If we try to look at any part of the world, we sure can find Filipinos living somewhere outside their homeland. In fact, the Philippines has one of the most emigrants in the world. It has been a normal occurrence to leave the country to make a living in a foreign land and eventually create their own communities.

What’s even more fascinating is that migration also allows Filipinos to reach their potential and get known for what they do. It is not news to us that Filipino talents of various fields, be it arts, sports, music, etc., are recognized beyond our borders and we take huge pride in it. However, this also makes us vulnerable to content creators who use our patriotism and pride to fish for engagements.

Dayo Community is a paradigm shift in narrating the stories of Filipinos in a very tasteful manner. They are a platform of empowerment for expats, especially Filipino expats, to be recognized and be their own storytellers.

DAYO COMMUNITY: Take Flight, Stay Rooted

In 2016, a group of young Filipino kids residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took inspiration from the community around them to create an apparel brand that would express their shared roots and how they reached where they are now. 

Dayo Community was birthed by a group of friends in Dubai whose team involves Jude Valderrama (@judevalderrama) who serves as their creative director, Justin Ballon Valderrama (@justine.well) as their web and digital manager, Osan Reodica Juan (@rosankatlea) as their creative writer, Cholo Juan (@depiktdxb) as their artist, Miguel Mojica (@miguelmojica) as their 3D designer, and in 2020, Sebastian Valderrama (@bastyvee) joined them to be their film editor. 

TAKING FLIGHT: Embracing the expat journey

What drives Dayo Community is the life experiences and journeys of expats plus the scene in UAE in which they belong to. They wanted to tell the stories of immigrants through different platforms such as shirt designs, documentaries, and other mediums.

For Dayo Community, realizing true identity is about reminding expats of where they came from and taking pride in their roots. This recognition would allow them to coexist in a diverse community while still embracing their identity. This is the brand’s main goal and it reflects in their clothing line whose designs are inspired by the Filipino spirit and humor, street culture, real life, and iconic imagery.

“Our brand is about embracing the expat journey, having a sense of pride, and spreading inspiration to people that can relate to the stories around our community. Take Flight, Stay Rooted.” – Dayo Community

STAYING ROOTED: A focus on stories untold

“A two-way street of inspiration.” That is how Dayo Community describes their influence with Filipino immigrants. The stories inspire the brand’s design and the expats get empowered as they are given a platform to tell their stories. This is what makes Dayo Community exceptional. They create a space that is authentic for us as we see narratives from the point of view of our fellow Filipinos. Having a platform like this is important especially now that we see how the Filipino people and culture is prone to exploitation for the main purpose of sensationalizing and gaining engagements.

Dayo Community teaches us that our responsibility as Filipino consumers is to be critical of contents that use our culture to falsely present “Filipino pride” and bait us to continuously consume it. There are contents, materials, and stories about us that we cannot control, especially those made by foreigners, but what we can control is how we react towards these things. 

“We can equip ourselves with authentic Filipino pride. We can shine light on stories untold. We have 7,000+ islands, we’re more than just a Youtube headline as a nation.” – Dayo Community

BEING HEARD: A platform for their story

Dayo Community creates an avenue, not just for talents and artists living abroad but also for those who want their stories to be heard. This fuels the fire in expats to even work harder on doing things that they are passionate about because it allows them to tell the world their stories using their own voice.

There is a message that Dayo Community wants to tell Filipino expats and that is to push through the hard things because things always work out, and use all the challenges encountered as stepping stones to achieve personal milestones. 

“Don’t be fake humble – don’t keep our heads down low just because the Filipino spirit is ‘simple and humble.’ Real intellectual humility is striving through things, unlearning our colonial mentality, and KNOWING that we bring value everywhere we go. Don’t step on anyone else’s feet while you go reach your dreams.” – Dayo Community

Dayo Community encourages us to embrace our heritage because no matter what the circumstance is, being a Filipino is our identity and this is what binds us with our fellow countrymen when we leave our borders. We leave a piece of this identity to places we go and to people we encounter. Being a Filipino will always be in our blood and no one can change that nor take that away from us.

“Take home wherever you go. Make people feel at home with you – we are all strangers after all.” – Dayo Community

The passionate team of Dayo Community is what keeps their future bright. They take their time in creation and let things flow. What’s in store for the brand might be more collaborations soon, or anything that they find their hearts in. So make sure to tune in on their Facebook and Instagram! You can also check out their official website to support their cause.

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