Thursday, March 20, 2008

Branding the Philippines

I have just read this article, Branding the Philippines (in an increasignly) Flat World.

From the title itself, the article is obviously about marketing. But as I read the article, I have this impression that what the authors are trying to say is not far from my own advocacy.

My Iniibig ko ang Pilipnas advocacy is coming from a psychological point of view. It is about the collective psyche, the collective mindset, and the collective solution. That part of the problem is the collective behaviour of Filipinos and part of the solution is our collective action.

When the article stated WE ARE THE BRAND, instantly there is a connection. The article continues, Branding the Philippines begins inside the heart of every Filipino and Filipina, whether he or she lives at home or abroad. And so does Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas, it begins from our heart.

The proposed strategy offered in branding is almost exactly the same with what I envision, patient, consistent and persistent to seep ever slowly into the hearts and minds of the target audience. I simply term it capturing the imagination.

Culture, as admitted in the article, is an important ingredient in a country brand. But how can we create a brand with a "dysfunctional" culture? Nobody will buy such a brand. We continue to be on top of the most corrupt country in Asia. Not such a good label huh? Who will buy a brand that is equated to undisciplined, litter bugs, unfashionably late, balat sibuyas, mediocre, etc. Who will buy a brand that is low in spirit, low in morale? To create a globally acceptable brand, we need that change in our collective mindset.

We Filipinos are proud of our race. That is undeniable. Just look at how everything comes to a standstill when Pacquiao climbs the boxing ring. The brouhaha created by the "Desperate Housewives" episode showed how we will not take sitting down when it is our collective pride that is hurt. Look at the reactions to Arnel Pineda's selection in the Journey band and the waves that Vincent Bueno is making in Europe. When a Filipino is recognized somewhere, in whatever field, we are quick to say Proud to be Filipino sometimes being interpreted by outsiders as racist remarks. They just don't understand that we are just like that, ganun lang talaga tayo. Quick to say Proud to be Pinoy.

Unfortunately, that pride is us are just temporal spikes, only when good news comes in. Most of the time we sulk in our state of hopelessness and frustration.

So let us create that Philippine brand. Inspire ourselves. Take pride in our race. Show the world the kind of stuff we are made of. Proudly announce to the world, INIIBIG KO ANG PILIPINAS!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The design

I am currently working on the design for Iniibig ko Ang Pilipinas. The following designs were suggested.

I am more inclined to take the first design, have it copyrighted and hopefully print bumper stickers to help spread the word.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Why I didn't go to Ayala

At about noon yesterday, I got a text from a friend asking me if I will be going to Ayala as he plans of going. I texted him back saying that I'm passing this one.

It was really surprising getting the text from my friend. He is a very apolitical person. He just doesn't care what goes on in our country, at least since are last good talk a few months back. It seems the evil in GMA has changed him. He went to Ayala all by himself to express his disgust on GMA. Through text I told him I am glad that finally he cared, for Inang Bayan that is.

The younger part of my life was spent rallying against the Marcos dictatorship. This is not about been there, done that. This is about the supposedly battle between good and evil.

Every anti GMA force is portraying GMA as evil. Well, she is. But it does not follow that those who call GMA evil are good. They can also be evil themselves. It is that simple. We don't have a clear choice of what is good, of what is right. Anti GMA forces are demanding for the truth. But whose truth? What kind of truth? We have a thousand religious groups simply because of varying interpretations of the bible. So what is the true interpretation? What is the truth in the bible? And so what is the truth that these anti GMA forces are seeking? That people behind the NBN deal admit to the corruption? We all know that corruption happened. I myself believe that indeed that contract was tainted with corruption. But those who committed the crime will never admit to the wrongdoing. Walang magnanakaw na umamin na magnanakaw sya. The problem is, there is no paper trail that will prove the allegation. Yes, there were the testimonies of Jose de Venecia III and corroborated by Jun Lozada. But will it hold water in court? I don't know. I am not a lawyer. Former Senator Salonga has already filed a plunder case against GMA. Good. Then let's have the case take its own course.

Anti GMA forces have all the right to call for her resignation. But for heaven's sake, we were not born yesterday. We know that that is not going to happen. If GMA has delicadeza, she should have resigned when the Hello Garci scandal broke out. But she didn't. That is simply because delicadeza is alien to her. Delicadeza is alien to all trapos.

Snap election? Again, it will not happen. Marcos bit to opposition calls then and he lost. I doubt if GMA will do a repeat. She is a very cunning politician.

People power? It may be possible specially when an armed component will get in to the picture. But it will be a bloody one. This people power will not be as peaceful as the previous ones. Emotions are too high now. The intensity of disgust and frustration is reaching a boiling point, at least for the rabid anti GMA forces. If an ala Manila Pen incident happens in this atmosphere, a lot of lives may be sacrificed. I hope it won't happen. I hope tempers will cool down, agitation won't be sustained and a better option will come out from all of this mess.

Assuming a people power succeeds, what is our guarantee that those who will take over will come clean? When we ousted Marcos, we thought progress is at hand. It never happened. When we ousted Erap, we thought the culture of corruption will end. It didn't happen. It turned for the worse. Why would a people power work for us this time?

They say "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Does that mean that all who went to Ayala yesterday are good men? This I quote from the Inquirer column of Raul Pangalangan;

God sakes, in the La Salle Mass last Sunday, a matron overtook everyone during Communion! We had formed two queues before the priest, and Doña Buding simply decided to form her own “counter-flow”! Now I understand why the guillotine was invented. Such unholy thoughts.

NO, I don't believe that ousting GMA will solve our woes. Yes she is indeed one lucky bitch. But I will do what I can to make her the last lucky bitch. GMA, as I kept saying, is merely a reflection of a bigger problem. The problem is us, our collective mindet, our collective attitude, our collecitve action and/or inaction. We are collectively "evil". If not, our Dream Philippines is at hand. It is about time we also start blaming ourselves.

Those who would want to continue rallying in the streets, go ahead, do what you want to do. That is your right. It keeps this regime on its toes. NO, I will not call on you to stop what you believe is right because that is your right but please don't loose your respect on us simply because we have a different point of view. We both love our country. We only differ in our solution.

Meanwhile, enjoy the following Pinoy artists making waves in other countries.





Filipino talents we can all be truly proud of.