The Personal Branding of Lamoiyan CEO Cecilio Pedro

At the onset of the pandemic lockdown in  2020, Mansmith put together the Mansmith Marketing Inspiration Festival as a way of providing new sources of inspiration during very uncertain (and scary) times.  The festival was  an online program that featured 30 successful business leaders who shared their stories of overcoming adversity and achieving success.

One of the standout speakers at the festival was Dr. Cecilio Pedro, an industrialist and the founder of Lamoiyan  – manufacturer of Hapee Toothpaste. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout his life, Pedro remained cheerful, generous, and humble, inspiring those around him with his positive attitude and unwavering determination to succeed.

Pedro shared snippets of his past that shaped the way he would approach life as fate had designed it.  When he was just seven years old, he survived a three-story fall, which could have easily ended his life. At the age of 18, he was involved in a serious car accident.  These close calls made him realize he was being prepared for something more meaningful. 

At 33 years old, he had to close down his aluminum tube factory due to a technological shift of clients from aluminum to plastic containers for toothpaste. Rather than giving up on his dream, he used this setback as an opportunity to pivot and reinvent his business. He shifted his focus to manufacturing his own toothpaste brand (to use his inventory of aluminum tubes) and after 200 tries in pursuing the right formulation, he eventually launched Hapee Toothpaste.  Hapee has since become one of the most popular local toothpaste brands in the Philippines.

More than creating a proudly Filipino brand is leading Lamoiyan with a heart.  His company was one of the first companies to hire persons with disabilities, in this case, the hearing impaired.  This hiring practice is prioritized and reinforced by management which provides sign language classes for those who can hear but will need to communicate with the special members of the team.

Pedro’s positive outlook, Christian practices, and fighting spirit make him a true inspiration to all those around him. He has been recognized for his numerous achievements, including being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in the Philippines in 1991. Now, he has added another feather to his cap by becoming the President of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCI).

Here are some key lessons we can learn from Pedro on personal branding:

1. Be authentic: Pedro’s personal brand is built on his genuine personality and his willingness to be himself. This authenticity has helped him build trust and credibility with those around him.

2. Embrace your story: Pedro’s personal brand is also tied to his life story, which is one of resilience in the face of adversity. He has used his experiences to inspire others and to show that anything is possible if one is determined and does not give up.

“The last thing you should do is give up,” shared Cecilio during the Mansmith Marketing Inspiration Festival. Imagine the 200 times he tried just to get the right formulation of Hapee? What if he quit on the 199th time? Your own story can be a powerful tool in building your personal brand, so don’t be afraid to share it.

3. Build relationships: Pedro is known for being able to build relationships with people from all walks of life. He treats everyone with respect and kindness, and he is always willing to lend a helping hand. Building strong relationships is essential for personal branding because it boosts morale, fosters collaboration and allows teamwork to flourish.

“Taking care of my people is my primary concern. People should be the 5th P of Marketing,” quipped Pedro. 

4. Stay positive: Having overcome numerous challenges throughout his life, Pedro’s positive attitude is an inspiring grace.  This mindset and lifestyle is infectious and endearing, items that a brand always aspires to attain.

5. Give back: Pedro is also known for his generosity and his commitment to giving back to the community. This has helped build his personal brand as someone who is not only successful but also compassionate and socially responsible. Giving back can be a powerful tool in building your personal brand, so look for ways to contribute to causes that you care about.

6. Keep learning, keep asking. While Pedro continuous to share his knowledge and expertise, he also continuously learns from everyone. I remember tagging along with Dr. Ned Roberto decades ago when he was researching about Hapee and Pedo personally sat down to listen. I remember him hiring a good friend, the late Ding Salvador, as his managing consultant, when Ding retired as the ASEAN president of Johnson and Johnson. He has a genuine commitment to be a lifelong learner. 

Pedro raised Filipino pride when he successfully led Hapee against international brands. And beyond business, his Christian values are clearly highlighted in the ways he leads his businesses to give back the many graces and chances he has been given.  


Videos of the Mansmith Marketing Inspiration Festival is now available for free at 


Josiah Go is Chairman and Chief Innovation Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc. 

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Josiah Go features the movers and shakers of the business world and writes about marketing, strategy, innovation, execution and entrepreneurship


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