May 20, 2019 - Monday
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Davao City, Philippines

‘Buko’ is a sure winner in 2019 Palaro

May 02, 2019 - Thursday 9:05 AM by Lovely Carillo

The coconut is not called the tree of life for nothing. This was evident during the 2019 Palarong Pambansa held in Bago Oshiro where the buko juice became the center of attention as a healthy thirst quencher and energy drink. PHOTO FROM DA SECRETARY EMMANUEL PIÑOL

DAVAO CITY -- The thirst-quenching fresh green coconut more popularly known locally as ‘Buko’ is a sure winner in the 2019 Palarong Pambansa being held at the Davao City-UP Mindanao Sports Complex in Bago Oshiro.

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) made sure of this by setting up the “Isko Buko” booth near the Sports Complex grandstand.

“Palaro participants and officials will have to present their Palarong Pambansa ID cards at the Isko Buko booth to get their free buko,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

Up to 5,000 pieces of the refreshing green coconut were offered for free, but on a "first come, first served" basis.

A Memorandum of Agreement was previously signed by DA, the Department of Education (DepEd), and the city government which designated ‘buko’ as the official energy drink of the Palarong Pambansa.

Piñol considers this designation a historic event as coconut is usually sold only in the streets and has not been given the recognition it deserves. He expects this event to popularize buko anew as a healthy and refreshing energy drink, considering that DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones committed to designate buko water as the official energy drink not just this year but also in the succeeding Palaro.

Along with the buko water, the bamboo straws also got everyone’s attention as the environment-friendly straws were used in lieu of plastic straws.

The use of bamboo straws, which are harvested from bamboos planted in the ancestral domain lands, is expected to provide the Indigenous Peoples communities with additional income.

Piñol earlier mandated DA offices to serve only buko and other healthy fruit juices during meetings to help farmers make money out of the coconut fruit.

This was one of the alternatives proposed by DA since the glut of copra and coconut oil in the market led to very low farm gate prices of copra.

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