Watch: Anti-bullying campaign rally voices from around the world
A slew of local and international names—from Kaia Gerber and Mario Maurer to Ronnie Alonte and Jimmy Alapag—celebrate differences
According to studies, bullying usually starts when you are perceived to be different, and that one out of two Filipinos have experienced or witnessed this in schools. With the advent social media, this harsh behavior has taken a more contemporary, relentless form. “Our society—especially today’s youth—faces this harsh reality,” says Jeff Bascon, Penshoppe’s brand director. “But being different is something to celebrate and be proud of.” That’s why the clothing brand launched its first public CSR project, #IAmDifferent, aiming to get more people to love their individuality. “We believe that there is a need for us to use our voices and influence everyone to take a stand,” he says.
A video campaign was launched featuring ClubPenshoppePH members, ambassadors of the homegrown label, and other well-known personalities. These include Kaia Gerber, Mario Maurer, Lucky Blue Smith, Bella Hadid, Sandara Park, Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte, Sofia Andres, Tanner Mata, Maria Fabiana, Emilio Perez, Alab Pilipinas’ Jimmy Alapag, SheTalks Asia co-founder Vicky Herrera, Denise Lazaro, Airess Padda, Patti Grandidge, and Keika Necesario, who all wore their uniqueness on their sleeves.
A collection of tees (marked by unique serial numbers) and caps with the campaign statements “I Am Different,” and “Different Is Good” launched alongside this. Proceeds from this limited edition line will go to developing a module with Teach For The Philippines that addresses bullying and encourages acceptance among public school children. “We know we have a long way to go, but we hope that this campaign will start a movement, educate and encourage many Filipinos to be involved and to do their part,” Bascon says.
He's the current Editor of the The Neighborhood, Managing Editor for Rogue, and an editorial consultant for a top public relations firm. In his spare time, he helps run a volleyball training camp, hosts trivia nights, channels all sorts of drama into whacking a tennis ball, walks along major highways to surpass his FitBit goals, and sleeps as little as possible. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @jacs_do_it.