Bless­ings come from hard work

Petronas’ com­mer­cial this year high­lights the sac­ri­fices it takes to put food on the ta­ble

New Straits Times - - News -


OVER the past decade, fes­tive cel­e­bra­tions are times for ma­jor brands to share mes­sages of virtue and re­spect through tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials. And the com­mer­cials that Malaysians look for­ward to are def­i­nitely the ones from Petronas.

With taglines that re­mind us that our great­est bless­ings are al­ways right by our side, these heart­warm­ing and tear-jerk­ing com­mer­cials res­onate with ev­ery Malaysian be­cause they give a glimpse into our lives.

Through time, the com­mer­cials from Petronas have grown into short films, be­ing more than just send­ing a prod­uct or ser­vice mes­sage.

They’ve be­come films that re­mind us of deep-rooted val­ues and virtues like re­spect for par­ents, the im­por­tance of fam­ily and friend­ship, as well as the joys of liv­ing in a mul­tira­cial coun­try.

Ev­ery May, for the past few years, Petronas takes us on a beau­ti­ful jour­ney rich in cul­ture and her­itage through their Kaa­matan and Gawai com­mer­cials. This year’s com­mer­cial will take us on a dif­fer­ent jour­ney. It brings us on a re­flec­tion of strength, hard work and, most im­por­tantly, grate­ful­ness.

Cel­e­brat­ing one of the true spir­its of Kaa­matan and Gawai, Petronas’ com­mer­cial this year will hon­our the om­nipo­tent padi.

The spirit of the padi plant is be­lieved to rep­re­sent the all-pow­er­ful source of life and ex­is­tence. Those cel­e­brat­ing the fes­ti­vals be­lieve that the padi plant does not only pro­vide them with food, but is also a sym­bol of love and life.

The har­vest fes­ti­val, as it is re­ferred to in English, is a day of giv­ing thanks to the gods for the bless­ings of a good, boun­ti­ful har­vest and humbly re­quest­ing the bless­ings to con­tinue.

Start­ing with a scene de­pict­ing what Malaysians do best, the ad­ver­tise­ment be­gins with a typ­i­cal long­house meal tak­ing place. Loud chat­ter and laugh­ter is heard as a large fam­ily seats on the floor and en­joys each other’s com­pany.

A group of kids sud­denly de­cides to go swim­ming and leave their meals abruptly to go to a river.

The kids are no other than Anang and her friends, whom we met in Petronas’ Chi­nese New Year com­mer­cial “It Came From A Tin Mine”.

As the ur­ban chil­dren run off to the river with their fancy swim gear, Anang’s grand­fa­ther stops her and asks her to take the fam­ily buf­falo to the padi field. He re­minds her sternly that Jojo the buf­falo must be taken to the padi field first be­fore she could go swim­ming.

Dis­ap­pointed by the in­ter­rup­tion, the five friends de­cide to help Anang. How hard can that be, right? Lit­tle did they re­alise that get­ting a wa­ter buf­falo to move is no easy feat!

True to the chil­dren’s “never say die” at­ti­tude, just like when they were try­ing to catch the “the King of the River” fish in Fe­bru­ary, the five friends rally to­gether to find new ways to move Jojo.

They put on their think­ing hats and come up with all sorts of ideas, in­clud­ing wav­ing a red towel in front of Jojo like a Span­ish mata­dor, and push­ing it from the back like a stalled car.

The light-heart­ed­ness of these scenes will bring a smile on your face. The scene where all five of them run in op­po­site di­rec­tions just at the wag of Jojo’s tail is a per­fect ex­am­ple and will surely get you burst­ing with laugh­ter.

Anang’s fam­ily watch in amuse­ment and cheer the chil­dren from their long­house, but no mat­ter what the five friends try, they fail to move the buf­falo.

Watch­ing closely from the win­dow is Aki, or grand­fa­ther in Anang’s na­tive lan­guage.

Aki calls the kids in to rest and have a drink. But when they go back into the long­house, all they see are five plates of half-eaten rice and veg­eta­bles. Per­plexed, Anang and her friends sit around the plates try­ing to fig­ure out what is go­ing on.

Once again, Aki’s gen­tle but stern voice is heard as he shares with the chil­dren how he and Jojo worked for months to plant, tend and har­vest the padi field. He re­minds them of the hard work and sac­ri­fice that goes to en­sure that they have rice on their plates ev­ery day. The chil­dren are blessed with abun­dance and should not waste the food.

Guilt-rid­den and re­minded of the true essence of cel­e­brat­ing the har­vest fes­ti­val, Anang and her friends quickly fin­ish ev­ery grain of rice on their plates.

True to what it is known for, this Petronas com­mer­cial tugs at the viewer’s heart­strings, es­pe­cially the younger ur­ban gen­er­a­tion.

It re­minds us of the hard­ship be­hind the scenes even though we are lucky to be born in mod­ern times.

It re­minds us of how quick we move on to the next ad­ven­ture be­fore we can truly cher­ish and hon­our what is in front of us.

It teaches us that re­spect, de­ter­mi­na­tion, to­geth­er­ness and grate­ful­ness are val­ues that must be car­ried through­out our lives, and ev­ery bless­ing as a re­sult of hard work and sac­ri­fice.

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