Loco over local

Published August 9, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Raymundo W. Lo, MD, FPSP


Dr. Raymund W. Lo

At a time when we’re facing a humongous trillion-peso national debt, the least a responsible citizen can do is lessen his/her contribution to the burgeoning debt load. One way to do this is to not increase importation of non-essential products by patronizing local products, services and industries.

It doesn’t mean having to lower your standards, as we already have many products that are up to par with foreign ones. In food, we have proven that we have a cuisine we can be proud of. Our chocolate makers
are world class, winning international awards one after the other. Our mangoes are the best in the world,
bar none. I often bring loads of dried mangoes on my trips abroad to gift friends with, and they love it. By the way, have you tried the dried green mangoes? Absolutely delicious!

Buying local produce also helps our farmers. I cringe when I read about truckloads of tomatoes or other vegetables being dumped because there were no buyers. It is an absolute waste when many Filipinos are facing hunger, including our farmers who produce food for our tables. Surely, our government and
NGOs can get their act together to salvage situations like this, though I’d bet on the NGOs to be on the scene much earlier, no thanks to our lumbering bureaucracy.

For personal needs, we also have many Philippine-made products we can be proud of. Instead of buying expensive imported shampoos, conditioners, soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, moisturizers, etc., let’s go local.

Personally, I’ve shifted to a local shampoo made from gugo – Zen Nutrients – proven to have hairsaving properties. It also comes with a gugo conditioner as well.

I remember my father using a concoction of gugo roots/bark with calamansi juice for washing his hair.
When he passed away at age 84, he still had plenty of hair, which had not faded into grey. I’m continuing his practice not only as a tribute to him but to preserve my crowning glory as well.

At an age when skin begins to dry and wrinkle, I’ve tried many moisturizers, mainly imported ones and
locally produced. But their effects are transient due to their water-based formulations. Then I discovered virgin coconut oil (VCO). The brand I use is Quezon’s Best, which is is made in Quezon province, from where I hail. But more than being proud of its origins, I use this brand because it is also US FDA approved as well as halal-certified. As research has proven, its medicinal properties include strengthening the immune system and preventing or treating fungal and viral infections; but VCO can also be applied topically on the skin as a replacement for moisturizers.

Before you go, “Oh, that must be sticky-oily!” I assure you it is not, for VCO is quickly absorbed through the skin, thus leaving your skin smooth and supple while at the same time, exerting its beneficial systemic effects in the blood circulation. For many years now, I’ve been applying VCO after my morning shower and before I go to bed. VCO, with its anti-viral properties, will prevent the growth of warts, which tend to multiply on dry skin. You can also take VCO by mouth, but many don’t like the taste, so skin application is another route to getting its benefits.

Traditionally, coconut oil has been used by our forebears as a topical product. I remember many lolas in the province who had long, thick hair in gleaming black, thanks to their daily use of coconut oil. I knew
because I could smell the typical coconut oil scent from a distance. So, I’m also applying VCO to my
hair post-showers. I apply it lightly so as not to get a greasy feel. And oh, it comes in many scents that disguise the coconut scent if you’re not a fan. I’ve favored lavender and chamomile for my use.

As for skin care, I am now a big fan of Human Nature local product which is calamansi-based, with a sprinkling of bamboo granules as a scrub. It really helps with my oily facial skin and keeps it from getting greasy all day long. With other pricier foreign-made products, I had to wash my face at least twice a day.

There are so many more Philippine-made products that I’ll be trying out. Even if I don’t end up
using some, I’d have contributed at least once to a local company’s bottom line, what more if I’ll be using
them regularly. It’s an adventure we can all try without guilty feelings. In fact, it feels good to know
we’re helping our economy grow from within, saving foreign currency with less importations and
supporting our local companies in addition to creating more jobs for our countrymen and women.

Who says you need to be in government to develop our country? Or a big businessman? Just go loco over local!