What comes to mind when you think of Filipino products? Well, I’m guessing the common notion is “mediocre quality.” But while it is true that some products aren’t giving you your money’s worth, it doesn’t mean that all Filipino products should be generalized as such.
This is something I learned in my school’s Peace work activity, which was a visit to Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, the so-called Wonderland of Social Entrepreneurship, where the mission is “Ending Poverty for Five Million Families by 2024: Land for the Landless. Homes for the Homeless. Food for the Hungry.” I was amazed at its achievements in sustainable development for thousands of Filipinos, as well as its views and insights on the situation of the country. Every minute, I learned something new about how one can be a hero. One of the main points of the activity was for students to see the ingenious, resourceful and creative side of Filipino products.
One can be a hero by helping out the country—or in this case, helping the economy by simply buying local products. This concoction of lemongrass, pandan and sweet potato is nowhere near sinful. It is as delicious as it is healthy, using all-natural ingredients grown on the farm itself. This drink is definitely a bestseller.
The Golden Egg
Did you know that your average, market-sold salted egg is full of harmful chemicals that come from the red dye? Yes, the red dye seeps into the egg’s semipermeable layer, making the egg less healthy than it should be. Enchanted Farm’s Golden Eggs don’t use red dye! Also, the eggs are duck eggs, meaning there is less cholesterol than in a normal, salted, chicken egg.
Plush & Play
Who wouldn’t want to hug a cute alien or monster made out of felt? Not into that? No fear, for Plush & Play also has an extensive line of veggie-themed, celebrity-inspired (for example, Dalandaniel Padilla, Buko Martin, Jessica Saging, among others) stuffed toys. These toys were handcrafted by the talented ladies of the Gawad Kalinga communities, who put love in every stitch!
Theo & Philo Chocolate
When you think of chocolate, you probably think of far-flung, fancy places like France or Switzerland. However, did you know that its prime ingredient, the cacao bean, is shipped from the Philippines? We grow it, sell it to other countries, they process it into chocolate, and sell it back to us at 20 times the price!
Turn things around by buying Theo & Philo chocolate. It is a local brand that uses cacao beans grown on the farm. Hailed as the nation’s No. 1 artisan chocolate, it is often praised by foreigners and locals alike because of its unique flavors (like chocolate with calamansi or chili).
The Peace work activity has made me realize that the Philippines still has hope. The reason things like low-quality education, health services and such happen is partially because we don’t bother using our own crops or buying our own products. Every time we buy a local product, we help send a child to school; we help give a child a future.
We aren’t doomed to permanently suffer from a bad economy. We can reverse the situation through proper use of resources and support for local products.