The Philippine Star article states that the talakatak is a very big tree reaching to about 28 meters in height and that the taste and color are very similar to the European variety available in the market. Some years ago, fresh and roasted nuts of Castanopsis were available in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya and some parts of Quezon province during the ‘ber’ months hence like the commercial chestnut it was associated with Christmas in local cultures. But according to the DOST-PCARDD this is no longer the case as lesser nuts could be harvested from wild trees as it is not popularly cultivated. Old trees in the forests are dying either by old age, logging and some other factors.
What was not mentioned in the article is that Castanopsis is a little bit difficult to cultivate due to the following reasons. Mr Sotalbo said that the fallen nuts (supposedly the source of wildlings) are readily eaten up by wild boars (because of its taste, it is a wild fauna favorite). Another thing is that the tree is dioecious (not sure if I spelled this right), meaning the tree has separate specimens bearing male and female flowers (with the understanding of biology, the female bearing the fruit and nuts). The probability of yielding the female tree is less if specimens are grown from seeds. Thus the surest way to propagate is by grafting the female specimen branch.
My only encounter with a specimen of talakatak is a sole young tree in the farm of Professor Roberto Coronel. Judging by the specimen, the tree has an attractive upright form and moderately fine leaf texture, making it a nice border tree in gardens and orchard candidate.
Incidentally the talakatak is recorded from Luzon to Samar and Leyte, then Basilan. If my geopgraphy serves me right, Leyte and Basilan still has Bohol and the whole lot of Mindanao in between them. That is still a big unexplored area. But it might be a lot of wishful thinking to think Castanopsis maybe found in the distribution gap. Probably the best thing to do is to bank on what is known and start conserving this disappearing Philippine forest commodity.