The best endorser of Philippine tourism via colourful and vibrant souvenir products is Jonathan Jay Aldeguer, President of Island Souvenirs. From his backpacking days in Europe, he got an idea on how to quickly turn his and other tourists’ problems into a business opportunity – souvenir items that truly mirror a destination’s character, joie de vivre, ambience, and local colour.
Islands Souvenirs hit the retail market by storm in the 1990s with its brightly coloured shirts heralding the best of the Philippine cities and other tourist spots. And when he went into franchising, he saw its effective way of expanding his business and the company vision, specifically allowing his business to have a “local” component, highly important in the business of travel and tourism. Jay recalls “Francorp Philippines & its team of franchise consultants were there to help streamline our operations, thereby improving our processes to make our business more franchisable.”
Jay Aldeguer has received accolades for his efforts, starting from being one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardees, then The Agora Award, the British Council Design Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and recently, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Small Business. Islands Souvenirs has also brought him to the Retailer of the year Hall of Fame as he was able to bag the prize three times.
When he says “I love the Philippines. I believe in its people”, one knows that it is not mere lip service because his products speak strongly about his advocacy. They are now using the franchise system for subsidiaries like Islands Stay Hotels and Islands Banca Cruises.
The best of the Philippines is pictured in every Islands Souvenirs shirt and memorabilia sold in 59 company owned and 7 franchised Islands Souvenir shops all over the country which are combinations of stand-alone, kiosk carts and distributors. To be opened are additional Islands and More stores and three franchised outlets in Baguio City, Vigan in Ilocos and Camarines Sur. Any Filipino can be proud to own an Islands Souvenirs product or give it away as gifts or souvenirs. Every product coming out of an Islands Souvenirs shop shouts out to the world that, indeed, it is more fun in the Philippines.