“Pet mo, pet ko na rin dahil aso’t pusa n’yo ituturing kong akin (Your pet, my pet too because I will consider your cats and dogs mine too).” Rosemarie Tan, 21 years old, waxes poetic. A versatile young entrepreneur—no, entrePETneur—she owns the recently opened Rosmar Pet Salon along Lacson street corner Loyola street, Sampaloc, Manila.

Clad in a red shirt and polka dot violet pajama bottoms, she is also the maker of Mysterious Madre Cacao, her innovative concoction which she claims can remove mange, ticks, fleas, dandruff, redness, itchy skin, falling hair, bad odor, and other skin problems. Testimonials from her satisfied cat and dog owner customers attest to the effectiveness of her products.

Information from the Bureau of Agricultural Research shows that madre de cacao (Gliricidia sepium), locally known as kakawate, is a leguminous tropical tree found mostly in forests and can grow from five to ten meters tall. Many farmers plant them mainly to shade other perennial crops like cacao and coffee. The kakawate has many uses, from its roots to its leaves. The leaves are rich in nitrogen and other nutrients suitable for green manure and fodder for farm animals. Farmers have often overlooked other important uses: rodenticide and insecticide can be made from the bark and leaves of kakawate, respectively.

Rosemarie, a medical technology graduate, sees a bright future for her products extracted from madre de cacao: shampoo, soap, spray, cologne, conditioner, oil, and powder for cats and dogs. A certain Dr. Teano tells her to try selling madre de cacao online. “Tali-tali lang,” she laughs. A dyed-in-the-wool dog lover, she owns twenty dogs of different breeds. She rattles them off: “I have a St. Bernard, Siberian Husky, English Bulldog, Chowchow, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, and a Pug.”

A natural animal lover, Rosemarie laughingly recounts, “When I was in grade school, I picked up a crying kitten dumped in a garbage bin, rushed to a pet store, and bought cat food. I even fed her with milk from my Barbie doll’s milk bottle!” Now she has a couple of cats; one is a Persian named Cara.

On her debut, Rosemarie begged her parents to buy her a St. Bernard as her gift and to do away with a debut party. “Oddly named Beethoven, she gave birth to seven puppies,” she recalls. But the ebullient and cheerful dog lover turns emotional and teary eyed when she shares, “After a month of being sick and fighting for her life Beethoven died at the age of two years and three months.”

Cat and dog lovers will find almost all their needs for their feline and canine friends at the Rosmar Pet Salon, from accessories, vitamins, and food to costumes for the Halloween and Christmas season, to name a few. There’s also grooming and, of course, her Mysterious Madre Cacao products.

“I’m planning to add another wing. Maybe to sell rabbits, birds, and even put up a spa, so the pet owners can relax while their pets are being groomed,” she laughs.

The pretty, bubbly innovator and animal lover who used to be laughed at for her ‘tali-tali’ Madre de Cacao is now laughing her way to the bank.

This appeared as “The Cheerful ‘EntrePetNeur'” in Animal Scene’s November 2015 issue.