Category: News

Hamdesal

SLERS Express Meals: Your Favorite Filipino Meals Made Express

Taste the Goodness of Your All-Time Favorite SLERS Products at Affordable Prices

Before becoming a household name, SLERS started as a personal hobby of Ofelia Cosin Pelaez, or “Fely” as she is known to her friends and family. In 1969, Fely learned to make traditional smoked country hams in her home in Bukidnon. Soon after, friends and family began buying her hams for Christmas dinners.

The house where the first ham was made in 1969.
The house where the first ham was made in 1969.

Fely’s American-style ham became so popular that it quickly transformed from a simple hobby of a school teacher to a cottage industry, and eventually a family business that has become synonymous with high-quality hams and other meat products.

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The name SLERS is actually an acronym of the nicknames of all five of Fely’s children; Shirley, Litlit, Earl, Ray, and Sharon. It was in 1987 when Fely and her husband moved to Cagayan de Oro to retire and Fely’s daughter, Litlit, or Mercedes Pelaez Mejia, took over the business.

 

The Transformation of SLERS Hams to a Multi-Product Enterprise

By the late 80s, SLERS began offering more than just American-style hams. With Litlit at the helm, SLERS started producing more diverse products, which began with the introduction of the SLERS Tocino, even though her mom Fely was initially against the idea.

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Today, SLERS is one of the most successful family-owned companies in the country, offering a diverse menu, from their flagship ham, Jamon Cagayan de Oro, to a wide range of food products including pork barbecue, Tocino de Cagayan, fresh native chorizo, beef pastrami, smoked country bacon, and longganisa de Cagayan.

That’s not all.

For meat lovers who want to try the different SLERS products without having to buy an entire pack of smoked ham or a whole kilo of tocino, they offer the SLERS Express Meals diner. The place to go if you want to check out their high-quality food products or simply want to grab a bite of your favorite traditional Filipino meal.

The diner offers a great selection of different meat products prepared just the way you like it.

 

The SLERS Express Meals Menu at Student-Friendly Prices

Apart from the quality, SLERS is also known for the reasonable prices of their meat products. The express meal diner continues the tradition of providing topnotch food at affordable prices. Their student-friendly meals are among the most popular, since a large chunk of the diner’s clientele, and even their food stalls, are students.

 

Here are some of the food items you will find on their eclectic menu:

 

  • Hamdesal Sandwich – A popular item on the menu, the hamdesal sandwich is a delicious treat, combining the pandesal—a classic Filipino favorite—with a slice of SLERS sweet ham and fresh lettuce. It’s the perfect affordable meal for someone on the go.

Hamdesal

 

  • Grilled Pork Belly – For any meat lover, the pork belly is one of the most beloved hog parts. You add SLERS’ time-tested preparation and cooking techniques in the mix, and you have a delicious and satisfying meal that’s not too heavy on the wallet.

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  • Ham and Cheese Sandwich – A classic combo. SLERS quality ham and cheese stuffed in bread, is there anything else better?

Ham-and-Cheese

 

  • Tocino Meal – Before Litlit first introduced the tocino back in the day, sweet meat was virtually unheard of in CDO. Today, it’s one of the most popular meat products among Kagay-anons, especially when it’s from SLERS.

Tocino-de-Cagayan

 

  • Chicharice – Kagay-anons are among the biggest fans of SLERS chicharon, another creation that has made SLERS a truly multi-product business. And one of the reasons why it’s so popular is because it’s more than just a snack. SLERS chicharon is just as good, if not better, as a meal by pairing it with fried rice.

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Those are just a few of the offerings you can find at the SLERS express meal diner. In addition, they also offer a couple of equally tasty desserts at very affordable prices; the coco banana flan and the buko pandan.

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You can check out these delicious and affordable meals in one of two locations; at the ground floor of Gaisano City, along Corrales Ave. and at the South Bank Plaza Bldg., along the corner of Velez and Yacapin Streets.

So what are you waiting for? Call you friends and head over to SLERS Express Meals and fill your tummies with amazing dishes that are masterfully created and perfected by SLERS since 1969.

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SLERS Featured in Tripinas!

SLERS Featured in Tripinas!

SLERS is one of the most well-known brands in Cagayan de Oro City. It is also one of the city’s homegrown brands, although not many people are aware of this fact, with some Kagay-anons thinking that SLERS is a national or even an international brand.

Just recently, SLERS gained national attention when Solenn Heussaff, Stephen Rey Tagud, and the whole Tripinas team visited the SLERS Country Store in Alae, Bukidnon last February 8, 2016 and featured SLERS in their April 23, 2016 episode. Tripinas is a travel show hosted by Heussaff and Tagud, airing every Saturday at 11AM on GMA News TV.

SLERS Featured in Tripinas!

Inspired by the advocacy of 2GO Travel’s TRIP Magazine (Tagud is the Vice President of 2GO Travel), which is to bring travel adventures to everyone, Tripinas aims to feature interesting places, food, and adventures that can only be found in the Philippines. Heussaff once said in an interview that the show gives her the opportunity not only to travel around the country, “but to show Filipinos and the rest of the world how much more beautiful this country is.”

Going National

It is a source of pride for Cagayan de Oro and the company itself for SLERS to be counted among the most unique and interesting things the Philippines has to offer. The Tripinas episode featuring SLERs began with Stephen giving a brief background of the company. Solenn was then shown entering the SLERS Country Store in Alae, Bukidnon with SLERS Managing Director Mercedes Pelaez Mejia and checking out the various SLERS products.

Mercedes, or Litlit, as she is fondly called by family and friends, then brought Solenn to the factory where she shared the meaning of SLERS (an acronym that stands for Shirley, Litlit, Earl, Ray, and Sharon—the names of the five Pelaez children) and gave Solenn a background on how the business started. She then proceeded to show Solenn how all the products are processed, all the while sharing the story of how her mother, Fely Pelaez started making her own version of the American-style ham, which led to the inception of SLERS.

SLERS Featured in Tripinas!

Solenn also learned what makes SLERS products different from similar products out on the market and how the brand manages to set itself apart from the competition. Furthermore, she learned how the company grew from a cottage industry into a diversified, multi-product business. Finally, they talked about the management’s plans for the company this year, particularly the plan to make SLERS products easily available to a wider customer base. Solenn even asked if they have plans of bringing SLERS to Manila and Litlit promptly answered, “Eventually, we’ll get there.”

SLERS Featured in Tripinas!

Indeed, true success cannot be achieved overnight, regardless of what business you’re in. It requires hard work, smart decision-making, and dedication. The SLERS management has definitely shown all three traits in growing their business over the years. It is therefore easy to believe that what their managing director said is right: No matter how high the goal is, eventually, this favorite Cagayan de Oro brand will get there. Let’s join them in their journey!

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SLERS at Madrid Fusion Manila

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Last April 7, 8, and 9, the culinary world in Manila was treated to an incredible display of unique mouthwatering dishes at the 2016 Madrid Fusion Manila. Held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, the international culinary event highlighted the theme “The Manila Galleon: East Meets West.” The event showcased a fusion of gastronomic wonders from two countries and other parts of the world.

Cagayan de Oro was represented in the highly popular culinary event. SLERS, the food manufacturing company behind the famous chicharon and ham of the same name, was an active participant in the colorful and gastronomic 3-day event. Aside from showcasing and selling different varieties of their chicharon, SLERS was also one of the featured ingredients of Madrid Fusion Manila. The festival served as an avenue for some of the best chefs of the country and the world, as well as gourmet enthusiasts and aficionados, to experience the unique, crunchy, and satisfying goodness of CDO’s favorite chicharon.

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The most anticipated gastronomy event was once again hosted by David Celdran, last year’s master of ceremonies. Guests included the Secretary of State for International Kingdom Cooperation of Spain Jesus Garcia, who expressed the appreciation of the Spanish government for the organizers of Madrid Fusion Manila; and Chef Nurdin Topham, owner of Nur Restaurant. The good chef shared his experiences and insights about the relationship between nutrition and gastronomy. His discussion about how what you want to eat and what you need to eat are related focused on the need to eat delicious but healthy food.


SLERS-at-Madrid-Fusion-Manila-2SLERS’ participation in Madrid Fusion Manila is an indication of good things to come for the food manufacturing company. It was able to introduce its products, not only to the Manila culinary scene, but also to international guests.

The presence of SLERS in the recently concluded gastronomy festival is also a sign that Cagayan de Oro’s culinary scene is ready to branch out and explore opportunities offered through events like the recently concluded festival.

This year’s festival followed the highly successful Madrid Fusion Festival 2015, which had the theme “The Philippines and Spain: A 300-year Gastronomic Journey.” SLERS was handpicked and invited to participate in the prestigious event.

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SLERS at the Big Bite 2016 Food Festival

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March 11-13, 2016 was a heavenly weekend for all the foodies of Cagayan de Oro. It was during this weekend when Big Bite 2016: The Northern Mindanao Food Festival was held at Centrio Ayala Mall. And, oh, what a festival it was!

Big Bite highlighted the flavors and colors of summer, as well as the undeniable cooking talents and skills of Kagay-anons. Naturally, a good number of homegrown delicacies and food businesses were showcased during the festival. And whenever there’s a gathering of homegrown delicacies and businesses, would you expect SLERS to be left out? Of course not!SLERS-at-the-Big-Bite-2016-Food-Festival-2
SLERS and its sister company, Mercedes Bakery, were major sponsors of the event. As such, SLERS prepared a ham slider that was presented during the festival opening program as the Biggest Ham Sandwich. After the unveiling ceremony, VIPs and representatives of various government agencies, NGOs, and the food services industry had a bite of the delicious SLERS ham sandwich. Guests, festival participants, and media personalities were also invited to partake not only of the sandwich, but also other food preparations.

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Other than giving everyone at the festival the chance to taste their mouthwatering ham sandwich, SLERS also hosted the Best Ham Sandwich Competition, which had three participating teams: Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro, Pilgrim Christian College, and Southern Philippines College.

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Each participating team was given two minutes to gather the necessary ingredients from a box onstage. After that, they were given a limited time to prepare their respective sandwiches, which were presented to the judges for tasting and scoring. At the end of the competition, the team from Pilgrim Christian College was given the award for Best Ham Sandwich.

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Being a major sponsor, SLERS did not stop at preparing a giant ham sandwich slider and hosting a competition. They also participated in the festival itself by displaying their products at a SLERS booth at Ayala Centrio Mall’s Ground Floor Bridgeway.

At the booth, festival goers were given the chance to taste SLERS’ sumptuous crispy sisig. SLERS is known for taking a Pinoy food favorite and making it even better. Considering how popular sisig is all over the country, we really cannot expect SLERS to pass up the opportunity to create their own version of this all-time favorite dish.

The SLERS sisig is crispy-licious because of the crushed SLERS chicharon added to the usual chopped pork. Topped with a whole egg, the SLERS sisig is made even more special and undeniably delicious. And, guess what? You can buy a pack of fully-cooked SLERS sisig, which you simply need to heat up to enjoy at home! This was on display at the SLERS booth at the Big Bite food festival, along with SLERS chicharon, of course.

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Speaking of chicharon, did you know that if it wasn’t for a major problem SLERS had to overcome, we probably wouldn’t ever come to know their beloved chicharon? In 2006, their main meat supplier suddenly closed shop, leaving them scrambling to find another supplier. They ended up buying whole pigs direct from piggeries just to keep their production from going to a standstill.

When Mercedes P. Mejia, who was already managing the business by that time, checked their inventory, she found that they had a ton of pork skin that was just going to waste. Ever the innovator, she took half a kilo of the pork skin and started experimenting with chicharon recipes she got from the Internet. When she finally came up with a recipe that satisfied her, she hired a few kitchen staff and finally introduced us to the crunchy snack we have all come to know and love.

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If you had visited the SLERS booth at the Big Bite 2016 Festival, you would have had the chance to get a pack of SLERS chicharon for free for every purchase of SLERS sisig. But don’t worry! You can still buy these two delicious treats at any SLERS store near you. They have booths at all major malls in the city and two SLERS Cafés along Velez Street.

What if you just want to enjoy the taste of their sisig without going through the hassle of heating it up, and crushing the chicharon to mix with the sisig? Well, you don’t have to wait for the next food festival for that. All you need to do is visit SLERS Express Meals at the Ground Floor of Gaisano City. There you’ll get to enjoy not just the sisig and chicharon, but all the other all-day breakfast favorites SLERS has prepared for you!

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SLERS Takes Spotlight at the 2016 Big Bite Food Festival

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The 2nd Big Bite Food Festival took place at Centrio Mall last March 11, 12, & 13. Various activities were held in the course of the 3-day event, which carried the theme “Festival of Summer”.

Just like last year’s festival, the bounties of Northern Mindanao were highlighted through different competitions. SLERS, makers of the highest quality hams and gourmet meats, was a major participant in the event. During the opening ceremonies, Department of Tourism X Regional Director Catalino E. Chan III led the slicing of the largest ham slider, which, of course, used SLERS ham. By assembling regular-sized ham sandwiches and putting them side-by-side on the tables, Big Bite Food Festival’s largest ham sandwich was created.

After the unveiling of the ham slider (which was as big as two long tables), local government representatives and VIP guests each took a bite of the sandwich. Festival participants, guests, and members of the media were also invited to partake of the sandwich. Refreshments were likewise served.

The SLERS Best Ham Sandwich Competition

One of the first events of the festival was the SLERS Best Ham Sandwich Competition, which was participated in by three of the city’s culinary and cooking schools. The competition saw students from Pilgrim Christian College, Southern Philippines College, and the Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro (CIC) unleash their culinary creativity as they raced against time in making the best tasting ham sandwich using SLERS Ham.

Secret-ingredients

Secret ingredients were unveiled by the judges just before the competition started. Each competitor was also given two minutes to get all the ingredients they needed. And as soon as the clock started ticking, the student competitors started working on their sandwich masterpieces.

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Mrs. Mercedes Pelaez Mejia and her son Daniel had fun judging the competition, along with Chef Candy Lu. They sampled the sandwiches and gave some tips for the student competitors. After careful deliberation, the aspiring chefs from Pilgrim Christian College were declared winners for the SLERS Best Ham Sandwich Competition.

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SLERS Booth

During the 3-day food festival, Centrio Mall was decked in colorful decorations that gave off a “fiesta” feel to the whole event. Booths featuring mall and non-mall merchants’ products and services were spread all over the Centrio Garden area. There were barbecues, kakanins, merienda goodies, sweets, and delicacies. There were even fresh vegetable and fruits, along with other Misamis Oriental products.

SLERS joined in the fiesta by setting up a booth at the ground floor bridgeway and garden. The booth was a favorite of many who tried and loved SLERS’ sisig. Of course, people also flocked to the booth for their fix of the crunchy and tasty SLERS chicharon.

It was a SLERS fiesta like no other!

With its participation in the Big Bite Flavors of Summer Food Festival, SLERS firmly established its reputation as a major presence in the local and national food industry. And it will continue to deliver on its promise of creating only high quality, superior tasting ham and gourmet meats. It will continue to support local businesses and farmers by buying local produce and sourcing organic products. Through all these, SLERS will keep producing world class products that any Kagay-anon can be rightfully proud of.

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SLERS Country Store – Giving You the Authentic Country Vibe

You’re on your way to Dahilayan Adventure Park, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Mindanao right now, and you are anticipating a day of exhilarating fun. You want to bring your own snacks and refreshments so you can keep your energy up throughout your adventure, or perhaps stop by a diner along the way to satisfy your appetite first before moving on to your epic adventure. Where do you go?

You’re traveling from Cagayan de Oro to Bukidnon and want to bring sustenance for the long trip. You’re tired of the same old fast food fare and want to try fresh, organic food for a change. Maybe you even want to stop somewhere for breakfast or brunch before proceeding to your vacation destination. Is there a diner along the way that’ll satisfy your craving for a hearty treat?

You are a resident of Cagayan de Oro and you’ve tried just about every restaurant, diner, and fast food place in the city. Now you want to try something new; not necessarily new food, but new place, new atmosphere. You particularly want to experience an authentic “country” vibe, but you don’t want to venture too far from the city limits. What’s the best restaurant to visit?

These are just some of the situations you just might find yourself in and questions likely to come to mind at the time. Well, we have news for you! There is one good answer to all of those questions: Drop by the SLERS Country Store!

Yes, you read that right. SLERS, the company that brought us the mouthwatering country-style leg ham more than 40 years ago, the same company that introduced Cagayan de Oro to the sweet meat known as tocino, the very same company that gave us our all-time favorite chicharon now gives us another clever innovation. And they have gone back to where their story began.

If you’ve followed SLERS’ journey from a kitchen-based enterprise to a dynamic, multi-product business, then you probably already know that it was in Camp Phillips, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon that Fely Pelaez made her very first ham and it was also there where she established SLERS, with her husband’s family and a few close friends as her first customers. From that humble beginning, the enterprise grew into the leading ham supplier in Northern Mindanao, with people from as far as Metro Manila placing orders.

In the late 1980s, Mercedes Pelaez Mejia took over the running of the business and implemented a number of changes, innovations that further transformed the enterprise into the SLERS that we know today. But if you think she’s done innovating and improving SLERS, think again. She has just come up with another idea, one that would bring their products closer to the tourists who regularly flock to our region to experience the many adventures the area has to offer. And even if you aren’t a tourist, you can also enjoy the unique experience offered by the newly-opened SLERS Country Store.

The SLERS Country Store is located in Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. As mentioned earlier, the family decided to go back to where the business was born—Manolo Fortich. And they have made sure that when people come to the store to buy their products or enjoy a meal, they won’t just get good food, they’ll get a memorable experience!

Among the best things about the SLERS Country Store is that the food and drinks are all fresh and organic. The curing and cooking plant for their hams is in Alae, and that is also where the rest of their products, like the all-time favorite chicharon, are prepared. This means everything you order from the country store comes directly from the plant. That’s as fresh as you can get! Plus, they serve real, fresh pineapple juice! What is Manolo Fortich known for if not Del Monte Pineapples? You can just imagine how good fresh pineapple juice will taste. And because there are also several farms in Bukidnon, SLERS Country Store also serves fresh cow’s milk. What better way to experience the country vibe than to get everything fresh, right?

Whenever you find yourself in Northern Mindanao for a vacation, don’t miss out on the chance to savor the unique experience SLERS has to offer. Sample their delicious products at any of their stores within Cagayan de Oro or chill in the refreshing ambience of their country store. Spending some time in the countryside is often the best way to let go of the stress of your daily routines. See you soon!

Felys-Story

Fely’s Story

It was the mid-1960s and my husband was working for Del Monte Pineapple Corporation, so we lived in Camp Philips, Bukidnon, just like many other Del Monte workers and their families did. Being an American company, Del Monte had a tradition of giving away one leg of American country-style ham to each of their staff every Christmas. My husband’s family, who hails from Cebu, loved the ham so much that I decided to try making my own. You see, hogs at that time were really small, so with just the one leg of ham we receive each Christmas, there wasn’t really much to share.

So I set about learning how to make American country-style ham. It wasn’t that difficult because I already had a passion for cooking. It was a lengthy process, though—the curing alone takes at least 30 days. To make sure the meat was perfectly cured, I had to tie my refrigerator with a ribbon so no one would open it and disrupt the curing process! When my friends would come for a visit, they would ask why there was a ribbon around my refrigerator and I would say it was a secret.

Finally, when my first batch of ham was ready, I had friends over for dinner and revealed my secret. To my delight, they all loved the ham that I prepared and suggested that I start selling them. I had already thought of making a small business out of my newfound hobby, but the recommendation of my friends was perhaps the final push that I needed. As a courtesy to Del Monte, which was providing us with free housing and utilities (electricity, water, etc.), I informed them of my plans to sell American country-style ham. Fortunately, they approved of my plans. And that was how SLERS* began.

At the time, the only kind of ham being sold in the country was Chinese ham. So when I started selling my own style of ham and sending some to my husband’s family in Cebu, people loved it primarily because it was something new; an alternative to Chinese ham. In making my own ham, I combined the American and Chinese styles; the SLERS ham was meaty, juicy, and not too salty. Soon enough, I was getting orders, not just from our neighborhood, but from other parts of the country as well. In fact, there were orders from as far as Metro Manila!

In 1969, the business was registered with the National Cottage Industries Development Administration (NACIDA) and I was granted a PHP5,000 loan. Among my first loyal customers were military officers who sent helicopters from Manila to Bukidnon just to buy SLERS ham. One day, I was amazed when I received a bulk order from the National Sugar Trading Corporation (NASUTRA) in Manila for 5,000 legs of ham! I wasn’t even sure I could make that many hams, but with the help of my husband, who created a makeshift cold storage for my business, and a few assistants, we were able to deliver. Those hams had to be shipped in a 20-ft refrigerated container van!

I had fun running my ham business from our humble home in Bukidnon. But in 1987, my husband and I came to Cagayan de Oro and we both decided to retire. My daughter, Litlit, had just come home from Manila and I decided to turn the business over to her. I am glad I did because she has proven very capable and has expanded the business to the SLERS you know today.

SLERS is an acronym that stands for Shirley, Litlit, Earl, Ray, and Sharon—the nicknames of Fely’s five children.

When asked what the secret of SLERS’ success is, Fely was quick to answer: “Quality, of course! Through the years, we have never compromised on the quality of our products and we never will.”