San Jose, leading the poultry industry in Batangas

poultry industry in batangas

The long running question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, has long been settled by locals in the municipality of San Jose in Batangas. Depending on where one is said to come from, the chicken came first when entering the town from Batangas City. Or it’s the egg, when entering the town from Lipa. Beyond the running joke, these two monuments at both boundaries have heralded the importance of San Jose as the egg basket of the Philippines, highlighting the poultry industry in Batangas. 

In 2011, statistics from the Department of Agriculture indicate that the municipality has an estimated five million layers producing an egg daily. When the Visayas’s own egg basket in Bantayan Island suffered a hit from Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, San Jose’s eggs found their way down south. This averted a crisis that was hovering over much of many Bisaya’s plates.

Leading the poultry industry in Batangas

Much of the municipality’s poultry industry is geared for egg production. For entrepreneurs like the husband and wife team of Raul and Lulu Lacorte, proprietors of Lulu Lacorte’s Poultry which started in 2007, prefers taking the shorter route of buying 16 week old layers than rearing them from chicks. Although one of several small scale players amongst bigger ones with over a hundred thousand heads or more, it helps fill a demand locally. Their eggs reach as far as Cavite City and Metro Manila.

Raul says that his poultry is capital intensive at first. But an efficient system, perfected from years of experience as well as improvements from the availability of stable electricity from the local electric cooperative has benefited his business in the long term. This has ensured that capital expenditures are paid off in two years and owners start earning in the succeeding years. It also helps that layers in their 17th or 18th weeks start to lay eggs. In Raul’s words, “the chicken will start working for you every day and in the next two and a half years.” 

A typical day at the poultry

The day starts at 4 AM when the lights of Raul’s two elevated poultry buildings are switched. The flood of lights mimics daylight and goad the avian denizens to work. Within these two structures, a total of 8,000 hens lay an average of 7,200 eggs daily. 

The structures are built with good ventilation ensuring that the chickens have good living conditions and efficiently produce eggs. The chicken cages are built higher, at the second level. Between the cages and the ground are driers which capture organic waste and aerates these materials. At the edges of these structures are nets which are pulled down when it rains. 

Each cage has a partition that houses four chickens of different ages. This ensures that when cull time comes, production still continues. A feeds trough runs the span of the cages. While a tap and drink water system with an electric pump ensures water is not wasted due to evaporation or spillage. Eggs are collected manually by assigned staff who also spreads the feeds at periodic times of the day. Lights are then turned off at 9 PM.

The provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan and Tarlac have upped their egg production thus becoming strong competitors. But the municipality of San Jose continues to lead the poultry industry in Batangas. It has never wavered in her big role of meeting the province’s and country’s daily need for eggs.

Raul Lacorte of Lulu Lacorte’s Poultry
poultry industry in batangas
Two buildings housing chickens
poultry industry in batangas
Inside one of the poultry buildings
Poultry at one of the cages
poultry industry in batangas
Eggs are manually harvested by a local hand
Freshly laid eggs
Eggs neatly placed on trays
poultry industry in batangas
Piles of eggs ready for pickup by buyers

This article originally photographed and written for a book project in 2017.

Intermat ASEAN 2017 in Bangkok

Intermat Bangkok

This article originally written and published in the Q4 2017 issue of D+C magazine.

Looming cranes and towering structures dotting the Bangkok skyline was a fitting backdrop as INTERMAT ASEAN opens in Thailand’s capital. The inaugural edition featured more than 300 exhibitors from 18 countries featuring the latest machinery and equipment. A total of 20,000 square meters of indoor, outdoor exhibition and demonstration areas was available.

Intermat is a major construction and infrastructure show since 1988 happening every three years in Paris, France. It is the third largest in the world. For the first time, INTERMAT ASEAN opened its doors for three days from 8-10 June 2017 at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok.

Setting sights on ASEAN

INTERMAT ASEAN hopes to play a role offering unlimited trade and investment opportunities in the building and construction sectors. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) formed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. This is a regional economic integration agenda. ASEAN has ten member countries: Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. The region has a combined population of 623 million and a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion.

With the exhibition in Bangkok, Intermat ASEAN recognizes Thailand’s fast growth and with its strong construction challenges and opportunities. As a strategic location, it will enable it to spread around the ASEAN countries.  

Intermat ASEAN, more than just an exhibit

Intermat ASEAN is not just an exhibit. It is also a platform for companies to access the trade, networking, and knowledge opportunities. The outdoor demonstration area allowed brands to showcase their latest equipment and machinery. This enabled attendees to test drive these in real life settings. The INTERMAT ASEAN Conference 2017 program was a venue for local and international speakers to talk about upcoming building and construction trends. At the Exhibitor Presentation Theater, demonstrations and workshops of products were held.  

The event was organized by S.E. INTERMAT. This is a joint subsidiary of COMEXPOSIUM and French trade organisations from the construction industry. The COMEXPOSIUM Group is one of the world’s leading event organizers. IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd., is the leading exhibition organizer in Thailand.

Intermat Bangkok
Intermat Bangkok
Intermat Bangkok
Intermat Bangkok

citizenM Taipei Northgate, a chic design boutique hotel

citizenM Taipei Northgate

I can’t help but gush over the beautiful and interesting interior of citizenM Taipei Northgate. While the ground floor is unassuming, it’s the second floor that amazes. And the different guest rooms are impressive too.

citizenM design boutique hotels is a Netherlands based chain known for its unique interiors. It first opened in 2008 near the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Over the years, several properties in major cities around the world have been built. The citizenM Taipei Northgate is the 11th and their first foray in Asia. This boutique hotel is known for its unique design approach to its properties with works by local artists incorporated in the interior.

The entire second floor of the citizenM Taipei Northgate building is one longitudinal strip. The dining area is at one end. The buffet area and the bar are in the middle. The lounging area at the opposite end has a living room ambience where you can relax or entertain or just hang out. The colors, the lamps’s different shapes, the varied Vitra furniture, the decors… I can go on and on. It’s an amazing work in this city.

Taipei experience

I first saw this hotel while searching for accommodations online for my trip to Taipei. What characterizes citizenM is that there is just one design for the rooms but are comfortable with wide windows for amazing views. In suite controls are done with an Ipad Mini. It’s other characteristic is the interestingly designed lobby that is hip and chic. Buffet breakfasts are served and there’s canteenM, a 24 hour canteen/bar. Check stay experience in my travel blog at Langyaw.

A well appointed location

For this Asian branch, this designer boutique hotel in Taipei is well appointed. It is just near the Taipei Main Station and Ximending is just a short walk away. There are lots of small restaurants and coffeeshops as well as street food around the vicinity. It’s also close to an MRT station. You can even walk to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial and 228 Peace Park.

Its mainly targeted for the millennial crowd for its highly Instagrammable interiors and rooms. For a design enthusiast and architecture photographer like me, it’s indeed a great find.

citizenM Taipei Northgate
citizenM Taipei Northgate
citizenM Taipei Northgate
citizenM Taipei Northgate