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Azucar Binagol in Negros

Here’s more of the inchoate sugar industry:

The same time the machinery devoted to the milling of sugar was multiplying and improving. Sixty-eight mills were set up in Bulacan in 1830. In 1834 Domingo Rojas bought a horizontal hydraulic mill in London and set it up in his hacienda in Calauan (Laguna). In the following years, the children of Rojas, Prospero Vidies and the Recollects all set up new iron mills both steam and hydraulic in their respective haciendas of Calatagan (Batangas), Jalajala (Laguna) and Imus (Cavite). In 1834 also, a group of producers headed by Paul de la Gironiere, Domingo Rojas, Francisco Araullo and Iñigo Gonzales de Araolo hired an engineer from Mauritius to build an oven that would allow the producers to use as fuel sugar cane bagasse instead of firewood, which was expensive and at times scarce. As a result, production increased to the point where sixteen years later it had tripled.

Table 3 reveals the Philippine Sugar Exports (Q.M.) in 1828-1850: for the years and their respective quantity, 1828 (72,755), 1829 (75,924), and 1831 (134, 315); then in 1837 (137,663), 1840 (168,692) and 1844 (211,174); still in 1848 (179,698), 1849 (239,010 and 1850 (271,599).

Negros did not have any share in these beginnings. At the end of this period Silay, Talisay, Bacolod, Bago, Bacong, Amlan and other towns cultivated sugar cane but only in small quantities and milled it with extremely simple machines. They crushed the cane by passing it three times under a vertical crusher made of molave powered by a carabao and served by three laborers. The juice ran along a canal to one or two cawas, which were heated by an oven without a chimney, similar to the ovens used to bake bread. Heat coagulated the albuminous particles and made the impurities rise to the surface there to be taken away with a large spoon. The acids were then neutralized with a little lime. When the juice thickened it was taken from the cauldron or cawa and poured into clay jars known in the Philippine market as pilones. This produce was known as azucar binagol and was sold to the public wrapped in buri leaves.