Known for its ivory translucent shell, kapis or window-pane shell (Placuna placenta) is mainly processed into lanterns, candle holders, window panes, lamp shades, flower vases, chandeliers, among other decorative items. Indigenous to various parts of our country, kapis is a very promising fishery commodity given the local and global demand for it either as a raw material or as a processed product. However, unbeknownst to many, kapis is also an edible marine bivalve mollusk like tahong, talaba, kuhol, and tulya.
Samal, Bataan is one of the municipalities in the country that has a rich resource of kapis. Thus, most locals usually engage in kapis craft making. The knowledge of processing kapis shells into exquisite decorative and gift items has been passed down from one generation to another.
Aside from this, they also utilize the kapis meat by cooking it into delectable Filipino dishes such as adobo, afritada, shanghai and by processing it into finger foods such as chips and kropek.
The idea of kapis chips came from one of the members of the KALIWANAG Rural Improvement Club (RIC), a cooperative in Samal that engages in the development of kapis-based products. According to Dr. Lilian C. Garcia, regional director of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 3, by processing the kapis meat into chips, an opportunity for additional source of income has opened and at the same time maximum utilization of kapis was made possible.
Smaller than the commercially available chips such as tahong chips, the kapis chips is very rich in protein making it a healthier option for finger food. If properly stored, it can last up to six months. Currently, the available flavors of kapis chips are original and sweet and spicy. Kapis chips are available in 75g, 150g, and 250g pouches and sold at Php 100, Php 200 and Php 300, respectively. It can be bought at the municipal and provincial tourism offices in Bataan and at the pasalubong center in Samal, Bataan, as well.
Six years after its inception, the kapis chips with its palatable taste have continued to spark and attract the attention of the buyers according to Ms. Gladys T. Resubal, aquaculturist from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Balanga City, Bataan. Aside from the income generated through making wonderful decorative and gift items from kapis, they are also now earning an additional estimated annual income of Php 200,000 from the profits of selling kapis chips.
To ensure that they would have sufficient stock of kapis and to avoid its exploitation, Ms. Resubal said that per sanctuary they “stock more than a ton of kapis breeders, yon ang nanganganak to increase production.” She also added, “We regulate harvesting of small kapis and breeders. Bawal kunin iyong less than two inches na kapis and iyong breeders.”
KALIWANAG RIC is one of the cooperatives in Samal that was supported through the project, “Technology Promotion and Utilization of Window Pane Oyster (Placuna placenta) Products,” funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research and implemented by BFAR Region 3, provincial government of Bataan, and local government unit of Balanga.
Dr. Lilian C. Garcia, project leader, and Ms. Resubal, co-project leader, realized the potential of the kapis industry in Bataan. They saw that the “maximum utilization of fishery products through application of appropriate technologies increases productivity and income, and generates jobs.” With this, the project was aimed to: improve the existing kapis based products and develop new ones; develop the packaging of the products; capacitate cooperators/ beneficiaries in the production of kapis products; improve production facilities; and assist in the promotion and marketing of the kapis products. ###
For more information: Ms. Gladys Resubal
Aquaculturist Office of the Provincial Agriculturist Balanga City, Bataan | Mobile: 0918 298 9814 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org