Harvesting Salt in Leganes is Backbreaking Work
June 1, 2015
Salt is still a prime commodity in Iloilo; the production of salt is as important to the local industry as sugar or produce. While salt is certainly used for more than just adding taste to your food, its importance was such that it was even being used as currency at one point in history.
Iloilo itself was known for its indulgence in the production of salt. However, the rapid urbanization of most parts of the city has led to the destruction of lands dedicated to salt production.
One of the areas affected by this “development” is the coastal area of Leganes. Many areas in the town once dedicated to producing salt are now converted to gated residences and buildings that host more profitable ventures. Add to that the rapid changes in today’s climate, and the decline of the salt industry might as well be complete.
Salt production relies heavily at the hottest weather of the year, which is why workers often rush out to make salt during the summer season. The process involves curing salt water under the sun, and then transferring the liquid into different tanks which increases their salinity until the final thinned layers are poured through a brick drying pens or plastic films. Left to dry, the formed salt crystals are then scraped to be stored in their proper forms.
There’s no doubt about how time-consuming the process is. It surely requires a lot of dedication from the people who have to endure the extreme heat of the sun to perform their work. Below are some of the scenes Project Iloilo took when we went to Leganes to document the whole process: