Olivia Puentespina never expected to get into cheese-making. The Animal Science graduate from UP Los Baños simply wanted to find her purpose. She never thought to find it on the back of two goats they had named Marvin and Jolina.
“We started with two goats, hanggang sa dumami and we had to find ways to earn a little from it. We didn’t want meat so we opted for milk. And from milk, how do you preserve it? We turned them in to cheese. That’s how I started.”
Being a woman of science, Olivia devoted herself to developing cheeses in the laboratory. Although she was told that the temperature and humidity in Davao was not conducive to making cheeses, she staggered on and eventually found a Filipino way of making European-style cheeses.
“I just thought it was the process. A process of discovering. The next step and the next step. Some [steps] were a little more difficult but all of them were questions, I just worked on looking for the answers. That’s always been my attitude. It’s a process.”
Presently, she makes around 20 kinds of cheeses from fresh to aged, to Camembert style cheeses. Although when asked which one her favorite is, she simply laughed and said, “It’s like asking who your favorite child is. Because everything comes from here.” She finished pointing to her heart.
Bearing the name Malagos Farmhouse, top-notch quality is expected of her products. Although Olivia confesses that she has no immediate plans of exporting, what she wants is for Filipinos to embrace her products and others made in the Philippines.
“Bakit ka bibili sa iba, kung kaya mo naman supportahan yung local? Sino ba ang nagbbenefit? Is it just me or the company and the family? NO. It is also the farmers who supply milk for the cheeses. It’s the farmers who grow the grass and corn, who make the feeds that I buy for the enterprise to thrive. So hindi lang ako and yung business. It’s so much more than that.”
A patriot to her core, Olivia wants to promote not just her own but all of our country’s resources and potential. With a goal to—first and foremost—cater to the local artisan cheese market, she encourages Filipinos to support products—cheese or otherwise—that are proudly made in the Philippines.
Watch out for the rest of these stories and join Bayo as we celebrate 25 years of culture, fashion and all things “Made in the Philippines.”
For more information visit: http://www.malagosfarmhouse.com/