i got a surprising knock at my house from LBC – they delivered an odd sized package to me. quickly, i made a mental audit – am i expecting a package or document from anyone? the quick answer was – none. bells in my mind rang! oh, is this a surprise from someone?
i opened the pack and i found a mailer from Ford on their new car, the Focus. i checked the envelope and yes it was addressed to me and it had my address. i wondered if it was sent to “occupant” or if it was sent to my house by mistake. no such mistake.
i was impressed with the direct mailing effort of Ford!
it was impressive as this was the first direct mail i got through LBC and this was addressed specifically to me. sending direct mail through LBC is a very expensive proposition. LBC cost alone is a killer of advertising budgets.
the other thing that is equally impressive was that it was specifically for me. i was surprised they got my name and address. coming from marketing and advertising myself, i have for many years not given out my name, address and even cell phone number to almost anyone or any organization that i thought can turn my personal information into data in a direct mail effort.
the most i do is sign my name when asked by any organization, including the schools of my children, retail outlets, stores or any other organization. when an address is required, all i put is the city name, not the complete address. for telephone or cell phone numbers, i would usually put some random number and very far from my real cell phone number.
this ford focus mailer was very targeted, having the ability to reach potential buyers. a targeted direct mail effort is very difficult for many direct mail agencies to pull off. this means this direct mail agency has a very good data base.
although i was impressed with the direct mail effort, i was not at all impressed with the mailer material they sent out.
the main weakness of the mailer is that it is just a re-layout of their print ads and a restating of the key elements of their TV ad. not saying the mailer should have a different advertising strategy and ad components from the TV and print ad, as they should have the same but they should have changed the execution and implementation of the elements.
the mailer does not look like a mailer, it looks like a print ad but printed in glossy paper and folded. except for the letter that came with it, the mailer had nothing in it from a design and content standpoint that will get the recipient to take action or even just enjoy the mailer.
aside from coming up with a new design appropriate for a mailer, it should have some elements that exploit the mailer format medium. it could have been more interactive or leading where the recipient will want to read, interact with or manipulate the mailer because it is interesting or creative.
the Focus has a few features that are unique in the market and potentially very attractive to potential car buyers. while these were mentioned in the mailer, it was not exploited in a way that is creative and compelling.
the mailer as an advertising medium is self contained and has the target audience practically as captive, designing the mailer to exploit the great features of the car and the characteristics of the medium would have served Ford very well.
another key weakness of this mailer is that it does not include some kind of an incentive for the recipient to take action – for the recipient to go to the Ford showroom and look at the car or as the letter suggests to test drive the car.
the end objective of this mailer is not just to generate awareness on the features of the car, it is to get the target audience to go to the showroom to look and test drive the car. the weak design of the mailer fails in achieving this key objective.
the mailer may succeed in informing the target audience of the features of the car but it may be failing in getting them to take action.
lacking this incentive and the weakness of the design and concept makes this mailer a WAWAM! What A Waste Of Advertising Money!
we will be going to a Ford showroom to complete the experience and effort of this mailer. will post a write-up here.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
competitive advertising is one of the most effective advertising concept and format. competitive advertising takes many forms, one is calling out the weakness of your competitor to set up your brand as the superior brand to the inferiority of your competitor. it is one of the most effective as consumers will always go for the superior brand.
not only that, users of your competitive brand, the inferior brand will be encouraged to switch to your brand. that is the main reason why smart telco has launched a new advertising campaign.
globe, it’s only other competitor has been experiencing network problems for many months now.
globe service has been very unreliable with frequent downtime, inconsistent signal strength, fluctuating signal strength from zero to 2 bars, 30 minute to several hours of receiving and sending text and inability of subscribers to make calls. this has been happening to globe for several months now. this happens area to area but the other weekend the globe system apparently failed metro manila wide.
smart very smartly exploited the inferiority of service that globe has been showing by launching an national ad campaign calling out globe’s network failures. the advertising objective is to get globe subscribers to switch to smart and to prevent new subscribers from going to globe.
this move of smart is very unusual from an advertising strategy standpoint. ads like what smart ran are usually aired by new brands just launching into the market, not by a brand that has been in the market for almost as long as globe is. newly introduced brands use this type of advertising to get loyal consumers of competitive brands already in the market to switch to the new entrant.
globe has been having network problems as a result of a mismanagement of their switch over to a new hardware and system from chinese supplier Huawei which was supposed to upgrade their service – faster service and bigger handling capacity. the change over is so bad that it is wrecking havoc to globe service. (read link, above)
smart obviously knew this as you don’t normally run ad campaigns that feature competitive weaknesses that can easily be solved and quickly. doing that will waste advertising money. smart must have known that the network problems of globe will be going on for a long time that they can actually air an ad campaign on it. smart’s competitive ad campaign has bite only if globe continues to have an inferior product.
this cellphone service war can very well be named as – how your own upgrade can kill yourself.
carlo p arvisu
bayo finally does the right thing by recognizing their error, not making excuses for it, apologizing for their error and announcing they will pull out the offensive ad campaign.
By Francine M. Marquez, InterAksyon.com · Thursday, June 7, 2012 · 11:06 pm
On Thursday evening, an official statement issued by the company through its VP for Product Research and Development, Lyn Agustin, said: “We at BAYO deeply apologize for the message our campaign—‘What’s Your Mix?’—has unintentionally conveyed. We would like to express our regret to those who have been offended or felt discriminated against.
“Our company and our partners have always taken pride in being pro-Filipino as we continue to celebrate our uniqueness and achievements. We believe that being a Filipino will always make you 100% beautiful. It is unfortunate that this message got lost along the way.
“We thank everyone who has shown support for our thrust of promoting Filipino beauty, talent, and creativity.”
In a phone interview with Bayo’s GM Pinky Estrebillo, the clothing brand’s executive said that the company will also temporarily bring down all its billboards with the said ads. The campaign, she said, was conceptualized by its in-house creative team with the help of a consultant.
the statements of apology no longer come from the spokesperson but two other company officials. that is a good move. the spokesperson who released a statement first did not do a good job at it and we even think may have harmed the brand even more by attempting to rationalize their error.
they should have released the latest statement of apology and ad recall at the very start. people have been offended by the ads,. no amount of debate, argument or excuses can change that. making excuses for the error will only deepen the hurt and prolong the agony of a failed and insulting ad campaign.
what’s next for bayo?
1. new ad campaign – quick! they need to release a new ad campaign quickly. this may take longer than usual as they need to do some very serious thinking on the next ad campaign. this will be a tough assignment as the new ad campaign need to take into consideration the ill effects of mixed race ad campaign.
they need to find the correct balance. in a situation like this, doing too little and too much are both detrimental to the brand. will they ignore what happened? or will they recognize it?
very serious strategic thinking need to be applied on the next ad campaign. more importantly, they should do things other than just advertising. a holistic, strategy driven and integrated effort need to be done.
2. comprehensive PR campaign – now! while they are developing their new ads, they need to go on a PR offensive to smooth things out with the public and their target market.
equally important, they need to do a PR campaign for their suppliers, the malls that house their retail outlets and their employees. for sure many of their partners and employees feel demoralized from what happened. bayo needs to restore confidence and faith on the company and company management.
3. get rid of the consultant, do not engage in house communication group to do next ad campaign – the press statement said a consultant and their in house communication group did the ads. getting them to do the next ad campaign will be counter productive. getting them involve will not result to good things as they will for sure feel defensive and tainted.
4. re-train and re-tool in store dealing with customers by sales personnel - byo should not forget that being a retail operation, the company does have direct contact with their customers at the stores. theirs is unlike mass consumer goods marketers whose contact with the customers is mostly through advertising. people who buy a bottle of coke or sanitary napkin for example just go to the stores and buy the product, no other interaction takes place with the customer.
that is not true with retail stores. the clothing company actually has direct contact with their customers via the sales ladies in their retail stores. these sales ladies need to be given guidelines and training as to how they will behave and what to say to customers. for sure the bayo sales ladies will be faced with questions on the ad campaign by customers. they need to know what to say and how to say it.
5. completely drop the mixed race advertising campaign, not even with a ten foot pole – they should NOT, not even put a hint on the mixed race campaign.
the fact is the ad campaign they had was a race-driven campaign, it was not even about clothes or fashion, it was about race. race and religion are the two things in this world that no advertising or brand should have in their advertising campaign. race and religion are always very touchy subject matters where the line between doing good for the brand and doing bad is a very, very thin line.
to begin with, the advertising strategy for their mixed race ad campaign was a total failure. the ad campaign was selling the idea of mixed-fashion which is not unique to their brand and something that other clothing companies can claim. it is a very generic claim that does not build brand equity for them.
just to simplify the point, they could have for example sold their clothing line on the basis of having the best yellow color in the industry. that is ownable and unique . mixed fashion is not.
the ad campaign was selling the idea of mixed race, zeroing in on the celebrity talents they had in their ads. race has nothing to do with clothes or fashion.
this ad campaign is a celebrity endorsement ad campaign gone wrong and done badly. they took the idea of celebrity endorsement ad campaign to the extreme – selling their endorsers instead of the product which is clothes.
this is the weakness of the philippine advertising industry as a whole. the ad industry in this country knows nothing else but celebrity endorsement ad campaigns. a huge 80% to 90% of the total ads aired on tv and radio and published in print feature celebrity endorsers. celebrity endorsement has become a go-to ad campaign concept for the industry. it has become the default ad campaign concept.
the bayo mixed-race ad campaign has taken that ad campaign concept to the extreme that they were already selling the mixed race element of their celebrity endorser rather than the clothes they were supposed to advertise.
in developing all of the above, the company needs to face the fact that they have offended the general public and their target market. not only that, most people will now know them as the clothing brand that insulted the filipino. that is no easy issue to face.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo p arvisu
we join the multitude of netizens condemning the bayo ad as anti-filipino. we join them as a filipino and as a marketing/advertising practitioner.
from the advertising and marketing standpoints, it is very unfortunate since bayo is one of the country’s local fashion shops who is doing well in the market with many outlets in almost all the major shopping malls in the country. there is nothing worst that any one brand can do in advertising than being anti-filipino for a filipino clothing line whose market are filipinos.
for us, there is no question on the meaning of this copy : “Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”
filipinos with mixed blood are “beautiful and world class” while unsaid, the implication is clear that those with pure filipino blood are less beautiful and not world class.
there is no mistaking the meaning of that line. the whole intent of the line is to put “mixing” as a better or even superior option to the “pure” kind. of course they refer primarily to clothing choices but the reference to mixed races is clear. the use of an australian-filipino celebrity as model for the ad makes that crystal clear as well.
how can a filipino advertising agency and a filipino clothing company make such awful statements?
before that, let’s first go to a lesson in advertising 101 courtesy of the bayo spokesperson quoted by rappler.com
“The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.
“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.“
in fact the bayo spokesperson need to learn more than one advertising 101 lessons:
- do not release ads with words that are “badly put”. ads are supposed to make people feel good about the product being advertised. words used in ads are supposed to put the brand always in a good light. being put in a good light is definitely a necessity before desirability and purchase action kicks in. words in ads are as important as the pictures in them.
- “what you see is what you get“- that is one of the first things you learn when you take an advertising job for the first time after college. the audience absorbs what you put out in the ad, both in visuals and copy (words or text). visuals and copy contain your message/s. what you write and show in your ad is what the audience gets, not intentions, even good intentions as the bayo spokesperson was trying to say in his/her attempt to make a lame excuse for the ad. intentions are always invisible to the audience. so making a point of it when asked by media about a failed ad shows a very poor understanding of the communication and advertising philosophy and its dynamics. rather than say this, the spokesperson whould have just apologized for the error. we think this bayo spokesperson has done slightly worst than the ad agency that did the ad for bayo.
- release ads only if you are 100% sure it will build business – never, ever release an ad that is “open to misunderstanding” , even the with the slightest chance of “misunderstanding”. clients advertise because it wants to generate business. generating business through advertising demands brand building which includes brand image that leads to brand desirability which in turn leads to brand purchase. the ideal is to have advertising that generates all those positive points, the next best thing is “target market neutral” where they are not affected by the ad and neither are they repulsed by it. the worst of course is when the target market is repulsed by your ad. we have done this many times in our career in advertising – we junk ads that have in them even a single element that has even a slight chance of being interpreted as negative. the fact that an ad element has the chance of being interpreted as negative is like putting a tiny grenade in your handbag. it may be a small grenade but if something happens in your handbag, it can still explode. small negative elements in ads can be made bigger as your consumers talk about it and others who may have missed it are now made aware of it.
we think the “mixed race’ campaign idea in the ad has been brought about by the heightened national attention given to other “mixed race” celebrities that we have been recently admiring like the azkals soccer team, Robin Lim the winner of the CNN Heores, miami heat coach erik spoelstra and most recently just weeks ago, american idol runner up jessica sanchez just to name a few. the phenomenon of the celebrities with filipino blood being admired by the country is really a recent development, having started something like just in the past 4 to 5 years ago. the bayo ad wanted to ride on this bandwagon.
that is fine except that they used the idea of “mixed race” in a very wrong way. they wanted to create the analogy of mixed clothing is as good as mixed race. the mistake was that they put the idea of “mixed” on the superior level calling it “beautiful and world class”. the inclusion of ”world class’ plays up to the point i raised about the azkals, spoelstra, lim and sanchez who are all seen as world class.
it is twisted logic at its best. it takes the proposition from the backdoor, rather than a straight up communication of the message. it is an ad that is too intelligent. it asks the audience to go through a complicated thinking process to appreciate the message. “intelligent ads” are very tricky and prone to misinterpretation. these types of ads are very easy for the audience not to get what it means and or as it is in this case, to be misunderstood by them.
the creative team who wrote this ad cannot deny it – they were writing advertising with the intent of positioning the brand on a superiority platform. a superiority positioning is ALWAYS what creative writers aim for when they write advertising. superiority more often than not sells brands. consumers will hardly deny a brand that they think is superior over others.
that by itself is benign. a superiority positioning is the best kind of advertising. the problem is they referenced that brand superiority positioning with race – filipino mixed with other races versus pure filipino. that we think is more than insulting.
whenever we look at an advertising campaign, we always look for two things – what it says about the brand and if there are things in the ads that can generate negatives. having a hundred positives in an ad is turned worthless with even just one negative. that is the nature of advertising.
whenever we look at advertising research, we always look at the negatives and consider them in the decision making. in fact there are even advertising research tools that purposely look for negatives in ads.
advertising that works are those that are simple and easy to understand. having complicated ads not only result to poor communication, it can bring negatives to the brand as is the case in this bayo ad.
bottom line, it is a WAWAM – What A Waste Of Advertising Money.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
[VIRAL] Bayo’s ‘What’s your mix’ campaign earns ire of netizensBY RAPPLER.COM
MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos on social media are reacting to a recently-launched campaign by local clothing brand Bayo.
The campaign, which caries the tagline, “What’s your mix?” features Filipino models of mixed descent accompanied by text that “breaks down” their genealogy.
The campaign in itself has been mildly controversial on social media, but one particular ad is being branded by netizens as “racist” and offensive.
The ad features Fil-Aussie Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and is accompanied by copy explaining the “What’s your mix?” concept.
“This is just all about MIXING and MATCHING. Nationalities, moods, personalities and of course your fashion pieces,” the copy reads.
“Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”
The ad was never released on any of the brand’s social media accounts, a Bayo representative told Rappler; it was uploaded on their official website to explain the rationale behind the campaign.
One user, however, supposedly took a screen shot of the ad — that’s when it went viral.
Users on the thread cried foul over the ad’s implication that Filipinos of mixed descent are superior to others, while others said that reactions to the ad were exaggerated, adding that they didn’t see anything offensive in it.
“The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.
“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.”
marketing & advertising 101 : how to apply hard core mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible product “family planning”
we have started a series of articles on our experience on applying hard core mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible product called “family planning”
this will be a first of a series of articles that will explore how hard core mass consumer marketing and advertising have been successfully applied to a near intangible product called “family planning”. the product “family planning” is actually a mindset and a practice and something you cannot buy like a detergent bar for washing clothes that you can get in a supermarket or sari-sari store (neighborhood store),while family planning can eventually take the form of real and tangible products like condoms or pills which has real brand names and packages that can be bought in retail and drug stores, what the effort intended to do was to get the target audience to buy in or believe in “family planning” and for the same target audience to decide to use any one of family planning methods available.source : http://bit.ly/ycZ5QI
in september 2000 a power point presentation was sent to the chief marketing officer of eastman kodak that essentially warned the company of a collapse of its business if it did not take action in response to the emerging changes in consumer habits and the market it operated in.
the market that kodak was operating then was fast changing brought about by stand alone digital cameras, cameras in cell phones, the computer and the internet. at that time less and less people were using cameras that needed film, and therefore less pictures were printed and more and more pictures were being shared electronically or digitally. while smartphones were not yet widespread then, cell phones already had basic cameras and were able to take acceptable pictures. cameras in cell phones was an emerging trend during that time.
that development among consumers were affecting the very market thatr kodak was operating in. it was starting to shrink at a rapid pace.
the change that was happening was among the consumers themselves. habits were being changed, usage was altered and consumers were substituting kodak products with other forms of products outside film and picture printing. this was a major revolution in consumer needs and wants. kodak in effect was becoming irrelevant to the consumer and not even considered as a choice or option.
the powerpoint presentation was not based on any consumer or market research or any business data. it was just based on observing what was happening to consumers, the environment and the author’s personal experience. it was calling for a major and almost reinvention of the marketing philosophy and strategy for kodak.
not having real data, it was not exhaustive but the idea was to spark some start page thinking and to develop a roadmap for a major change in strategy for kodak with the end view of not just growing the business but actually helping ensure its survival as a company.
the powerpoint presentation intended to paint a preliminary picture of changing consumer habits, needs and wants that will change the market that kodak was competing in for a change in marketing strategy for the company and eventually lead to new product development for the company that will probably be very different from what kodak was manufacturing and selling at that time.
the powerpoint presentation was sent to another marketing officer, a woman but no action was taken on it.
we wonder now what would have happened if kodak took the contents of the powerpoint presentation and how kodak would have avoided filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that it filed in january this year.
read the full powerpoint presentation here: KODAK Growth Focus
i have been monitoring the winter situation in the US almost on a daily basis since november last year. it has been a long wait for the real winter or at least for snow, the unofficial mascot of winter, it came late this winter in the US. snow only arrived middle of january instead of november or december of previous years.
having lived in snow-less asia all your life makes the arrival of snow both an exciting and daunting experience.
i remember the first time i saw snow in the US – it was in the early morning of a november month many years ago somewhere in new jersey where we stayed in a good friend’s house. we woke up early in the morning as we were flying back out to california. it was a shock, in a good way, to go out of the house and suddenly saw the whole neighborhood covered with a fine white snow blanket. color was absent except for white over every space. the place had color just the previous day!
it felt like we were looking at a painting of the place we have been staying in but the artist decided to put an abundant layer of white on the whole painting. it felt like a giant spray paint was used to lay on it an even spread of fine white snow. it was early morning and the painting was untouched and unbroken by anything, just beauty and wonderment in white snow.
it was really spectacular and would have wanted to get a near boil coffee in a mug, get thick blankets and sit on the porch and enjoy the view. but we didn’t have time to enjoy it as we needed to catch our flight back to california.
we were going to be driving to the airport and our host was good enough to give us a briefing on what to expect and what to do in driving through snow, it would be our first time to do that. aside from getting the all important briefing on driving through snow, we also needed to load our stuff into the rental which does not leave us a lot of time. more than half of the things we had belong to my 3-year-old daughter.
my android cellphone and ipod touch have the Weather Channel applications on them, even a widget on the android so that it automatically tracks and informs me of weather changes in boston. i woke up last saturday, manila time with tiny specks of snow on the weather channel application on my android phone. i immediately sent an email to boston asking – “have you seen snow yet?”.
i got an email reply, no words, just 4 pictures probably taken from a cellphone or ipod touch camera.
the reply was yet the most eloquent i ever got on email. it did that for many reasons beyond the pictures sent to me. it’s like some invisible melody coming from some place deep. this email, even without words talked straight to my heart and my heart spoke back.
time seemed to have stood still in the pictures. i wondered if seeing snow for the first time this way, which was very much like what we saw years ago evoked the same kind of feelings i felt then.
the first picture, above, is one taken from inside a window looking out to the scene outside. it reminded me of how many things have changed. things from the inside and the outside. in this picture life seemed to have changed in a very major way in over just a day so it seems. it was a familiar place because you saw it every day but now all of it seems gone, the same place redefined in a major way. while many have changed, you knew it is the same place.
all of it looking very different and yet it is the same place and knowing that with certainty. there is no contradiction there. it’s just how time and seasons operate and how it affects us and our lives in ways that sometimes we don’t understand and without permission. there is comfort there and mixed with some mystery. that is what happens when you see from the inside looking out.
i felt different things when i saw the picture above. while it seemed solitary and even sad, i saw a kiss, next a wave good bye and soon enough i see footsteps breaking the snow as they move away from me.
the footsteps will eventually go past my field of vision, beyond what i can see. and that is a good thing. more than what i can see means pathways i was unable to reach now conquered. that is always reason to be happy.
the good thing about pathways is that if it is there for the going, it is also there for the coming. in afternoons already too many to count, that has always happened. a doorbell, the same kiss and this time a hug instead of a wave good bye happened with regularity. the unsettled returns to what it was from the day that started in the morning.
but this is now snow. that is a whole different story altogether. i had broken snow myself on a pathway just a few times a long time ago. this new pathway and this snow will be broken almost everyday and soon it will be too many to count as well, made by different footsteps and not mine.
for now, i can only hope that this pathway returns to me eventually, in some future time. for sure not on a daily basis but at least once in awhile and that will be enough to fill the waiting and the half empty heart with overflowing joy.
the 3 year old is now 18 and in her hand, this time wearing red gloves, is snow. the picture above.
the snow was pressed , i can see her fingers’ indention on the snow. she went out, scooped some snow in her hand and pressed it to get a feel of snow. that is perhaps to make sure she is really there in boston. it is a good way to experience snow for the first time. it’s a very natural thing to do – squeeze the snow as if to find out what it is made of. i would have done the same.
it is also a very good way to answer the question i emailed her – “have you seen snow yet?”.
i immediately remembered that picture of hers, one of my favorites, when she was 3 when we went to New York. we had to bundle her up, with multiple layers of clothing as it was her first time to experience winter. coming from sunny philippines all her life, catching a cold is a key concern, 24/7.
for some reason she decided that her little hands held high and her face tilted with a big smile just like it is in that picture, above, will be the only pose she will ever have in that US trip. so all her pictures during that US trip had her in that exact pose. we didn’t bother asking her why she chose that pose nor did we ask her to change to other poses. it made her happy, so we let her be.
why is it that during her first trip to winter in New York when she was 3 that her hands were most prominent and now, 15 years after, she being 18 now, her first encounter with snow, the same hand is also prominent? it feels like some poetic string sprouted from that time , grew and traveled 15 years through time to this moment in that boston picture.
they are the same hands, its just that then they were from a 3 year old in that picture and now from an 18 year old holding snow.
i have read in baby books that the infant is born without yet knowing her body parts and that included her hands. the books said there will come a time when the baby will realize she has hands.
i was there when that happened to her.
it was an afternoon, she was on the bed, after a nice warm bath and she momentarily stopped wiggling her feet. i saw her whole body sort of freeze, then she stared at her hand, fixed her gaze at it then moved her head to follow it as she moved her hand from side to side. realizing what just happened, i quickly removed the cloth gloves we always put on her (prevents her from scratching her own face or poke her eye). i wanted her to see her own fingers too.
it happened exactly the way the baby books described it. it was sort of funny for me as i found the idea of not knowing you have hands sounded ridiculous and discovering it the way she did was even funnier. she looked silly keeping her gaze at her own hand and moving her head to follow her hand as she moved it.
while finding it funny, i felt a beautiful warm feeling came over me. i knew she has reached a new milestone in her life., just 3 months old. it felt good and i felt very honored to be right there to witness it when it happened. it was very special for a father to be right there with your daughter as she crossed a milestone, no matter how small it is. this was the first beginning of a new phase in her life that i had witnessed and through the years, there were many more firsts that i had witnessed.
a little sadness, more like missing her that i felt when i saw that picture of snow for the first time being in her hand. with oceans separating us, i could only experience it with her through an emailed picture. how i wish i was with her.
i had seen the same hands do many things for the first time – taking it out of her mouth from finger sucking to holding a nursing bottle to pulling at my arm and pressing my hand when she felt terrified while watching a scary movie to getting comfort as the doctor gave her an injection.
i saw that hand through different times of her life – from her first discovery that she had hands, to teaching her how to use that hand to hold things, to getting comfort and strength from me, to holding it to give her affection to a wave good bye at the airport. it has now grown to almost the size of my hand. that boston picture of snow in hand told it to me so eloquently – she is an adult now and all that i can do for now is to see what those hands are doing with several time zones separating us through a picture sent by email.
the upside is those hands that she discovered when she was 3 months old, then raised for pictures at 3 years old and now holding snow at 18 for sure will be doing great things that i will enjoy and be proud of soon enough. there is something in that a hand meant to touch is being able to touch my heart without physical contact. while i smile, my heart cries a little.
to bring back some warmth to my heart, i search for one end of that poetic string and attach it to my heart. then i heard my heart whisper through that string – ”you are missed badly. and loved completely. then, now and forever.”
~~ a love letter to happiness ~~
the willie revillame mess at his tv show “willing willie” has taken a higher level discussion now from the question was there child abuse in revillame’s show or none to what is philippine tv and should it be?
we applaud monique wilson for speaking out and for urging other filipino talents to speak their minds on the issue. she makes a very good point that in recent years we have been seeing more and more
filipinos breaking out and being admired in the world stage. there is now a huge army of them with filipinos and half filipinos who have become and are hailed as world-class in their firleds from many persuasions – music, arts, sports, design, modeling, journalism, medicine, visual arts, business and many others.
with so many filipinos taking on the stature and reputation as being world-class, why is philippine tv doing a “dumb down” on the philippine audience?
Don’t dumb down viewers, TV urged
Actress, solon seek quality programs
by Volt Contreras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:11:00 04/11/2011
MANILA, Philippines—Even the theater star who brought “The Vagina Monologues” to the Philippine stage is aghast.
The list of Willie Revillame’s critics now includes acclaimed actress-director Monique Wilson, who called on local artists to band together, overcome fears of crossing potential employers, and help put the pressure on TV networks that “dumb down” the Filipino audience.
“We keep saying Filipino artists are world-class. Well, let’s prove it now,” Wilson wrote on her blog as she weighed in on the latest controversy hounding the game show host.
“The debate is no longer whether it was child abuse or not,” Wilson said, referring to the widely criticized episode of Revillame’s “Willing Willie” show on TV5 that had a 6-year-old boy gyrating like a macho dancer while breaking into tears for a P10,000 cash prize.
“The facts are plain to see. No one with a sense of respect for another human being can dispute that,” Wilson said.
“The discourse now is how we, as Filipinos, as artists involved in the same industry that created Willie Revillame and shows like his, could have allowed this to go on for as long as it has.”