Unusual Uses of Empty Milk Cans

1) Ginaok / Inuyat. When I was a kid, a vendor was selling an extremely sweet delicacy packed in a used milk can. It was a highly viscous brown liquid. Seemed like a highly concentrated honey or sugar syrup. We were winding it around a tablespoon and eating it like a lollipop.

It was too sweet. Definitely not for kids suffering from tooth ache and diabetics. Thanks to GMA7 show for letting me know that it was made of sugarcane juice.

Note, refilling tin cans with food products is discourage. Resealing is impossible.

2) Cashew nut roaster. We usually threw cashew seeds on burning wood or coconut husks. Then got it after few minutes or when we thought it was cooked already. However, it was a hit or missed roasting. Bad if some seeds were charred completely. Too bad if all were gone to ashes. Roasting the seeds in empty milk can provided us more control.

Note, the practice is not recommended. Burning lacquer coat might have unwanted chemical reaction to food.

3) Toy car. Back then, commercially manufactured toys were too expensive. We never had enough budget for those luxuries. We were making cars out of empty milk cans. Designs were completely dependent on builder’s imagination.

4) Bell or an early warning device. I often see this in old Filipino movies. Group of hanging cans were hit with a steel rod to call a meeting. Also used by guards to warn an incoming danger or a sign that something was caught in a trap.

5) Tumbang preso. Again, a trip back to old days. I hope this game still exists. A circle is drawn on the ground. An empty milk can is placed on center. Then participating players will try to knock the can out of the circle by throwing slippers.

6) Gatang. The top cover is completely removed. Inner sharp edge is flattened by hitting lightly with a round steel pipe. Cleaned. Then used to measure rice for steaming. A milk can full or rice equals one gatang.


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