All Things Pinoy,  Foodie Life

Bayani Brew wants you to be an #EverydayBayani

What does it mean to be a hero? Do you have to be a martyr? Do you have to take up arms and lead a battalion of men into the battlefield? Do you have to invent a cure for cancer? The truth is, you don’t have to accomplish such a tall order of things to feel like a hero. You don’t have to do something in an earth-shaking magnitude to feel like you made a difference in the world.

You can start small. You can start with something that you can actually realistically contribute to.

Most of us will probably never end up with our names on history books like one Jose Rizal or one Nelson Mandela, but ask yourself: Is that the only thing that truly counts? How about going to bed every night with the knowledge that you did something good that day? You see, even the smallest things can create a ripple, which means we always have a chance to make a difference in this world.

That’s why I love brands that give us regular people a chance to contribute to society in a good way, just like what Bayani Brew has been doing for years. I was first introduced to Bayani Brew by my younger brother a long time ago; when he brought me home a bottle of their Kick-Ass Lemongrass iced tea after doing some community service with Gawad Kalinga. Since then we try to buy Bayani Brew as much as we can.

What makes me admire Bayani Brew so much is the fact that they support Filipino farmers. I know that in other countries, farmers are respected for the obvious reason that they are the ones who produce the food that each household brings to their tables. But here in the Philippines that is not the case.

The Philippines is supposedly an agricultural-based economy, but Filipino farmers are so impoverished they get only an income of Php 24,000 PER YEAR. (That’s just 500 US dollars a year, you guys!!!) Most farms in the provinces are located in really remote areas, so as you can imagine, the farmers need to travel far and wide just to be able to get to the marketplace. This is also the reason why they don’t have much knowledge on the trends and price fluctuations that happen in the market, and so they are taken advantage of by middlemen who buy their crops for barely anything at all– the same middlemen that sell said crops at exorbitant prices here in the city.

I’ve heard a lot of these kinds of stories from the daughters and sons of farmers who come to the city to find a higher paying job. And although they know these things for a fact, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the power to do anything about it.

So how does Bayani Brew help out these farmers, you might ask? They partner with certain farming communities and source all their ingredients directly and regularly from them at above-market prices. Farming communities such as the GK Enchanted Farm in Bulacan (which used to be a barren land but is now one of the biggest contributors of Bayani Brew’s raw ingredients!), as well as the Samahang Agraryong Magsasaka ng Barangay Camachile, also in Bulacan, have benefitted from this partnership already.

And the genius part about all this is that the crops used for the Bayani Brew iced teas are those that are easy to grow, indigenous, and climate-resilient, like tanglad (lemongrass), pandan, and talbos ng kamote (sweet potato shoots). The crops are brewed organically, inspired by the way that the women in the farming communities would do it for themselves and their families. Traditionally, these healthy crops were made into drinks that helped keep their bodies strong and ward away sickness, and now we too get to enjoy these benefits in every delicious bottle of Bayani Brew!

Bayani Brew is available in two regular flavours, plus one seasonal flavour. All the teas taste really authentic and very nicely earthy, and you can really get all the flavours of the crops they used in each drink if you know what to spot. These iced teas are not bombarded with sugar and preservatives too, because they don’t taste sweet and artificial.

First permanent flavour is the Kick-ass Lemongrass. It’s made out of lemongrass and pandan that’s been sweetened with raw brown sugar and a hint of calamansi. That hint of calamansi makes a lot of difference, I tell you.

This is probably the most refreshing flavour of all, with a subtle floral fragrance to boot. And let’s not forget that this drink offers the health benefits of lemongrass, some of which involve better digestion and detoxifying properties.

Next permanent flavour is the Camotea Commotion. The hue of this drink comes from brewing the fresh purple leaves of the kamote (sweet potato) alongside lemongrass. This drink is once again sweetened with raw brown sugar and calamansi extract.

The main health benefit of this particular flavour comes from the talbos ng camote, which contains an anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory compound know as polyphenol. I’m not much of a science geek but I especially think that since talbos ng kamote grows like weeds, it’s quite cool that they can make use out of it. Nothing goes to waste, eh?

The Camotea variant is actually my favourite. It might be because of the colour, or because I like kamote, or maybe it’s because every time I open the bottle the scent of calamansi just hits me. I love it!

The seasonal flavour is called M.A.D, named after its trifecta of ingredients: Moringa, Alagaw and Dalanghita. Moringa (locally known as malunggay) has become known as the “wonder leaf” in recent years because of its antioxidant properties. The alagaw leaf (premna odorata) meanwhile apparently aids in phlegm decongestion and flatulence. Never heard of this leaf before!

And finally, the dalanghita (a native small orange) adds that zing at the end of each sip. Unfortunately, dalanghita is seasonal so this drink sometimes goes off the market for a time.

The SRP for each bottle is Php 40 but it might differ depending on where you get it. Now for those of us (including me!) who are conscious about what we put into our bodies, I’m happy to report that Bayani Brew Iced Teas are caffeine-free, low in sugar, and low in calories.

And yes, if you’re wondering, the bottles are BPA-free and fully recyclable. You can even make money on the side by selling them to your local junkshop. 😉

Apart from making actual Bayani Brew, I just thought it nice to share that the Brew Crew (cool name, by the way) also provides financial support to farmers with interest-free micro-financing programs, just to avoid more incidents of farmers engaging with loan sharks and outrageous interest rates. (As if their lives weren’t hard enough, seriously!)

They also encourage the next generation of farmers to see the potential of the farming industry in the future by providing deserving farmers’ children and individuals with knowledge and AgriBusiness knowhow. It’s sad to know that most farmers would do anything to ensure their sons and daughters do not end up like themselves because of the lack of respect and recognition for farmers in the country!

The Philippines, with its rich soil and hardworking people, can really reap so much benefit from focusing on the farming industry, and yet it seems only the private sector realises this. I can never understand why the government neglects farmers the way they do.

In the future perhaps a miracle will happen and farmers get the treatment they deserve on a national scale, but I’m glad that these days, more and more groups of individuals have been creating social enterprises to help uplift the farmers from their dire situations.

And this is why, with all my heart, I will have to say the crew at Bayani Brew is my #EverydayBayani. It’s not easy to incite collective action towards a common goal, but they do it with each and every bottle of Bayani Brew they put on the market. And like I said, they give most common folk a chance to give back to these farmers who toil under the blazing sun all day long just so we can have something to eat. Salute to you guys, and of course, to all our farmer friends as well.

Supporting farmers is a cause that I regard with the utmost importance (along with education) so I guess you can understand why I felt the need to write as much of their story as I know here on my blog. And I hope you can find it in your heart to become an #EverydayBayani in whatever small way you can, whether it’s through buying Bayani Brew, or even with something as simple as not throwing your candy wrappers on the sidewalk. Believe me when I say the small things do count!

You can grab you Bayani Brew in these locations. Learn more about Bayani Brew and the Brew Crew on their website, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram! And I do hope that you buy some of these teas even if it’s just every once in a while. 🙂


Full disclosure: This post is NOT SPONSORED. Supporting farmers is something I’ve always felt strongly about and it just so happened Bayani Brew sent me boxes of their iced teas recently, so I thought it was time I wrote something about this cause.

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