(by Anthonio Co  5/21/2014)

Today, May 20, 2014, in a rare opportunity, that we - Ernesto C. Lee, President and General Manager of Agri-Bio Phils., Inc. together with his Logistic Manager, Kenneth C. Dominado, Victoriano Ocon of Suki Trading Center and Antonio H. Co of Kanvar Enterprises, all believers and followers of Maestro Alexis Belonio, converged in the Office of the Austrian Embassy at the 14/F Pacific Star Building in Makati, exclusively invited to witness the awarding ceremony for this year's National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in the Philippines, for his ingenuity and innovations in his enduring project on Rice Husk Gasifier Cooking Stove.

This award is under the auspices of the Energy Globe Foundation, in partnership with the Austrian Government, and hosted by Ms. Lisa Koscak, Commercial Counsellor, Austrian Embassy for the Philippines.

Here is the excerpt of the announcement ...

... "The Energy Globe Award is one of today’s most prestigious environmental awards. It was founded in 1999 by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann to recognize successful sustainable projects which conserve and protect our resources or that employ renewable energy. Each year, over 1,000 projects from all over the world compete for the award.

This year’s National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in the Philippines is given to CRHET-CLSU, represented by Engineer Alexis Belonio, for the project “Cooking Gas from Rice Husk”. The creation of cooking gas from rice husks is an innovation that was initiated in the Philippines as early as 2005. A kilo of rice husk can provide 1.2 cubic meter of clean gas with equivalent amount of energy of 1,920 kcal. The potential of this technology is to provide rural households with a clean and low-cost supply of fuel that can be utilized in the preparation of meals. Since 2009, CRHET has helped individuals, organizations, manufacturers and users of the technology by providing them with information and assistance on how to design, fabricate, test and use the stove. To date, there are more than 100 adopters of the technology, which is now being produced not only in the Philippines but also in India, Vietnam and Indonesia. "...

The brief awarding ceremony is of course followed by photo opportunity, and we do not want to miss this chance to look good side by side with our hero and maestro for posterity.

Since this is the very first time the disciples of Alexis Belonio meet altogether in one place, let me take this chance to do the honor of putting captions in this respective photo remembrance with us with our idol.

Eng'r Vic Ocon came all the way from Cebu.

His earliest involvement with Gasifier Technology is when he built the prototype of a 10KVA generator set running on a surplus Susuki multi-cab gasoline engine being fed by gasified rice husk fuel, under the guidance of Maestro Alexis.

But what is remarkable is that he was able to finish the project by just looking at the drawings sent via email by Maestro Alexis. It is as if a kind of initiation from Maestro Alexis, who came to personally visit the manufacturing plant of Suki Trading on the day of test run itself with me in tow.

With so much amazement, I can't help but asked Vic how did he able to perfectly copied the details of the drawing into reality? He simply answered that he owed his expertise long time ago when he is still in college, that he really mastered copying from the papers of his seatmate.

These days, Vic is constructing big versions of rice husk gasifiers for his industrial clients all over the Philippines for their heating and drying requirements.

I really mean it. I have chronicled how this interest in gasification technology evolved. How our common passion about cooking and or heating technology connected us with each other.

My first encounter with Maestro Alexis is when I learned from a posting on the internet about his receiving an award from Rolex Award for Enterprise, bestowed by the Rolex Watch maker of Geneva, Switzerland.

I later set an appointment with him just for the benefit of curiousity. I have my own charcoal stove in the process of development at that time, and I went on regaling him how I conceptualized it, then immediately I looked at his face. I guess he is not impressed because not a single muscle in his cheek reacted.

Then we proceeded to his abode in Bulacan, he showed me his Rice Husk Gasifier Stove, ignited it to demonstrate to me, my jaw dropped, then I immediately abandoned my idea of making charcoal stoves. I am fully rewarded in driving him home that day when he gifted me that demo unit.

On that day, I immediately ordered 50 units, which I immediately wiped out in the market.

Today, making small stoves is a happy pastime for me. Exploring the many possibilities of improving the stoves become a source of so many surprises when you sometime hit and most of the time miss, as part of experiment.

Maestro Alexis first introduced us with each other by our namecard only. We later talked over the phone and immediately made business exchange.

Architect Kenneth C. Dominado is a very wonderful man. He is steadfast and has a very prolific mind, qualities of which pursuing projects of retrofitting the energy requirements of his industry with Biomass Gasification Process is a foremost requirement, since this is a pioneering project in the Philippine setting.

I keep on wondering of the immensity of the project he is working on because of the big capacity machines and parts he keeps on ordering from me, and always on the double time requirement on deliveries. He is a hands-on manager.

By and by, I understand that they are trying to build several transportable irrigation pump systems to operate continously 24hours in a weektime, rehabilitating an old ricemilling plant, designing rotary type palay drying facility with megaton capacity, all will be powered by Biomass Gasification Process under the spirit of guidance from Maestro Alexis Belonio.

But still, I keep on wondering next, who is this benevolent man behind this gentle giant of a man in the person of Kenneth Dominado? It would run into a multi-million investment, a kind of project pursued but not a single investor in the Philippines dared to try. This is almost a very big gamble in business according to my own perception, I say.

So I heard the name Mr. Lee who is fondly described briefly by Kenneth as his Boss. I really developed some feeling of gratefulness with the man for what he is doing that will ultimately inspire mankind, and so that other businessmen will have the inspiration and courage to follow his good example.

And just at this moment of victory celebration for our maestro, Suki and Kanvar finally met face to face the man at the helm of Agri-Bio Philippines, Inc., Sir Ernesto C. Lee.

Having just briefly known Sir Ernesto, I can not give more words of personal attributes to him, but since he is the founder, maker and nurturer of Agri-Bio Phils., I guess I have to search for their company profile, of which certainly, can be viewed as a reflection of his own.

And here is what I got from "AgriBio" facebook account.

AgriBio is a proprietary biotech formulations and carbon technologies involving nano carbon, indigenous activated enzymes & microbes and botanical extracts in concentrated liquid form."

I encourage you readers to look into that facebook account, and you will see what I saw.

They are propagating health. It reflects on the images of healthy plants, hale and hearty fruits, wholesome vegetables, and all in all, robust harvest.

I therefore say, it is the hands of Sir. Ernesto C. Lee and his company, who managed and nourished these vegetations and made business with social responsibility.

We parted ways happy and inspired. Contratulations Maestro Alexis T. Belonio.

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