Bernie Liu, Whoâ€™s who in the Philippine Fashion Retail Industry Business World PR Feature 2010 for Golden ABC Business World: How is it like to be a Filipino brand that competes with global names for consumers' attention? What are the common challenges you encounter? Bernie Liu: We cannot deny that there is always a stigma against "locally-made;" Most consumers still think that imported merchandise and international brands are of higher quality than home-grown products. The challenge in getting the attention of the consumers - and subsequently, their loyalty - is to let them know that our products are at par (and even better) than international brands. BW: On a similar note, how is it like to compete with fellow local clothing brands? BL: The industry is a very fast-paced and competitive one. It's challenging, exciting and inspiring - Filipinos are creative and to compete with fellow local brands keeps you on your toes and pushes you to broaden your mind. BW: What are the benefits of being a home-grown brand? Disadvantages, if any? BL: Intuition. Being a home-grown brand, you innately have an inkling what the market needs and wants, you are in touch with their psyche in a way international brands may not be able to do. Perhaps the only disadvantage is, as I mentioned, the stigma being "local" has; however, Filipinos are quickly learning to appreciate our brands because they see the quality we give. BW: Some Filipino clothing lines have partnered with local fashion designers while others have tapped foreign models to provide that "international" feel. Can you cite some strategies employed by Golden ABC? BL: Golden ABC employs different strategies for different brands. All strive to come up with imagery and campaigns that are at par with International Brands but still keep their distinctly Filipino values. GABC also makes it a point to always sell the clothes. It is not about sex, or about the celebrity, but always about the clothes and the lifestyle. BW: What are your expectations for the year? What are some of the company's plans in the near future? BL: As always, we will not rest on our laurels. We expect the year to be a tough year, with tight competition both locally and internationally. Expansion is also in the works as we aim to offer holistic fashion to Filipinos here and abroad. BW: What do you think still needs to be done to further the sector's growth? BL: Research is key in keeping the industry both relevant and of high quality. Designs need to keep up with the changing times, production needs to employ new and better techniques to keep the industry credible.
Bored This Way: DIY Fashion Tips for Your Dull Days Feature Article for Qatar Happening June 2011 Too hot to party outside? Feeling lacklustre and totally un-glam? Pick up some items you can find around your house, unleash your creativity and you’ll be on the right track to a refreshed closet while battling boredom this season! So it’s too hot to go outside, you’re stuck in your house, bored out of your wits and feeling totally drab and dreary. If you’re bored this way, don’t be such a drag! Pull your boring clothes out from your closet, pick up some items lying around your house and get creative with some DIY fashion! Here are some tips and tricks to get you started on battling boredom and refreshing your wardrobe this season. Shear Delight. Imperfect, raw edges are all the rage in fashion these days, but lot of times we hesitate cutting away for fear of ruining a decent shirt or a pair of jeans. The trick to cutting fabric is to cut slowly and continuously; stopping halfway through leaves you with those annoying snags and uneven edges. Start by marking the fabric lightly with the pencil, take a deep breath and cut away! I’m a Free Bleach, Baby. Nothing says cool summer grunge than an epic pair of deconstructed bleached denims, or a nice bleached shirt. Rummage through the nether regions of your closet and experiment: dip an old toothbrush in full strength bleach for fine splatters or spray blobs and splats of an equal parts bleach and water mixture onto clothes with a spray bottle. If you’re feeling edgy, go ahead and fill a pail of water with bleach and water mixture and dunk your jeans in halfway through for a two-toned bleached pair. Just remember to wear proper protective gear and work in a wellventilated area when bleaching; it is a very strong chemical and can harm you (and your jeans, if you don’t rinse it off properly). Metal Monster. Collect as many safety pins that you can find and pin them along the edges of a plain black suit jacket’s breast pocket to give it a kick of rock and roll. Take a bunch of silver nuts and string an old shoelace through them for a punky bracelet. Pound an old, unused key with a hammer to deconstruct it into a vintage charm necklace. If you wander enough around fashion blogs and designer websites, you’ll notice that these hints of grunge and steampunk-inspired accessories are a definite plus in style and a great opportunity to get you all crafty and preoccupied. With Strings Attached. Need to revive an old pair of canvas sneakers? Add a feminine touch to them by replacing their shoelaces with some colourful ribbons you have lying around your house (or you can opt to get them for cheap at your local bookstore). Natural rope from your garden tools or garage also make for some very chic, earthy accessories too. Wear them as a simple string around your wrist, or make statements by braiding and knotting them together. These are just some ideas to get you inspired on your own personal adventure of conquering boredom and upping your style score this sunny season. All you need to remember is that there really are no rules to DIY fashion: just learn to look at things differently, don’t be afraid to get dirty and make mistakes, and you’ll definitely be on the right track, baby!
More Than Just Ordinary For Blue Digital Systems PR Write-Up, 2007 You need a simple, reliable stove to cook your everyday meals. You need a car with four wheels and a decent paint job to bring you to work safely and with dignity. You need a mobile phone that can send and receive calls without sounding like a pirated CD. In this modern day and age, what with all the hustle and bustle of technological needs, we often find ourselves trapped in a cycle of mediocrity. We water down our decisions in order to fit our budgets, often compromising excellence and quality, throwing us into an endless cycle of “this will do”. Blue Digital Systems, with its latest release Argon-NW, is the salvation you’ve been waiting for from this demeaning pattern of mediocrity, for nearly half the price of conventional and expensive laptop brands. With an Intel Core Duo t2050 processor, 512 DDR RAM and 60-gigabyte hard drive, you won’t have to wait forever for your files to load. Choppy and desaturated movies and images will be a figment of a listless era gone by with its Intel Graphics Media Accelerator of up to 256mb and dual DVD combo drive. Plus, with a light-weight, latch-free aluminium magnesium design from Denmark, you won’t ever have to worry about looking boring ever again. If you’re ready to become more than just the ordinary, check out www. ilikeblue.net for more detailed specs. You may call Blue Digital Systems at (02) 396-2041 for more details.
Uncovering The Face: Chinese Opera Masks Research Feature for Chinoy Magazine 2007 Everyone would agree when I say that the face is the most important feature of the human body. Without uttering a single word, a man’s heart can be defined by the way he contorts his face – be it in a depressing droop of the expressions; a blushing, ecstatic glow; or a deceitful, toothy grin. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the face is, well, the façade of the whole house. In China, the same power of the face holds true, especially for the Beijing Opera. The faces of the actors that participate in these plays do not only express emotion – in fact, they deepen the dimensions of the story even without the slightest twitch of the facial muscles. This, they achieve, through the use of the Chinese Opera Masks. Facing the Facts – History According to Paul Noll, author of one of the most detailed websites regarding Chinese Opera Masks, these facial masks – or more appropriately, makeups – date back to the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasties to say the least, judging from the patterns of painted faces etched on the unearthed tomb murals that belong to the said eras. Subsequently, the Ming Dynasty saw changes in the skills required to prepare the paint and draw the patterns of the faces, leading to the creation of more complex, colorful designs. These patterns, though, still ranged from simple and monotonous to intricate and vibrant depending on the character who wears them. This not only provides beauty to the already spectacular Beijing Opera, but also adds depth and meaning to the characters who wear them. A Motley Crew of Meanings The main colors of the facial makeup of the actors define the qualities, personalities and dispositions of the characters such as red, black, yellow, purple, blue, white, and green. The predominantly red face, seen in Guan Yu (the famed general of Romance of the Three Kingdoms), indicates bravery and faithfulness. Black shows brusqueness and ferocity, typical of Zhang Fei, another general in the same story. Yellow shows characters who are ambitious and coolheaded; purple faces indicate sophistication and decency, while blue masks are for characters who are steadfast and wise. White masks are reserved for the sinister and perfidious villain (such as Cao Cao, the evil prime minister in Romance of the Three Kingdoms); green, however, is for the reckless, violent and stubborn. Aside from these, there are other colors and designs that the maskmakers use – the more nondescript pattern, called the xiaohualian or “petty painted face”, is given to the characters who act as the clowns or jesters of the story (or occasionally, to the common folk that abound in the story, in order to add some interest to them). The pattern usually consists of a small patch of chalk around the nose. Gold and silver ones, on the other hand, are painted on actors who play the roles of gods and spirits. The face is the most definitive part of the human body. It unveils the person’s character and personality, and communicates in a way no other body part – human or otherwise – can come close to. The slightest quiver of the eyebrow, the faintest squint of the eye can tell a story that reaches anyone who chances upon it. The Chinese, with their exquisite art of painting masks, clearly understand this innate prowess of the face. With their unparalleled skill in design and painting, these mask makers have managed to wield this power through the use of line, shape, pattern and color.
Stretching the Limits of Technology Globe Innovations Convention 2009 Keynote Message Innovations Convention Talkpoints for CEO Globe morning mga Ka-Globe, members of the academe and fellow leaders in technology! It is truly exciting to see everyone come together to celebrate innovation and the many advances in the world of technology! The possibility of new world-changing ideas being born here within these walls is such an exhilarating thought, not just for Globe, but for the Philippines as well! It is without a question that these are very challenging times. Here and abroad, companies are greatly challenged by the imposing Global Economic Situation. In order to remain competitive and deliver solutions to the rather finicky and highly-critical consumer, Globe is daring enough to embrace the changes that need to happen, always searching for the best ways to deliver the demands of the market while making the most out of its resources. In addition to this, our already hyperpaced industry is changing fast – competition now more than ever is fierce not just in acquiring new subscribers but also in keeping their current ones. There is also a great challenge posed by the maturing market, to provide new, fresh and exciting services and to gain leadership of these new fields, such as broadband. Globe’s Values – Innovation and Excellence Globe has always taken pride in being the leader in innovation in The Philippines, pioneering groundbreaking technologies such as SMS and Texting in the late 90’s, to the more recent advancements in wireless broadband and voice technology - WiMax and Duo. In order to keep our ideas fresh and truly landscape-changing, Globe has been relentless in holding conventions and venues for creativity such as this. For example, last year’s Globe Labs and the 2008 Innovation Convention was so successful that our company was able to generate ideas that spearheaded a great deal of our company’s projects. A great deal of past as well as ongoing projects within the company was derived from the insights and learnings of last year's convention. This year more than ever, with the Global Economic Crisis looming over our heads, it is imperative that we continue to be on top of our game, summoning all of our creativity to come up with new innovative solutions for our customers. In a time when every peso counts and the economic pressure increases with every twist and turn of the Global Economic scenario, our company promises to continue to deliver easy and relevant services to our beloved customers. Convergent solutions and value-added services are without a doubt the way to go in order to remain sensitive to the needs and capacities of our customers. Innovation Involves Risks Speaking of convergence, I am definitely thrilled to see all of you, my esteemed colleagues in the industry today, joining us to celebrate our advances in technology. Times may be difficult, but no difficulty is too challenging with collaboration and partnership. This is a perfect opportunity for us to put our heads together and think of new ways to make our customers happy. It is a perfect time for us to make the most out of our existing resources and use them in alternative and creative ways. This is definitely not a time to take things sitting down – it is a time to take risks and embrace changes, and with true innovative collaboration and partnership, we can without doubt provide more to our customers. Innovation is Everybody’s Responsibility With this, mga Ka-Globe, let me reiterate that innovation is everybody’s responsibility. It is only an illusion that great ideas are monopolized by huge multinational corporations. In fact, the most impressive breakthroughs are borne out of the everyday man’s thoughts and ideas.
Nothing is more true here in Globe Telecom. Today’s Innovation Convention is not just a showcase of the latest advancements in technology today – rather, it is a celebration of the great minds within Globe and within our many technological partners such as Huawei, IBM, NSN and ZTE. From this celebration, we call on everyone who attended to take on the challenge of proposing new ideas from the many presentations you will see today. How can we better serve our customers? Seeing all the latest innovations from our Technological Partners, how can we efficiently use our available resources in order to deliver better services to our customers? Take this opportunity to put your brilliance and creativity in action. Be inspired by our Technological Partners and share your ideas. In the end, mga Ka-Globe, Tech Partners – all these efforts in uncovering new ideas and thinking of new technologies is for our dear and beloved customers. The innovations and ideas that we work so hard for is really a means to one end – and that is to transform and enrich lives, through new and breakthrough technologies that are easy to use by our Filipino brothers and sisters, and relevant to their lives in these challenging but opportunity-filled times.