Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ilawang Gasera

Ilawang Gasera is a traditional lamp used in many houses in Philippines when there was no available  electricity yet especially in far places from cities or in rural areas. “Ilawang Gasera” is a tagalong term which means “Kerosene Lamp” in English.



I remember when I was at elementary, we used to have this at home. Although there was already a supply of  electricity in our town, but most of the time the transformer at our place was always overloaded and in return  it always end up to a “brownout” and using ilawang gasera is the last resort. Making our homework and  assignments for school was hard when we are using Ilawang Gasera because it can only produce dim light.

In this blog, we will get to make a Ilawang Gasera from scratch. I am not that expert enough but I used to do  this when I was a kid and I had perfectly done several of these kinds.

How to make this one?
Well it’s easy, what you need are the following:
1) Empty glass (probably with sealable metal cap, you could use here empty glass from coffee, jams, cheese,  etc.
2) A small metal sheet (2x2 inches) – use here aluminum sheet from milk cans.
3) Strips of cloth (a bit longer than the height of the glass), cut from un-wearable T-shirts.
4) Kerosene (a right amount for the volume of the glass, be extra careful in keeping kerosene as it is  flammable.
5) A Nail (pako)
6) A Hammer

How to prepare the Ilawang Gasera?
1) Take the cap of the glass and flip it over, using the nail and a hammer prick a hole (same diameter of a  pencil) on the center of the cap.
2) Pick the Strip of cloth and a metal sheet, then at the one end of the cloth wrap the metal sheet on it to  cover that area but put some extra spare of cloth at the end (this will be used for the flame side) such as  shown in the picture.
3) Assemble the glass cap by attaching the side of the cloth with wrapped metal to the hole of the cap. The  wrapped metal should be halfway positioned on the glass cap.
4) Return the cap on the glass and put the strip-cloth inside the glass.
5) This is now ready, you could pour some amount of kerosene (such as half of the glass) and allow the cloth  to soak some kerosene.
6) You can also put a little amount of kerosene at the tip of the cloth (on the wrapped metal side) before  igniting the gasera.

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