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Munk´s only use fresh ingredients, we use catmon from Sta. Barbara, iloilo & it have a touch of fresh rosmary from our own plant

A TOWN CALLED CATMON by Tara Illenberger

This for me is the most beautiful, cleanest town plaza in Iloilo province; with uncluttered landscaping devoid of unsightly concrete structures.

Historic Santa Barbara is known for many things: It is a football town; and the home of the oldest golf course. It has a beautiful, old church (built in 1760) which has since been extensively restored.

Not as well-known is the fact that the town’s former name is “Catmon”, a tree that used to be common in the area. Belonging to the Dillenia genus, Catmon has striking flowers and edible, albeit sour fruits. Like a lot of what’s native to us, their predominance in the landscape has been replaced by invasives over the decades.

As a nod to history, Catmon trees have been brought back into the Santa Barbara plaza lay-out, where they rightfully belong. The planting was initiated during the stint of Irene Magallon as local tourism officer during the term of Mayor Superficial. (She also serves as curator of the Santa Barbara Centennial Museum which is situated in the plaza complex.)

Being the native tree enthusiasts/local tourists that we were, we have spotted 2 kinds of Catmon in the plaza: a few trees of the yellow, exotic cultivar (Dillenia suffruticosa); and mostly trees of the native variety (Dillenia philippinensis) from which we have gathered fruits/seeds for propagation.

Im told that recently, 65 more Catmon trees were planted in Santa Barbara barangays.

More towns named after trees should emulate and capitalise on this; and make them into visible landmarks; to help build “pride of place” and possibly push tourism while helping ecology.

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Fresh catmon

Can sugar






it comes in 150 grams.

You can only buy the catmon jam 

at Munks Coffee Shop & Resto

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