by Matt Jerome Casequin

“Global warming is here, we need to act now, we need to be mindful of our carbon footprint, and every one of us should be responsible for saving and restoring our ecosystem.” Deep within the heart of Palawan, Philippines, where emerald landscapes merge with crystal-clear waters, Rowena Faith Sucalit forged a profound bond with the earth. Growing up on an island untouched by electricity, her childhood was defined by the daily ritual of cooking with wood and charcoal. These early challenges ignited a passion that would propel her into the realm of green technology. Today, Rowena is poised to revolutionize energy-efficient cooking with her groundbreaking invention: the MagicBag.


The Innovator’s journey

Rowena’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience and vision. After spending nearly two decades overseas, she returned to the Philippines with a wealth of skills and knowledge, ready to make a difference. Her role as a consultant with local government units (LGUs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) reflects her dedication to teaching basic homesteading skills. These skills are imparted to a diverse group of individuals, including fishermen, farmers, out-of-school youth, the LGBT community, and parents of children with disabilities.


Rowena’s inspiration comes from her community in Canada, where a permaculture lifestyle promoting a circular economy is prevalent. Her commitment to this lifestyle is evident in her efforts to introduce sustainable practices back home in Palawan. One of her most impactful contributions is the MagicBag, a wireless heat-retaining cooking bag that promises to revolutionize traditional cooking methods.

The MagicBag: Redefining cooking

The MagicBag, also known as a heat-retaining bag, leverages a simple yet effective principle: cooking using retained heat. While similar technologies exist globally, Rowena has innovatively improved upon them. Traditional models like the hay box in Canada or the foam chip bags in South Africa often present practical issues such as difficulty in cleaning and drying. Rowena's MagicBag addresses these problems by using different filling materials, making it more versatile and user-friendly.


This portable, energy-efficient cooking solution requires only a fraction of the typical stove-top cooking time. After boiling food for 25% of the required time, the pot is transferred to the MagicBag, where it continues to cook for up to 8 hours, retaining heat for up to 16 hours. This not only reduces energy consumption significantly but also aligns perfectly with busy lifestyles, allowing meals to be prepared ahead of time with minimal effort.

As a mother, Rowena appreciates the convenience and time-saving benefits of the MagicBag. "I can prepare our breakfast the night before, or our dinner in the morning," she explains. This allows her to save time in the morning and spend quality time with her kids.

Overcoming challenges and seeking opportunities

Bringing the MagicBag to life hasn't been without its challenges. Sourcing materials in the bustling environment of Metro Manila posed significant difficulties for Rowena, who hails from the more tranquil Busuanga. However, her determination and resourcefulness have seen her through, and now she stands ready for market validation, having shared her invention with a select group of friends who have already begun to see its benefits.


Rowena’s participation in the 2024 Korea International Women’s Invention Exposition (KIWIE) marks a significant milestone in her journey. As a first-time participant, she is filled with excitement and hopes to collaborate with other innovators and attract potential investors. Her goal is to broaden the reach of the MagicBag, ensuring that more people can benefit from this sustainable cooking technology.

Advocating for change

For Rowena, the MagicBag is more than just an invention; it’s a tool for empowerment and sustainability. She emphasizes the importance of sharing skills and tools that can improve lives and promote environmental responsibility. "Skills and tools like this are meant to be shared," she said. "I am blessed to have lived in another part of the world where this cooking method is widely used. Here in the Philippines, I haven't seen anyone using this technology”, she added.

Rowena's advocacy extends beyond her invention. She calls on fellow Filipinos living abroad to return home and share the valuable skills they’ve acquired. "If you see something helpful in the part of the world where you live, come home and share it," she urges. "Let’s return to the Philippines and share the skills we’ve learned."

Women in science: A personal testament

Rowena's story is also a powerful narrative of women's contributions to science and technology. As a stay-at-home working mom for 20 years, she transformed ordinary household tasks into areas of expertise, demonstrating that innovation can flourish in any environment. "Some say that when you’re a mom at home, everything you do is simple and ordinary. But for me, after being at home for over 20 years, I’ve turned the simple and ordinary into something better and more refined."


MagicBag in stirring the future solutions


As Rowena prepares to showcase the MagicBag at KIWIE 2024, she carries with her the hopes of creating a more sustainable and efficient future for cooking. Her invention not only promises to ease the burden on the environment but also to enhance the quality of life for countless individuals. Through her work, Rowena exemplifies how one person’s vision and dedication can spark meaningful change, inspiring others to join in the pursuit of a greener, more connected world.

** This article is part of the "Stirring the Future Solutions" campaign for the participants of the 2024 Korea International Women's Invention Exhibition (KIWIE). For more information and event updates, visit the DOST-TAPI website at