Tultul – locally known also as dukduk – is an organic salt very rare but it can still be found in Guimaras Island, in Western Visayas.
Tultul making is one of the oldest traditions of the people from Hoskyn barangay, in the municipality of Jordan, Guimaras. It is a tedious process and requires hard work and discipline: in particular the salt is derived from dagsa, an assortment of gathered driftwood and other washed-up plant matter from the beach. These materials have been soaked in seawater for long periods. The gathered dagsa is then burned in large quantities, while continually being doused with salt water daily, that can be continued up to a week. As soon as there is enough quantity of ashes, these are collected and transferred into two large kaing or cylindrical woven bamboo containers and placed on an elevated platform. Seawater is then poured on the first kaing to wash down the salt from the ashes. Containers are placed underneath to catch the strained water. This process is repeated several times. The next step involves mixing the strained water with coconut milk (gata) and then poured into a cooking pan (hurnohan). The hurnohan is placed of a slow fire. While the cooking goes on, small amounts of the strained water from the kaing is continuously added to the hurnohan. This goes on for five hours until all moisture from the solidified salt has completely evaporated and the finished product is left on the pan. These brick-like lumps of salt (known as bareta) are then packaged and sold.
Tultul is heavy because it is compact due to the long hours of cooking. The product weighs at about twelve kilos and is cut to smaller slices. It looks like a compacted salt, thus called rock salt. Unlike the coarse table salt, rock salt has a longer shelf life and does not melt easily.
Tultul-making has become a rarity nowadays. There remains only one "master of the trade" who keeps the traditional craft alive, the husband-and-wife team who reside in Hoskyn. According to the locals, they are the only ones engaged in making tultul in Guimaras today. In fact, their expressed main concern is that they are afraid that eventually tultul will disappear because they are not sure if any of their children will be interested in continuing the tradition. The reason is that the process of making tultul is long and tedious and requires hard work and discipline. Also, it cannot be done throughout the year because of the low salinity of seawater and lack of raw materials during the rainy season. Thus, it is limited only to the months of December to May, a period of six months.Back to the archive >