Friday, January 02, 2015

Krem-Top Inspires Filipinos to “Change for the Better”

Deep in our hearts, we Filipinos want the best for our country, the Philippines. Despite the frustrations we experience with inefficient government officials and systems, many of us continue to hope for a better life for ourselves and for our countrymen. Agree?

According to Dr. Mina Ramirez, phenomenological sociologist and president of Asian Social Institute, “The year 2015 is harvest time - harvesting all what is good about the Filipino to transform our country into a great nation.” 

As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome the New Year, this is the perfect time to reflect about how we lived in the past year and what we plan to do in the coming days to reach our dreams of a better future. Why not begin listing down resolutions to start things right for 2015?!  

Inspired by this notion, Krem-Top coffee creamer launched the Change for the Better Campaign in 2012 to motivate and challenge individuals to exercise the habit of aspiring to become a better person.  This encourages everyone to commit and sustain personal goals, not just during the turn of the year but throughout the year and beyond.  

Since then, the campaign has grown from being a personal call to being nationalistic as the mission is not meant to just improve individuals but for the entire nation to join forces towards becoming better Filipinos. Krem Top’s Change for the Better campaign reminds us that even small changes, when put or done together, can create a huge impact in the community. 

Blen Fernando, Alaska Milk Corporation’s Vice President for Marketing and Krem-Top Change for the Better campaign lead, explained, “The mission of the brand is not just to build the business but it also advocates creating change for a better country.” 

Alaska team with Dr. Mina Ramirez and Jim Paredes
This year, Krem-Top’s Change for the Better campaign centers on values that are natural among Filipinos that will remind us of our identity and can strengthen our nationhood. Krem-Top’s Change for the Better campaign, with the guidance of Dr. Mina Ramirez and her study “The Filipino Worldview and Values,” identified Five Core Values that define who and what we are as Filipinos, and what make us different and stand out from the rest of the world: 

1. Mapagpasalamat (Thankful) is based on Filipinos’ aspiration for “Pamumuhay” (Life) and “Pananalig sa Diyos at Kapwa” (Faith in God and People).  Filipinos know how to enjoy life as evidenced by our many holidays, feasts, occasions, and reunions.  We are likewise cheerful and naturally sociable, love connecting to people, and are a happy race. We could even smile even during depressing situations. This is because we always look at the bright side of life. We always have a positive outlook because we always find things to be thankful for, even in the smallest things. We would always say “Salamat sa Diyos” (Thank God) whenever good things happen because Filipinos, from whatever religion, would attribute life’s blessings to the Higher Being. We also acknowledge the good deeds of other people towards us and we do our best to return the favor.  

2. Matatag (Steadfast). Living in a country prone to natural disasters, Filipinos have adapted and learned to be strong in times of need and in hard situations. We continue to stand up, be firm, and fight because we have our loved ones and life’s aspirations to be strong for. This strength is drawn from our love for family and to the higher being we believe in. This is based on Filipino’s aspiration for “Kaayusan” (Order).  In fact, Filipinos’ common expression is “Ayos Na” (Fine)  when we are able to get through difficulties.  We, Filipinos long for “Kaayusan” (Order) and we will endure everything and be strong amidst hardships and challenges until we surpass the obstacles.    

3. Masigasig (Diligent). When Filipinos dream of something, we do everything possible to get it. We do it for our families and loved ones. This is based on Filipinos’ aspiration for “Kasaganaan” (Abundance) and “Ginhawa” (Relief) not only for ourselves but more so for our families. The Filipino translation for Happy New Year is Masaganang Bagong Taon (Bountiful New Year) because we equate happiness and celebration with abundance.  In Bisaya, “Ginhawa” means breath and the smooth flow of breath is the smooth flow of life which we call “Ginhawa”.  According to lay theologian Dr. Jose de Mesa, ginhawa is the feeling of well-being in a Filipino.  An example would be Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who endure being away from home to give their families a good life ergo abundance and relief from hardships. 

4. Mapagmalasakit (Compassionate). What make Filipinos naturally mapagmalasakit? It is our love for our family extended to friends, neighbors and other people. This compassion enables us to help other people without asking for anything in return. This is based on Filipinos’ aspiration for “Loob at Damdamin” and “Kapwa” (Other People) as explained in Dr. Mina’s The Filipino Worldview and Values.  “Loob” is the seat of Filipinos’ dignity.  The personhood of Filipino is manifested in his “kalooban”.  Filipinos tune in each other’s “kalooban” by checking on each other’s condition and chatting about each other’s lives; reaching out to other people. Due to our familistic culture, Filipinos use “kapwa” to refer not just to a stranger but to a relative, a next-door neighbor, a distant relative or a friend.  Our “mapagmalasakit” trait makes it easy for us to champion the Bayanihan spirit - to unite and help each other during calamities and celebrate together during special occasions.  

5. Magalang (Courteous). The use of po, opo, and pagmamano (kissing of the hand) are distinct Filipino signs of respect and love that are not just limited for the elderly but also for other people’s properties, emotions, and ideas. We are polite people and even our language is also respectful because it does not have any gender bias. Examples would be the words kapatid (brother / sister) or asawa (husband / wife) or biyenan (father-in-law / mother-in-law) or anak (son / daughter) which do not manifest differences in gender. These words are uniquely Filipino and are definitely respectful of the sexes. Our respect for other individuals is embedded in our culture and in our language.  This is based on our aspiration for “Lakas ng Loob” (Guts) or “Kagandahang Loob” (Kindness).  Malakas and Maganda, Filipinos’ original creation story where both man and woman sprang from the bamboo, brings dignity to both the Filipino and Filipina. Dr. Ramirez said, “This is a very non-sexist indigenous version of the creation story.”

Dr. Mina Ramirez expounded that if one wants to get to know the Filipino, he/she must learn the language.  “Most of our values are deeply rooted in how we express ourselves.  The Five Core Filipino Values based on the Basic Aspirations of a Filipino are in Filipino language because there are no direct translations of these traits.  The words are unique to us.  Understanding these traits would mean dissecting the soul of a Filipino.”

“Filipinos may be hard pressed at times, but in general, we are rich -- in natural resources and in our people.  If we can just get to know ourselves more clearly and use our values to our advantage, we will become a better nation.  It’s time to change for the better,” encouraged Dr. Ramirez.

Social media advocate Jim Paredes shared how he realized the value of pagmamalasakit still resonates in the youth today when his daughter opened their home for relief operations. “She took the initiative to turn our home into a relief center for repackaging donations for the typhoon Yolanda victims,” the proud father related. “The Filipino existentialism also attracted me; the Filipinos being masigasig to pull ourselves out of poverty.”

The Krem-Top team is optimistic that this project will help create awareness about the need to keep / enrich / restore these core values in each Filipino. “We hope that Krem-Top’s Change for the Better campaign will inspire us to be the better version of ourselves for the benefit of our families and our country.  No matter who you are, whether young or old, with no respect to sex or belief, what makes us great as a nation are our values.  We may be a nation that is not as rich as the others economically but we are definitely one of the richest when it comes to values.”

For more information about Krem-Top Change for the Better campaign, visit or follow @kremtopPH on Twitter.


About Krem-Top

Krem-Top is a product of Alaska Milk Corporation, one of the leading companies in dairy milk, which was launched nationwide in 2010. Krem-Top is a non-dairy coffee creamer that complements well your coffee bringing out the creaminess and wonderful aroma with just the right sweetness, making your coffee drinking experience more enjoyable. 

Post a Comment