“PERLA” ng Silanganan: The not so secret Wondersoap used by generations of Pinoys

What can you buy with P20 pesos?

Well, you can spend it on an ice cream cone like that TVC suggests,  or you could use it to buy a surface cleaner, a repellent, dishwashing liquid, bubble maker solution and laundry soap, and still have some change for some candy.

How’s that for battling inflation?

I am of course, as the title suggests, am talking about PERLA–the laundry bar / wondersoap, that has become a generational brand for a lot of Filipino families.

Go ask your grandparents, parents or even your tito’s and tita’s about PERLA, and I’m sure they’ll have a story of their own.

As for me, my Perla story dates back more than 30 years (OMG! didn’t realize it had already been that long). I was 11, a fat kid both inside and out who was hitting puberty. But believe it or not, I was quite a pudgy ball of energy back then who perspired a LOT.

Unlike today when a lot of kids would spend hours watching YouTube, my brother and I would play 1-on-1 basketball almost all day (we had a small court at our house). In school, I spent recess and lunch breaks playing Tag or Cops and Robbers. Yeah, I was fat, but I was quite active, sometimes too active that what was once a pristine white polo in the morning, would go home almost khaki, drenched in sweat, dirt and sometimes even with some bonus ink blots.

And everytime that happens, I my mom would say, “Bili tayo ng Perla.”

We always had spare bars at home, and preferred Perla to the other detergent bars we had because it didn’t make my hands itchy, so I was quite familiar with its unique scent.

One time, I actually recognized the smell from my Tito who just took a bath and was going out on a date. I asked him if he used Perla as a bath soap and he said yes–always. My Tito worked at our bicycle shop back then and would always be covered in dirt and grease from putting together all those bikes, but he would have that “Perla” smell at dinnertime.

I asked my mom if I could try it too, because the “germicidal soap” I was using at that time, made me feel “icky” and smelled bad when I perspired. She allowed me to try it out and I LOVED it. It smelled nice, plus it was easier to rinse off. And when I started having pimples, my mom said she also used Perla on her face when she was younger, (a separate bar of course) and it was quite effective– I never had to deal with severe acne breakouts during my teenage years and even those skin patches and “kati kati.”  (Just be sure to test it on a part of your skin first before you lather it all over your body.)

More than just a laundry soap

I couldn’t remember why I switched to bath soaps, but I think it was because of the “Papaya” and gluta craze during my college years when everyone wanted to have fairer skin.

Still, we would buy Perla because my mom used it when washing our white clothes and delicates. Perla was also the only soap I could use to wash my laundry because other detergents like I mentioned made my hands red and itchy.

That is because Perla is made from 50% pure coconut oil, which has strong antibacterial properties and contains lauric acid. As an excellent natural cleaning agent, lauric acid traps oil and dirt and makes it easy to wash away.

Each bar of Perla also contains glycerins – a natural moisturizer that makes clothes much softer as well as our skin. Plus, it contains lavender extract, giving every wash a clean, fresh scent.

PERLA, a proudly Pinoy brand, is actually the first natural laundry soap brand in the Philippines. The caring Perla experience has been passed on through generations – from our grandmothers to our mothers, and as I recently discovered, was used for more than just handwashing their clothes.

  1. Washing machine detergent powder substitute: When grated into small flakes, did you know that you could actually use Perla for your washing machine? Just use a box grater to turn it into almost powdered form. It’s a gentler alternative to commercial detergents plus the coconut oil in Perla also makes clothes softer, so you don’t even need those fabric softeners. Like I mentioned Perla is 50% coconut oil unlike other laundry soap brands which are petroleum-based. And since its soap (made out of fats, oil and water) and not a detergent (synthetically produced surfactant), Perla is made from organic chemicals making it the eco-friendlier alternative because it does not contain toxic chemicals.
  1. Surface Cleaner: Now I enjoy cleaning the house, but not the smell of those cleansers. Again, you can use Perla by using some of those grated flakes and mixing it with water in a spray bottle. Spray it on kitchen counters and sinks or sprinkle those flakes on the grimy areas and and use a scrub brush for a deeper clean.
  1. Dishwashing liquid: Growing up we used either detergent bars or those detergent paste to wash the dishes, but my lola would rather use Perla for the dishes saying it is just as effective plus it won’t dry your hands—and even easier to rinse off.
  1. Pest repellent: Here’s something I haven’t tried. Still using that Perla and water mix, put it in a spray bottle and spray it on cockroaches to effectively kill them without using toxic chemicals.
  1. DIY Bubble mix: Small kids love those bubble toys right? So the next time you get a visit from the little ones, entertain them with some bubble magic! Grate Perla to create flakes and put in a container, add water and shake vigorously for a DIY bubble mix! (add squished gumamela to make those bubbles last longer!)

The Fashionista’s Friend

With so many uses and benefits, its not surprising that PERLA is once again gaining popularity even among fashionistas. As Filipinas are turning to basics to create standout looks–monochromatic outfits are again the rage in some of the top fashion capitals of the world.

All-white looks are dominating the runways and walkways and this trend has now caught on here in our country, with fashionable Filipinas rocking the all white-look.

Helping them them take care of their basic whites is Perla.

Showcasing their deep relationship with fashionable Pinays over the years, Perla recently held a  fashion event to celebrate the unique fashion sensibilities of Filipinas. Entitled Basics Redefined: The Perla Fashion Show, the event was held at The Block, SM North EDSA last August 25 and featured 30 real-life Perla users who slayed the Perla all-white OOTD contest on Facebook and Instagram. Through runway ready all-white looks, these Filipinas proved that white outfits are neither bland nor boring, but instead empowering and timeless.

Aside from walking down the runway with fashionable looks, the winners of the social media contest got to interact with Perla’s brand ambassador, TV host and notable actress, Toni Gonzaga.

“It’s so inspiring to see all these ladies, from all walks of life gathered in one place to celebrate fashion and timeless style,” Toni shared. “These women are mothers, students, and career women, and Perla took the time to pamper them, dress them, and glam them up. I’m so happy that they got to experience the level of Perla’s meticulous care, just like what I’ve enjoyed from Perla.”

From the thirty ladies who joined the fashion show, our friend Trish Perez, was judged as the grand winner taking home P40,000 and special prizes from Perla!

Perla Fashion Grand winner Trish Perez

“Our clothes are not made equal. Some need special care. And Perla is the perfect partner in taking care of your special clothes such as whites as it is made with natural ingredients that keep your whites looking pristine and new while ensuring that your skin remains moisturized and not irritated.” says Perla Brand Specialist Quiel Estrella.


We all know that laundry water is not the same everywhere. Hard water, like water from poso (artesian well) in the provinces, contains high levels of calcium and minerals that will lead to yellowing of your special whites. For your special whites, use Perla Original Blue (available in both long bars and cut bars).  It is a pure soap made from coconut oil and has a natural blueing agent that counteracts yellowing so no need for bleach!

The Original White Perla soap (also available in both long bars and cut bars) naturally and gently cleans your special clothes, officewear, sleepwear, underwear, baby clothes, and whites. It is also less abrasive compared with the other brands making our clothes last longer. It retains the credibility of colored clothes without compromising the strength of the fabrics even after several washes.

Because Perla gently whitens whites and removes dinginess naturally, there is no need for too strong laundry aids and products for clothes whitening! Perla is also hypoallergenic to our skin so no need to worry about your loved ones getting allergies or rashes. But for more extra care on your delicate hands, they now even have the Perla Papaya variant with papaya-extract.

As they say the only thing constant is change, but somehow, Perla has withstood the test of time and from the looks of it, its still going to be the laundry soap of choice for the next generation of Pinoys.

For more information about the Basics Redefined: Perla Fashion Show and more exciting promos and offers, follow Perla on Facebook at https://facebook.com/perlaphilippines and on Instagram at https://instagram.com/perla.ph.

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