Filipinos now count their blessings after Yolanda | Inquirer News

Filipinos now count their blessings after Yolanda

By: - Business Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 07:57 AM January 18, 2014


MANILA, Philippines—Three of five Filipino adults are more inclined to count their blessings in the wake of the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda, deemed the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall.

This was the finding of a Post-Yolanda Consumer Sentiment Survey conducted in December last year by McCann Worldgroup Philippines, a leading integrated marketing solutions company.


Two-thirds, or 66 percent of those surveyed, indicated that they “have become more grateful and appreciative of the things that they now have” because of the catastrophic effects of Yolanda, according to the survey which was released Thursday.


“The typhoon, the strongest ever recorded in human history, and its effects are unprecedented. It is during these times that the Filipino spirit rises,” Raul M. Castro, chair and chief creative officer of McCann Worldgroup Philippines, said in a statement.

‘Indomitable spirit’

“We have already seen the indomitable Filipino spirit at work immediately after the typhoon left the country.  Grounded on faith, powered by our unconquerable spirit and motivated by our philosophy of bayanihan, the Filipino will thrive,” he said.

Three of five respondents also said that they have become more aware of their blessings and more positive about life in general. The majority, or 61 percent, also said that they find recourse in prayers.

The survey also showed that 7 of 10 Filipinos surveyed expect the full recovery from the ill-effects of Super Typhoon Yolanda in five years at the most, and that an overwhelming 4 of 10, or 84 percent, expect the Philippines to be better off in the next six months, with only 8 percent saying that the country is in for worse times.

The survey, an initiative of McCann Truth Central, McCann’s intelligence unit, was based on the responses of 500 adults at least 21 years old.


Effective contributors

Almost all of the respondents said that they expect brands and private companies to “play an effective role in the road to Philippine recovery from the effects of typhoon Yolanda.”

McCann said that this puts brands alongside global organizations such as the United Nations, International Red Cross and the World Health Organization, as well as the international community, among those considered “effective” contributors to the massive recovery efforts.

This high regard for brands, McCann said, also indicated the “bond” between Filipino consumers and the brands they interact with daily.

“Not only are brands seen as symbols of quality products and services; brands are indeed seen as part of the Filipinos’ lives and, in challenging times such as this, as a partner that could help empower and catalyze positive change. The onus therefore is on brands to make themselves visible, relevant and reliable during these times. Brands should position themselves as partners not just in good times but also in challenging times,” said Gino Borromeo, vice president and chief strategy officer of McCann Worldgroup Philippines.

Borromeo, however, cautioned brands against being opportunistic and solely concerned with their bottom line.

Brands, he said, have “to be true to themselves and respectful of the consumers. ”


Caution recommended

“Brands have to be visible and be seen as relevant but should be very cautious such that they are not seen as opportunistic.  Consumers know the stark difference between a heartfelt desire to help and an opportunistic desire to push one’s agenda during these challenging times,” he said.

To the question on what projects should brands consider doing in the wake of the supertyphoon, 75 percent of the respondents said that brands should “inspire others to continue helping” and to “actively cooperate in the Philippines’ recovery.”

“Brands are no longer just symbols of quality, of prestige or of differentiation. They have evolved to become catalysts of and engines for positive change. Filipinos now expect brands to play a more active role in the betterment of the lives not just of the survivors of the typhoon but of society at large,” Castro said.


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