Many businesses dream of conquering the world stage, or with the global audience as its market. We see this through the many efforts of several business outfits expanding their operations not just locally but also overseas, which take many years in planning and execution. In addition, we also discover that it is not only businesses that go this route, but even individuals who try to make it to the international scene.
There are tremendous opportunities out there as far as going global would be concerned. These opportunities can be leveraged on by knowing the Filipinos’ key competitive advantages: creativity, hospitality and English-speaking skills.
Historically, creativity and hospitality traits have been ingrained in us ever since. A closer look at our history shows how much of a colony we have been for centuries, and how Filipinos found creative ways, especially on difficult situations. Hospitality-wise, we bow down to foreigners and the Indio culture we had was not as forgiving as well: everyone was a sir or a ma’am, generation after generation. This is a factor and one of the reasons why we are the number one exporter of resources such as nurses, domestic workers and seafarers, among others.
Filipinos are not far behind when it comes to creativity.
Fashion designers, entertainers, architects and even self-taught creative artists, to name a few, chart the path for the country to be in the global map as well. Popular Filipino American stand-up comedian JoKoy has successfully carved a spot for the Filipinos in mainstream Hollywood through his latest movie “Easter Sunday” that aims to bring the story of the Filipino to the global audience. The opinion may be different for some though as one news outlet published how the humor was irrelevant at this point in time, but this writer would like to emphasize that that is not the point. In fact, the point being is somebody, through JoKoy (with massive support and funding from Steven Spielberg if that does not sound global enough) has gone through the efforts of promoting the story to an audience of epic proportions. Imagine the opportunities that will be threshed out in the process because of that.
There will be curiosity and interest to dig deeper into the Filipino culture, not just from an entertainment standpoint but think about culinary and food (look at global brand Jollibee now), skills, crafts and many other things which inevitably would translate to livelihood and jobs at a time when the world is trying to recover from the long-drawn effects of the pandemic. There is a market for this and that market is global. In other words, let us forego crab mentality if we are to bring the Philippines to the global stage. It is 2022 and the world is becoming increasingly smaller. There are many productive things that we can all spend our time, energy and resources on moving forward. To be honest, this reminds me of a famous JFK quote which goes, “Ask not what the country can do for you, but what can you do for the country.” In other words, the concept of ambag, or contribution.
Rather than complain or say something that is not helpful or encouraging, let us ask ourselves — have we given our ambag in the grand scheme of things?
Essentially, we should support individuals, businesses and organizations that try to raise our flag. Not everyone can do that or would prefer to do that. Like it or not, the Philippines or Asia in general is getting mainstream and opportunities abound in the process. What are these opportunities? Call-to-action programs would be beneficial to support, enhance and sustain the talent that Filipinos have — opportunities at the back end that can help minimize or eliminate barrier to entry. One example is how James Reid transformed his career to get into talent management in Hollywood — and such case can be seen with actress Liza Soberano being able to penetrate the industry with Hollywood actors.
It is only a matter of time when the Philippines becomes a relatable and familiar segment in the global scene. Not only will this make all of us prouder, but the opportunities that will be created in the process will truly be massive. The world is indeed our oyster.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include food innovation, nation-building and sustainability. The author may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org