Saturday, January 11, 2014

Discover The Panlatuan Cove, the Source of Nutritious Seaweed "Lato"

Adventure in Pilar will not be complete without  visiting the Panlatuan Bay.  First to taste a freshly harvested “Lato”, our sea grapes, abundantly found the Panlatuan Bay. And, to take a brief look at the remnants of Astillero de Panlatuan, the once famous shipbuilding yard established after the Galleon Trade ended in 1650.



 The Panlatuan Bay is a cove covering the barangays of Lungib, San Rafael and Inapugan. It has a pure seawater, which is considered as high saline, with 28-31 ppt as tested by a refractometer. 

With said environment, the “lato” or sea grapes grows naturally and abundantly in the muddy sand, with an area of about ten hectares , as estimated by the Municipal Agriculture Office Technician. The term “Panlatuan” is a local dialect meaning, a place where “lato” came from.

“Lato”, scientifically known as Caulerpa lentillifera, is one of the favored species of edible Caulerpa due to its soft and succulent texture. They are also known as sea grapes, green caviar and "ar-arosep". 

This pretty green seaweed is made up of tiny oblong balls. Study shows that said seaweed contains high amount of minerals, balanced amino acid profile and rich in iodine.

 In most cases, it is eaten raw, as an appetizer or salad,dipped in vinegar, lemon juice mixed with onion and other spices. Local folks observed that said seaweed is more abundant from October to May than during rainy season when the level of salinity decreases.

             The “lato” from this area,  can now be found at the wet markets of the provinces of  Albay, Sorsogon, and even in some parts of Metro Manila.  Yet, in terms of taste, nothing compares to the freshly harvested one from the Panlatuan Bay.

              Now, harvesting of the "lato" is regulated by the municipal government of Pilar in accordance with the municipal ordinance adopted by the Sangguniang Bayan, to preserve and conserve the said
sea weed.


Bird Watching at the Egret Sanctuary

The PARAU Festival

Vera Falls, one of nature's wonder