Drinking to health | Inquirer Opinion
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Drinking to health

It’s not just a drink, it’s a lifestyle,” asserts Maria Lourdes “Tweetie” De Leon-Gonzales, fashion and commercial model and businesswoman, who astonishes most people she meets when she tells them that she has two children of college age. (The other two are in high school and grade school.)

“It” is her daily regimen of drinking a portion of Organique Acai Premium Blend, a health drink which comes bottled in an elegant-looking, purple-colored container, as part of her lifelong search for health benefits.

Before she agreed to be an endorser of the brand, Tweetie says, she told Organique executive vice president Cathy Salimbangon that she wanted to try the product first-hand to judge if indeed it lived up to the hype. At the time, she told the audience at this week’s “Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel,” Tweetie had been enduring a severe case of acid reflux for the last two years. Despite consulting specialists, managing her diet and depending on over-the-counter medications, her acid reflux would frequently recur, sometimes so seriously that she would take to her bed.

But after a few days of ingesting the Acai blended drink, Tweetie says, she has been able to better manage her acid reflux and discover, as well, other health benefits.


“I had known about the Acai berry as a weight-loss aid,” says Tweetie. But aside from helping provide an alkaline environment in her system to prevent the worst hyperacidity attacks, she also cites “the difference it made in my physical and mental wellbeing. I am more sprightly, active, alert and productive. Daily cravings have been reduced to a minimum and, therefore, I feel clean inside. I feel good—great, in fact—and that is really beautiful.”

Acai (pronounced ah-sah-yi) is a berry native to the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. Health buffs have declared it to be a “superfood” as it is rich in antioxidants, with many immunity benefits, energy-boosting ingredients, and weight-reduction properties.

In 2008, Cathy Salimbangon’s husband Elton caught a TV infomercial about the Acai berry, which grows in small, purple grape-like clusters, and its many health benefits. Husband and wife, who at the time were managing a private health facility (Cathy is a nurse, while Elton managed the operations) in California, thought of bringing this “amazing, nutrient-rich fruit” to the Philippines. Elton worked with a health drink company to develop a viable product that appealed to Filipino tastes and preferences. This included thinking of ways to freeze-dry the Acai upon harvest in Brazil and processing it as soon as possible in their California plant. After many hits and misses, they were able to come up with the formula for the Organique Acai Premium Blend, as well as the Acai Freeze-Dried capsules, for those who need their Acai fix while on the road, and The Naked Soap, the company’s first beauty product.

First marketed in the US West Coast, Organique is now sold in major drugstore chains and supermarkets here, with Cathy proud to announce that their sales figures amount to around 10,000 bottles a month.


Also present at the forum was Dr. Mon del Rosario, a faithful customer who attests to Organique’s health benefits, including its effectiveness in combating hypertension and stress.

Dr. Sarah Cabodil, medical director of Clinica Figura, was likewise present to point out the health drink’s beneficial effects, not just on one’s figure but also on patients’ overall health and disposition.


I’ve been trying the Organique Blend for just a few days but I can attest to one wonderful benefit: It encourages regular elimination, which is not a minor benefit. Plus, drunk first thing in the morning (Dr. Del Rosario says he usually takes one jigger-full), the Acai blend is a tasty (with a hint of chocolate) and stimulating waker-upper.

Admittedly, says Cathy, a bottle of Organique Acai Premium Blend is not cheap, but if it eliminates the need for other health supplements and maintenance medicine, it may end up paying for itself. And you would certainly be healthier.

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TAGS: health

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