere in some Talaba stalls. He thought that Talaba shells if grounded will be very useful as an ingredient in making feeds to harden the egg shells of chicken and fowls.
His business flourished because he was the first in Panay Island to engage in the business and most of the Poultry Supply stores near and far became his costumers. Because of this earning business, he even fixed and beautify their house. The grounded Talaba shells is mixed with layer mass to harden the egg shells and to fasten the period of laying of chickens. The buyers found it effective in their Poultry farms, hence, the demand for their products increased. Mr. Bocalid said that his business helped a lot when it comes to financial support to their family. They sell their finished products at P230.00 per sack. His costumers who are now famous are the producers of Lovefeeds, Foremost, CALS and many others who found his products very useful and inexpensive as well. When they are delivering it in Iloilo or other far places, one truck load is usually not less than 150 sacks. The business is unique because if you are not used to hard and heavy work, you will surely not succeed. Because of the patience and diligence of Mr. Bocalid he was able to send all his children to College, have a big house and lived comfortably, and eventually he has capital for other investments.
After my interview with the owner of the factory, I asked his permission to go around the factory and take pictures. I saw sacks of raw shells ready for grinding and on the other side sacks of finished products neatly stacked ready for distribution to prospective buyers.
My Guide said that before the shells are placed in the grinding machine, they boil it first to soften it then placed inside the machine for grinding. The first product is of course, coarser with big and small particles of shells but the process is repeated several times until the texture reached the expected fineness. I was reminded of the process of refining the shells of the way, the rice is repeatedly placed inside the grinder until it becomes flour like fine and ready to be cooked as “suam” for babies.
As I go around the place observing the atmosphere, I told myself that if you are a delicate person you may not like the environment. You have to watch your steps because you are like walking in a thorny bushes in the forest that if you fall you will suffer cuts and bruises with pointed Talaba shells scattered along the way. It’s dangerous to walk barefooted there. With my flat shoes on, I walked slowly and carefully while taking pictires of the machine and getting samples of the finished products. After a thorough scrutiny of that place, we left but I know I have a lesson learned out of my sojourn in that place. That is, “Do not underestimate the outside appearance of a business as long as it gives you financial stability and fulfillment in life” and I think Mr. Bocalid will not stay that long in his business if he does not enjoy doing it. We have to remember that whatever we do in life we have to do it with utmost sincerity and dedication.