Singapore Incorporated has a vision. They know where they want to go. They have a ROADMAP laid out (35+years ago) as a guide. It is not a perfect roadmap- I am sure, they had to “re-route” several times before they got to where they are. This roadmap spells out the essence of their very existence as a people-this roadmap resides in their collective thoughts.
How about us? Do we know where we’re going to? (A song comes to my mind… and I sing softly with a heavy heart).
Philippines incorporated, can we create it?
Everyone knows and everyone has advised every Tomas, Ricardo and Horacio in our country that the only way we can create Philippines Incorporated like Singapore is to have a national vision and a national value system or collective consciousness.
But do we have a national vision…uh, uh… is it clearly stated?
The basic rule is to make the “begin with the end in mind” very clear, easy to understand and to remember. Goodness, I know we have tried over and over. However, we always start the discussions with problems, get stuck there and end-up with various analyses of “who-dun-it” and why? (All the time!)
These perennial questions will never have definitive answers. So, I suggest we skip the analysis and finger pointing. Everyone has a hand in the predicament we are in. No one is innocent except our children who will inherit the mess we created. Unless…
The advocates of the Pearl Principle, in a people’s congress last September 28 and 29, 2004 at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City, have come up with the following:
People’s Vision: Philippines-Pearl of the Orient Seas: A Strong and Tenacious Republic Instituted by Nation-loving Generations (S.T.R.I.N.G.)
People’s Operating Values: Passionate, Ethical, Action-oriented, Results-focused Leaders of Society (P.E.A.R.L.S.)
Ideology/Culture: the Pearl Principle- Change must begin from within and within one’s sphere; wherein a state of hopelessness is transformed into a state of optimism where opportunities are created as in the creation of the pearl.
People’s National Slogan: “Pilipinas Perlas Ng Silanganan”
People’s Symbol of Hope and Transformation: The Pearl
People’s Symbol of Hope and Transformation
We need a symbol of Hope and a model for transformation. It can’t be just anybody. Anyone can come and go. So many has let us down. Almost everyone has a hidden agenda. Most have turfs to protect. There are those weak in character. A lot has let us down.
The “pearl” then is the (near) perfect choice. The oyster’s inner struggle to survive has a romantic touch to it. If you are going through a similar struggle, it is sentimental enough to hit you in the heart. It is faceless but it has life. It is the only living organism which can transform an “irritation” into a priced gemstone.
It is very easy for us to identify with the story of the pearl. It has no race, no creed, no political affiliations, no gender--- it has universal appeal and its story is easy to recall.
When everything else in one’s life is in disarray, one can just think of the pearl –the national symbol of hope. I am sure the flicker of hope will start to warm the heart of this person enough to make him stand-up to fan the flame to help him convert his feelings of hopelessness into optimism. Only then, will he be able to see beyond the pain and the feeling of being a victim—to someone who has enough courage to overcome.
The symbol “pearl” has always been in our subconscious. We see this symbol in many Philippine insignia. However, there is no conscious effort to make this a shining symbol of our Motherland.
We did a survey; we found out that the nipa hut comes next to the Philippine flag as our national symbol, followed by the “jeepney” , a second-hand reconditioned vehicle- junk from another country which found its way onto our streets.
Does this say anything about our self-image?
Let there be a conscious effort to promote positivism among our countrymen-beginning with a simple step--- adapt the “pearl” as our official National Symbol next to our flag and claim- particularly the world renowned Philippine South Sea Pearls, as one of our National Treasures.
China is known for its fabulous jade. Bangkok, for its amazing gold. Australia, for its extraordinary opals and onyx. Amsterdam, for its superb diamonds. Japan, for its legendary mikimotos. Let Philippines be known for its marvelous Philippine South Sea pearls.
Should this be the case, we can create more product lines around the pearl, our new National Treasure. Currently, we have a hodge –podge of pearl products but nowhere in site is a cohesive plan to grow and maximize the potential of this entire industry.
This has a direct correlation to tourism. Where there should be a master plan for destination development, there should also be a master plan for tourism product development -paying special attention to unique national treasures.
Other than the Philippine South Sea pearls, replicas of historically significant Philippine artifacts can be manufactured. These can be sold separately but are actually part of collection sets. This way, foreign and local tourists would have something to look forward to collecting each time they come to visit the different historic spots of our country. They can buy for their friends, too, some of these collection/collectible pieces that their friends were not able to buy/collect when they last visited.
The beauty of coming up with collectibles and collections is that we end up selling to those former visitors, even if he or she has long gone, just so their collections can be completed and updated.
People’s Vision and Philippine Brand Strategy
Philippines, Pearl of the Orient Seas, this is our “historical brand” (since the 1500s). It’s in Rizal’s “Ultimo Adios”. It is in the first stanza of our National Anthem.
With all the above being congruent, we can already connect plans for brand strategy and business strategy. Truly, a STRING of PEARLS.