After he purportedly said, “The Chinese are not people…hayop (animal)!,” the owner of popular VJANDEP Pastels has paid quite a price. VJANDEP Pastels, a business owned by the Jose family, is best known for its pastel buns — soft bread buns filled with various fillings such as yema/custard, uba, chocolate etc. These pastel buns are popular “pasalubong” items from Camiguin Island and Cagayan de Oro City.
Col. Virgilio Jose allegedly said that in an April 22 meeting with fellow traders. He later claimed that he only said those “remarks purely in jest.”
Unfortunately for the VJANDEP Pastel Breads owner, the Chinese-Filipino community didn’t take his remarks lightly. They’ve reportedly threatened to pull out VJANDEP products from their store shelves. I heard that the owners of superstores Gaisano and Ororama weren’t pleased with Jose’s statement and that some VJANDEP products haven’t been displayed for sale in their stores.
In a half-page advertisement published in a regional newspaper, Jose said that “with contrite heart, I would like to once again sincerely beg for forgiveness for my offensive remarks.”
“I have realized that although my remarks were said purely in jest without intention to offend anyone, such meaningless expression unduly damaged our good relations as community,” according to the published statement.
“May I also take this opportunity to humbly request that my family and my family’s business be spared from the trouble that my personal behavior has caused you,” he added.
I guess it’s commendable for the Jose patriarch to apologize. The Chinese-Filipino community, after all, is one group you as a businessman would never want to mess with.
I’m not too sure if what the VJANDEP pastel owner did was enough, though. In a publicity crisis such as this, more should be done, IMO. Perhaps the Jose family can publish photos of activities wherein they helped the Chinese-Filipino community in the past. Or maybe photos where the Jose family’s shown to have “friendly ties” with the Chinese-Filipino community leaders. Things like these can greatly help, IMHO.
What about you? Do you think the Jose patriarch’s apology is enough to mend the “strained ties”?