Making Award Winning Organic Soaps
And now that she is earnestly into soap-making, Aleli pledges. But to make herbal medicine work, Aleli believes, "We have to propagate and promote our herbal plants."
With that idea, she was convinced that she could have the required plants and generate income from them. She asks, "What's the use of value formation if the people are hungry? Samantalang puwede namang livelihood ang herbs, di ba?"
When she founded Daila (a prayer word taken from an Arabic chant so as to open the gates of heaven for blessings), Aleli initially intended it to be an outreach making), Tahanan Growth Center (Alternative Healing Techniques) and with the Philippine Institute of Alternative Futures (value formation, herbal medicine/gardening) confirmed her own studies.
"My experiments showed that citronella and patchouli are excellent for herbal baths; they are beneficial to the skin and prevent body odor. Moreover, the blend leaves a very pleasant scent" Patchouli is a natural hair conditioner, too.
"I introduced Daila Herbal Soaps - pure and organic soaps with no animal fats. It only contains a blend of salay, kabling and refined coconut oil which is the best for soaps," explains Aleli.
At that time, she adds that she was ready to be an entrepreneur but "I had no money, no organization, no savvy technology but with a strong mission and vision." It did not stop her though from continuing her studies and she also developed Victoria Herbal Soap Granules.
With Victoria, Aleli recalls, "I was able to get a loan for a three-hectare farm and factory in Pila, Laguna. Eventually, I hope to transform it to a showcase of Pinoy herbs and products and as a Wellness Center."
She has 35 workers so far assisting her and Aleli has developed the plant for a 300-ton production monthly. For our population of about 75 million, the soap industry is close to P38 billion a year and 85 percent of the ingredients are imported. Wistfully, Aleli says, "Can you imagine if we can get a slice of the market for herbs and essential oils? It's good for our economy and great for our laborers."
True to her pledge, Aleli has indeed produced the world's best organic soap. Her next dream is to see most Filipinos using locally-made organic soaps "to protect and conserve our environment and to improve our economy, too."
* This article was originally published in a local newspaper in 2004