The harvest

Every morning, as the sun begins to rise, Mangangarits (coconut harvesters) start their climb among acres of the abundant coconut trees of the Philippines islands. Watching Mangangarits work is reminiscent of watching trapeze artists at a circus. The average coconut trees are 30 feet in height and are connected by thin bamboo bridges, one to walk on and another to hold onto. Mangangarits climb from tree to tree collecting sap/nectar into a steel container strapped to their back. A sickle on hand is the tool used to prune the coconut flowers every afternoon making sure the precious nectar flows into the container overnight.

Lambanog Harvester Mangagarit

A Skilled harvester of coconut palm nectar,

also known as "The Manggagarit.

 

mangagarit sharpening his blad to harvests lambanog

Panabas, the Manggagarit's blade. He sharpens his tools every morning before the climb.

mangagarit sharpening his blade before lambanog harvest.jpg

The hands that know. Sharpness is the key in shaving to tap the blossoms of the coconut tree.

Every morning, as the sun begins to rise, Mangangarits (coconut harvesters) start their climb among acres of the abundant coconut trees of the Philippines islands. Watching Mangangarits work is reminiscent of watching trapeze artists at a circus. The average coconut trees are 30 feet in height and are connected by thin bamboo bridges, one to walk on and another to hold onto. Mangangarits climb from tree to tree collecting sap/nectar into a steel container strapped to their back. A sickle on hand is the tool used to prune the coconut flowers every afternoon making sure the precious nectar flows into the container overnight.


The Tree of life

With so many uses for every part of the coconut, there's no wonder why the coconut palm tree is known as "the tree of life." The coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. The coconut is staple food that has sustained many generations around the world. The coconut's meat, milk, water and oil contribute naturally toward health and beauty, and can often be found in many of theses type of products, which makes this refreshing delicacy that much more intriguing.

With years of experience, he makes freeclimbing the coconut tree while carrying his gear look easy.

coconut highways climbing coconut palm tree

He climbs the coconut tree with his bare hands and feet. Each grasp, with a firm grip. Each step carefully calculated.

10644322_1148879158486185_4636850458061061373_o.jpg

The "bamboo Highway" bridge used to traverse from tree to tree grows as the coconut tree grows higher in height until it reaches its peak of three to four stories high.


Collecting Tuba and coconut palm nectar

freshly tapped coconut nectar carried. its natural froth, fresh from the blossoms of the palm tree.

12779120_1150309708343130_1963893363833289709_o.jpg

After hours of harvesting over 100 trees, the Manggagarit shows no hint of fatigue.


The coconut nectar when collected is pearly white in color, frothy and quite gritty in texture with a bitter sweet taste of fresh coconut. Upon collection, the coconut nectar has undergone the first initial stage of alcohol fermentation. At this point, some sugars have already been converted into alcohol. The coconut nectar undergoes fermentation in large drums for about 3 days to over a week.