Owner of Daila Herbal Soap Strikes Gold with her Breakthrough Herbal Soaps
Non-traditional medicine continues to attract a growing number of Filipinos who now turn to the healing power of herbal plants. One of them is Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola, owner of Daila Herbal Soap, who shifted from selling computer hardware and supplies to growing herbal plants.
"Herbal gardening was introduced to me by my herbalist friends Boy Fajardo and Boy Montelibano during one of my trips to Mt. Banahaw," Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola begins.
Inevitably, she found herself attending herbal gardening seminars and training. In 1986, Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola, a mother of seven, decided to set aside her computer business and joined the Philippine Institute of Alternative Futures, a non-government organization, wherein she was made head of the Herbal Group.
As such, she was tasked to conduct herbal seminars, which was the group's entry point in their values formation programs for a sustainable future.
One of these programs, the "Botika sa Barrio," teaches the barrio folks of Pila, Cabuyao, and Calamba, Laguna herbal technology to help them grow their herbal gardens.
The program gave Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola a working knowledge of the many herbal plants that grew in abundance in the countryside.
It was at this point that she realized that herbal gardening could be transformed into a full-scale industry that would alleviate the poor economic conditions in the barrios, thus she founded Daila Herbal Soap the pioneer natural herbal product manufactured in the Philippines.
As I researched many kinds of herbal plants that we have, I learned that we import tons and tons of essential oil for our soapmaking industry. If the people would start growing herbal plants like patchouli, aloe vera, lemongrass, and Ylang-ylang to meet the essential oil demands of the local and international market, then they could start earning lots of money," Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola enthuses.
Encouraged by the potential of the herbal plants, Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola went into further studies and experimented with the cultivation of various plants and oil extracting techniques until she got the right formula.
Since the soap-making industry was the biggest market for essential oils, she enrolled at the Technological and Livelihood Research Center (TLRC) to learn the basics of soap production.
"We started with no capital, no machines. What drove us to pursue this undertaking was our desire to help the townsfolk earn a decent living," Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola relates.
In no time, she was buying soap-making machines and started her backyard testing for the making of the first "Filipino Natural Herbal Soap."
In 1987, Ma. Aleli V. Pansacola struck gold with the breakthrough Daila Herbal Soap Granules under her very own DAILA Herbal Community Services.
"We were renting this run-down house that my clients called the 'house of miracles.' We were creating a line of soap that was natural and affordable," the once-struggling entrepreneur narrates.
The "miracle detergent soap" is made from the finest grade premium coconut oil and herbal essences of patchouli.
*this article was written by Lai Suarez Reyes