Believe it or not, our country celebrates “Made in the Philippines Product Week” every third week of August (from the 17th to the 23rd to be exact). This may be the 1st time you heard of this and you will feel good to know that due recognition is given to Philippine-made products. However, this no longer comes as a surprise as this observance was proclaimed by Governor General Frank Murphy in 1933. In any case, the spirit of this celebration is to "encourage and stimulate domestic industry and patronization of local products" and it remains relevant to this day.
In the spirit of this ‘not-so-popular’ holiday, and of Filipino pride, we give you this list of 6 proudly Filipino made products that are truly world class.
1. Lakan "Lambanog"
What was once a choice liquor in the Philippine countryside is now a world-class thanks to the business ingenuity of Tony Maguiat, the CEO and Chairman who is instrumental behind the success of Lakan Lambanog.
This brand recently bagged the Gold Award at the 53rd World Selection of Spirits and Liqueurs by the internationally acclaimed Monde Selection in Lisbon, Portugal. Lakan impressed a roster of world renowned wine connoisseur, master sommeliers and university professors with its pure and exquisite flavor.
“We are proud of the “Filipino Spirit” embodied in Lakan, resilient, strong and sturdy like the coconut tree,” Manguiat told the Inquirer.
While we indulge in this sweet local delicacy at home, ube or purple yam is taking the centerstage in patisserie and high-end restaurants in the West. By sheer coincidence, it became a culinary superstar. One of the reasons behind the rave about Ube is New York's Manila Social Club. Recently it sold ube donuts sprinkled with gold flakes for $1,000/dozen.
For the uninitiated tongue, the taste of the Philippine ube is so distinctly good and subtle. Björn Dela Cruz, through GQ magazine described its taste as "something that is similar to white chocolate, with earthy notes, combined with a traditional sweet potato." But for us, we know it’s sweet tang very well, thanks to the ubiquity of this culinary gem.
3. Kapeng Barako
Compared to other asian countries, the Philippines is distinct as a coffee drinking nation, shunning the popularity of tea in the morning. One proof is our very own coffee variant, the Kapeng Barako. This world-class product is the pride of Batangas. Kapeng Barako is under the Liberica variety which is one of the rarest coffee beans in the world. It is popularly known as a strong and dark coffee, with a rich aroma and flavor that explodes. Perfect Daily Grind describes it as having "honey-like mouthfeel with bright ripe grape and pear acidity, followed by a tangy tamarind aftertaste that delights the tongue."
4. Capiz Shell
The capiz shell is an interior design item that is distinctly Filipino. This material is used as glass substitute as it gives that aural warmth and nostalgia in any interior and is commonly found in Filipino ancestral homes. Capiz is actually the shell of a type of an oyster locally called Lampirong whose meat is a native delicacy. Coming from an oyster shell, it has the same material as the mother of pearl. Now Capiz is used not only for windowpanes. It is also a raw material for lanterns, chandeliers, accessories and a lot more!
5. Bambike - Bamboo Bike
One of the pioneers of bamboo bike is the Filipino brand, Bambike. The bamboo bike project is an initiative of Fil-Am social worker Bryan McClelland of Gawad Kalinga. He launched the project in 2010 to help create jobs for Gawad Kalinga residents in Tarlac. Since then it gained a good traction among bikers and biking enthusiasts. This Filipino made bamboo bike was even given as a gift to US President Obama by former president Benigno Aquino.
Bamboo which is one of the sturdiest and most flexible green material readily available all over the country is a perfect substitute to common bike frames like steel and carbon. To McClelland's words, bamboo is "as strong as steel, light as aluminum, and is resilient to impact than carbon fiber.
Another wonder product that is made of bamboo is a passive phone amplifier called Loudbasstard. This hand-crafted bamboo amplifier is a brainchild of Cebuano businessmen Koh Onozawa and Franz Ignacio who got the acoustics design out of serendipity. The idea behind the product is the same with amplifying music from mobile phone using a glass or cup. But with Loudbasstard, the material is bamboo which they discovered to work well in amplifying sounds.
The brand recently released a hybrid bamboo amplifier which users can use for passive sound amplification or active amplification powered by an internal battery.
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