What started as a concept back in 2008 has grown to be an internationally expanding wellness brand that captivates the hearts—and tummies—of families. On July 28, 2016 at the Makati Shangri-la, Organique Acai unveiled a freshly minted makeover of its packaging, as well as its newest celebrity endorser: supermodel and role model Tweetie De Leon Gonzalez. Doctors and nutritionists were available for consultation, and travel trips were raffled off for the guests.
Organique officially began five years ago with husband-and-wife team Elton and Cathy Salimbangon, who were working in the United States at the time. The hectic schedule left them feeling chronically sluggish and stressed, until Elton found a job with an organic juice manufacturing company in California and discovered the need to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into their busy schedules. Cathy was working as a registered nurse, and noticed that they too seemed frustrated with not having the time to take better care of their health. The couple saw an opportunity to create a beverage that would supplement people’s daily health needs without having to sacrifice time or budget. After putting in the research work, they decided to go for it.
In 2010, Elton and Cathy dropped their lives in California and set up Organique in the Philippines. They first sold the bottles door to door, until it was made available in drug stores and supermarkets. A quick Google shows the many wonderful health benefits of acai berry, and as more and more people became aware of these, Organique gained popularity among the hardworking yet health-conscious.
As the company grew and evolved, the Salimbangons felt the need for their packaging to do the same. “In order to thrive in a global market, we enlisted the help of a top designer we met during the Organic and Natural Health Show in London last year,” says Cathy. “This new label incorporates nature in a simple yet elegant manner. With this, we aim to reach consumers worldwide and showcase our premium-quality organic products.”
In line with this, they invited no less than Tweetie to become the newest face of Organique. “Ms. Tweetie exemplifies our brand’s values. She has maintained a healthy lifestyle, and at the age of 52, is now reaping the benefits,” says Cathy. “She is a working mother of four who not only built herself a career as a supermodel, but as a businesswoman as well. She is the epitome of the saying, ‘Health is wealth.’”
Along with the fresh changes, Cathy and Elton are planning to take Organique on a road show all across the United States in August, including New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Maryland, and California to promote the product and increase distribution. Their TV show, Organique TV, would continue to showcase informative episodes that promote health and wellness—“not only for correction,” Cathy says, “but more importantly, prevention.”
With an elegant new look and an inspiring brand spokesperson, Elton and Cathy’s vision for Organique has come into fruition: it’s not just a drink; it’s a lifestyle.
Q&A with Tweetie De Leon-Gonzalez
You are regarded as one of the Most Beautiful Faces in fashion and entertainment. What are your top 5 beauty secrets for that young-looking and healthy glow?
Thank you so much for the distinction, though I truly don’t put much thought into it. I live a relatively fuss free life, quite simple, I must say.
1. Taking daily greens. Like any regular child, feeding me vegetables was an enormous challenge for my parents. It never really appealed to me to give earth-grown nutrition the slightest chance. It was only when I was pregnant with my first child, who has recently just turned 20, that I considered eating vegetables to ensure the good health of my baby. Since then, my day is not complete without a hefty serving of greens.
2. Sun protection. Sunblock is my version of American Express Card – I don’t leave home without it (for the millennials, this was the famous tagline of the credit card back in my younger days). I don’t shy away from Vitamin D and the sun, but I do due diligence in protecting my skin from its harmful rays.
3. Staying active. Exercise has been a part of my life since my mid-teens and has therefore been deeply ingrained into my lifestyle that it is now difficult to shake off. I most certainly slack off a bit at times, but I pretty much look for a sweaty challenge quite regularly. I’m addicted to the “happy hormones” called endorphins, released after a bout with heavy physical activity, that I cannot go by for long periods without a workout.
4. Stress-free living. We are never without stress in this world, but I am teaching myself to let go of situations I have no control over. Anxiety arrests health and happiness, and nothing is worth risking your sanity and well-being. Just pray and lift your worries to heaven. Everything will sort itself out.
5. Balance in everything. My key to happiness. Balance in nutrition, in exercise, in work and rest, self and others.
Have you always been into fitness and sports?
I first held a volleyball at age 10 and played from late grade school through all of high school. Outside of academics, Sports was my first glimpse into hard work, discipline, perseverance, fair play and time-management–values that give me focus to this day. Being reed-thin at 15, I enrolled myself in a gym which gave me a better understanding of how our bodies work and how each body part responds to certain challenges.
I’ve engaged in many different activities throughout my life. I was likewise into biking, kickboxing, cardio classes, and ashtanga yoga. I used to train for running, but I now run on my own, mostly before my schedule for strength training in the gym. There’s squash. I was an avid scuba diver as well, a sport I gave up when I started my family but slowly getting back into now.
Do you play sports as a family?
Each one in the family has his or her own choice of sport or activity. My husband is into basketball, two of my sons are into football, my other son is now learning tennis, and my daughter gyms regularly. We do find ourselves working out together sometimes, but the schedule of my college kids can prove pretty hectic.
How huge a part does food and nutrition play in your healthy lifestyle?
My family are not big eaters, nor are they picky. Their appetites need not be controlled nor do they need to be placed on a certain diet or nutritional plan. We all believe in moderation. We eat our favorites but we take just enough, never overindulging. We are all quite easy to feed.
As a role model for beauty and fitness, you’re now the endorser of Organique Acai. What can you say about the experience, and the products, so far?
I developed hyperacidity in the past two years. Initially, I had no understanding of acid reflux and thus, continued to engage in practices that exacerbated my condition. I learned more about it from friends and fellow sufferers, yet it was still a trial-and-error kind of discovery for what my main acidity triggers were. It was, as some of you may know, a terrible, painful, uncomfortable experience during each attack. I was completely dependent on over-the-counter medicines for first aid and maintenance.
I learned about Organique Acai from Ms. Cathy Salimbangon herself, who I met fleetingly and serendipitously two years ago. With no contact since that initial brief meeting, we reconnected–a number of months back from today–with a nice reintroduction to each other, and to the product. I was able to try this drink supplement after that second meeting and have continued with this health practice to this day. Since my first drink, I have been able to manage my hyperacidity without the help of strong meds, save for a few severe cases of an attack. It has so many other astounding health and beauty benefits that I enjoy that I even bring a bottle with me during trips. I take a straight shot of Organique Acai right out of bed every morning and another one in the early evening. The practice helps manage my high acidity levels by providing an alkaline environment for my system.
For you, what’s the biggest importance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle?
An active lifestyle is just as important as nutrition in achieving good health and well-being. It is something that everyone must make time for in the same way that we all make time for our meals. Treat it as a sacred hour of self-love and cherish every minute for there will be infinite rewards.
Organique’s Cathy Salimbangon on Acai Berry
When I was working in Beverly Hills, my patients there were in their 70s yet still strong enough to exercise, going jogging outside in their tracksuits in the middle of the day full of energy and looking so fit. When I looked at their diets, I noted that berries were a big part of their daily nutrition.
According to the food scientists at our Research and Development, acai berries are by far the king of berries and widely considered a superfood. It has been part of the diets of the Amazon natives.
We decided to have acai berry as our premier product since acai berry is the most nutrient-dense fruit in the world. It’s very high in antioxidants. Our products at Organique are made of natural, wild harvested acai berries from the Belém region in the State of Pará, where Brazil produces its “cream of the crop” acai.
Our manufacturing facility is located in California, which is known for its stringent regulation on food safety. We have been a leader in the development of Nutraceutical and Functional products using Proprietary Aseptic Technologies and Flavor Systems, which is supported by experienced and trained R&D Chemists and Microbiologists that are continuously developing products using the freshest ingredients, and latest processing innovations.
Organique Premium Blend is a concentrated acai drink supplement. We make it concentrated so our customers will enjoy and feel the benefits since they are receiving a megadose of acai. Organique Acai Freeze-Dried Capsules 650mg is composed of pure acai freeze-dried powder. It contains no fillers and other chemicals. All products are USDA (certified organic in the USA), non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.
We aim to make Organique Acai one of the in the market. We strive to make our products as healthful as possible to ensure that our consumers can nourish and strengthen their bodies in the best possible way.
Organique Acai is available at Mercury Drug, Watsons, Robinsons Supermarket, Pure Pharmacy, and South Star Drug. Visit www.organique.com.ph for more information.
Volcanoes’ Chris Everingham demonstrates how to prepare a healthy breakfast/snack with Organique Acai: