By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin
If “unity” was a scent, then Dioceldo Sy believes that he has captured it in a bottle. He calls it “The Red President”.
The bottle label is marked with the word unity, the catchword of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos’s campaign. The bottles itself is red. In short, the fragrance is unapologetically pro-Marcos.
Sy is the man behind Blackwater, a fragrance and men’s grooming line established in 2007. Blackwater has a franchise in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The Red President is variant of the company’s Blackwater Bossing line of body sprays. “It is the first ever unisex scent Blackwater has released in our brand’s history, and the first time we are labeling a scent that is directly associated to a single presidential candidate,” said Sy, the company chief executive officer (CEO) and brand owner.
But what does unity smell like? “The scent was carefully formulated to be a perfect scent that can be wearable for all ages, genders, and across all demographics. The top note is citrus and fruity, the middle note is floral, toasted and ambery, while the bottom note is musky, sweet and floral,” he said.
“I wanted to communicate with The Blackwater Bossing Red President Unity scent what BBM (Bongbong Marcos) stands for,” added Sy, who at 64 is the same age as the UniTeam presidential bet.
As enthusiastic and passionate Sy is about the release of the unity-themed fragrance, there’s only so much olfactory cues that one can fit in a bottle. Knowing this, he was just as happy to share to this reporter his anecdotes and views about Marcoses.
“I lived through the Marcos era, and experienced first hand his good governance, infrastructure development, and social projects that truly benefited the welfare of the masses,” Sy said, referring to former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“Should he (Bongbong) win, as the polls suggest, I am confident that BBM will use this opportunity to correct the misconceptions people have toward his family, and prove the history books wrong,” Sy said.
So who is BBM outside the political arena? The Blackwater boss describes him as a humble, down-to-earth guy who has zero pretensions.
“I love that he’s just like everyone of us. I remember one time lining up for McDonalds in Greenbelt. Coincidentally, he was behind me, with a generic cap on and queuing without any special treatment. I told him, ‘Partner, hindi kita nakilala! (Partner, I didn’t recognize you!)’ To which he laughed and said he likes to keep it simple.
“I also liked seeing him enjoying himself over karaoke during a birthday party, singing his favorite 80’s music!” narrated Sy.
Sy agrees with Marcos that unity is what the country needs right now, and that it’s the latter who should take the wheel.
“It’s just like basketball! No matter how impressive and skilled your roster of players are, or how dedicated the coach is, or how supportive the management is, unless the team acts in unison and follows the game plan, you are going to fail.
“The government has to be united in its goal to push for the country’s advancement across all sectors in order to achieve progress. Of course, they need a competent leader with a heart for the masses, and I believe BBM represents that,” he explained.
Of course, Sy is not just a Marcos supporter, but also a true-blue businessman. That means he is aware that The Red President won’t be accepted by everyone, and has prepared for such eventuality.
“You can’t please everyone, and that’s where marketing comes in,” he said. “For those who prefer pink, blue, or green packaging, Blackwater also has scents that use these colors for our product labels.”
Sy insists that as far as the Blackwater line is confirmed, The Red President is a “great fit”.
“Businesses have respective target markets, and for Blackwater, the Red President is a great fit for our brand’s current following. The Red President represents BBM’s call for unity, and so far, it’s been faring pretty well with our target audience,” he said.
“In business I always go for where there’s demand, while in politics, I always support the administration elected by the people,” he further said.
The leading local fragrance brand has a long relationship with Marcos. The two had a brand endorsement deal when Marcos ran for senator in 2010.