Fashion Accessories from Coconut Shell

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yesterday I met an enterprising woman from San Pablo City, Laguna. Her name is Ms. Edna Palad. She is a much sought-after resource speaker on designing handicrafts and fashion accessories. A graduate of UST school of Fine Arts, she owns a factory in San Pablo and her company is called Red Palm Ventures which is into the production of different items made from coconut by-products. Here are some of her designs from coconut shell:
necklace from coconut shell A necklace
Kid belt made of coconut shell A kid belt
earrings from coconut shell Earrings
bracelet made of coconut shell Bracelet

According to Edna, these export-quality products are very affordable. In order to preserve the uniqueness of each design, they don't produce more than 10 items each unless it is for export.

She also mentioned that she earned the trust of her customers because her company produce items in accordance with specification especially in terms of materials and colors used.

"Marereject din ang orders kung mayroong hindi nasusunod na specification. Kaya ang advise ko sa mga nagnenegosyo, dapat sumunod lagi sa usapan kasi lugi ang aabutin mo kung nagkataon.", she warned.

Mabuhay ka Ms. Edna! Sana lumago ang business mo para mas maraming magtratrabaho sa iyo at makatulong ka sa pagpapaunlad ng bansa.

Ang gaganda ng products di ba? Saka sa halip na maitapon ung mga coconut shells ay napakinabangan pa.


Galing Pook Winners

Saturday, November 28, 2009

If you think all is lost in Mindanao due to the spate of killings and kidnappings, you are wrong. It is because these unfortunate events are limited to a few places. In fact most of the 33 provinces that comprised the island of Mindanao are relatively peaceful.

That is why it is not very surprising that, of the 14 Galing Pook Foundation awardees, 5 are from Mindanao. The other winners are from Metro Manila which garnered 5 awards, Visayas 2 and Luzon 2. These 14 winners were selected out of 123 nominees.

Galing Pook Award is given to promote excellence in local government. The criteria for judging were "Innovation, positive results, transferability and sustainability, and efficiency." This year's panel of judges was chaired by former economic development Secretary and now an Inquirer columnist Solita Monsod.

These are the winners from Mindanao:

1. Sarangani Province for its Kalinaw Sarangani Program which brought together different groups for peace-building;
2. Midsayap town of North Cotabato for its "Natularan Mu" project which is an alliance of six barangays to resolve conflicts;
3. Surallah, South Cotabato for its "paraiso Himsug" project which promotes organic agriculture and alternative medicine;
4. Malaybalay City of Bukidnon for its Integrated Survey System of development planning based on the needs of the different departments;
5. Barangay Barobo in Valencia City, Bukidnon for promoting vermiculture as a livelihood program in its "Project Bulawan".

On the other hand, the winners from Luzon and Visayas are:
1. Tabuk, Kalinga for its "Matagoan Program" of settling tribal disputes;
2. Bulacan Province for recognizing and honoring outstanding projects;
3. Marikina City starting a clean food and water laboratory;
4. Taguig City for its system of giving identification cards to residents for purposes of providing discounted social services;
5. Quezon City empowering barangays to develop parks through cost sharing
6. Makati City for its "Baratilyo ng Basura sa Barangay" which is a waste diversion and reduction program;
7. Paranaque City for its "Adolescent Friendly Reproductive Health Services" or ARFHS;
8. Barangay Luz in Cebu City for its "Kuarta sa Basura" program; and
9. Bayawan City in Negros Oriental for its "Ecosan" project of treating and converting human waste into fertilizers and soil conditioners.

These winning projects will each receive P100,000.00 from the Department of Interior Local Government.

Congratulation to the people behind these winning projects. I hope that all of these projects will be improved further and be replicated all over the country.


Galit Ako!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Galit! iyon ang nararamdaman ko ngayon. Galit ako dahil sa mga nangyayaring hindi ko maintindihan. Nagsusumiklab ang aking galit!

More than 50 people (read Filipinos) have died in the Maguindanao Massacre and I am afraid the number may still go up. Para ano? Para sa kapangyarihan? Para sa ambisyon ng isang tao? Para sa kapakanan ng isang pamilya o angkan? Ano ulit? papatay ka ng mahigit 50 tao - lalaki, babae, politiko, at journalists? para saan? Hello...

The killing or mass murder or massacre or whatever name you will use is really shocking, outrageous, barbaric, gruesome, unacceptable, unimaginable, inhuman, distressing, disturbing, senseless, pointless, uncalled for, unprecedented, objectionable, unnerving, upsetting, immoral, and what else. In Filipino, it is nakakakilabot, karumaldumal, nakakasindak, nakakatakot, napakarahas, makahayop, at anong ginagawa ng inutil na gobyernong ito para sa peace and order ng bansa? pasensya na. My stomach is revolting.

Biruin nyo pagkatapos ng tatlong araw, wala ni isang naaresto? Hello PNP? Hello Versoza? Hello GMA? O baka naman isang pakunwari na naman ito para sa isang malawakang kaguluhan na may kaugnayan sa eleksyon? Sana, sana hindi. Sana imahinasyon ko lang ito.

Pero kung sakali na tama ang hinala ko, panahon na para lumabas ang pagka-hero ng taumbayan. Sure ako na marami dyan sa tabi-tabi ang tulad ni Efren Penaflorida.


Orchids Galore

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One glamorous industry that the Philippines can be developed into a big business is the production of cutflowers particularly orchids. As a tropical country, the Philippines is home to different orchid varieties both native and hybrids. Many Filipino homes and gardens are adorned with one or two kinds of orchid. It is no wonder then that many hobbyists and entrepreneurs are engaged in orchid growing.

Here are some of my photos of orchids which I took at a garden show. By the way, for those interested in the orchid business, you may contact the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) at Los Banos, Laguna. E-mail address is

Semiterete Vandas

Orchid from the Philippines

Philippine Orchid

Philippine Orchid

Actually marami pang ibang pwedeng idevelop ng gobyerno na pagkakakitaan tulad nga ng cutflower. Pero ewan ko kung bakit napakarami pa ring Pilipinong "unemployed".


Poverty Reduction Award for Ilocos Sur

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ilocos Sur capitol

For the third time, the province of Ilocos Sur received the 2008 Outstanding Local Government Poverty Reduction Program Implementer for Region I. Previously, it won the award in 2004 and 2007. It was noted the number of families living below the poverty level was reduced from 8,250 to 7,095 based on the Minimum Basic Needs survey conducted on fourth- to sixth-class municipalities of Ilocos Sur.

The Award was personally given to Governor Deogracias Victor Savellano by National Anti-Poverty Commission Assistant Secretary Catherine Mae Santos. In receiving the award, the governor said that the provincial government is committed to continue poverty reduction efforts such as the Prosperity, Kabsat, Kalahi, and Siglat to which he attributed the success of the campaign to eradicate the scourge of poverty.

Ilocos Sur Province is located in the northwestern part of Luzon Island specifically in Region I. It is composed of 32 towns and 2 cities namely Vigan and Candon. The province is the hometown of former President Elpidio Quirino. At present, one of the most noted personalities from this province is Chavit Singson who was a long time governor of Ilocos Sur.


Cubao by Nightfall

Friday, November 20, 2009

I happened to passed by Cubao yesterday hoping to find a particular book at the biggest branch of National Bookstore but was not able to find it. When I went out of the store, it was already past 6:00 PM. But I was awe-strucked by the sight of dazzling lights all around. So I hastily brought out by Camera and started clicking.
Cubao by nightfall

Cubao at Night

I stared at this giant Christmas Tree hoping to draw some "Christmas Inspiration". This is considered as the tallest in the country.
Araneta Center Cubao Christmas Tree

No doubt one of the best shopping and entertainment complexes in the Metro Manila is Araneta Center Cubao. The center is owned by the influential Roxas-Araneta clan whose members include, of course, Senator Mar Roxas. If you have been to Cubao these days, you will have noticed the massive construction of high rise buildings. If only this frenzied economic activity is replicated all over the country. But this is another story.

Araneta Center was in fact the most glamorous shopping centers before Glorietta of the Ayalas, Ortigas, and now Fort Bonifacio came into being. But it has lost its luster in the previous decades. In partnership with Megaworld, it hopes to revive its former glory of being the premier spot for not only for shopping and entertainment but also as the address of the rich and famous. Thanks in part to its central location which is easily accessible from all parts of the metropolis. It is in fact located at the intersection of MRT and LRT2.


Puto-Bongbong Anyone?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One of the things I look forward to during Christmas season is the Puto-Bongbong. Yesterday, as I was waiting for a ride, I spotted two youngsters making and selling this delicacy. Off I went to buy one or two. I bought and consumed two actually. The taste was fine except that they did not add cheese but only margarine. Also there was much sugar in it.

Here's my photo of how they prepared the puto-Bongbong.

Kayo bayo ba, gusto nyo ring kumain nito?


Manny Paquiao Jokes

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

With all due respect to our pound for pound king, allow me to share some jokes I have received from a friend. Here they are:

Quotes from Great Warriors:
"Veni, Vidi, Vici" - Julius Ceasar
"I Shall Return" - Macarthur
"I will fight INIWAN, INIWER, INITAYM! you know!" - Pacquiao

Pag panalo si Pacquaio sa Election
magpapatayo siya ng school.
Pacquiao University ang tawag.
In short: "PACQU"
"PACQERS" naman ang tawag sa mga students

Pacquiao - "hulaan mo ang alaga kong hayop. Nagsisimula sa I."
Erap - "Isda"
Pacquiao - "hindi"
Erap - "Ibon"
Pacquiao - "hindi pero malapit jan"
Erap - "sirit na ako."
Pacquiao - "Igol"

"Fooling her?.....try Head and Shoulders you know." - Pacquaio

Dionesia (Pacmom) - "Karamehan pala nkalebeng sa simintiryo , genahasa!'
Jinky (Pacwife) - "Pano nyo nalaman, mom?"
Dionesia - "Kase, nakalagay sa lapeda, RIP!"

Reporter - "Ano similarity nina Rizal, Bonifacio, at Ninoy?"
Pacquiao - "Pagkaalam ko, lahat sila namatay sa HOLIDAY, now you know."

Ha ha ha


Agora Awards

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nasubukan nyo bang kumain sa Mang Inasal? To date, it has now 170 branches all over the Philippines and is expecting to have 200 stores by the end of this year.

How about eating pizza from Lot's A Pizza? The company claims to have a total of 129 branches, 84 franchised and 45 company-owned outlets.

The two companies above have one thing in common - their respective founders are a recepient of this year's Agora Awards. Edgar Sia III, president of Mang Inasal, is the awardee for Large Scale Entrepreneurship while Teresita ngan Tian, president of Lot's A Pizza, is the awardee for Small Scale Entrepreneurship.

Other awardees are Sari V. Yap, president of Mega Publishing, for Medium Scale Entrepreneurship; Ma. Belen M. Fernando, vice-president for marketing, Alaska Milk Corp. for Marketing Management; Jonathan Yang Dee, president of Alliance Tuna International, for Export Marketing; Fama Francisco, General Manager for Baby Care Innovation, Procter & Gamble, for Overseas Marketing.

ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. and Sun Cellular received the award for Advocacy Marketing and Marketing Company of the Year, respectively.

The Agora Awards is an annual project of the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) which is given to men and women who have shown excellence in their respective category. By the way Agora is a Greek word which means "an open place of assembly" either for military, political or commercial purpose.

This year's awards is now the 30th having its inception in 1979.

Congratulations to all the awardees. May they strive for expansion so that they will continue to provide jobs and contribute to the development of the country. Hopefully, the awards will also inspire other businessmen to go for better management in order to garner an award in the years to come.


Wow Paquaio, Namakyaw

Monday, November 16, 2009

Here are the headlines of Philippine broadsheets:

Philippine Daily Inquirer : Greatest Fighter in his era is a Filipino

Philippine Star : Pacman's Magnificent Seventh

Manila Bulletin : Last Man Standing

Malaya : Pacquaio Wins by KTO in 12th

Manila Standard Today : Pacquiao Philippine Rockets to 7th Heaven

Oh Ah this is one of the greatest moments of Filipinos. We can not be more proud of our race.

Pero alam nyo ba kung ano ang susunod na laban nya? Balita ko, lalaban sya sa election 2010 sa pagkakongresista ng Sarangani Province. Payag ba kayo?


Teenpreneurs Challenge

During the past 2 days (November 14 and 15), students from different high schools all over Metro Manila showcased their products in an exhibit held at SM Megamall. Dubbed as "Teenpreneurs Challenge", the exposition is an initiative of the Entrepreneurs School of Asia (ESA) and the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship Education (I4SEE). On display were fabulous bags, clothes, accessories, food products, and other hand-made items.

The expo was a culmination of a three-month challenge whereby the students formed teams to develop new products together with their mentors and respective product owners. These teams attended workshops on product innovation, marketing, leadership and teamwork.

Mindful that business can be a powerful tool to fight poverty, the students were challenged to become agents of change by being more socially and environmentally aware. These potential future tycoons are learning very early the basic tenets of being a social entrepreneur.


Filipino Best Entrepreneurs

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recently, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards were given to the following:

1. Jesus Tambunting - awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2009. He will represent the country in the World Entrepreneur of the Year '09 to be held in Monte Carlo, Monaco on June 1, 2010. Tambunting is the Chairman and president of Planters Development Bank.

2. Eduarda V. Ayo - awarded the Small Business Entrepreneur for demonstrating excellence in managing a small business with less than 100 million pesos worth of assets. Her business is seed production and rice farming and milling. She is now into integrated farming that includes breeding goats, cows and other poultry animals.

3. Justin S. Uy - awarded the Manufacturing Entrepreneur for building a sustainable fruit business that exports dried mangoes and other fruit products to many countries. His company is Profood International Corporation.

4. Gemma N. Bullos - received the Social Entrepreneur Award for pioneering in the water business for poor communities. She is the founder of the A single Drop for Safe Water. She is also a song writer and was able to build a global peace movement called Million Voice Choir.

5. Antonio L. Tiu - awarded the Emerging Entrepreneur for excellence in managing a business with more than 100 million but less than 1 billion asset. He is the CEO of AgriNurture, Inc. (ANI) which is involved in trading and processing of fresh fruits and vegetables.

6. Corazon D. Ong - received the Woman Entrepreneur Award for her CDO brand of meat products and which is now promoting the San Marino brand of corned tuna.

7. Kenneth C. Cobonpue - selected as the Innovation Entrepreneur for applying innovative approaches to business management. His use of indigenous raw materials to create fabulous furniture items earned him worldwide accolade and his products now being exported to many countries.

The Other finalists are:

1. Mylene R. Abiva who is involved in the business of providing educational materials
2. Dustin V. Andaya who is earning millions for selling roses and other flowers through the internet
3. Mary Grace Arboleda-Young for promoting coffee from the Cordillera Mountains
4. Henry P. Cureg who is in the printing business
5. Michael L. Escaler with his trading activites in agricultural products like sugar and fertilizer.
6. Bonifacio P. Fernandez who found money by exporting charcoal
7. Antonio I. Gloria - the man behind Unitel Productions, the producer of short advertisement and movie trailers
8. Marianne G. Quebral who pioneered professional fund raising
9. Ricardo E. Reyes Jr. - the founder of the familiar Ricky Reyes Hair Salon.
10. Carlos C. Salinas the best friend of seafarers
11. William Tiu Lim of Mega Sardines fame.
12. Salvador V. Veluz of Buddy's Pizza and Restaurant.

You see, the Philippines is not really lacking in business talent. Sabi nga, maraming magagaling na Negosyanteng Pinoy!

Hope to meet and interview them in the future.


2nd AHPADA Expo

Friday, November 13, 2009

I was privileged to attend the exhibit of the 2nd ASEAN Handicrafts Promotion and Development Associations (AHPADA) last month. The exhibit was organized in celebration of the United Nation's declaration of 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibers. The picture above is a glamourous hat made of natural fibers.

This is the booth of the Philippines. Many fantastic handicrafts made of natural fibers were on display. Other countries which participated were Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea.

These mannequins are also made of natural fibers specifically abaca and bamboo.

The Philippines is blessed with many natural fibers such as abaca, pineapple, coconut coir, ramie, and bamboo. These plants can be developed to become big industries for the benefit of farmers, traders, designers, and manufacturers. I was hoping to find products made from water hyacinths and saluyot but there were none. Perhaps the organizers will include these two fibers next time.


To Be Or Not To Be In Business

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One of the reasons why there is so much poverty in our country is the lack of bold or daring Filipino entrepreneurs. Many of our countrymen would rather find a good paying job than venture into business. How often have we heard that most Filipinos go to school in order to have a good job later. In short, Filipinos are trained to be become employees! That is why when you ask a Filipino child what he or she wants to become in the future, the answer would likely be doctor, lawyer, engineer. Most probably you won't hear any child wanting to be engaged in business.

Nowadays many educators and government officials want the situation to be changed. They want the pursuit of profit to be inculcated in today's youth. The subject entreprenuership is now being integrated in high school and college curriculum. In fact, some colleges and universities offer a course in entrepreneurship.

One of the best argument to be an employee rather than a businessman is job security. In business, one can lost everything including his or her shirt so to speak. Yet in today's environment where job vacancy is scarce as can be gleaned from the long lines during job fairs, the only alternative is to go into business.

Well, to be in business is not really easy. It entails lot of hardwork and perseverance. Aside from the myriads of problems especially for start-ups, it may take a long while before profits can be realized. Indeed, starting a business is not for the faint-hearted.

Still, nobody would dispute the benefits to be gained from business. Aside of course from accumulating much money, having the power to control others, and being famous, there's the feeling of self-fulfillment, the joy of giving employment to others and the chance to contribute to the development of the country.

Want to become rich, powerful, and famous? Try being an entrepreneur!


Glamorous Products from the Philippines

Monday, November 9, 2009

It seems that the perception about the Philippines as a non-competitive country with regards to manufacturing is becoming true. Many well-known manufacturers have already left the country including Colgate-Palmolive, Caltex, Intel, and now Goodyear. And then those who are left behind are not expanding. It seem also that there are less and less businessmen investing in manufacturing. The reasons are many, such as undeveloped infrastructure, high power cost, inefficient bureaucracy, and what else, graft and corruption. All these make products made in the Philippines uncompetitive in the world market.

Well, the problems besetting the Filipino manufacturers are real. Yet I, for one, believes there is a way out. Let's produce high quality products that do not compete on price alone.

Let us focus on quality. Let us train and equip the Filipinos with design skills. I believe the Philippines can become a design capital not only for handicraft products but also for industrial products as well. It is often said that Filipino engineers and workers are world-class. It is for this reason that Filipinos are deployed in factories in many countries.

Let us name a few glamorous products where the Philippines can become a formidable competitor:

1. Designer clothes and footwear
2. Jewelry
3. Furniture and home furnishing
4. Handicraft items
5. Textiles and fabrics from natural fibers
6. Processed foods such as organic and halal products
7. Herbal products like medicines, essential oils and fragrances
8. Industrial products with unique designs

Of course there is a need for a strong support from big business and the government especially in the areas of marketing, technology transfer, and financing. Yes we can do it.


Promoting the Philippines

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Philippines is no doubt one of the most blessed countries in the world. It has rich natural resources and varied wonderful tourist attractions. Yet millions of its people do not enjoy a standard of living that is worthy of a dignified person.

Is there hope for a better future? Of course there is, provided every Filipino must act now.

There is a need to promote our country - our beautiful land, our glamourous products, and our wonderful festivals. Above all, our people must change. We have to patronize our own. Perhaps before travelling abroad, why not visit one of the idyllic islands in the Visayas? And in going abroad, why not wear Filipino-designed clothes and accessories? While enjoying oneself in one lazy afternoon, why not sip duhat wine from one of the towns in Quezon Province? These are some of the things we can do to help in making the Philippines a more progressive country.

For government officials, it is really high time to make a massive push for industrialization and export. Without factories in the countryside, there can be no decent jobs for the millions of unemployed Filipinos. There is no other way to achieve a sustainable economic growth of at least 7% if integrated industries are not located here.


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