The first time I met this dude gave me the impression of him being carefree because of the way he carries himself: his favorite outfit: T-shirt in 3/4 short or jeans and he walks like a happy-go-lucky guy. Little did I know then of this man’s inner greatness and vision.

About five years ago when he began this first and only Pinoy Culture t-shirt label business from some money he borrowed from his Ninong (godfather). He went through the birth pangs (and pains) of pursuing his entrepreneurial goals. I have only seen a few men so badly beaten and yet still pushing through the most difficult times and this guy is one of those few brave men who stepped up to the plate of responsibility and rose above his challenges with his signature euphoric grin.

Born Peter Allan Bontuyan…the designer/developer and Sole Proprietor of Pogi Shirts. I fondly call him “Pedro” because of his inclination to Nationalistic issues and passion to preserve the Filipino heritage thru his works. [We share the same admiration for our National Hero, Jose Rizal.] In about a couple of years of friendship, I often find myself encouraging him on spiritual matters while he spurs me on to also having my own business someday–a mutual exchange of ideas and ideals I so appreciate.

One fine afternoon, Pedro welcomed me to his “dream factory”‘ where I was given the privilege and honor to find out more about the in’s and out’s of his ever growing and evolving business. Here are a few things that may pique your interest and later on (hopefully) inspire you to get your own Pogi Shirt/s. LOL!

1. Catchy brand name. Why “Pogi Shirt”? How do you think PS is affecting those who wear it?
The name has this “angas” appeal that in a similar way what Pogi Shirts would like to inculcate – pride in our culture and heritage as Pinoys.

2. Got any claim to fame? If so, could you share it with us please?
I’ve got two, I was fortunate to be part of Lucy Torres’ show The Sweet Life. I got to talk about how Pogi Shirts began and share simple ideas on how to pimp and enhance our regular shirts along with fellow shirt entrepreneurs. [you can watch the episode in the videos section of Pogi Shirts’ Multiply site.] And the next one is being featured here in your blog. (*wink*wink*) Hehehe!

3. What is something about Pogi Shirt (PS) that most customers like?
Pogi Shirts is makabayan in a unique and interesting way. We feature our rich cultural heritage in a contemporary way that is not cliche. Wow! That rhymes.

4. What is/are your major accomplishment/s for PS?
To set the business up or build the website on my own may be considered an accomplishment already but I believe nothing can be considered a major accomplishment if something can still be improved upon. Lalim no? Hehehe!

5. What inspires you to come up with unique and awesome designs for PS?
What inspires me is the equally unique and awesome culture and heritage of the Philippines. They show how greatly we have been blessed, the trials and difficulties that we have as a nation just wouldn’t compare, and that is what I portray in the designs I do.

6. How will you compare your product line with other T-shirt brand in the market these days?
Pogi Shirts and other well-known brands are hand in hand in promoting pride in the Philippines. Pogi Shirts in it’s part highlights the richness of our culture and heritage.

7. What is your current business challenge?
Currently, I’m alone… Hehehe! Senti ba? What I mean is that the business is a one man band. I do everything. And as with anyone, I have strengths and weaknesses. I do well with things that I am strong in but obviously need help with things I am weak in like numbers and marketing. Though I read and study them as much as I can, I think I still need help.

8. What is the craziest/unusual thing/s you ever did to pursue your business goals?
Being from a non-entrepreneural family, stepping out of my mold to pursue my dream of Pogi Shirts may be the craziest and most unusual thing I did.

9. How do you envision your business 5-10 years from now?
My prayer is that Pogi Shirts will be bigger, better, and a major force in promoting and taking care of our culture and heritage for many generations.

10. Describe a regular day for you as an entrepreneur and artist.
The day starts with the first priority – God. I spend the first moments of the day communing with God. From Him I get the motivation for the day.

11. What would you like to share to aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Entrepreneurship is a journey not towards gathering wealth but towards contributing what you already have – time, talent, and treasure – to the betterment of society.

12. How and where can people buy a Pogi Shirt?
Gwapos and Gwapas can get their Pogi Shirts at www.pogishirts.com. Contact details are on the site as well. Pogi Shirts’ price vary from P270-300 and payments are via bank deposit or Gcash. We send your Pogi Shirt via Xend’s next-day delivery service.

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