By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BUGALLON – Pangasinan Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil and his high school classmate Fred Reyes are on a mission to recoup the lost glory of the country as the premier ylang ylang trees’ hub at the same time generate employment by reforesting a thousand of hectares of balding mountains here.
Bataoil said the ambitious project would give jobs to countless marginalized members of People’s Organization (PO) after the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) granted his request under the National Greening Program (NGP).
Presently, there are 120,000 seedlings of the perfume tree at the nursery of the DENR at Barangay Hacienda here.
Reyes, a renowned beauty skin businessman and prolific perfume maker, said that aside from the popularity of the ylang ylang as No.1 ingredient in the classic world best seller Chanel No. 5 perfume, he and Bataoil endeavour to regain the lost prestige of the country as main producer of the evergreen leaves tree in the world.
“Bakit ylang ylang? This is not just a national greening program, this is more than reforestation we are creating history dito. Alam ninyo in late 1800s ang Manila, ang Pilipinas ay source ng pinakamagandang YlangYlang essential oil sa buong mundo”.
Reyes said even the early perfume makers in the world acknowledged the comparative advantage of the YlangYlang in the Philippines in the perfumery industry.
According to Wikipidia Ylang Ylang, known with its scientific name as Cananga odorata, is a tropical tree which originates from the Philippines and is valued for its perfume. The essential oil derived from the flowers is used in aromatherapy. It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest habitat. The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed and with wavy margins, and 13–20 cm (5–8 in) long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow, greenish-yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.
“Unfortunately over the years this industry in our country died after some Frenchmen came to our country and get the ylang ylang seeds. They brought the seeds and planted in Madagascar and Comoro. The plantation of ylang ylang expanded on those places where they used modern technologies”.
He cited that in case the NGP of Bataoil expands from 120 hectares to 1000 hectares the Philippines would eclipse Madagascar and Comoro as the premier Ylang Ylang plantation in the world.
He said after a major perfume maker in France heard about his and the solon’s plan, he ordered his regional manager in Asia to inquire to him if he and Bataoil were up to compete with them on producing the trees’ essential oil.
“Inatasan iyong kanilang regional manager on Asia na dumalaw sa amin, alamin kung ano ang nangyayari dito".
When he told him that the endeavour of the solon is primordially for the employment of his constituents , re-greening the balding and idle mountains, and regaining the lost glory of the country as the premier hub of the perfume tree, the French businessman and his front man in Asia pledged to give them technical help.
Reyes cited the book on the ylang ylang given to him by the director he now shared with Michelle Zarate Lioanag, the solon’s consultant for special events and projects, and Jane Quillopas, the head of the PO. The book instructs how to properly plant seedlings, how to prune the branch, and how to prevent it by growing six feet so farmers could easily harvest its flowers.
YLANG YLANG FOR EXPORT. Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan) shows
recently the 120,000 ylang ylang seedlings at the mountainous area of Barangay Hacienda,
Bugallon, Pangasinan. The perfume tree ylang-ylang known to originate in Philippines would be
given to the hundreds of members of People’s Organization (PO)
there for them to tend as their livelihood at a 120 hectares public domain provided by the
Department of Environment & National Resources’ National Greening Program.
What made Representative Bataoil projects unique is there is already an investor that
would buy the fragrant leaves of the trees in case they started producing. The investor, Fred Reyes, would then export the Ylang Ylang leaves to the perfume makers in France. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
“So ito iyong magandang development na nangyayari sa project na ito at maliban doon kung talagang totohanin ang ating battle cry na ibalik iyong ylangylang kailangan natin iyong 1000 hectares plantation para malalampasan na natin ang Madagascar malalampasan natin ang Comoro”.
Bataoil said aside from the thousands of ylang ylang seedlings here, there is a backed up seedlings nursery at the farm of Boy Flores, a recipient of the most outstanding farmer award nationwide, at Barangay Quetegan, Mangatarem. Aside from perfume tree, Bataoil eyes too another world wide multi-billion pesos industry the moringa distillery that would benefit his constituents.
“That is what you call double whammy; you reforest the mountains of Pangasinan at the same time provide jobs for the Pangasinenses, “ a resident of Mangatarem, who asked anonymity, quipped.