Showing posts with label Filipino patriotism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Filipino patriotism. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2016

12 Filipino brands that my family supports – part 3

First of all, I would like to greet you a Merry Christmas, and I hope you are using the holiday season to relax and chill with loved ones.  This is the third and final installment of my article on the 12 brands that my family supports, and if you haven’t yet checked out the first two, here’s Part 1, and here’s Part 2.

If you are a Filipino, but most of the stuff you regularly buy is imported, I suggest you consider doing a similar exercise as I have done: replace 12 imported products that you regularly use with Filipino counterparts.  Here’s a maxim for good citizenship: If you want to build your country, buy what your country builds.  It’s not rocket science to realize the difference between our hard earned money staying here on these shores vs. our hard earned money going elsewhere.

But what do most Filipinos do?  Our colonial mentality takes control of our wallets, and so our kitchens, our cupboards, our bathrooms, and our closets are filled with products from America, Europe, even other parts of Asia…with hardly a Filipino product in sight.  Surely, we can be better Filipino citizens than that, and so how about making Buy Pinoy a mantra for 2017?  The three-part article gives 12 products or brands to help you get started, with below being the final group of products.

Friday, November 25, 2016

12 Filipino brands that my family supports – part 2

This is the second of a three-part series on the Filipino products that my family supports (see the first one here).  I got the idea for this article from a Buy Pinoy assignment that I give my students: they make a list of 12 products that they currently patronize and replace them with Filipino counterparts.  After a month, they will come up with and compare-and-contrast paper about their experience.

As you can imagine with our colonial-minded brethren, my students included, there were groans and complaints about the supposed inferior quality of our products, to which I replied that (a) you can very well be wrong, and (b) with our support, they can become great.  Want examples of lowly local products that are praised worldwide, especially since we Filipinos support them so much?  San Miguel beer is lauded as one of the best beers in the world, and Emperador brandy is the world’s best-selling brandy.  Of course, I do not encourage my students to include these products as part of their assignment, and I’d like to think that there’s more to great Filipino products than alcohol; but I think they get my point.

While many students said they will never ever make the switch with some products (I understand…I love my Oreo cookies, too), by and large, they found the local products as good as their more expensive imported counterparts.  Yet many students do not use Filipino goods to the point that they do not even know what they are, and therefore had great difficulty finding 12 Filipino products.  Some even mistakenly switched a foreign brand with another foreign brand (guys, Del Monte is not a Filipino brand, neither is Safeguard).  In response to this, I made this three-part blog entry on the Filipino products that my family supports.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tis the season for Balikbayan Boxes! Here are the best items to send, IMO.

Now that we are in the “ber months” of 2016, which here in the Philippines means that it’s the start of the longest Christmas Holiday season in the world; it also means ‘tis the season of the Balikbayan boxes coming from abroad to the motherland.  For nearly every Philippine-based family, receiving these boxes from their generous relatives abroad is a cause for celebration.  Though very much appreciated, for me, it does give me some reason to groan, unless the relatives abroad know the right things to send through Balikbayan boxes, at least my opinion of such.  Read on.

Friday, November 4, 2016

12 Filipino brands that my family supports – part 1

(Note: this is the first of a three-part series.  To see part two, click here.  For part three, click here.)

To this day, one of my most commented-on and beloved articles is the Buy Pinoy experiment article made way back in 2011.  It tells of a favorite assignment I give my students, based on one of the chapters of Alex Lacson’s bestselling book (required reading in the school12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country.  For a certain time (now about a month, but in the article it was just a week), my students have to list down 12 imported things that they usually patronize, and replace them with Filipino counterparts.  Read up on my students’ thoughts on this project here, the aforementioned blog post.

It’s about time for another update for that article; and this time, it’s about 12 Filipino brands or products that we personally patronize as a family.  We feel good that these products are made by Filipino hands, and the making of which brings much-needed sustenance to Filipino families.  Sadly, one of the reasons I came up with the idea for this article is that many of my students have absolutely no clue what a Filipino-made product is.  You’re probably like them, too; and so this article is for you as well.

So, here’s my 12 Filipino products or brands that my family supports:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pinoys, wanna help your country? Buy its products. Here’s a teen that had to do so for a project.

I'm a high school Literature teacher by profession (I teach at this awesome Montessori school, here), and one of the books I have my students read is called 12 Little Things Filipino Youth Can Do To Help Our Country and a few chapters of the original book, both by Alex Lacson.

The original book.  My students do the youth version as well.
It's one of the "grow books" in the curriculum, meaning that they aren't there for literature's sake, but for personal growth.  Knowing that Filipinos are seriously lacking in love for country (until a foreigner insults us, that is), I feature Alex Lacson's work, and one of the "great work" projects is that they have to replace imported stuff that they use everyday with Filipino products for at least a month and then submit a paper afterwards.

This blog site has been up since 2011, but probably my favorite article is still the one I made that describes the BUY PINOY project (it's an oldie but very much a goodie, see it here).  This article goes back to that, but instead I am posting a submission by one of the Grade 9 students, and one of my eldest daughter's dearest friends, Maria.

The moment I saw how "blog friendly" her paper was, I immediately asked her permission to publish it.  She obliged, and here it is.  Her words are in green (the school's color) while I make some comments in black (I often make comments on my students' work).

Maria Gonzalez
Mr. Carlo
Buy Filipino Products Project

Being a Grade 9 student and finishing the book "12 little things our youth can do for our country" means we were required to do the BUY FILIPINO PRODUCTS project. This project meant that we'd choose at least 10 foreign products that we use daily and replace them with Filipino products for at least a month. Here's my list:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How you can help the victims of super typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan

Just in case you guys were worried about me, seeing all the news about how typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) has devastated the Philippines and all, we are all fine.  We braced ourselves for the storm of the year, only to experience just cloudy skies, moderate rainfall, and a little wind.

Yes, Cagayan de Oro was spared this time (and I appreciated the long weekend, I needed that).  Others, however, were not so lucky…and later on in this blog I will tell you how you can help them.

I’ve read that the death toll from super typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan could reach 10,000.  That’s a staggering statistic.  There are shocking photos all over the internet of jaw-dropping devastation.  Here are just a few of them (Note: none of these photos are mine.  I got them from Google)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

6 great items that relatives abroad can send through balikbayan boxes

If you are like most Pinoys who have relatives abroad, you likely receive a Balikbayan box full of goodies around the end of this year or the beginning of next year.  My family is one of these families, as my sisters in law are based in the US and my mom is also staying in the US for about six months.

While we appreciate their generosity, and much of the stuff that they send is indeed good, there is a dark side: this usually means that we get mountains of candies, chocolates, chips, and other junk food and overly processed products that have lost much of their nutritive value.  As a father who is into health and wellness, I usually cringe when the balikbayan boxes arrive.  Even if you don’t have the same views as I do, you’d probably notice that your children will binge on these newly arrived sweets and often will get sick as a result.  Not good at all.

I think there’s a better way: ask your relatives to send you alternatives.  This is also an opportunity to snag great finds for you and your family, finds that are either not available here or are expensive.  Allow me to help you by listing down six great items that relatives abroad can send through their Balikbayan boxes.  Nearly all of these are food-related, as you shall see.  Let’s begin.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mikey Bustos’ Opo Pinoy Style Gangnam Style parody is a riot!

I used to be a mild fan of Filipino comedian youtube sensation Mikey Bustos.  I say “used to be” because I am no longer a mild fan, but now I’m a big fan of his.  Why?

He recently made quite possibly (to Filipino minds, anyway) the best Gangnam Style parody to date.   You may have seen local news feature it or swimming around in Facebook, and I liked it so much I will post it here.  Mikey Bustos’ Opo Pinoy Style is a total riot because the lyrics are so full of light-hearted jabs at our Filipino culture.  I also love how well done the video presentation is.  Here’s the video:

If you can’t figure out the lyrics, then you can check out the (slightly imperfect) lyric video that someone else made.

I’m pretty sure you thought Mikey Bustos’ Opo Pinoy Style Gangnam Style parody is a riot as well.  Indeed, It’s More Fun In The Philippines.

(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parentingmarriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  However, I don’t mind putting out the funnies every once in a while; and Filipino patriotism is also a regular topic of this blog site.  I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site.  You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)

Monday, July 2, 2012

HILARIOUS imitations of Martin Nievera and Gary V!!

After being blown away by Osang’s awesome audition in The X Factor, Philippines (click here to see my article on that), I still stayed up and watched the Icons at the MOA Arena Concert.  I thought it was a fantastic night of song, but one of my favorite parts was the hilarious imitations of Filipino singing superstars Martin Nievera and Gary V., done in a funny segment by renowned comedians Jose, Wally, and Pokwang.

I’m a huge fan of both singers, and the imiations were the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.  I don’t know if both Gary V. and Martin Nivera should be proud or pissed.  I’m sure they were good sports.

Anyway, the video…and if you’re familiar with both Martin and Gary, prepare to laugh…HARD.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Independence day, Philippines!! Here’s the PINOY PRIDE assignment I gave my students

Earlier, I junked my lesson plan of the day to give my students this seatwork assignment as it was the day before the Independence Day holiday.

I got a lot of interesting results from them, and I’d like to paraphrase some of their answers here as well as put some I thought up myself, in my own list of 10.

1.     Natural scenery and resources.  Our beaches here are so beautiful and renowned worldwide as some of the world’s best.  Our mountains are also a wonder to behold.  Many of these become very popular tourist attractions.  I wish more people would travel here to experience the Philippine’s natural beauty.

2.    Strong family orientation.  I absolutely love how family oriented Filipinos are.  Foreigners who visit here often say how they wish their own children would treat them with the same respect and reverence as Filipino children do their parents.  The strong social ties also make sure that families cope well, and even thrive, amidst strife.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How do you show PINOY PRIDE?

With our independence day coming up, I’d like to ask my Filipino readers how you guys celebrate Pinoy Pride.  The reason for this is I’d like to make a blog entry on Filipino patriotism, a category I haven’t made in quite a while now.

So, Pinoy readers, how do you show how you love your country?  Leave comments, please!

(Update:  Here’s my PINOY PRIDE acticle.  It wasn’t the stuff I was asking for on this list, but I hope you guys like it anyway)

(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parenting, marriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  However, Filipino patriotism is also a passion of mine, and I put these kinds of articles out every once in a while.  I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site.  You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

DOT’s It’s More Fun in the Philippines slogan…great idea!!

I’m really getting into the It’s More Fun In The Philippines campaign from our Department Of Tourism (DOT).  Think what you may of the slogan (some don’t like it), but I think it shows a pretty good grasp of the modern/internet culture by making a meme out of it.  I think the guys at DOT have spent some time at 9gag and looking at demotivational posters much.  Now, every photoshop-savvy Filipino is getting into making an It’s More Fun In The Philippines meme. I wish I know my way around photoshop.  🙁

Here are several of my favorite It’s More Fun In The Philippines pics.  Enjoy!  Oh, and indeed, friends who live abroad, I invite you to give the Philippines a visit.  Cagayan de Oro especially. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My favorite of the Pilipinas Got Talent season 3 grand finals…El Gamma Penumbra

The Grand Finals of Pilipinas Got Talent is going on as I type this.  Whatever happens, all 12 Pinoy acts are awesome, and they deserve to go as far as the moon with their amazing gifts.

I have my pick, my favorite, out of the twelve.  It’s El Gamma Penumbra.  They are truly fantastic, and their final piece for the show reeked of Pinoy pride.  See for yourself.

(UPDATE:  It seems like the video below may have been banned, by youtube, to show worldwide.  Goshdarnit! It’s all good, if you can’t see it here, you can see it on my facebook pageAnd, well, like my page while you’re at it.) 

Good luck to everyone, but especially so to El Gamma Penumbra.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The great things about living in Cagayan de Oro, part 2

Another apology for another delay.  The second part of the Great Things About Living in Cagayan de Oro is way overdue.  My apologies, as I have been swamped with work.

Friends, I hope you had a fun and safe Fiesta weekend.  I sure had an eventful one.  Took my three kids and my father-in-law out to a day at the beach on Monday; and on Tuesday my wife and I (with two of my younger ones) spent the day in the nearby mountains to see her best college friend and her boyfriend, who were in town for a few days. 

Yup, I enjoyed the beach one day and the mountains the next; two beautiful, yet so different, natural sceneries.  Such is one of my top reasons why Cagayan de Oro is a great place to live, one of the best places to live, in my opinion. 

So now comes Part 2 of my list on why there’s no place like Cagayan de Oro.  Click here to see the first half of the list, in case you missed it. 

5.  Not susceptible to any major natural disasters.  We hear of earthquakes here, typhoons there, tsunamis over yonder…and we go, “Oh, that’s too bad; we feel for ya, man!”  Thing is, we’re far from the typhoon belt that messes up Luzon on a yearly basis, and we’re also far from any major earthquake fault lines.  We don’t face the big Pacific Ocean either, so I can’t imagine any tsunamis in CDO.

The worst thing that happens here is the occasional flooding from heavy rains, but nothing nearly as intense or as frequent as what Luzon goes through.  

Really, one of my favorite reasons why I love CDO is that it is spared from any major natural disasters.

(2012 update:  Okay, we just had the Sendong tragedy…but these almost never happened.  In fact, we were so caught of guard because these kinds of storms really don’t come our way)

6.  The local food scene.  I can’t get enough of the Vjandep pastel that our city is famous for, and you should try the Slers ham as well.  Both of these are the most famous pasalubongs of the city. 

As for the places to eat, there are lots to choose from.  It may not be as varied as the bigger cities (I still wait for the day when we get Bros. Burger, Dairy Queen, Cinnabon, or Krispy Kreme in CDO), but we have lots of local fare for your dining pleasure.

Probably my favorite place to eat in Cagayan de Oro, Bourbon St. Bistro
There’s so much to choose from.  My favourite local restaurants are Bourbon St. Bistro, The Xavier Sports and Country Club, Sentro 1850, Bigby’s, and Thai Me Up.  You can also try the local seaside restaurants with the great view of the ocean, such Panagatan, and its neighbor, Tabing Dagat.  For barbeque, I love Bacolod Inasal (their chicken bbq) and Butcher’s Best (their pork bbq). 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of good eats here in this city.  If you have more recommendations, please feel free to comment!

7.  A great place to raise a family.  Actually, this depends.  If money is not a big factor and you can afford to live well, then Cagayan de Oro has some of the best options in this whole country.

Take schools for example.  CDO has some of the best schools in the country, and students from all over Mindanao flock to this city to study.  Students from many schools here do well in national competitions, and Xavier University consistently lands in the top 10 universities in the Philippines.

The Abba’s Orchard, La Granja campus
Special mention, and I know I’ll seem very biased here, is the school I work for, The Abba’s Orchard.  Imagine, it’s the only school in the whole Asia-Pacific region that can boast of having the full Montessori curriculum.  In fact, its high school program is only one of the handful of its kind in the whole world.  My kids are products of their fantastic pre-elementary and elementary programs, and our friends and relatives are often impressed by how smart, vibrant, and confident they’re turning out to be.

Then there’s a place to live.  I’m talkin’ uptown CDO, like Xavier Estates, Pueblo de Oro Golf Estates, and the other ones that are popping up all over the place (such as Alegria Hills and Teakwood Hills). 

Again, this doesn’t apply to everyone, only for the ones that can afford it.  However, in the next several years, many OFWs and balikbayans (not to mention the occasional love-struck expat) will come back to the Philippines to retire.  If I were them and was faced with a decision to choose between uptown Cagayan de Oro or Manila or some Philippine city to build my dream house and retire, I’d choose uptown CDO in a heartbeat.  Xavier Estates, in particular, has fantastic security and a lovely setting, plus a wonderful country club to boot.

And there’s no sign of the real estate development slowing down either.  New subdivisions are being built left and right.  Condo units are being built uptown as well.  Xavier Estates will open up a new Phase 5 this year (hey, if you’re interested, my wife is an agent…she’ll hook you up real nice). 

8.  The attractions.  When my family first settled here 15 years ago, this place was a sleepy provincial town without much to do.  Now, there are attractions within the city or in close proximity to it.  I’m gonna list the tourist attractions the city is famous for:

White water rafting.  CDO is known as the white water rafting capital of the Philippines.  Tourists say that their experience with the rapids here is the best in the country, bar none.

Zipzone Adventure Park Just two hours away is Asia’s longest zip line, nearly a full kilometer long.  If there’s a place where you wanna really experience R Kelly’s song, I Believe I can Fly, it’s in Zip Zone.  Then they also have an ATV course, Zorb, horseback riding, and a very well equipped nature park with a tree top adventure for the kiddos. 

Mapawa Nature Park.  This is the quintessential camping place in the city.  It also has horseback riding, rappelling, river trekking, and a great horseback riding course where you can go up to the top of a hill and see a panoramic view of the whole city.

My daughter, Mesoo loves the slides
Xavier Sports and Country Club.  The best place to swim in the city, but you need to be a guest of one of the club’s members to do so.  If you’re lucky enough to do that, then get ready for great swimming experience, thanks to its awesome slides.  Enjoy its other attractions (pool tables, bowling, indoor tennis court, basketball court) as well as its great food. 

Duka Bay Resort This is a great beach resort about two hours away.  There are others that are closer, but this is still my family’s favourite.  The beaches are nice and clean, there are comfortable places where you can get your barbeque on, and there are other attractions like scuba diving, glass boat, kayaking, and others.

There are many other attractions in and around CDO.  In fact, click here for a pretty comprehensive list of what to do in CDO itself.

I hope you liked my list of the great things about living in Cagayan de Oro City.  Feel free to give your own two cents in the comments section.  I’m sure I missed a few other reasons why one should choose CDO.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The great things about living in Cagayan de Oro, Part 1

The big Fiesta day celebration is now right around the corner.  As promised, I will list down the things I love most about living in Cagayan de Oro.  As a backgrounder, I’m not from here.  I was born in Manila, went to the US at age 9, came to Cagayan de Oro at age 19 and have been a happy Cagayanon ever since.  Why?  You will see below.

Oh yeah, a big thanks to all those who participated in the question I posted.  Be it an email response or a comment on my blog entry…thank you.  I wish there was more participation, but well, what’s done is done.

Anyway, I compiled 8 reasons why CDO is so dear to me and the respondents.  I will put 4 here, the rest will be in a later entry.

1.  Relatively little traffic and pollution. 
Lesser traffic is one of the more obvious blessings of CDO when you compare it to other cities in the country.  Ok, this year’s Fiesta is an exception because of the construction of several flyovers, but when all that is done traffic will be even easier to stand than before.

My friend, Penny’s response was that you can get to anywhere in the city in 20-30 minutes max.  She’s right.  I can get to the mall in two minutes; the wet market in ten minutes; work in a little less than fifteen (including picking up carpoolers); the airport in five; the hospital in ten; church in twenty…you get the picture.

The quality of the air is also more tolerable as compared to our other cities.  In our nation’s capital city, my gosh.  White streamers hanging outside turn brown in no time; and asthma is rampant.  But in CDO?  Well, unless you hang around Divisoria all the time, the air is better here.  This is especially true if you live in the Xavier Estates/Pueblo de Oro area, like I do.

2.  The beach and the mountains are very close by.
Another great thing about CDO is its geographical location.  We are so blessed to be a sea-side town, yet the mountains are only a stone’s throw (as fast as 45 minutes) away.  My friends who live elsewhere can enjoy the mountains but not the beach; others enjoy the beach but not the mountains.  We can enjoy the natural blessings of both. 

I don’t recommend going to the beaches right on the edge of town, though (you’ll have to travel out of town for a few minutes).  But still, we are so blessed to have both very close by.

3.  Cheap, healthy, and abundant food.
Family and friends from other cities always stock up on good eats before leaving, because they can enjoy fruits and other food at a much cheaper price than what they get where they live.  Some of them, bewildered, ask “Do these guys want to make a profit?  How come it’s so cheap?”

And indeed, the food here is great.  Our visitors envy us that we can enjoy a plentiful supply of durian, marang, jackfruit, lanzones and others.  In trying to stock up on the things we so abundantly enjoy, they stink up the planes and other transpo on their way back to their own homes.

I also love the roadside stalls on the highway on the way to the beach or to the mountains, selling all kinds of fruits at very low prices.  Not only do I love the prices, but I also love that much of the stuff is grown at the sellers’ backyards, so there’s no herbicides and pesticides and other bad stuff that you wouldn’t want on your food.

4.  Very nice people.
Cagayan de Oro is not called the “City of Golden Friendship” for nothing.  The people here, for the most part, are truly nice, fun loving, and simple folk.  Friends, such as my co-worker Elaine, who have gone on and settled in other parts have commented that the people in their current location are not as warm as the people from their home town. 

Sure, there’s poverty in many parts of CDO, and so you’d have to be careful with your stuff.  Indeed, I’ve had some bad experiences with petty theft since I stayed here.  But take it as a lesson in vanity, and a lesson in the need to take care of your things.  I don’t wear the kind of bling I used to wear, and I feel fine.  Better even.

In spite of that, this city truly does earn its reputation as the City of Golden Friendship.  Filipinos are known for being hospitable, but Cagayanons take it to another level.  I’ve been treated so well since I came here.  Maybe it’s because I was the new kid in town and I had an American accent, but still…people here are so, so, so nice.

There are four more reasons why I love Cagayan de Oro City so much, and I will post them in part two of this article.  You can also do some last minute suggestions in the form of comments, and I will do my best to include them as well.

Happy Fiesta everyone, and enjoy the long weekend.

Update:  Here’s part 2 of this article.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August is FIESTA TIME, baby! What do you like about living in Cagayan de Oro City?

Cagayan de Oro Fiesta Time!
Well, well, it’s now August, a festive month for those of us who live in Cagayan De Oro City.  At the end of the month, most Cagayanons partake in the city’s Fiesta Celebration (called the Kagay-an Festival)…but the festivities usually start weeks before, with midnight madness sales, huge events, carnivals, celebrity visits, the Ms. Cagayan de Oro Pageant, and all sorts of stuff.

The highlight for many, of course, is the food on the fiesta day itself.  Most Cagayanon families host a big banquet in their houses.  This is one of the few days in the year where frugality is thrown out the window and whole neighborhoods become food extravaganzas.  It’s not uncommon for people to visit one neighbor, stuff themselves on their food and drink, socialize a bit, then move on to another neighbor’s house to do the same thing. 

Viva St. Agustin, indeed.

Well, I say most Cagayanons because non-Catholic families, like ours, usually don’t partake in the festivities.  It doesn’t mean that we refuse invitations…we humbly accept those, it would be rude not to.  But, since this is a Catholic Holiday, celebrating the life of the city’s patron saint, we usually don’t partake in anything beyond accepting friend’s invitations. 

Since the Cagayan de Oro’s Fiesta is coming this month, I’d like you, dear readers who currently or formerly live in the City of Golden Friendship, to answer this simple question:

What do you like about living in Cagayan de Oro City?

Since I don’t celebrate the Fiesta, I want instead use this blog to honor the city that I have called home for the past 15 years.  And you guys are along for the ride. 

Please leave a comment here, explaining why you love Cagayan de Oro.  Then, as the Fiesta draws near, I will consolidate your submissions and make it into a new post.  I already have a handful of things to say, but I’d also like to get the heartbeat of other Cagayanons.

I’ll be waiting.

Monday, July 4, 2011

An interesting BUY PINOY experiment: 2011 edition

This is a 2011 update or remake of one of my most popular blog articles on my personal site. It’s regarding a book-based project that I give every school year to my third year high school students.

I proudly call it: the BUY PINOY Experiment, where the students had to, whenever possible, exclusively use locally-made Filipino products, no imported goods allowed, for one week.

As some of you know, I am a teacher by profession. One of the subjects I teach is Literature, and here I differ from the norm in that I give more than just fiction. I often have students read books that build their character in addition to the works by the authors such as Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, and George Orwell.

One such book, which the third year students read, is 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country. The author, Atty. Alex Lacson, noticed that we as the Filipino people are very unpatriotic. We put down our own country constantly, so many of us dream of leaving, we don’t pay taxes properly…heck, even the most popular college course, by far, is one designed to get us out of these shores.

So, this book is Atty. Lacson’s heartfelt effort to have us believe in our struggling country and do what we can to support it. He enumerated twelve easy steps on how to do that, hence the title.

The third chapter of the book deals with patronizing Filipino products, and it’s one of the hardest hitters for me, personally. I grew up in America during the time they had a “Buy American” campaign; and the many South Koreans who live here among us amaze me in that they refuse to patronize anything not made in their home country.

Filipinos? Well, in one of the first reflection assignments of this topic, a former student last year summed up very bluntly what is likely the mindset of her classmates, and probably of the whole nation as well: “I don’t use Filipino products to the point that I don’t even know what they are.” Now that hurts.

And it’s not just my Filipino ego that hurts. The Philippine economy hurts too. Lacson explains that when we buy an imported product, perhaps 50% of the price we pay for it goes outside the country, money that could’ve gone to our very needy people if we bought a Filipino-made product.

Of course, the main reason why we don’t patronize is we think that our products are inferior. Maybe it’s true for a good number of them, but why not support anyway and give them the funds to make their products better? Look at San Miguel Beer. Oh, we Filipinos loooooove to support THIS local product! Now, it’s hailed as one of the world’s best beers.

So here’s their project for this chapter: The BUY PINOY Experiment 2011. The students, for one whole week, had to exclusively use Filipino products whenever possible, replacing the imported products that they love oh, so much. I learned my lesson from last year and sent out a memo to the parents, asking them to buy the Pinoy goods and to be one with us in trying to instill patriotic values to their kids. When one week is over, they write an essay about their experience.

I just finished grading their essays, and was pleased with the results. Just like the first go-round last year, the students found little to no difference in quality between Pinoy products and their international counterparts. Hapee instead of Colgate was an easy switch for most. Some struggled with Magnolia butter compared to Anchor, but others didn’t see much difference. One student tried the locally made pineapple spread compared to the imported marmalade, and found the local brand much better. The Fibisco cookies were liked as much as, and some even better than, the international ones. And who doesn’t love Puto Seko?

The students struggled mightily at first, but grew to love the assignment. They now wonder why we so smugly ignore the goods we make from our own shores.  Here’s what some of the students had to say:

  • “Let’s stop brainwashing ourselves that just because it’s imported, it’s better.”
  • “Before the week of our project, I thought, ‘Man, this is gonna be hard!’…To my surprise, nothing really changed…I barely felt a struggle…I don’t plan on stopping here.  I want to continue supporting local products and buy them more often.”
  • “One week of buying only local products passed by pretty fast.  It was not too hard to resist the importe../../search/label/Filipino_20patriotism/d things and buy the Filipino products instead._nbsp.css; Some were actually not that bad.”
  • “Before this project, I underestimated and undervalued the local products of our country.  Little did I know that after this project, I would see things in a different light and appreciate my country’s products more than I have ever before.
Well, just like the first incarnation of this blog post, I want to use this article to challenge you, dear Filipino reader, to do your own version of the kids’ BUY PINOY project. You may be just as surprised as they were. Try it out for a week…and don’t stop there. They didn’t.

My family almost always goes to either Jollibee or Bacolod Inasal when we eat lunch after church. I vastly prefer Human Heart Nature’s organic bug spray over OFF! lotion. Our native tsokolate or sikwate drink trumps Swiss Miss, and you can probably say that with our homegrown coffees, too. Hapee toothpaste and Magnolia ice cream have been long-time products in our household. It even got to the point that I sold my phones and bought a dual-sim model from the Philippines’ first mobile phone brand, My|Phone.

My mom also followed suit, getting an even nicer model.

Hey, if we can do it, and if my privileged students can do it, then you can buy Pinoy too. Outside of the shirts with the Philippine designs on them, and our manic support for Manny Pacquiao, patriotism in this country is just about dead…or at least in the ICU. Buying Filipino products is an easy way to show our love for country. See you in Jollibee!

(For more blog articles about what goes on during my teaching adventures, click here.  This blog is mostly about parenting, with a bit of Christian living and ministry, marriage, Pinoy patriotism, and others topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  If you would like some good, helpful articles on these topics, I would consider it an honor if you follow or subscribe to Lessons Of A Dad.  You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An interesting BUY PINOY experiment

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a Literature and Humanities teacher in one of the private high schools in the area.  In the curriculum, the students read about 9 to 10 novels a year; but other than the usual classics that are covered in Literature programs, I have also included books that are designed to make them better individuals.

One such book is “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country” by Alex Lacson.

Mr. Lacson noticed that we Pinoys are a rather unpatriotic lot.  We reject our local products in favor of imported ones; we don’t pay our taxes; we put down our country in jokes and in conversations with foreigners; the foreign embassies are always full; heck, the most popular course in college is one that gets us out of the country.

Long story short, he wrote a book in an effort to goad each of his countrymen into believing in his struggling country again and to take action to helping the Philippines out.  He split this effort into, you guessed it, twelve chapters, each one tackling a specific action that we can do to help the Philippines.

Chapter 3 of the book is about buying locally-made products.  I felt quite strongly for this one, as I grew up in America, where, when I lived there, there was a strong “Buy American!” campaign; and I’ve seen first hand how South Koreans will not patronize anything else but their own products.

It frustrates me to no end why we refuse be like that, and are quite the polar opposite of it.  In fact, for one of my introductory reflection assignments for that chapter, one student summed up what the whole class, and probably the whole nation, felt about our homegrown goods: “I don’t use Filipino products to the point that I don’t even know what they are.”  Wow.

So my assignment for this chapter went like this: for one week (which I now regret, I think it should be longer) they will buy and use only Filipino made products and replace the imported products they use everyday with them.  At the end of the experiment, they write an essay on how it went.  There were a few groans, but being good kids, they went through with it.

A week has passed and in come the essays.  I found some humor in what some of them said (“this was my first time eating a Champ”) but all in all I, with a very serious heart, really poured through them, hoping that the results would be something positive for the Philippines.

The more common product switches were: Hapee for Colgate; Magnolia butter for Anchor; Artwork, Penshoppe on any other local brand for Guess and its ilk; Piatos for Doritos; no McDonalds or any other international fast food chain, but Jollibee, Greenwich and the others instead; local jams/spreads instead of Smuckers; Nips for M&M’s; and many more.

The verdict?  For the vast majority of the products, there was very little to no noticeable difference in quality.  The students were a bit surprised by this, and as a result of this assignment they also wonder why we as a nation turn up our noses on the things we make, when the quality isn’t that bad.  Many are now very willing to make the switch for good and will encourage their parents to do so, too.

Well, I’m posting this news here because I’d like to challenge the readership of this site to do the same.  Why not make a conscious decision to replace the imports that we love so much with local equivalents?  You may be as surprised as my students were.

I my opinion, Swiss Miss has nothing on our native tsokolate drink.  I use Hapee for my toothpaste.  I use, and vastly prefer, Human Heart Nature instead of OFF! for mosquito protection.  I haven’t ordered from any fast food other than Jollibee and Chow King this year so far.  I buy local snacks for the kids (in fact, I prefer the barquillos and otap to the chips).  Heck, this has affected me to the point that I have sold my Nokia phone and bought myself a dual-sim model from the Philippines’ first mobile phone brand, My|Phone.

Yup, I’ve gone Pinoy…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Monday, May 10, 2010

We have a bigger role than submitting a ballot

“When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability”. (Proverbs 28:2, NLT)

I was torn between doing a Mother’s Day blog to honor both my mother and the mother of my children (both very deserving of the glowing written piece I had in mind), or a blog as a citizen of a country that is on the verge of undergoing a great change in governance.

I was leaning towards the former, since Jhean and I are not voting in this election (long and very frustrating story) and we were quite involved in the Mother’s Day prep for our church. But the message of Pastor Peter Tanchi, our senior pastor and in my opinion one of the best Christian speakers in the country, was so good that I decided to do the latter. The message was so, so, so spot on. I’m going to try (keyword: try…I’m nowhere near Pastor Peter) to transfer his message to this blog.

Well, we Filipinos have a huge role to play today. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, circumstances dictate that the family wouldn’t be able to vote, which is such a shame because we have very strong opinions about our choices for both the local and national elections. All we can do is give vocal support (“molar support,” as they humorously say in these parts). But boy, is today’s decision important. The bible even says so, as you can see with the verse that I used to start this blog.

What kind of people should we cast our ballot for? While it was given in a different context, Exodus 18:21 shows what kind of guy (or girl, as is the case nowadays) we should vote for:

“But select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. “ (Ex. 18:21, NIV)

But after all the dust settles and this country’s new leader is chosen, what’s next? We just go on our merry, irresponsible, get-me-to-the-US-embassy-quick ways? Or are we to do a task that’s bigger, much bigger, than submitting a ballot? Pastor Peter proposes that voting today is just one of the many duties as a citizen. There’s much more to be done.

One thing we should do is to be a good example. In the case of the aftermath of the elections, it’s to respect and cooperate with whoever wins. A member of my d-group and a dear friend of the family put it well. She posted her personal prayer as a Facebook status message the read something like (this is far from verbatim), “Lord, I have my bet, but I am willing to submit myself to whoever You put in office.” Beautiful.

Whether you like it or not, God placed governing authorities over us. Whoever wins, wins only because God allowed it, whether it be to bless us or to curse us. The first two verses of Romans 13 puts it this way, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Rom. 13:1-2, NIV)

But you may object and say, “But our government is so corrupt! Am I supposed to submit to something so horrid?” Well, who was in power when this verse was written? It was the Romans, who ruled over the Jewish people, destroyed the temple, kept the audience of the book of Romans as slaves, and who carried the biggest misdeed of all time when they crucified the Son of God…yet readers we’re commanded to submit to them. If the audience of the biblical books were tasked to do that, then we are to do so to the Philippine gov’t as well, under whoever wins today.

The next thing we do is to be prayerful. Who else will pray for this country besides those of us who truly believe in Jesus? Most Filipinos tend to condemn our gov’t leaders. I even catch some of my church mates (gasp!) doing this. Look, these guys need our prayers, not our criticisms. Again, we go to the Bible to see an example of a command (this time, regarding prayer) when the environment was far from ideal. Jeremiah wrote to the Israelites held captive as slaves in a foreign land:

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jer. 29:7-8, NIV)

Wow. Pray for the pagan city that holds you captive as a slave. Amazing. Shame on us, as free men, who lambast our local and national leaders when we should be on our knees, praying on their behalf. Pray for them, for if they prosper, we prosper.

Let me end this entry by once again reminding you that although we are to choose our earthly ruler today, it is only because the true ruler of the universe and of this country has allowed it.  The song we sang in worship service yesterday is so apt for this truth, a video of which I have below. God is the God of the Philippines and of Cagayan de Oro, and greater things are yet to come. May He bless the Philippines.


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