Siquijor Herbal Tea From the Philippines to Make Waves in Market

The Mystique Island Herbal Tea that the Siquijor Women's Association for Better Environment (SWABE) produces is expected to make waves in the market, says Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Provincial Director Engr. Mario de la Peña recently.

"Siquijor, the mystique island of the central Philippines, abounds with herbs. We maximize its benefits by producing this herbal tea that can generate income for our Siquijor women and can make a pasalubong (gift) item for our visitors", de la Peña said.

He further added that all the ingredients that were used were already approved by the National Integrated Medicinal Plants of the Philippines. "When the product was released in the local market the people found it good, so far", he said.

"We are optimistic that this project will help promote tourism by using the tea as welcome drinks for both local and foreign tourists, he also said.

SWABE recently embarked on a livelihood project in herbal tea making (Mystique Island Herbal Tea), out of the financial assistance given by the Provincial Government of Siquijor.

The ingredients of the medicinal drink ranges from the leaves, bark and twigs of trees to oils culled from indigenous plants.

A total of 20 members participated in the training on Technology Upgrading on Herbal Tea Making last February 21, 2008 in barangay San Antonio, Siquijor, Siquijor.

The barangay is known all over the Philippines for its faith healers and herb doctors. The two day technology upgrading focused on the introduction of new variants aside from its known pito-pito formulation using seven kinds of herbs.

The new variants include the introduction of calamansi, lemon, ponkan and ginger additives in order to enhance the tastes and aroma of the tea.

It was spearheaded by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council (SMEDC), and the local offices of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Facilitating the training was Ms. Vina Antopina of DOST-Bohol, an expert in herbal tea making.

De la Peña said they are developing a healthy drink for children and adults alike and that they are using indigenous herbs available in the area.

He said the project is in tandem with the government's effort to invest to achieve economic reform. - By Renan Ansing (PIA)

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