Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The "Reverse Pasalubong" - Beyond Borders and Guimaras Chocolates

Happy Independence Day!

I thought today was a good day to write about this. I think that the Department of Tourism is really doing something to help improve this nation. I was fortunate enough to meet a man who works under the DOT. Mr. Enchong Formoso taught me the concept of "Reverse Pasalubong" and it was brilliant! You see, there are A LOT of balikbayans. They come here bringing pasalubong from the US, the Middle East, the UK, etc. But when they go back there, what do they bring to their American friends? That's where "reverse pasalubong" comes in. 

Balikbayans have a lot of power if you think about it. They have a lot of power marketing our great country. Mr. Formoso let me try this unique Milk Chocolate called "Guimaras" and it's a chocolate filled with Philippine Mango. I'm sorry I wasn't able to take a personal photo but it was exquisite! You can get that at Duty Free Philippines. 

Anyway, this concept of reverse pasalubong gives us a chance to tell our balikbayan friends what to bring to whatever part of the world the Philippines has to offer. A few weeks ago, my friend Marga asked me if I could write something in the blog. It was her product/advocacy. It's interesting because I told her that apart from geeks, there were Moms and Girls who actually read this blog and this part is actually for the great Moms and lovely women who read my blog. (Thank you Moms and Ladies, I am humbled)

Marga gave me some products for my mom and their woven blankets from Ilocos! Marga is part of "Beyond Borders" and they make blankets, placemats, linens, and throws. Guys, sorry, I also don't know what throws are either... Hahaha. But anyway, Marga works with Ilocano women and they are preserving an old Filipino Tradition. She sent a really nice Yellow Blanket for my mom.

I was really amazed that Marga was helping out Ilocano women and preserving an old Filipino Tradition. Here was a friend from school living out an advocacy. I'm really proud of her for doing this for the Philippines. 

Here's the press release from Beyond Borders.

Beyond Borders was born out three Filipinas' pride in their culture and its traditions and a sincere desire to preserve them. With an eye-catching product line handmade by Ilocano women and men on antique looms, Beyond Borders makes preserving tradition surprisingly modern.

"Abel" in Ilocano translates to "weave", and it is a craft that has been passed down orally to today's weavers by their elders. Younger generations have been more reluctant to sit at the loom because weaving takes patience and skill, and they are convinced they can earn more hunting for jobs in the city. But, with every item sold, Beyond Borders and its growing customer base prove them wrong! There is a future in keeping crafts alive.

Today, we are focused on raising awareness about the beauty and durability of Abel. We strive to design and innovate products that appeal to the urban markets while maintaining the integrity of traditional hand-weaving. Each product by Beyond Borders is a piece of the Filipino heritage. By supporting the brand and owning the products, you are doing your part to help us get closer to eternally preserving our Filipino tradition of Abel weaving.

Here's the THROW! Marga sent one for me. Now I know what it is. Haha! Thanks Margs! Check out http://www.facebook.com/beyondbordersphilippines for more information.

If you are a balikbayan reading this blog, thanks for taking time! I highly recommend that you have a pasalubong for your friends when you go back to whatever part of the world you're going back to. You really have the power to bring tourists here in the Philippines. I suggest products from Beyond Borders and Guimaras chocolates.

Have any other ideas for reverse pasalubong? :)