Exposure Trip to Binalot's DAHON Community

Binalot Fiesta Food
sponsored an exposure trip to DAHON (Dangal at Hanapbuhay para sa Nayon) Program community in Nagcarlan, Laguna last February 10, 2010.

Binalot is a Filipino fast food restaurant which promotes the Pinoy culture and is helping save the environment at the same time by using banana leaves in wrapping favorite Filipino rice meals! Binalot's CEO and President Mr. Rommel Juan came up with an idea of developing a sustainable program to answer the growing demand for banana leaves. Hence, the DAHON program was born. This program not only sufficiently supplied banana leaves to Binalot, it also provided long-term livelihood for farmers of Nagcarlan, Laguna. Even the women and elderly of this community were given opportunities to be productive.

Bloggers and the kids of DAHON's workers with Binalot's
CEO and President, Mr. Rommel Juan
Photo courtesy of Don Trivino

During the exposure trip, I came to admire Binalot for its sincerity to help not only the people of Nagcarlan, Laguna but the environment as well. Sincere because they also looked into the concerns of its workers like that of their children when they are at work. Binalot put up a Day Care Center wherein the kids are looked after by a teacher who patiently educates them too. To date, the company is still thinking of ways how to improve this Day Care Center.

This is me cutting a banana leaf into half.
Believe me, it's harder than it looks.
Photo taken by Don Trivino

I also got to experience how to cut a banana leaf off from a banana tree!
That's Mr. Robie Mateo helping me out. Those banana trees are tall!
Photo courtesy of Alvin Gale Tan

Me and a huge banana leaf. By the looks of it, its twice my size!
Photo courtesy of Don Trivino

Binalot's Program Coordinator, Mr. Robie Mateo and Mr. Rommel Juan prepared a brief presentation of how DAHON was born. They were very accommodating in answering all our inquiries all throughout the exposure trip. Sir Rommel even held that banana leaf in place and hid behind it during my photo op! And if there's one thing I will not forget from Sir Robie's presentation is when he mentioned that banana leaves have anti-microbial enzymes that preserves food longer. Beat that!

With Binalot's CEO, Mr. Rommel Juan
Photo courtesy of Don Trivino

Friends with Binalot's mascot.
Photo courtesy of Don Trivino

Thank you Binalot Fiesta Food for a meaningful experience! Please visit their site for details.


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  1. nice post! DAHON program coordinator Mr. Robie Mateo happens to be my batchmate in grad school. way to go Robbie! :)

  2. Thanks Wena! :) Small world noh? Sir Robie's youngest brother happens to be a close friend of mine. I really do admire what they're doing.

  3. can anyone provide the contact info of Robie Mateo? looking for exclusive banana leaves suppliers to Singapore.. looking at 20 tons a month. an email add/ contact number would be great.