From natural and man-made disasters to the global pandemic, the business story of Marinduque Land Corporation (MLC) is a reflection of their life-long mission to uplift the standard of living of affected and neglected coconut farmers from such adversities. 

Dating back to 1996, the Marcopper mining disaster in Marinduque which caused negative implications to the livelihood of Marinduquenos prompted Engr. Roel Sigue, MLC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), searches for sustainable business opportunities in the province. Marinduque, a coconut-rich island province, fits in the criteria of producing virgin coconut oil (VCO) with the use of local and renewable resources with less electricity and the potential to employ lots of people.

It was in 2005 when Engr. Sigue, established a virgin coconut oil factory in Gasan, a 3rd class municipality in Marinduque,  with a P1M initial capital. Gasan’s main product as determined in the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) One Town One Product program is coconut-based products.

However, in the latter part of that year, MLC’s VCO buyer closed down. But MLC turned this trial into an opportunity, with the help of some consultants, they expanded the manufacturing of VCO and added honey by-products.

Just as business was taking off for MLC, Typhoon Reming devastated the province in the last quarter of 2006. Coconuts became unavailable, forcing the factory to stop operations for seven months. After the painstaking efforts of the company to recover lost ground in June 2007, the company then started soliciting and appointing dealers and retail outlets. Marinduque Land did well in the ensuing months with its flagship products under Heaven’s Cure brand – VCO and coco bagoong (fermented food paste).

Since then, MLC’s products have progressed and are considered as must-haves in every health and wellness kit.

Today, the company manufactures a wide variety of organic and natural coconut-based body care under Heaven’s Care brand and food products under Heaven’s Cure brand. Living up to MLC’s brand name Heaven’s Cure and Heaven’s Care, their products ranging from coco rub, sweet crystal oil, VCO, and VCO soaps are truly heaven-sent. These products cure and care for a wide variety of physical ailments and extend to the lives and well-being of coconut farmers.

MLC is now exporting its VCO to Japan and Korea and eyeing other foreign markets and is poised to enter the United States (US) market, having obtained a US patent for Heaven’s Cure brand and duly registered to business in the US as well.

The world’s longest lockdown saw several scientific milestones. While MLC has also been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, recent studies made on the benefits of VCO against the virus paved the way for new opportunities in the local market and even internationally.

Aside from giving income to coconut farmers, MLC also provides full-time and part-time jobs in the community, and conduct continuous feeding program to school and out-of-school children.

MLC Managing Partner, Mr. Archie Armada is an active participant in various DTI programs such as OTOP, Go Lokal!, Ripples Plus, Usapang Export, and Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA). Moreso, he availed other DTI services in product design improvement, packaging and labeling, local, national, and international trade fairs, and export seminars, among others. Their Heaven’s Cure and Heaven’s Care products were also registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and with trademark-acquired US patent.

Among DTI sponsored international events for MLC includes the Coconut Roadshow in the US last September 2017, Pistahan Festival in San Francisco, USA last August 2019, and G-Fair at Goyang, South Korea last November 2019.

IN PHOTO: Mr. Archie Armada, managing partner of Marinduque Land, during the Coconut Roadshow in Washington DC, Balimore, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, California  

When asked about what motivated and kept MLC going despite challenges, Mr. Armada says, “While developing products, observe a product which shows the good potential that would dominate the market in its category. Focus your efforts on enhancing the packaging, quality, marketing, and distribution of this particular product. Treat this as your flagship product, while other products and variants serve as your support products. As an MSME, our limited resources should be maximized and used in one potential product that would contribute 80 – 90% of the income of the company. Do not spread your resources thin.”

For the growth and expansion of their business, MLC plans to introduce new coconut-based health and wellness products, add more variants in their cosmetic lines, improve and expand online market presence, and open more markets abroad.

Interested buyers may find their products at Lazada, Allganic Stores, and other retail and pasalubong stores in Marinduque. They also have distributors in Metro Manila, other parts of Luzon, and some parts of Visayas and Mindanao.♦

Date of Release: 3 June 2021