|Shards of clay pots tamped to make salt bed floors.|
There is a tendency to romanticize saltmaking--we envision the leisurely raking the beds in by workers in rustic straw hats, while a refreshing breeze furthers evaporation, leaving soft, billowy crystals. But it is truly backbreaking work under the brutal heat of the sun. And with industrial or consolidated salt taking over the palengkes (it is becoming more common to find Mindoro salt in Cebu), saltmaking is becoming a less profitable venture in many places. Salt farms are dwindling, except perhaps in Pangasinan and Mindoro.
|Salt being collected in baskets.|
|Varied elevation allows gravity to distribute saltwater from the ocean throughout the beds.|
|Slippers of storage staff need to be tacked onto wooden planks to avoid wounded feet.|