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DTI Sydney invites Fil-Aussies to “flex” gawang pinoy every Friday

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The Department of Trade and Industry’s overseas trade office in Sydney invites Fil-Aussies to support Philippine-made products and local Filipino businesses down under by participating in an online campaign called #flexPHridays.

flexPHridays, a call-to-action campaign launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last year, aims to encourage Filipinos to support local businesses through the power of social media. The campaign leverages the rising “flex” culture online. Social media users share and showcase their purchases on their personal accounts or different online communities spanning various industries.

The #flexPHridays campaign welcomes all Filipino consumer goods and industries, including but not limited to fashion and apparel, textiles, gift items, furniture, food and beverages, accessories and décor, homewares and fixtures, and technology. Through this campaign, the DTI hopes to help the discoverability of brands and products online as consumers share photos or videos of Filipino products on various platforms. Global studies have shown that most retail or commercial buyers search brands online before purchasing. Participation of companies and personalities in this campaign allows the increase of brand visibility in the dynamic environment of the digital space.

The campaign was conceived by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and designed by DTI’s Center for International Trade and Expositions & Missions (CITEM) to help stimulate economic recovery in the Philippines by inviting and involving the entire online Filipino community in this endeavour. According to Secretary Lopez, the spirit of Bayanihan is alive and strong, and this digital #FlexPHridays campaign will help champion the beauty and quality of Filipino products in the digital space.

“This campaign aims to drive awareness that in buying local products and supporting our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), we are providing jobs to countless Filipinos and developing the entrepreneurial drive of our countrymen,” Secretary Lopez said.

DTI Sydney said the “flexPHridays” campaign is not just a call to Filipinos residing in the Philippines but across the world. In Australia, New Zealand and across the Oceana region, DTI Sydney invites the online Filipino community to participate in the campaign by posting a photo or a video of a Filipino product on their social media pages every Friday and using the hashtag #flexPHridays and tag @dti.sydney.

“It could be a Filipino product they’re eating, wearing, or using either purchased directly from the Philippines or through importers and retailers of PH-made products. Participants are also encouraged to share the story of how they discovered the brand, where they bought it and why they find the product excellent,” Alma Argayoso, the Philippines’ trade representative to Australia said.

“The availability of PH-made products in Australia is not something new. Our trailblazing Filipino and Australian entrepreneurs have been actively bringing the “Taste of the Philippines” and “Something from the Philippines” since at least the 1970’s and even before that,” Argayoso said.


In the book Filipino-Australian Pioneers and Achievers, writer Benjie de Ubago credited pioneering Filipino-Australian importers Raffy Duarte and Miren Gonzalez, the first importer of crocheted bikinis; Angela Casal-Nabung, the first importer of children’s clothes and ladies’ garments; Audie Ripoll, importer/manufacturer of furniture, homewares, and accessories; and Albert Garcia, the first importer of food products and proprietor of Mr Wong Asian and Oriental Grocery Store. The earliest entrepreneurs who ventured into the restaurant business included Larry Ng and Freddie Garcia with their Filipino Restaurant located in Wentworth Avenue; Olivia Cruz, owner of Manila Restaurant in Pitt St., and Little Quiapo in George St.

“Nowadays, we have more choices. There are more than two hundred Filipino-Australian grocery shops and restaurants across Australia. Our products are not only available in Filipino and Asian shops but also in mainstream supermarkets, and in high-end boutique stores. A number of Filipino retail and franchise brands are also expanding in Australia so there is no reason why we shouldn’t have Filipino products in our pantry, table, closet, office, or homes,” Argayoso said.

“Let’s flex gawang pinoy every Friday and help small businesses and the country in nation building.” Argayoso added.


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