Robin Padilla urges Filipinos to patronize local products with Brand Pilipinas
MANILA, Philippines – Robin Padilla is known to lend help and support to various Filipino causes. This time, he got together with other stakeholders in the business industry to put up the Brand Pilipinas movement.
In a press conference on Thursday, June 21, Robin and GeiserMaclang's Amor Maclang explained why they decided to collaborate on Brand Pilipinas. (READ: Robin Padilla says Marawi movie will tell the 'real story')
According to Robin, recent global events inspired him to help jump-start the local movement.
"Itong Pilipinas, matagal na tayong 'Pilipinas First.' Panahon pa lang ni Andres Bonifacio, 'Pilipinas First' na tayo. Eh kung 'yung Amerika nga napag-isipan na nila na gawin iyon, tayo pang mga Pilipino?" he said, referring to US President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda.
(This Philippines, it's been so long since we've adapted "Philippines First." Even during Andres Bonifacio's time, it has already been "Philippines first." If America can do it, why can't we Filipinos?)
He added: "Kung hindi tayo sasabay sa ganitong mentalidad, na proteksyunan 'yung atin, 'yung talino natin, eh tayong habang panahon eh casualty of war. Kumbaga, collateral na lang tayo," Robin said.
(If we will not have this kind of mentality to protect what's ours - our thinking and ways – we will always be the casualty of war. In other words, we will end up being the collateral.)
But Robin clarified that what they are pushing for is not for Filipinos to give up other brands, but for them to simply champion products made in the Philippines.
Amor said that aside from Robin, they have also brought other business people into the movement – people who have been champions of Filipino products and materials for years.
"'Yung collaboration namin ni Robin is what really gave birth to the beginnings of Brand Pilipinas. Pero hindi lang po kami 'yung nagsusulong nito," she said.
(Our collaboration with Robin is what really gave birth to the beginnings of Brand Pilipinas. But we're not the only ones who are advocating for this.)
She added: "Kung pipiliin natin ang Pilipinas, kailangan (If we're going to choose the Philippines) we have to spend for our country. Dahil (Because) the only way to have one strong Brand Pilipinas is to have multiple strong local brands."
Changing people's mindset
Amor said they are currently waiting for a bill on patronizing local products to be filed in Congress.
For now, Amor said much of their work is focused on changing people's mindset when it comes to local products.
She cited as example the practice of haggling in local markets. According to Amor, it's about time to stop this practice to give farmers the chance to earn more.
Robin also lamented how some products from international companies end up being sold in the Philippines at a high price even if their materials were sourced from our country.
Both Robin and Amor said that while it will take time to change people's mindset, educating them is already a good start.
"Hindi ito pagiging purist. Ang gusto ho namin ma-achieve dito sa unang phase ay magtanong kayo. In other words, itong produkto bang ito na binibili n'yo, nakinabang ba ang mga kababayan natin at ang bansa dito? Iyon 'yung tinatawag na, sustainability, inclusion sa mga produkto ba o mga kompanya na sinusoportahan n'yo?" Amor said.
(This is not being a purist. What we want to achieve in this first phase is for you to ask. In other words, with this product you're buying, did Filipinos and the country benefit from it? Is there sustainability, inclusion in the products or companies that you support?)
Right now, the movement is done on a voluntary basis.
"Ang una munang kailangang makuha namin ay 'yung heart and mind ng tao. Ipaliwanag muna sa kanya ito tayo, ito tayong Pilipino," he said.
(The first thing we need to capture is the heart and mind of the person. We need to explain it first that this is our identity as Filipinos.)
To help spread the advocacy, a music video titled "Lahat Tayo Kasama" was released featuring prominent personalities such as Kiana and Gab Valenciano, Rhian Ramos, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Quest, Rovilson Fernandez, Tim Yap, and Roxanne Barcelo.
The music was written and co-produced by Jose Villanueva III together with George Royeca and Bong Andres.