Upon arriving in Manila, we were immediately impressed by the smiling faces of the people – very courteous and respectful with an enduring smile and warm eye contact. As we later found out, the Philippines have the largest concentration of call centers of any country in the world – now surpassing India. Most of the Philippine’s whom we met spoke at least some English while many spoke fluent English. With great patience and good communication skills, we can see why they are successful in their relationships with others.
While driving through Manila on our way to meet with our first artisan group, we seemed to be in one huge traffic jam – heavy, mostly chaotic traffic – with two cars, a bus, and motorcycles vying for the same two lanes of roadway. The driver with the most bravado wins the lane squeeze here.
Our first artisan group does amazing work with the shimmery part of a seashell called ”Capiz”. Initially brittle, the white substance can be formed into many different shapes. One of our favorites is a painted round or oval box with a naturally pearl like inside and a painted exterior. We discussed with them several design concepts that would make their products appealing to more customers. Several design concepts would be particularly interesting to Zoos and other places that would like product branding.