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:

#1&2  hair and body care
– For hair care and body care, I replaced my usual (Finesse and Dove) with Human Nature.  I noticed that it took a while for me to get used to the smell. It didn’t smell like the usual artificial cologne smell that other hygiene products usually contained, but I liked the natural smell. Surprisingly (yet not surprisingly) the Filipino products had pretty much the same effect as the one I usually used. If it’s all the same, I think my hair is actually softer.

Comments:  The people in my household are also Human Nature product users.  Why buy imported soap, shampoo, and lotion when we can get it made here?  It’s pro-Pinoy, pro-poor, and pro-environment.  You can’t beat that.

#3 snacks
– Filipino snacks are pretty good. I can vouch to that even before this experiment. But for the sake of it, I cut down on the foreign stuff. Meaning I had a good 2 weeks worth of Bingo, X.O, Maxx (which is much tastier than Mentos in my eyes), ice pops, etc. and they tasted pretty good. I mean I do prefer Timtam and Oreo, but the Filipino snacks aren’t half bad. Well, not as bad as I thought it would be.

Comments:  Okay, I love my Oreos and TimTams too, these are the imported snacks that I will not give up.  Being both health conscious and nationalistic, I’d also go for Filipino made dried fruit snacks (banana chips, dried mango)

#4 beverages
– I LOVE C2! And Mirinda, and I would like the other drinks but I mostly just drank these two as replacements for my Mountain Dew addiction. It’s just as addictive, just as refreshing, and if I am correct, they are more healthy too. I mean, these drinks go way over the Filipino expectation that everyone believes. Think about it, c2 isn’t even the best that we’ve made yet, so just imagine the other Filipino products that have such an understatement.

Comments:  Two words:  CALI ICE!!  I also love our tubo (sugar cane) and buko (coconut) juices and drink them whenever possible.

#5 meals (restaurants)
– As support to my best friend, her family owns one of my favorite restaurants, Barkadahan Grill. It’s not only Filipino but also originally from CDO. If people think that the Americans are all about the grilling, they haven’t tried Chicken Inasal. Any chicken Inasal is good as long as it’s made the Filipino way. Not to mention Barkadahans sinigang! Delicious is the term, I believe is most correct.

Comments:  Barkadahan Grill has crazy good prices for their portions, IMO.  Yeah, go CDO-made first (especially if they’re made by best-friends), then Pinoy-made.

#6 meals (marketed foods)
-Pancit Canton, is just one example of the marketed Filipino foods that we eat frequently. It’s a favorite of a lot of people. And I’ve introduced it to some of my cousins who are from America and they loved it. It’s different, it’s Filipino.

Comments:  I don’t eat this too much. The nutrition gods will zap me!

#7 clothes
-Okay, when I was told that Bench was Filipino, my jaw literally dropped. Am I the only person who believes that they sell the softest pants ever? And they aren’t as expensive as Mango. I was really surprised. Imagine, it’s not only the product, there’s the talent put in by the Filipino designers to get the awesome outcome.

Comments:  Yeah, clothes are among the goods that we make that are every bit as good as those from outside…so patronize pinoy!!  There’s no excuse not to.

#8 oral hygiene
– Hapee toothpaste! I have to admit, I didn’t admire the after taste that it gave me 3 times a day. But after a while I got used to it and my teeth were as minty as ever. It really is just as good as other toothpastes. What does it matter anyway right? So we might as well buy Hapee instead of whatever expensive imported toothpaste we usually buy, especially because we usually end up with the same outcome anyway.

Comments:  Did you know that the producers of Hapee also hire and therefore give livelihood to disabled people?  More reason to patronize them.

#9 shoes
– Penshoppe. My indoor slippers in school are Penshoppe. They last long, they’re soft, and they haven’t gotten broken yet! (Which is a big deal in Abba’s) I actually didn’t even realize that they were Penshoppe until one of my friends pointed it out. This just goes to show that it really doesn’t make a difference.

#10 nail polish
-to tell you the truth, I ran out of Filipino products to buy. Yes, shameful. But I do use Filipino made nail polish. I’ve been using it, and they’re pretty good.
Need I say more? 

My main point is that our Filipino products are just as good as the everyday products made in other countries. So why not just but Filipino? There’s even a plus side to it. By buying Filipino products we also help our country by heightening the value of our money. It felt good buying these products and knowing that our money went into the pockets of Filipino citizens. So I’d like to end this paper by saying that I enjoyed this project and I hope that we will all be able to continue this little but helpful habit.

Thanks, Maria!  Dear readers, you too can buy Filipino products.  I don’t know an easier way to help our struggling country than to do so.  First, patronize stuff that your city makes (especially if they’re made by friends and family), and then next the stuff your country makes.

Oh yeah, if you would like to know more information about the school I teach in, feel free to visit its website, here.  You can also visit the many articles I have written that feature the school.  It is a great school, and if you are school-hunting I suggest you give The Abba’s Orchard a try.

(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parentingmarriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  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)

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