Robredo souvenirs selling briskly like hot ‘maruya’By Jonas Cabiles Soltes
Inquirer Southern Luzon
Who would ever think, for example, that a T-shirt embossed with a picture of him would sell as briskly as a maruya, a street food of fried banana dipped in batter and sprinkled with sugar that is so popular in Bicol and beyond?
Leo Perez of Pasay City realized the power of Robredo souvenir items when he and a companion brought their wares on Sunday to Naga City, where the late interior secretary lay in state at City Hall.
The T-shirts, umbrellas, pins and key chains bearing the image of the popular Cabinet secretary sold so well near Malacañang that Perez knew business would be good—if not better—in Robredo’s hometown.
He wasn’t wrong.
The last time the vendors sold souvenir items that became a hit with the public was when Dolphy, the King of Comedy, died.
Perez, 27, started selling the Robredo items at 10 a.m. By 3:30 p.m., he and his companion had already sold 100 pieces of T-shirts at P150 each.
“I know the items would sell because he was well-loved. He had been mayor of Naga for long,” Perez said. He said he did not even know before that Robredo was from Naga.
To cope with the demand, Perez and his companion printed images of Robredo on T-shirts using silk screen at a makeshift production shop nearby.
Sold out in Malacañang
He said the items sold so well in Malacañang during the ceremonies for Robredo last weekend that he and his companion decided to try Naga.
“The items were sold out in Malacañang,” he said.
“If people who are not from Naga bought Robredo items, why not the people from Naga themselves?” he reasoned out.
A hero to remember
Whatever T-shirts would not be sold here would be displayed in their stall in Metro Manila because Perez was confident many would still buy them.
He and his buddy sold Robredo pins at P25 each and umbrellas at P120. All items sold well.
Pastor Gerry Sedavia, 44, of the alliance Christian Missionary, was among those who bought a shirt.
“Wearing the shirt is a good way to remember a good leader—a hero. It is OK that people are selling these items because it will help preserve his legacy,” Sedavia said.
Good for relief, too
Chris Anne Serna, 44, of Novaliches, sold Robredo souvenir items at a stall opposite that of Perez. She said she knew the shirts would sell because Robredo had many followers and supporters.
Serna said the shirts that would not be sold would be donated to relief operations.
She started selling at past noon. Some two hours later, she had already sold at least three dozen shirts.