“Who was the first person to land in the moon? Neil Armstrong. Who invented the telescope? Galileo Galilei. Who discovered the Theory of Relativity? Albert Einstein. Who invented the Ilocano’s Superkalan? I don’t know.” We can confidently answer the first three questions but the last question makes us dumb because we don’t actually know the people behind the small technologies we use in our daily living.
When we hear the term inventions and inventors, the first thing that we picture in our mind is a person who is like Aristotle, Plato, and other famous geniuses of the decades. But we should not forget to acknowledge our Aristotles and Platos in our locality who have contributed their talents and skills to make our lifestyle easier.
Most of us might have already encountered a skinny old man who dresses simply but talkative with sense. When he speaks, he goes around the bush but all he wanted is to encourage and inspire others. He is Mr. Narciso P. Mosuela, the sole inventor of the Superkalan of the Ilocanos, which we use for cooking especially when our stove runs out of gas.
Mr. Narciso P. Mosuela is a multi-awarded farmer and inventor from Bangar, La Union. He was known for his Superkalan that is being sold locally and abroad.
Tracing the path of a multi-awarded farmer
Mr. Mosuela resorted to farming when his parents can no longer afford his studies for high school. After dropping from first year high school, he spent his life in the rice fields until he married and was blessed with four children. However, he realized that his income from the farm alone is not enough to cater the needs of the family.
He then decided to go to Manila and was lucky to be employed as an automotive electrician in a franchised Ford dealer company where he labored with dedication and patience. A tagalog quote says, “Pag may tiyaga, may nilaga.” Mr. Mosuela’s hardwork paid off when he was transferred to the engineering department of the company where he stayed and honed his engineering skills for 8 years.
While he was working, he took the opportunity to discover and learn the techniques in manufacturing metals. Thus, he was able to start inventing his own Superkalan and thresher that led him to put up his Natomo Enterprises.
The Superkalan, known as the Natomo Superkalan in the market is a designed energy-saving cooking tool that allows the utilization of wood, papers, sawdust, and other locally available and inexpensive fuel.
From Super Kalawang to Superkalan
In the world of invention, the first output is not the final. According to Mr. Mosuela, he experienced difficulty in marketing his first superkalan output. It was first made-up of tin but his customer complains because it rusts when washed with water. He was then dubbed as “Super Kalawang” because of this rusty problem in his Superkalan.
“Mahirap ang superkalan, kung iniisip ko ngayon parang hindi ko kayang gawin. Nagsimula sa lata tapos ipinagbili ng ipinagbili, pero noong balikan ko ang mga bumili ang tawag sa akin super kalawang. Ang problema kung hinuhugasan, laging kinakalawang,” said Mr. Mosuela.
Despite the problems and criticisms received from other people Mr. Mosuela did not end dumping his inventions in a corner. Instead, he was more encouraged to find ways in improving his kalan. He then decided to try Aluminum alloy metal and found it successful. “Wala na talagang ibang paraan kundi gawing aluminum yan, diyan ako nahirapan kasi kung saan-saan ako nagpunta,” he added.
However, financial deficiency hindered Mr. Mosuela from reproducing his invention. Thus, he enrolled Natomo Enterprises to the Department of Science and Technology- Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (DOST-SETUP) and was granted in 2008. With this, the firm was able to acquire upgraded machines and he was able to manufacture more Superkalan.
Natawa sa akin ang tao noon pero sa awa ng Diyos, natapos ko yung kalan, gumanda hanggang sa naki-exhibit ako sa Maynila na sponsored ng DOST. Tapos akalain mo, napili yung kalan ko na pinakamagandang naexhibit. Nagkaroon ako ng plakeyo. Sunod-sunod na ang aking award kasi pinaganda ko ng pinaganda,” stressed Mr. Mosuela.
Natomo superkalan receives super recognitions
Through the able management of Mr. Mosuela and his strong partnership with DOST, he was able to sell and showcase his product to different provinces within and outside the region. He also actively participates in DOST’s activities such as S&T Caravan, exhibits, and others.
“Madalas ako sa S&T Caravan at magandang opportunity yun para maipakita ng mga inventors ang kanilang mga likha. Syempre kung bago yan, pupuntahan talaga ng mga tao kaya doon talaga kami nakakabenta,” explained Mr. Mosuela.
With his superkalan and thresher, he was able to bag national and local awards. Among his remarkable awards is being the 2008 National Outstanding Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). He was also a Globe Masigasig Awardee and an Outstanding MSME Awardee for Luzon.
He was also given a Service Award from the province of La Union in recognition of his outstanding performance in the field of science and technology and the distinguishing honor and significant breakthroughs he achieved from his creativity and innovativeness in manufacturing products in metalcraft industry.
“Kahit ‘di ako nakapagtapos, meron akong mga na patent, sabi nga sa DOST, yung isang patent katumbas ng isang kurso at multi-awarded din ako sa aming bayan. Kaya hindi na rin masama ang loob ko na hindi ako nakapag-aral dahil nakuha ko rin yung talagang gusto kong makuha,” added Mr. Mosuela.
Mr. Mosuela is continuous in building partnerships with other organizations and government agencies for the diffusion of his innovations. He is a member of Filipino Inventors Society (FIS), which was recently organized in Region 1. He remarked that the FIS is very helpful for the Filipino scientists because they are bonded together in order to come up with better products and they can help each other in terms of ideas, marketing, and in availing of government supports.
He also thanked the DOST for its support to FIS and the micro, small medium enterprises (MSMEs) for its continuous conduct of S&T Caravan as a means of bringing new technologies to the people.
At present, the 80 years old super inventor of Region 1 is continuous in running the Natomo Enterprise with his children. His superkalan and thresher is pivoting in the markets of metal-based products within and outside the country.