#SupportLokalPH: Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farms

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

Ilog Maria

Honey Bee Farms

(Official Website: http://www.ilogmaria.com/)

Each time I get to venture south for a little R&R in Tagaytay, I would always make it a point to visit this hidden gem located at the outskirts of Tagaytay, towards Silang, Cavite.

Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farms has been in business since 1994 as an attempt to promote a better and healthier lifestyle. A family-owned business, they aim to improve the individual's well-being by creating all natural, chemical-free, and locally sourced products. Most of their formulations come from a 30-year old recipe (some even older), only adjusting the formula to accommodate seasonal variations (source).

I first discovered Ilog Maria products while staying at a B&B in Tagaytay. The toiletries they used came from Ilog Maria, and I was really impressed with the soap in particular. I think it was the Green Tea variety; I fell in love with the scent, the lather, that clean-but-not-drying sensation, so much so that I wanted to buy some for my own.

Front: Spearmint soap with remnants of Cinnamon soap
Back: Lavender soap

Spearmint/Cinnamon soap is recommended for the morning,
while Lavender soap is recommended for the evening.

Gamit na gamit 'yung mga sabon, diba?

To be honest, the store is quite difficult to find. There is a small sign along Aguinaldo Highway (on the right side of the road if coming from Tagaytay) that leads to a dirt path of weeds and sunflowers, which you have to traverse in order to get to the actual farm compound. Inside the compound you can find the store.

The store sells numerous bee-related items:beeswax candles, propolis and bee pollen supplements, honey and cider vinegar, royal jelly beauty oils, and (of course) honey. Most of their raw materials come from the farm itself, and the bees' nectar source come from the gardens within the compound. Truly a self-sustaining farm.

They also make aromatherapy oils, with scents coming from both local and imported products. They use the same oils when making their soaps and other scented products. I am especially fond of their soap, as there are a lot of scents to choose from.

I recently discovered the healing power of honey,
especially when suppressing a bad pre-cold coughing fit.

As I understand, they don't do much publicity, nor do they join trade shows and bazaars. The reason for this is that theirs is a small business; they only have a small staff, and they do pretty much everything themselves. Add to it the fact that bees only harvest in season, such that they only have a limited amount of raw materials and supplies.

Of course, this shouldn't discourage people from checking out their farm store.  With all the development happening in the Tagaytay city proper, it definitely will refreshing to experience the quaint atmosphere of  Ilog Maria Honeybee Farms.

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