Carlos Celdran turns down Robinsons Galleria endorsement deal + thoughts on responsible blogging
I look up to people who practice what they preach, and Carlos Celdran is one of them. Yesterday I was texting him about how I wished for more influential people— especially bloggers who now command so much attention— to be less consumerist, and to be more vocal about relevant issues today, such as the need for sustainable lifestyle. As influencers of public opinion and role models of the youth, these “tastemakers” have a great responsibility to contribute to the greater good, and to serve as good examples especially for the younger generation of Filipinos.
During this text conversation, Carlos revealed that he had just turned down Robinsons Galleria— “they wanted me to promote them as a tourist attraction,” he explained. Naturally, his reaction was a definite refusal. Well, I guess I can credit Robinsons for having the good taste to want Carlos as their endorser. I’m just amused that they would think he’d actually agree.
I told Carlos that he’s a hero, just like Feist. Did you know that Feist once turned down a million dollar offer from Mcdonald’s for one of her songs? She said: “I don’t eat at McDonald’s, why would I have anything to do with McDonald’s? It’s just an evil force that is tearing the world apart - it’s like the Death Star! I’ve been offered a lot of different things that flicker past for just a second. Because it’s such a ridiculous idea you don’t even pause on them. McDonald’s was one of those years ago.”
I myself used to blog about brands, but eventually found that writing in the name of consumerism was tiring and soul-draining. I even ended up crying in front of my laptop screen while typing up a paid blog post about whitening soap, wondering why I allowed myself to take a job that required me to advertise products I was strongly against. Not everything about that job was negative, to be fair, but anyway, of course it didn’t last long.
I always try to remain constructive in my response to issues I care about. Of course a certain amount of criticism is necessary, and I show that by personally boycotting certain companies such as Mcdonald’s and Starbucks. Recently I also added SM to that list because I’m tired of their hyperconsumerism, and complete lack of regard for sustainable living (or they just pay lip service to it), and honestly, because I’m annoyed that they’re constructing another monstrosity near me, at the corner of Sucat road and President’s Ave. which is a tiny tiny intersection. No urban planning at all! So, I’ve sworn off SM establishments until further notice.
I’m keeping in mind that every peso I spend is a vote for the kind of world I want to live in.
Criticism and boycotting are minor parts of my advocacy though. I do these when necessary, but I limit the amount of energy I spend on them, and of course I refrain from being fanatical or extremist about anything. So, I’ll be honest and straightforward if I’m arguing about something I strongly believe in, but I’m not going to nag you, or stop being friends with you, or insult you for eating junk food. I’m not perfect myself, I still indulge in junk food sometimes too! I still get tempted to go on consumeristic shopping sprees now and then too! We just gotta keep trying to do better.
Anyway, I’d rather be positive and creative in my efforts. Hence this blog about sustainable living, and my efforts to promote Filipino products by awesome companies such as Down To Earth and Holy Carabao, as well as awesome educational resources such as the Weston A. Price Foundation and the work of Michael Pollan.
Inspired by the efforts of advocates such as Carlos Celdran— who are consistent with their beliefs, word, and deeds— I’m committing to continuing and improving my own advocacy for sustainable living. Today I’m trying to start a project aimed at educating young people about food and health. I don’t have any professional qualifications, but I can share what I’ve learned through my own personal experience and research, and I can also share the multitude of free educational materials I’ve found. Wish me luck! Or get in touch with me if you’re interested and you want to get involved. :)