As you have probably heard, read, or seen, H&M opened its doors to Filipino fashionistas. There was huge buzz and a big promotion for this opening.
The big one was that the first customer in line will be guaranteed a 6,000-peso gift certificate while the remaining 200 (or 199) will get gift certificates ranging from P200-P5,000. So all these people camped out hoping to get gift certificates. Imagine, they waited for more than 12 hours (I think the first in line waited for 24 hours). And then, they didn't shower. Imagine the smell (no perfume can hide it!) and they will try out clothes (I am hoping the clothes they tried on and didn't buy were burned? LOL!).
So, I went to H&M on a Saturday. Well, ok it was a Saturday so the fact that it was crowded should be justified. But, I remember when it was still under construction, it looked long, wide, and big. When I went inside it was super cluttered. I am blaming this on poor interior design. It was like there was no space. AT ALL. Also, there was a long line at the fitting room and quite a short line in the cash register (now I know what you're thinking, it takes longer to try out clothes than to pay for it but are you really gonna believe that?).
While we love these foreign brands and aspire for them, what does that say about us? It means we don't dream big enough.
Think about it, H&M is a high street brand. Not high fashion. They sell knock off design (I buy there too so I'm a hypocrite haha!). In other countries. H&M is like your Bench or Penshoppe. Do we aspire for those brands? I'm sure we don't.
Are we Filipinos just knock offs of other countries? Our music industry can vouch for that. Our songs are mostly revivals of foreign hits. Original Pinoy Music (OPM) hardly makes an impact. OPM is not even diverse. When you think of OPM, you think of sad ballads, acoustic, and rock. Is that all the genre there is? We don't have a proper dance genre because we call it novelty. And novelty is looked at as a joke. It will never be played in clubs.
Ask yourself, would you spend P10,000 or more for a Filipino-designed dress? Now, how about we changed that label to Zara? Will you buy it? I'm sure you would. Despite the fact that I'm sure the Filipino-designed one will have a better quality (although design wise, I hope it's not a knock off)
I am hoping for that day when Filipinos go to work abroad to make a name for themselves and not just to earn a quick buck. Filipinos are more amazing than that. We have in ourselves the power to change the world. Instead, we take a backseat and let others do it even though we can do it so much better.
Here's to Filipinos making an impact. It doesn't have to be a big and quick one. You can do it slowly. Take it step by step.