I remember back when I was 7 years old, I always see my mother hand-washing my white polo uniform at the sink every Sunday afternoon. She gently told me that I have to take care of my school uniform, as it gets dirty easily. I asked her, “Why are you the one washing the clothes, and why are you using bath soap?” She chuckled and said, “I want to make sure that it gets washed properly, especially around the collar area, sleeves and the armpits, and this is not soap; It’s PERLA laundry soap”. Huh?” I answered. “Perla is a mild laundry soap that’s gentle on the fabric and gentle on the hands. It doesn’t have a strong smell, unlike the blue detergent we use on other clothes, and it’s also good on delicates and even cloth diapers and children’s clothes”.
I don’t remember what I said after, but I ran out to play, the scent of the soap etched in my brain. I also remember bars of PERLA soap stacked neatly beside the blue detergent and the pack of “gawgaw”.
A few years after that, when I was a teenager, I became active in sports and played everyday. These activities plus getting exposed to dirt worsened my facial acne, I asked my eldest sister what she used on her face, because she had fair, smooth skin. “She whispered, “The guy who does my hair told me to use PERLA White soap to wash my face with.” She added, “That’s what they use on facial scrubs on their clients!” I did what she told me, washing my face after school, for over three weeks. You know what? It really cleared my face!
After I graduated from college, I got married and had a family of my own. I bought cloth diapers for my firstborn, which we use often instead of disposable ones. When it was time to wash them, I recalled my Mother’s preference for PERLA soap, and naturally, I followed her example. No harsh ingredients, and the mild fragrance was still the same! My wife also uses PERLA Soap for her delicates, clothes with thin fabrics, and of course, our children’s white uniforms. Indeed, some things never change.
It’s funny how some things your mother does when you were younger, leave an indelible impression on you. Simple things like washing your clothes leave an everlasting mark, a mark of love that you carry and pass on to your own children. Just like what my mother did. You realize that choosing laundry soap is also an act of love.
Words by Earl F. Manalansan