The Philippine map

February 18th, 2010

Last 2008, my sister Liza and brother in law Dondi Santos gave me a unique shirt for my birthday. It drew inspiration from the polo brand shirts that we frequently use when we come from the states. This time, the shirt had the Philippine map instead of the horse.

Joey Cua’s family owns Collezione. I remember the brand from way back. I used to buy Collezione shirts when we were growing up. The brand eventually faded as they were not able to innovate.

Well, the family’s second generation, under the leadership of Joey, worked with Rhett Ayala to come up with something different in 2007. They also renamed the brand Collezione C2. It is a brilliant idea to use the Philippine Map. It is amazing to see that so many people today
are using shirts by C2. Unfortunately for Joey, one cannot register the Philippine map as a logo. Many clothing manufacturers and designers have now come up with their version of shirts and clothing with the Philippine map.

Just yesterday in a restaurant in Tagaytay, I saw that about 20 percent of the people inside are wearing the shirt with the Philippine map in different styles. Definitely, not all of those shirts are from C2. But, it is great to see that more and more people want to be proud of being Pinoy. Whoever thought that the Philippine map would look good in these shirts?

While C2 started a great idea, the growing sense of nationalism has pushed more people to wear clothes with the Philippine map. It’s about time that the Pinoy craze centers on embracing our nationality and our roots.

For quite a while, a great number of Filipinos wanted to be US citizens or wished that the Philippines was the 52nd state of America. I would say that the resurgence of Pinoy nationalism started with the EDSA revolution. We all felt good being a Filipino, especially those
who were part of the major change. But, from there, the Philippines’ cycle of misery started all over again.

In a way, during PGMA’s tenure, the growing sense of nationalism was pushed higher. Pacman’s phenomenal boxing record is making Filipinos from all over the world proud to be Pinoy. Even the record success of the Black Eyed Piece, with our very own Allan Pineda Lindo or Apl.de.ap, made more Filipinos proud. Of course, let us not forget the continuous success of Lea Salonga, Mig Ayesa, Charice Pempengco, and Paeng Nepumoceno. Recently, we also have the recognized CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida. Likewise, the OFWs who struggle to beat poverty continue to inspire many.

If our country is in a mess, I wonder if Pinoys would still want to wear the Philippine map shirts. We even have politicians using them as their uniforms. I wonder if I do make sense.  Why would you want to be proud of your country if there was nothing to be proud off? We are proud because there are a lot of things to be proud of in our country; like our heritage, history, independence and continued economic resilience amidst the global financial crisis that hit last year.

Congratulations to Joey Cua and Rhett Ayala for reviving a symbol for Filipinos and creating something that says “I am proud to be a Pinoy” in so many ways. Indeed, the Philippine map is such a beauty. When you start visiting the 7,100 islands of the Philippines, you will feel a greater sense of nationalism.

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Last Sunday, we had a unique celebration. For the first time, we had a double celebration of Valentine’s Day with the Chinese New Year. Double red.

This is also the Year of the Tiger, according to Charlie Chao. I seek advice from him from time to time, especially on house renovations and new buildings. He says that the Year of the Tiger will be great for the Philippines. He says that it’s the beginning of an up cycle for
us.

Well, it’s about time that we see something positive. But then again, luck does not come if we do not do our share. Hard work, passion, persistence, optimism, and vision have to be there. The rest lies in our destiny.

I do feel that the Philippines will definitely upgrade pretty soon. In fact, if you look at the bond prices of the Philippines, the spread is so tight that we are trading even better than countries who are rated higher than us.  The election fever as well brings forth exciting opportunities to many negosyantes as consumer spending goes up. Politically, I feel that we should see greater stability. We will be moving forward regardless of who wins – Noynoy, Gibo or Villar.

Looking at the crystal ball, things are definitely looking better ahead. Those out there, who finally pursued to GoNegosyo, will be fortunate as the economy picks up.

I am also very pleased with a recent survey we did that shows Go Negosyo at a top level of awareness today. Go Negosyo awareness is needed to inspire and teach many Filipinos on how to fight poverty. Somehow we feel the positive changes in outlook and attitude of many Filipinos we meet when we go around.  We hope that what we are seeing is the enterprising mindset revolution that we want to happen, to achieve the Filipinos’ Tagumpay mula sa Kahirapan.