BUSINESS and LEISURE - Ray Butch Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2018 - 12:00am

There are many aspects I like about my being a journalist. I meet many interesting personalities both in the field of business and motoring, and actually come across many interesting business concepts.  There is no doubt that this generation of Pinoys are more into entrepreneurship, inspired by the new thrust of some of our business leaders and supported fully by the private sector and by the government. 

Retailing ingenuity

There is a modest-sized store near De La Salle University called La Local, for instance, owned and run by two young graduates of De La Salle. The young lady and her boyfriend put up a concept store that showcases various products designed and made by Filipinos. The store celebrates Filipino craftsmanship, design and talent. The store serves as a venue for display of Filipino made products. They have clothing, paintings, stationery and greeting cards, beads and fashion accessories, natural oils and sunblocks, scents, flip flops, sandals, mugs, even local snacks and succulents in small pots that young people love to put in their rooms. 

The variety of the items in their store is perhaps the reason why there is always a crowd of students who flock to the store to check out their latest offerings. They also offer workshops on various interests like calligraphy, painting, accessories-making, macramé, etc. The free-spirited young owners find expression in the posters that are displayed in the store for sale and stickers on their racks.  They have even partnered with a local specialty coffee brand to offer freshly-brewed coffee for people who browse their store.  The owners do not have to shell out money for the varied merchandise for sale because these are all on consignment.


Before the malls, people went to tailors and seamstresses to have their clothes made.  With the advent of ready-to-wear clothes, tailoring shops have slowly thinned out and only those want to have a suit, barong or pants made go to a tailoring shop. As such, think this may not be the best time to put up a custom-made shop for men for their shirts as these are readily available in all malls. However, one enterprising gentleman did just that.  Alvin Santos opened a store called Pasadya Manila where men can bring their own fabrics and have them made into perfect-fitting shirts, or just choose from the racks of shirts ready for the picking.  Alvin handpicks all the fabrics he uses, and all of them proudly made in the Philippines, he says.

It all started when he would covet all the imported shirts on display in the malls, content with buying just one or two because they were too costly.  He decided to put up his own custom-made shop because many people, especially those with plus sizes could not find the perfect fit for them. Pasadya Manila is the answer for them, and now, just having started in 2017, Alvin already has three free-standing bespoke shops.  Their prices range from P899 and because of the market’s acceptance of their business concept, the owner’s challenge now is how to keep up with the orders and keep a full inventory for those walk-ins.  For those who cannot personally go to the shops to have their measurements taken, you can take your own and send them online or via text message.  That is convenience for the customers.

For Pasadya Manila and even for La Local, the key is social media.  This has helped so many upstarts with their business and it is nothing short of amazing.

Another ‘unli’

Pinoys are fond of “unli.” Whoever started unli text or unli rice started a trend that has overtaken many sectors.

There is Koko Kofi restaurant in Caloocan which has also been taken by this unli mentality.  Opened last June 10, 2017, the restaurant that also doubles as a karaoke joint for families has attracted loyal patrons.

Inside, the place is bright and sunny with lots of sunflowers hanging everywhere.  The ground floor, which can accommodate up to eight persons, features a swing, a tent, games like monopoly and chess, and vats of free candies and gummies. The ambience is friendly and warm.

What makes them different from the other restaurant/karaoke joints?  They offer unli pasta, chicken wings, nachos and desserts for only P299 per person.  But watch out, if they see left overs on your plates because you have ordered too much, they will charge you double the price. 

The use of the karaoke is free when you meet the minimum requirements for the mini rooms they offer for private functions, so office workers troop here after work to unwind and get their fill of chicken wings and pasta.

They have as any as 15 flavors of the popular chicken wings, from parmesan to salted egg to garlic and sriracha that you can have your fill of;. They also have carbonara, baked macaroni, and spaghetti that can be had on an unlimited basis. And for desserts, they have mocha and chocolate rolls, ice cream, and loads and loads of candies.

The Filipino ingenuity cannot be doubted.  In this golden age of entrepreneurship, many business ideas keep cropping up and they are surprisingly novel.

Mabuhay!!!  Be proud to be a Filipino.

For comments & inquiries: (Email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com (Online) www.businessandleisure.ph

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