July 2018 , women’s in Barangay Lanao, was holding a meeting regarding an organization of women’s. They were 24 women’s who were attended. They were talking the pros and cons of the making an organization. All agreed to be organized and they started to make a list of activities so all the members will be benefited in both ways. They were groups of women’s who like to cook food and sell it door to door, making candles, making delicacies like torta and tostados, sweets and snack and many others. They started but doesn’t last longer, again the suggested to build a sarisari store where they can put their foods and other crops for sale. They solicited and they build the building. A little capital for the sarisari store was putted up.
The success of Sari-Sari store still existing, we have 2 member employes as sales representatives, and one for record keeping.
Dec 09, 2019 the Lanao Women’s Association (LAWA) was officially accredited by the Philippine Coconut Authority Region 7. And by Dec 10, 2019 the Lanao Women’s Association (LAWA) was officially registered by the Department of Labor and Employment Region 7. The LAWA women’s were continuing their everyday activity and also made some community services as one of the duties and responsibilities of the Association in the barangay.
LAWA Assembly 2019
Corona pandemic roraing around the globe, unemployment raise, lockdown all over, but the situation doesn't hinder the women to think for the future.
2020 was the year where the women’s perceived another much more big project and a sustainable one, The making of Virgin Coconut Oil. Our ideas were presented to the Philippine Coconut Authority Region 7 (PCA).The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) believed our ideas and our willingness, and they gave us training and seminar how to make Virgin Coconut Oil. The women have continued to train themselves until January 31, 2021. But even though we started VCO production, we did still our community services
February 1, 2021, the production of Virgin Coconut Oil started. They were 10 members of the women’s worked at the production, besides the sub-contractor workers like the pickers, coconut collector and howling.
The women’s in VCO production, do the DE husking using the metal bar and bolos, breaking the nuts using bolos, grating the nuts using electric grater, and extracting milk using mini hydraulic pump. We don’t have equipment’s, that’s why we used Natural Fermentation method in extracting Virgin Coconut Oil.
Our production was started smoothly but other problems occurs too. The coconut husk, coconut shell, coconut meat “sapal” coconut water and a fermented curd was also in abundance. Our cacao plants were died because of the fermented curb and the smell of the surroundings because of the coconut meat which was never used. We install a pipe through the hole for the fermented curd, but that was a short term solution. We decided to cook the fermented curd before we discard it, just somehow, will not so strong to ruin our soil.
We process the coconut water into coconut cider vinegar, unrefined vinegar, but stopped after month because of the vinegar processing must be separated from VCO processing. We tried to sell our coconut meat (fresh) to possible people who raised chickens and pigs, but only a part of the coconut meat can they absorb. We tried to use the coconut water for our hair as conditioner, for plants, but we cannot use all of it for the plants on the same day.
We sought help from the Philippine Coconut Authority Region 7 to prevent the possible problems of beetles in the future too. The Philippine Coconut Authority granted the Lanao Women’s Association the Decorticating machine to process the coconut husk, twining machine for the coir and waving machine for geo nets making. We got help from the other contacts from the Philippine Coconut Authority to train us how the machine works and how to make ropes and geo nets making to be followed.
We sell our coco peat to those who loves plants.
The coconut water, through of some other channel, offered us some information about our coconut water. We made an experiment by making it as an energy drink. That was really good, a very tasty cold energy drink without any preservatives or additives added, a natural energy drink, but we must have a chiller, a place to keep it. We continued to make some experiments. We resulted to make the coconut water as a sauce, a natural sauce, no preservatives, and no additives at all. The sauce hold longer period than an energy drink. We don’t need a chiller. We build only a “pogon”, where we can processes our sauce, and at the same time we can processed our coconut meat too, by drying it above the “pogon” using the heat from making the sauce under. The best coconut meat we roasted it too, and grind it, to make like grind coffee. We used it as hot drinks, as “coco coffee” or Coco tea”. We sold it to those who don’t want drink real coffee. We used our coconut shell to heat the “pogon” and the rest of the shell directly to the buyer at a lower price.
We sought help from the Department of Labor and Employment Region 7 for optimization of the production. By sept 2021 the Department of Labor and Employment Region 7 approved our request for VCO equipment for optimization of the production.
In December 16, 2021, Super typhoon Odette came and more problems arose. Two months without power, coconuts were destroyed and no production of Virgin Coconut Oil has been made. After the first quarter, we did harvest some coconuts for testing; using our new equipment’s from the Department of Labor and Employment, but coconuts was still not usable. Until the half year of 2022, we don’t have and optimal VCO production.
As a result we were focusing to our coir processing production. We just made our own designed making trial and error. We made lots of finished products from coir such as pots, plates, hats, bowls, fans, doormats, vases and many others. All these products are handmade.
We attended, Talisay Trade Fair June-17-19, 2022, and “Tabo sa Kapitolyo”, aug 1-6, 2022 to introduce our new product line. In this department, we have 10 employees who are working. Employees are members, non- member’s women, son of the LAWA members, seniors and students.
We still hoping that we can get help from our government agencies to furnish us the lacking equipment in producing the Virgin coconut Oil, and technology for our coir department, to minimize labor cost and our price become a competitive price, and can help us to obtain our goal in ZERO WASTE policy.
The Lanao Women’s Association has 79 active members as of aug 2022. Some members are working in the production of VCO and Coir Department. We hope that in the future, we can give more employment to the other members and also to the community. We will do our best to reach our goal, Empower the Women and help the country reduce unemployment.
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