In Siargao, Guilt-Free Desserts that Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth and Support Small Local Businesses!
Kenneth Mheil Mangaya- Ay | July 13, 2020
Photos by Zhara Merquita
It is important to support local because these are your neighbors. Supporting local means that you care about the community you live in. Especially during these trying times, local businesses are currently the lifeline of the community creating and offering choices to their patrons, bringing originality and more variety of products. When you buy local, you’ll be able to put money back into your community, thus, significantly more of that money stays in the community.
In Siargao, “Weekends at Abukay” is held every Saturday where local small business owners or start-up businesses can sell their products. One of the exhibitors is Zhara Merquita of Munch Siargao who sells vegan home-baked desserts. Zhara works as an Assistant Manager in one of the resorts in Siargao. Since the pandemic, the influx of tourists has plummeted. Having more spare time due to the lack of tourism activities, she opted to venture into vegan (egg and dairy free) goodies as a way to earn extra income.
She personally bakes her own goodies, offering a variety of vegan cookies and banana breads. “My advocacy is simply to eat more plant-based as it is healthier for your body and for the environment. I’d like to fill myself with healthier alternatives and I’d like to participate less in animal-consumption since I’m also an animal lover. I’m turning myself into being more compassionate in all sentient beings may it be humans or animals,” she shared.
Zhara has been eating a plant-based diet since early this year. A certified lover of sweets, she’s also part of the Dessert Lover’s Community in Siargao where people buy and sell desserts. Unfortunately, most desserts available have eggs and dairy on it which is not plant-based or vegan friendly so she has been making her own sweet treats at home. “I met a lot of vegans and non-vegan people throughout this business venture. It’s not much but I’m helping those small number of people who want to have healthier alternatives when it comes to sweets,” shared Zhara.
She’s happy and motivated to continue doing her small business since the community has been very supportive. “I want to put a message out there to at least try and be a conscious consumer. Local business-owners care and are invested in the well-being of the community’s needs. There are a lot of local makers who bring their personal experiences, skills, and creativity to their products, not to mention, it’s also healthier for the environment since they don’t create that much carbon footprint.” #BuyNaKayJuan #ChoosePhilippines