June 7, 2012

China and the rest of the world will just have to move

Because of the recent disputes between China and Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal, the idea of patronizing Philippine-made Brands (Pmb) has intensified. However, there is hardly any concrete actions taken to support the idea. I, for one, as a consumer would like to patronize more products that are made in the Philippines. Unfortunately, I am oblivious to such brand names.

Courtesy of Colourbox.com

Thus, I have come up with a solution. Why don't we have a shelf or shelves in supermarkets, groceries, and convenience stores that is/are dedicated to Pmb, and is/are labeled as such. This way, the consumers will be aware of brands that are made in the Philippines - which can actually be profitable for the supermarkets too. In fact, a research done by Reader's digest Asia revealed that 94 percent of the Filipinos believe that supporting local brands will help the local economy to grow, and of this number, 68 percent will likely purchase a local one over its international counterpart (which is good news, right?)

So if this is implemented, each section in the supermarket which currently holds brands that are made in the Philippines will have a shelf labeled as such. For example, in the coffee section, there would be a shelf for Pmb which may be filled with Cafe Puro, San Mig coffee, or Nescafe. Likewise, the chocolate section will hold Pmb such as Goya, Choquick, Flat tops, and curly tops. Furthermore, the toothpaste section might hold Pmb such as Happee, Gumtech, Beam, Kutitap, and Unique. If a certain section in the supermarket currently has no Pmb products, then it's fine, no need to hassle the supermarkets to find themselves ones.

I am not saying that because of this, I will suddenly throw my habit of buying combos, hickory-smoked spam, and meiji's chocolates just like that, but what I'm saying is that this will somehow give the Filipino consumers a bigger chance to make an informed decision in buying their household needs. Sure, I might still choose the more affordable alternatives when it comes down to it, but at least I know my choices well.

So I guess, when it comes to product placement, products that are made in China and the rest of the world will just have to move for the Philippines. What do you think? Is it really beneficial as I think it would be? Or did I forget to think of some serious repercussions it might cause? Come on, tell me about it.

Products with barcodes that start with 48 are Made in the Philippines.

June 3, 2012

Kalumpit: Don't pop that cherry

It's June! It's kalumpit season!

Here in Manila, few are aware of what a kalumpit is. This is why a kalumpit tree and its fruits are sometimes left to rot in the ground. Kalumpit is a cherry-like fruit that is popular in Batangas but I knew it from growing up in Nueva Ecija (there are lots of kalumpit there, particularly in Cabanatuan). My grandmother would regularly prepare sweetened kalumpit for us, so mama became very fond of it.

Kalumpit (looks like duhat, right? HAHAHA)
I have actually mistaken a duhat for kalumpit because I am more familiar with kalumpit than duhat. 

Going back, mama asked me to accompany her to UP Diliman because she wants to pick some kalumpit. Not surprisingly for mama, she does not remember where the kalumpit tree is since it was long ago when she last picked some. She told me that she first started picking kalumpit in UP when she was still in college.