The sea water surrounding Zamboanga del Norte is a very rich source of marine products. Ever year, tamban (sardines) are harvested from its waters accounting for the many sardine canneries in Dipolog. One company has made its name as a top producer of quality bottled spanish sardines in oil— Montaño.
READ: Bohol Opens A Can of Surprise— Sardine Vortex Discovered Off Its Coast
The original recipe of spanish sardines in corn oil came from the family’s matriarch and the patriarch decided on making it into a business. Three generations after, the business is evolving with diverse products coming into the picture while maintaining its high quality.
From spanish sardines in corn oil, they now have spanish sardines in olive oil, and tomato sauce and corn oil and in olive oil.
During the months when the harvest is lean or when there is a ban on fishing for sardines, they manage to produce ginisang bagoong, fried peanuts with garlic, and various other products from their sister who bakes the cookies sold in their stores.
On a tour of their spotless factory (which does not look like a factory at all!) I learned that their employees only come in when there is sardines to process and bottle.
To add to that, they recently acquired a boiler (locally manufactured) that lowers the time to process the sardines, giving employees more time to be with their families but still getting compensated.
So when you buy Montaño bottled spanish sardines and their other products, you are assured of top quality and from labor that is just.