On this site now stands the chimney that is reminiscent of the muscovado factory that DONATO MILITANTE PISON, SR. built-in Brgy. San Rafael Mandurriao, Iloilo City From 1888 onwards, he became one of the Ilonggos who engaged in sugar production when the province of Iloilo was a major producer of muscovado or brown sugar. He also cultivated a ten-hectare rice field and in time acquired the neighboring fishponds.
Very much an entrepreneur, Donato M. Pison Sr. would also sail on a boat, “bat” that used to dock along the Iloilo River, and would trade goods in Bicol where he met his wife, Paciencia Tijam.
Years later, taking advantage of the strong northeastern wind ideal for the formation of salt crystals, he ventured into salt-making. To produce salt then known as “white gold” he manufactured bricks for salt beds using clay from his rice fields. The bricks were baked in a kiln he himself made He also built a Chinese-inspired wooden contraption with multiple paddles that moved salt water up from the river and fishponds to the evaporator ponds and into the salt beds. This expertise was imitated by other salt-producing areas in the Visayas and as far as Mindoro, Salt trading was done in the Visayas and Mindanao region.
In embarking on a diversified land use with an exceptional enterprising spirit and fortitude, he made a major contribution to Iloilo’s thriving agricultural industry. He achieved this with the full support of his wife, and in partnership with their loyal farm workers whose descendants still work with the family up to this time.
In 1981, Donato M. Pison, Sr., was honored posthumously as one of the Ten Outstanding Iloilo pioneers by Iloilo CREBA ISOA and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Iloilo for his invaluable innovations in the salt industry, Inspired by their heritage, the heirs became entrepreneurs themselves. In a bold move to develop the City’s real estate industry, they put up KAPIDECO (Kauturan Pison Development Corp), Riverside Boardwalk Properties, Inc, and S.T. Pison Enterprises, Inc.
For all these, Donato M. Pison, Sr., was a simple, man Yet, he lived his dreams with passion and a great vision a vision which is now shared by the third generation, ever conscious of each small step made towards the reshaping of modern Boilo where the diversified businesses were once and are now symbols of the rapid development of Iloilo’s great potential This chimney started it all more than a hundred years ago. Where you stand now is a legacy that the PISON CLAN offers to the people of Iloilo.
Text from the marker.