Filipino creativity and innovation

PHOTO CAPTION: PA Joey Concepcion surprised Tatah Dela Calzada during her shop opening in Katipunan last August 18, 2018. DTI Asec. Bles Lantayona also graced the opening.

I personally believe that Filipinos are naturally creative and innovative. A lot of people can attest that Filipinos are talented in every kind of industry. This can be seen through the rise of many potential businesses in the country.

Remember how President Duterte supported the talent of our local artists and gave them a chance to be credited in their own fields.

During my speech at the recent launch of Pilipinas Angat Lahat Alliance, I shared the story of Macky Bongabong. The President’s recognition of Macky’s talent gained him a lot of momentum and I am pleased to say he has many projects lined up to express his creativity.

What I will share with you now is the success story of another creative entrepreneur. Ma. Aleta “Tatah” dela Calzado who is one of the graduates from Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME), our program in Go Negosyo. Tatah’s passion and interest paved the way for her fashion and accessories shop to be established in January 2014. Tatah enjoys thrift shopping for clothes. According to Tatah, since the products are on sale, she always ends up having to customize what she buys. This was her business idea before she joined our program.

With her creative inputs, ATE (Alter To Enhance) by Tatah offers ready-to-wear clothes, accessories, bags, and shoes that are customizable according to her customers’ wants. Tatah shared that KMME really professionalized her shop. KMME also helped her in terms of taxation and human resource management. The lessons from the modules served as her “guiding light” and “eye-opener.” She said the program refreshed her mindset and she believes that other people can be taught and mentored in order to make their business more successful.

Tatah has already expanded her business as she now has two branches in Cebu and a recently opened one in Katipunan. Just this weekend, I personally went to her store’s launch to congratulate her for the success of her enterprise. Trade Asec. Bles Lantanoya joined me in surprising Tatah who is a mentee of our joint program.

Tatah is also eyeing to open another branch in Robinsons Galleria soon. She has also gotten in touch with other government organizations in order to further improve her business. Tatah is also willing to become a mentor to help other small business owners.

Another creative entrepreneur that I would like to share with you is none other than Allan Pineda, popularly known as Apl de Ap of the pop group Black Eyed Peas.

As you all know, Apl de Ap had his humble beginning in Pampanga and has now become part of one of the most recognized musical group in the world. His success did not stop him from giving back to his homeland as he has his own Foundation which helps Filipino youth to improve their lives through various knowledge and skills training programs.

In addition, Apl, together with the British Council, Thames International Business School and the Department of Trade and Industry have launched Creative Innovators Program, a platform that will foster creative industry, gauged to render huge amount of income to the Philippine economy and generate jobs for almost six million Filipinos.

The Creative Innovators Program is also considered as a movement anchored on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship for social impact. Through the program, creative community leaders from the Philippines undergo a fellowship program for them to become creative hub managers. The selected fellows, then, can support and help grow hundreds of creative entrepreneurs, designers, and artists all over our country.

The program is another testament that mentorship is really key in helping our brothers and sisters. With the fellows’ guidance, Filipino can continuously learn how to improve their craft and innovate their own enterprises.

We are lucky to have Apl de Ap in the upcoming Mentor Me On Wheels in his hometown of Pampanga. As one of the mentors, he will share insights and knowledge about the creative industry, as well as on entrepreneurship. His efforts will help in serving as an agent of change to our country’s growing creative industry.

Equipping our MSMEs with the programs anchored on the 3Ms — money, market, and mentorship, will enable them to become successful — be it in any industry. I hope that Filipino entrepreneurs will continue to give back and help micro-small business owners so that they can learn and innovate through the power of mentorship.

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We would like to invite you to the seventh run of the Mentor Me On Wheels this Friday, Aug. 24, 2018 at The Block Atrium in Quezon City. We will be joined by more than 80 mentors who will share business tips and advice to all the aspiring and start-up entrepreneurs. To register, visit