August 16, 2021
A Philippine kind of the ancient beauty secret apple cider—the coco cider soap — has been developed by a Filipino advocate of natural ingredients, now ensnaring many Filipino hearts who believe in the “natural.”
A Filipino born and raised here but who has honed his professional skills internationally, Neil Garcia La-as, announced Filipino brand Bakku2Basik (literally Back to Basic) has released the world’s first multi-beneficial “coco cider soap.”
Much as how apple cider is considered an ancient secret and cure to many ills, coco cider soap is a secret to beautiful skin and consequently treats psoriasis, a difficult dry itchy skin condition.
As coconut is known globally as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, Bakku2basik’s coco cider soap takes advantage of these qualities. It is made from the sap of the coconut tree’s flowers and is fermented for 8-12 months. As it naturally turns into vinegar, it becomes a source of important nutrients and minerals.
It is even formulated with detoxifier activated bamboo charcoal, giving it a dark color that assures cleansing ability.
“What makes this product different? We asked, “Why do people have many different skin issues? That’s when we thought maybe people have forgotten how to go back to the basic,” said La-as, Bakku2Basik chief executive officer.
Since it was launched in early 2019, primarily via online direct selling (https://www.facebook.com/Bakku2Basik/), the coco cider soap has been warmly received by many Filipinos who are reminded of the wonder native product coconut that they have long known since they were kids.
“Coconut is a tree of life. But this is not just coco cider. It is infused with activated bamboo charcoal that effectively cleanses the body. It makes the skin lighter, closes pores, and saves the skin from pimple attacks. Coco cider soap also makes many of our psoriatic patients very happy. It alleviates their auto immune symptoms,” said La-as.
While still in its infancy stage as a product, coco cider soap has started to gain a solid market globally from overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
“Our international expansion has been inevitable. Once Filipinos discover it, anywhere they are, they welcome it. There is a Filipino who will soon distribute it to Las Vegas and California”.
After eight months from launch, Bakku2basik’s coco cider soap has immediately established a distribution network all over the Philippines—Iloilo, Cotabato, and Zamboanga.
With its antibacterial property, the soap enables one to stay fresh-smelling even without using a deodorant. This way, anybody can save!
La-as said OFWs in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Dubai and East Asia – Singapore, Malaysia—have started shipping the product abroad as a “Filipino natural brand.”
Laas said he cannot be as proud of any other soap product as that of the local coconut.
After having established a good professional exposure as real estate agent at different levels for huge properties in the Middle East, the United States and Europe, La-as went back to the Philippines.
He worked as a leasing manager for Philippines’ biggest department store — SM.
After some time as leasing manager screening through many different products, he started to dream visions of putting up his own company, particularly that having to do with skin care.
“Many people want to have a fair skin. But the product has to go through R and D (research and development) and through a battery of tests to make sure it’s effective and efficient,” he said. “It has to go through stability tests.”
Bakku2basik needed to make the coco cider soap go through nearly 10 battery tests.
“When we started launching it, I was pretty sure it will soar high because everybody wants to have a fair skin. This is a first in the world. It’s a milestone,” he said.
The word Bakku2basik was really inspired by the Japanese’s culture of loving their own.
“I admire Japanese people for always having this unique personality of holding on to their unique culture. They do not to forget to go back to the basic, to the natural organic material,” he said.
La-as said his success in the skin care business, while not having had previous experience in this industry, is a proof anyone can dream for as long as he has the persistence to pursue it.
“As you journey in your life, you realize that your own skills, talent, expertise, and experience can be your own capitalization. So I got out of my comfort zone. I decided to focus on a Filipino brand.”
Coco cider soap is Bakku2basik’s flagship product. But it has also developed other highly successful products that tap the Philippines’ rich natural ingredients. One is the malunggay leaf gluta soap. Bakku2basik now also has its own facial cleanser, lotion, and cosmetic products.
“I wanted to help the local economy. Ours is an effective product. But it will be lot more beneficial if all we Filipinos focus on consuming our own product. Coconut is under-rated. It is time for us to patronize our own. Coco cider soap is now in the market. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not? Buy your own product. Love your country. Love your product.”
Bakku2basik has capitalized on coconut’s uniquely known properties (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral.)
“If you have to introduce something new in market, you have to look at the formulation. Or you will be introducing a new ingredient that is not well known. Then everybody will ask you ‘What’s that? I’m not familiar with that.’ They’re not confident,” said La-as.
“But our coconut is unique in its own. People immediately love the product.”
Nevertheless, La-as admitted his business venture was not always instantly a success. It had its own pains. But he used all these challenges to further succeed.
“Whatever I had invested in the past in terms of experience, in terms of failure, I always believed that what happened in the past brings learning. My recipe is simple. What is it that you want? What is your passion? Once you know it, get out of your comfort zone. A lot of people have P1 million in their bank account. But whether you succeed depends on how use you use it.”
“My journey has been a painful process But I love every bit of it. Every negative thing said about me, about my product, about my vision, I savor it. I’m allured to go forward. The more people discourage you, the more you should go on.” (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)