Wander with S and go back to your childhood sunny afternoon with the smell of Ylang Ylang drifting through the air
Basking in the sun, I found myself looking to a group of trees. Right at that very moment, I have no inkling that these trees, lined up just along the highway, produce the simple yet highly valued flowers that the people of Anao, Tarlac take pride in–the Ylang Ylang flowers.
Anao is a small town in the north eastern part of Tarlac, just on the border of Nueva Ecija. Considered as the Ylang Ylang capital of the Philippines, Anao houses the center where the famous Ylang Ylang essential oil is produced.
Staring right at the flowers, I thought that I know so little of Ylang Ylang. So let me give you a run down about it in case you also don’t know much.
Facts from Wikipedia:
- Scientific Name: Cananga Odorata
- Native from India, parts of Indochina, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Queensland, Australia
- Other names: Kenanga (Indonesian) Kradangnga (Thai) Ilang Ilang (Filipino)
- Average height of the tree: 12m (39ft)
- Flowers: drooping, long-stalked, with 6 narrow greenish-yellow petals
The Ylang Ylang trees were first planted back in the 1980’s, spearheaded by the mayor at that time. It took 4 to 5 years before the flowers began to bloom.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
The processing of the essential oil starts by picking mature flowers from the trees. You would know that the Ylang Ylang flowers are ready when their petals are already yellow and the center is red.
A mature Ylang Ylang flower; ready for processing
All flowers harvested will be brought to the processing site, the Anao Ylang Ylang Center.
The flowers that were picked up will be left to dry and be sorted by hand to make sure they are mature enough to be extracted. The highest number of flowers harvested was 200 kilos last March.
Then, these are all ready to undergo the process called Steam Distillation. The first extract will be produced after 4 hours. Priced at P50 per ml, the concentrated oil is primarily used in the perfumery industry.
The first extract. Its scent is so potent. You can definitely tell it is concentrated.
The second extract comes in after 2 hours, of which are used in spas and priced at P45 per ml. And lastly, for another 2 hours, the third extract is produced which the oil is being used in making soap, fabric conditioner, etc. The whole distillation process takes 8 hours to finish.
The equipment used in the extraction. These are all donated by Korean investors.
Per extractor unit costs P200,000 and were donated by Korean investors. The center is also being supported by our own Department of Science & Technology.
Tourists can buy the bottled essential oil products at the Anao Pasalubong Center. The Ylang Ylang essential oil benefits are as follow:
- Mood enhancer
- Reduce stress
- Improves skin & hair
- Lowers blood pressure
Now, after learning all about the Ylang Ylang and sniffing its exquisite scent, you can head over Kape Agape where they serve the famous Pancit Anao. We were given a take out of this but sadly, I haven’t got the chance to take a bite. But I heard it was so good! Must try when I visit back Anao, Tarlac!
Tarlac-Pampanga-Bulacan bloggers with DOT-III and M.A.G Travel & Tours
This familiarization tour was organized by the Department of Tourism Region III and M.A.G. Travel and Tours. Thank you Ms. Pia of DOT-III for taking good care of us during the tour and to Sir Peter of M.A.G. for taking us around. Glad that our local government, together with local tour operators, are taking steps to promote tourism to places such as Tarlac as it is a historical province and offers a lot to explore. Add Anao, Tarlac in your itinerary when you decide to go to Central Luzon!
‘Til the next adventure!