The tinguians seems to be the logical source of most Ilocano love potions. The tenability of this contention is readily borne out by their social intercourse and further bolstered by the proximity of their communities. Moreover, it is hard to imagine that the herbs and roots which constitutes the love potion can be obtained from the lowlands. And this is not to mention the fact that the mountain people have a more solid history of witchcraft than the lowlanders, especially the Ilocanos.
Tagi-amo possessors are cautioned against its indiscriminate usage, or they might find themselves in tight situations wherein there is no extrication. It could end in their premature marriage or even untimely demise, should an irate father decide to take the law into his own hands.
Also, the love charm should never be brought to any mortuary occasion, whether wake or funeral, if its continued potency were desired. It is believed that the aforecited occasions deprive its potency.
It is not entirely inconceivable that the advent of the love charm could be attributed to the strictness of parents, especially in times past. Time was when the courtship was tantamount to "passing the eye of a needle," so to speak. Suitors must device some means, fair or foul, to win their lady love.
Conversely, the "no touch" policy imposed by parents of bygone tomes cannot be entirely blamed on their conservative or puritanical outlook but more of a belief in the love potion efficacy. It is the only way to avoid the inherent danger of oneís daughter falling prey to the evil charms of the love potion.
While the love potion may be considered an ally to lovelorn men, it should nevertheless be admitted that it takes away much thrill and excitement from the pursuit of love. For it is an artificial means of winning a girl. It is, for all intents and purposes, a poor test of a manís prowess in the subtle art of love. As a matter of fact, it is an evidence of the absence of prowess. No man worth his salt resorts to the love potion, for the real man wants his woman to love him because of himself and not in spite of himself.
How magic charm is concocted:
The concoction of coconut oil extracted from a bogbogtong or a lone nut facing the east. The lone fruit signifies luck while sunrise signifies love at first sight. The nut must be stolen secretly. Knowledge of the act is enough to spoil the power and render the whole formula ineffective, even if the other requisites have been strictly complied with.
At noontime, on Good Friday, the coconut is cooked in secret to extract the oil. This may be done at home if there is no one around usually in a deserted place to ensure secrecy. Likewise, all utensils to be used in the preparation must be secured surreptitiously.
After oil has been extracted, it is placed in a bottle and mixed with kanonong flowers taken from a sour fruit tree. A kanonong is a parasite vine which, like a balete tree, grows on bark or branches of trees with lovely red flowers. These flowers must be picked on Good Friday - one from a mango tree, another from a tamarind and still another from a lemon on branches extending towards sunrise.
Kanonong vines thrive in almost all kinds of trees in the forest. But the sour fruit trees are chosen because, it is said that a woman has natural weakness for sour fruits. With the oil and the petals of the flowers mixed and scaled in a bottle, the formula, it is believed, becomes an effective love potion.