Saturday, June 04, 2005

[Blog Entry] On Bayo and Piracy, Field Trip

Bayo and Piracy

I’m sure some of you have already heard one of the blunders Bayo has made. Some of its cute designs were stolen from a Japanese artist and was never given credit for it. Bayo wasn’t probably even aware until emails and blog entries were circulating around the Internet.

Of course what some people don’t know is that the aforementioned Japanese artist, upon finding out, wanted to settle it peacefully with Bayo. She didn’t want to sue and make a big fuss about it. Unfortunately, Bayo didn’t want to negotiate. They even refused to give something as simple as an apology.

While some concerned Filipinos Bayo products (I don’t buy it in the first place, so…) at the injustice that is happening, I think that Bayo will still come out strong. I mean how many of Bayo’s customers are aware of Bayo’s error, that the designs they’re wearing were stolen from a Japanese artist? Or better yet, will they care? As far as some people will see it, they’re buying clothes that are relatively cheaper than other high quality clothes and supporting a Filipino-run business.

In certain ways, that’s a reflection of Flipino mentality. Take for example the local music industry. Some artists are asking its fans not to support piracy. Others are asking its fans not to support piracy if the ones being ripped off are Filipino musicians. It’s okay if you buy pirated CDs of foreign acts, just not local ones. In certain ways, it hearkens more to the heart of the Filipino. I mean foreign acts, after all, are just that: foreign. And some Filipinos have this illusion that just because they’re foreign, that just because they’re not Filipino, that they have things better off. That they could afford the small loss of revenue that piracy is siphoning off them. If you buy a pirated CD of a local act, it’s like stealing from a fellow Filipino and clearly wrong. If you buy a pirated CD of a foreign act, it’s okay. It’s like the poor stealing from the rich.

To me, that’s a short-sighted and selfish way of looking at things. If nothing else, it’s bad karma. Just imagine foreigners stealing and ripping off Filipinos in their own countries. Of course then again, I’m not exactly the best role model. While as much as possible, I try to buy authentic products whatever they may be (for example, all my PC games are original) but that’s not to say I don’t buy pirated items at all (some of my programs, after all, were bought when Virra Mall was still open).

Field Trip

While my job can be time-consuming and stressful, it does have its perks once in awhile. Last Friday, the photographers and I had a long trip to Villa Escudero, a tourist spot way down in the South. It was something like a three-hour trip to the place, and probably another three hours going back to Metro Manila. But in certain ways, it was worth it.

Villa Escudero is a wide expanse of land and became a hub of tourists not only because of its resort but because of its museum as well. The Escudero family has been collecting pieces of history, and I did get to see some cultural artifacts rivaling that of some museums. There were endless statues of Jesus and altars, old trinkets like gold and jars, and remnants of Spanish and American artillery.

Our host, Mr. Conrado Escudero, also treated us out to lunch, and we did get to see his personal collection as well, which have ivory statues of Jesus, endless figurines of Buddhas and pigs, and guest rooms with Chinese and Muslim motifs.

In a way, it’s relaxing to go to rural areas, especially when you’re not the one driving. But in a way, I realized an innate fear I had, of being separated from the Metropolis. I guess I’m really an urban guy who doesn’t want to stray far from the city. While huge coconut trees and roaming Carabaos are a beautiful sight, I do miss the city.


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