Last Updated on July 7, 2017 by Marie Bulatao

A day after Christmas, my world turned bleak. Kasi, naubusan ng Coke ang store sa tapat… Uyy, drinking soft drinks is not my daily habit, ha, but you see, the family was at a resort over at warm Bacnotan, La Union to celebrate a cousin’s wedding.  Since the weather was extremely warm (well, it seemed to be compared to cold Baguio City where we live), not getting our cold Coca Cola fix was simply tragic… So I had to send the kids to look for open sari-sari stores, until they came home with this: Coke Sari-Saring Happiness (#Happiness I ended up not drinking it. That is my name there, ano?In love) I had to personally go to the sari-sari store and thank Manang.  Ang tagal ko kayang hinanap ang Coke bearing my name! And you should go thank Manang at your sari-sari store, too! Why? Because managing a sari-sari store is daunting, especially to first-time small business owners like Manang.  Seeing her survive all obstacles to make her sari-sari store grow is simply inspiring! Manang at the store in La Union told me her children finished college through the help of her sari-sari store.  (I have a feeling she owns the resort as well.) Running a business is difficult, she told me, especially if you have no business or financial background.   She learned through experience and by attending short-courses on bookkeeping and business management. She also told me how the local government and global brands like Coca Cola are helping emerging sari-sari store owners through business skills training courses and financial services to help them grow their business. I was pleasantly surprised that Coca Cola is spearheading a campaign to empower women and turn them into successful entrepreneurs.  It must be their way of giving back to the women who helped make Coca Cola the number 1 soft drinks brand. Coke STAR   Through Coca Cola’s STAR (Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources), a program designed to help the women entrepreneurs, the Ate’s and the Manangs  are empowered to improve their lives, despite hurdles like failing to finish school and no technical know-how.  Educating them on how to properly manage the store, giving them access to resources and helping them connect with peers and mentors will ensure them success in their business. Coca Cola’s target is to train five million women in 2020, and with successful women like Manang leading the way, I am looking forward to a future of Sari-Saring Happiness in every sari-sari store in the country. After all, nothing -not even a world-class supermarket or a convenience store, can compare to the warmth, familiarity and friendly gossip that the neighborhood sari-sari store can bring.   You run out of cooking oil, you go to the sari-sari store. Your ballpen ran out of ink?  Run to the sari-sari store. Catch up with the neighborhood news?  Hang out at the sari-sari store. And who has not stopped over at the sari-sari store after work before heading to their houses? It is like home.cpae-ef-heart-pinks Learn more about Coca Cola’s inspiring 5by20 campaign – 

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  1. I really love Coca Cola advertisements. They always manage to touch me to the point that I would tear up no matter how many times I watch them. (Or maybe I'm just biased because I'm "addicted" to Coke *cringe*).

    Their STAR program is also good, especially since it empowers women and gives them power to control their own life. Through entrepreneurship, women would be able to do something to improve their family's life instead of merely waiting for their husband/partner to bring home the money.

  2. Coke or Cocal Cola is one of the pioneers in business tradition that has helped a lot of women grow in small business venture like Sari-Sari Store. When I was a kid, we had a Sari-Sari Store too and my eldest sister was the one attending it. Out of that store, she knew how to manage a retail business as she stayed long in that endeavor and Coke was just behind that success.

    1. I do agree with you, Michi. This campaign is very helpful to many women especially who just stay at home and nothing source of income to have. Coca-Cola is a by-word among women in 60s. (2nd comment – Gil Camporazo)

  3. I'm not a fan of softdrinks but I admire Coca-Cola's campaign. Their willingness to help women entrepreneur is truly remarkable and inspiring. 🙂

  4. I haven't found a coca-cola bearing my name yet. sad 🙂 In case I'll find one displayed in the sari-sari store I'll definitely get it. I love coke, but I am restraining myself from drinking one.

  5. Hurray to Coca-Cola for a great project to empower women. I also love their happiness truck. Their visit to various places certainly makes random people happy.

    A friend went to Baguio last week. 8 degrees daw doon… nainggit ako but my father is quite scared to drive especially when it's foggy. Sana soon I can also experience such climate!

  6. You caught my attention with this: "Catch up with the neighborhood news? " haha.. Yeah, kidding aside, Sari Sari store is a part of every Pinoy's lives. Kudos to Coca Cola company to help aspiring owners to succeed.

  7. I quit drinking coke since september but I allowed myself to drink coke over the holidays. I was telling friends to find me a bottle with my name but I still have not found it. Now that the holidays are over. I am back to avoiding coke. I will only drink coke on special ocassions. Hope I see a bottle with my name, by then. hehe btw, nice project by coke.

  8. I am fully supporting Coca Cola’s STAR (Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources) as a program in helping the women for entrepreneurship to ameliorate their lives due they lack education and technical know-how in running a business. In Coke, there's happiness especially for the women. (3rd comment – Gil Camporazo)

  9. Correct.Many families and women, especially stay-at-home moms, have benefited from selling in their own sari-sari stores. And thanks to Coke and other companies for empowering them.

  10. Until now, I haven't seen a Coke bottle with my name on it. Hmm, I hope Coke can bring me that kind of happiness, just like the one on the video. Nice one.

  11. Coca Cola has the best commercials every year! The best thing about it is that they really focus on target markets like the video you posted, not a big fan of soft drinks but I do appreciate their creativity.

  12. I think when I was on my teenage days, when Christmas comes everyone of us, is checking what could be the commercial for Coca Cola this year? They had the best commercials! 🙂

    Though I haven't got a bottle with my name on it, too bad it's not on the list haha!

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