This is a special time of the year in the Philippines. December and January have special meaning for Filipinos.
Christmas? No, that’s special, but not what I’m talking about.
New Years? Again, New Years is great, but once again, not what I’m talking about today.
I can just hear you asking:
But, Bob, what else could it possibly be?
It’s Calendar Time!
Calendar time? What’s that?
Well, I am not saying that all the Filipinos rush to the store and buy new calendars. No, not at all. Most people here get calendars for free!
Yep, free. You see, calendars are one of the most popular types of advertising that businesses in the Philippines do every year. People in the Philippines seemingly love calendars, and I have seen some people who seem to actually collect calendars. So, what the businesses do is that they get calendars printed up that are basically advertisements for their business, and they give them out for free to their clients.
Hey, what could possibly be a better advertisement than to have your ad hanging prominently on the wall of a person’s house for 12 full months? Every time that person wants to check the date, or schedule something in the future, they have to look at your advertisement! If you ask me, this is a pretty smart strategy.
In the past, I can remember a few US businesses having such calendars, I seem to mostly remember mostly desk calendars in the States. But the practice was not very widespread as I recall. Here, almost every kind of businesses gives out calendars.
Just a while I ago I was in my son’s bedroom to talk to him, and I noticed that he had a calendar from Swiss Deli on his wall. The calendar had just expired, since it’s a 2011 calendar. I looked at it, though, and it is very nice, with bright colors to catch your eye. I didn’t realize that it was hanging in there, but no wonder my kids always want sausages from the Swiss Deli! Swiss Deli is a place where they have food for foreigners, stuff “from back home,” although most of it is made here in the Philippines. They make things like sausages, hams, smoked meats and fish, and that type of thing.
Businesses do other kinds of smart advertising here too. For example, last week we needed to have some repairs done on our car. The vehicle is 12 years old now, and has been very reliable, but in the past year or so it has needed a bit of maintenance work done. So, my nephew went to the auto parts store to buy the parts that the shop needed for the work. I think he spent something like P6,000 or so on the parts. Know what? They gave him a T-Shirt for free, which was later given to my oldest son. So, now my son is going around wearing this parts store’s advertising t-shirt around town. That’s a nice “free” ad for the store, and my son was happy to have a new t-shirt too! So, businesses here have all kinds of good ways to spread the world.
So, yes, it’s January. It’s calendar time!