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THE TITLE “KAPENG BARAKO CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES”
As far as available records show, Lipa gained prominence in the production of kapengbarako. On 1808, Lipa is regarded as one of the richest cities in the country for its utmost manufacture of the product.
The year 1886-1889 marked the glorious years of the city. It started when the then gobernadorcillo, Don Galo De los Reyes, introduced an extensive cultivation of kapengbarako to the town. He continued it even on his succeeding terms.
The scarce of coffee plantations in Brazil and other coffee-producing countries due to a disease in the coffee plants gave Lipa a lift in the coffee industry. With the perseverance of the coffers in town and the incident that happened to coffee-neighboring countries, Lipabecame a hero for the industry earning so much wealth in the coffee cultivation alone.
It was written in the town’s history that 2/3 of the entire territory of the municipality of Lipa was given to coffee plantations with yearly yield of 70, 000 piculs (as much as an ordinary man can lift; equivalent to 133.33 pounds) which is equivalent to four million pesos at that time. As a result, it was the center of the cultivation of coffee around the world and gave so much fortune to the city.
Grandiose feasts were celebrated and prominent guests were with the people to celebrate, everything is cheap and the economy is better. It was indeed enviable for other municipalities to see how good Lipa’s economy is. The prominence and bountiful harvests paved way for Lipa to send some of their family members abroad to gain education. That alone gave Lipa a den of scholars and recognized people in different areas.
Until on January 1888, the Queen Regent of Spain elevated Lipa to become a city. The golden years of Lipa and the bountiful coffee harvests came to an end when ‘bagombong’, a deadly insect, killed the coffee plants.
RISE OF OTHER INDUSTRIES
For Lipeños, the crisis that the city went through the coffee industry is not a halt to keep living. After the devastating things that happened, they opened up new gates for another business ventures.
Year 1931, when the Citrus Experiment Station was transferred from Darasa to Lipa on a 50 hectare land donated by the Province of Batangas, it became a breeding ground for special hybrids of citruses which became an exporting product of the city to Manila and some parts of the country. In a glimpse, Lipa’s businessmen fattened their bank growing from small square meters of plantation to hectares. But the golden harvests were gone too soon as the rust fungus, a disease on plants swept the whole ground of healthy plants into brown.
When production of coffee abound, the production of sugar cane also caught small enterprising individuals to engage in the business. However, before it produce a golden profit, it encountered so many problems. During the pre-war era, the industry faces scarce of transporting sugar canes into milling companies. It closed down as a result. But the journey of sugar in the city didn’t end there.
As rust fungus, a disease of citrus plants came, the industry of sugar became every landowner’s fall back. It came back in the limelight. By this time, cargo trucks are available to deliver it into sugar centrals. However, United States’ reduction of sugar quota to the Philippines and increase production of the crop by planters resulted in oversupply as a result, businessmen venturing the industry lost huge amount of money.
The fall of sugar industry paved way for Lipa to venture poultry business. At first, it was a risk for poultry owners to continue what they’re doing for other wealthy landowners enjoy the citrus profit. But for people like Claro Malleta, Romeo Malleta, CesarioOroña and their company, they accepted the challenge and they were never erroneous for their industry saved the city from an economic catastrophe, even garnering at that time the title of The Egg Basket of the Philippines.
As soon as poultry business hugged the city, cooperatives came to rise. On April 1970, LIMCOMA (Lipa Multi-purpose Cooperative Marketing Association) was born. Availability of chicks, feeds, veterinary medicines, services and marketing were under the light of the cooperative. And as years went by, it continued to grow with innovations and a trendsetter to open for companies of the same kind to rise.
Tagged as the “black gold”, pepper growers enjoy much of the money they’ve had on what seemed to be a magical undertaking. In 1954, Atty. Laygo bought black pepper on a nearby town and planted it on his half hectare farm since no one else in the city engaged to this kind of business. And his idea was right, bringing him P27, 000.00 in a kilo of black pepper sold in P20.00 at most. It was the most stable business as years went by while other industries juggle on their businesses.
When SIPAGLAKAS was first conceived, it envisioned Lipa as the City of Flowers. Therefore, the Lipa Garden Club was organized and led by Mrs. AdeliaMojares, a woman who has vast interest in growing and cultivating flowers. The organization planned to have a nursery on each of their home. There came the point where people from foreign visitors look up to Lipa’s growing industry of ornamental plants such as orchids, roses, anthuriums, birds of paradise.
The aftermath of war left most of the agricultural lands idle that’s why buy-and-sell business took place. The manufacture of ready-made clothes and import trade brought huge wealth for most enterprising individuals.
Other Major Industries
On modern days, as Lipa’s finest industries were born and died due to crisis the world and Asia faced, major industries venturing different kinds rose like metal craft and jewelry, real estate business and telecommunications took place. Now, even the largest super malls and shopping centers, beauty and wellness centers, coffee shops and large industrial parks and manufacturing plants are established within the city and continue to grow as years go by.
• Registered business establishments as of July 2013: 5,492
• New establishments: 397, for Renewal: 5,095
City Permits and Licensing Office’s Comparative Report
Peaks and Valleys: The Story of Lipa by Praxedes Villa, 2010
Last Updated: August 30, 2013