Ruins of Muscavado Sugar Mill in Tigbauan, Iloilo

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Muscavado sugar mill ruins on Zayco Farm in Barangay Namocon, Tigbauan, Iloilo.  It located on a Barangay road which leaves the National Highway opposite the Sol y Mar Resort entrance  and comes out at the Tigbauan-Leon highway near the Tigbauan National High School.  The Zayco farm is one of the largest in the area, although its size was reduced during land redistribution during the Marcos era.  Some of these photos were provided by the Zayco family.

Old_Zayco_House-2

Zayco farm house which was located across what is now a barangay road from the sugar mill.  We were told that before WW II, that the farm employed a Japanese worker who turned out to be a spy or informer for the Japanese invasion forces.  We were told that since this person had been well treated while employed on the farm, that he gave a warning to the family regarding the impending Japanese invasion and told them to flee.  The family took a few possessions and retreated to the mountains beyond Leon.  During the war this farm house was used as a headquarters by the Japanese. Once the war was over, the farm house was burned by local residents who may not of wished the family to return and reassert control over the farm lands.  This photo is said to have been taken in 1914.

Old_Zayco_Sugar_mill_construction-2

This photo is said to be of the construction of the Zayco sugar mill.  Almost all the land in the area now grows rice or are used for pasture, formerly sugar cane was the main crop.

Old_Zayco_railroad-2

This photo is said to be of a sugar mill rail line, formerly on the Zayco Farm.  It would have transported cane from the surrounding fields to the mill for processing.

Hand powered sugar railroad (not Zayco Farm)

Hand powered sugar railroad (not Zayco Farm)

Old_Zayco_workers-2

Sugar mill workers and bodega(?)

Old_Zayco_Sugar_mill_inside-2

Workers crowded around sugar mill machinery. Zayco photo.

Old_Zayco_Watson_Glascow-2Photo from Zayco family labelled “centrifuga”.  There is a manufacturer’s plaque on the machinery in the photo. With a magnifying glass we were able to make out the words “Watson” and “Glasgow”.   It seems to be fair to assume that this is a sugar centrifuge used to separate the sugar crystals from the molasses from cane.  Compare this machinery from the illustration below.

watson_mill_1-2

This is an ad from “machinery and equipment of the sugar cane factory” dated 1937.

We have also been told that the mill chimney was damaged by the January 25, 1948 “Lady Caycay” earthquake, the second largest earthquake in Philippine recorded history.

 

Sugar mill ruins in Tigbauan, Iloilo

Sugar mill ruins in Tigbauan, Iloilo

Today the agricultural land surrounding the mill ruins are mostly rice land, but formerly were planted with sugar cane.  The mill ruins are set in a very pretty grove of large Acacia trees.If anyone has information on the mill and its history please share it in the comment box below.

Sugar mill foundations and setting

Sugar mill foundations and setting

Sugar mill foundations

Sugar mill foundations

The sugar mill ruins are set on this road bordered by huge old Acacia trees.

The sugar mill ruins are set on this road bordered by huge old Acacia trees.

Old Iloilo sugar mill - location unknown

Old Iloilo sugar mill – location unknown

Sugar mill machinery, unknown location in Iloilo

Sugar mill machinery, unknown location in Iloilo

Advanced Muscovado Mill System. G. E. Nesom and Herbert Walker Handbook on the Sugar Industry of the Philippine Islands (Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1912), pt. 2, p. 100.

Advanced Muscovado Mill System. G. E. Nesom and Herbert Walker
Handbook on the Sugar Industry of the Philippine Islands (Manila: Bureau of
Printing, 1912), pt. 2, p. 100.

Comments (10) Write a comment

  1. Some good muscovado mill photos, particularly machinery, at the link below:

    Been involved with muscovado projects since 2006 and had been to mills in Belison, Sebaste, Lawaan, Sigma, Bacolod, Murcia, La Castellana and Ormoc. Many of the surviving mills are in Antique, though a majority of them are small-scale, backyard operation. Hacienda-type mill similar to this Tigbauan mill can be found in Patnongon, Antique.

    http://rejitattletale.blogspot.com/2011/04/things-muscovado-making-and-farming.html

    and photos of a new muscovado mill:

    Muscovado production was pretty much a dead industry until some fair trade companies found a market abroad:

    http://beat-architect.blogspot.com/2012/02/sugar-cane-milling-house-ii.html#more

    Btw, are you interested in muscovado production or just the heritage aspect of this particular mill?

    Reply

  2. Pingback: Ruins of Muscavado Sugar Mill in Tigbauan, Iloilo | Philippines or Bust

  3. Hello! Just checked out the muscovado ruins in Pihak Suba this afternoon, with the help of a guide who happens to be one of the motorcycle drivers. They are enclosed with trees and practically hidden from the public view. Also, inside the enclosed area are the eggplants.

    Reply

  4. Hello! If I’m not mistaken this is the place in Namocon where my classmates and I spent our money almost every afternoon just to buy sugar canes instead of riding in a tricycle in going home. I can still recall how sweet and fresh those sugar canes were! AND THE FUN THAT WE HAD IN THE 70s. I really wish to go and visit Tigbauan in the future.
    By the way, I’m from Bgy Baguingin and now based in Toronto.
    Salamat, kabay nga kaluy-an gid kita tanan kang mahal nga Diyos.

    Reply

  5. Hi & Hello Michelle!

    It’s a kilometer away or so from the concrete dike in Brgy. 3 (poblacion) I believe. Appropriately we used to call the place – Pihak Suba where the so called Hacienda is. People from pob. going to Dorong-an do really pass there. Though I’ve stayed most of my life here in Zamboanga City, Mindanao, I could still picture out that place. I do make it a point to spend my summer vacation out there. I was born and spent my boyhood in Tigbauan. We used to stay in Brgy. 3, near encrossand (crossing Tupan & Tronco Sts.).

    Reply

  6. How about featuring the other muscavado sugar mills in Tigbauan. One was in Cordova which was opeational till early Sixties. The other was in a place we call Pihak Suba (other side of the river), just a kilometer away from a place, the so-called Dingle – a river bank wherein years ago we enjoyed frolicking in its clear waters. People used to call this particular sugar mill as Hacienda. Or even until now people call this place as Hacienda. Suggestion: Make a thorough research on these two (2) other sugar mills in Tigbauan. These are another valuable heritage in a rich history of Tigbauan.

    Reply

  7. All the articles you have written about Iloilo (my beloved city) are all true and even your own opinion I agree with you 100%. I am thankful as well of other things that I have learnt after I read your blogs and lots of things I understand and that add to my knowledge and some other thing I don’t know before about my city and province (Iloilo) despite I am 100% Ilonggo. So, I won’t let the chance to pass this time. I will grab this opportunity to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your VERY GOOD INDEED job.

    Thank you so much and best of luck, more and more power to you and your family. May God bless you and all the best as it always…

    Native from Ajuy, Iloilo;

    John

    Reply

  8. Hello! Thanx for the photo on these ruins. Although I lived in SEAFDEC, Tigbauan for 15 years, I never heard of this muscovado sugar mill ruins until I came across this photo gallery. I just went there yesterday with my cousin to shot some pics. I guess that these ruins are part of Spanish heritage of the town due to the bricks which are similar to those in the town’s church and cemetery. This sugar mill is among the many old sugar mills in the Panay Island. It will be very nice, as in, to have proper research and historic preservation of this site.

    I always have interests in ruins of Spanish colonization period since most of my archaeological experiences are dealing with them.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.