Words by: Ayen Plata and Gab Estrera
Art by: Ayen Plata, Gab Estrera, and Hanz Clemente
Map Your Journey. Another academic year, another slew of opportunities for UP Junior Marketing Association to strive for marketing excellence.
This year was no easy quest for the organization as it transitioned from online to face-to-face operations. Nevertheless, various UP JMA teams were able to successfully surpass expectations, facing the challenges posed by the pandemic head-on, and ultimately paving the way towards their remarkable victory. Ordinary students with a burning passion to serve, the members of UP JMA were able to embark on endeavors that tested both their skills and their patience, resulting in extraordinary feats that knew not of their limitations. With that, here are the projects and initiatives by UP JMA and the stories behind them as its members forged their course towards an ambitious yet fruitful academic year 2022-2023.
Empowering Underrepresented Voices Through Cosmos: An OPM Festival
Under the starry night of February 18, 2023, an audience of more than 14,000 came together through a shared love for OPM, and an unwavering belief in equal rights for our fellow members of diverse SOGIESC. Mounting the most anticipated concert of the season to the campus grounds after two years of online productions, the Cosmos team wasted no time in curating this extremely demanding event that brought the realities of underrepresented groups to the forefront of the discussion. Reclaiming the center stage with a benefit concert anchored on a collective fight towards upholding sexual and reproductive health rights in the country, Cosmos was resolute in its stance to mount a concert with a cause. Through a one-night celebration of the diverse talents of the local music scene, the UP Diliman student-body found peace in an unyielding solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Reinforcing the main concert were pre-events such as Cosmic Canvas, the official visual arts contest of the production and the first of its kind in Cosmos history to provide up-and-coming artists an opportunity to create mural installations during the concert. This not only showcased the artists’ skills and abilities, but provided them with a platform to channel their advocacy for sexual and reproductive rights into their magnificent artworks. Another notable pre-event that further emphasized the thrust of Cosmos was Cosmic Clash, a battle of the bands type of competition that allowed rising OPM artists to celebrate their music with the UP Diliman community. With winners being given the chance to perform on the main Cosmos stage, their contributions to the OPM scene were forever immortalized in UP Fair history. Certainly, it is through pre-events such as these that artists from different fields can collaborate and share in a cause greater than themselves.
The main stage at the concert itself was graced by chart-topping bands such as Ben&Ben and The Itchyworms, and hip-hop artists like Al James and Kiyo. Along with this, guest speakers Micah Simon and Stum Casia of Project Liwanag at Dunong made their voices heard as they advocated for the education of the Aeta youth—an education which was inadvertently put to a halt due to the ravaging effects of the pandemic. With many children unable to continue their studies due to a lack of electricity and internet connection in their respective communities, Project Liwanag called for greater awareness and participation of the UP Diliman student-body in advancing their cause for our brothers and sisters in the Aeta community.
Championing advocacies such as #TransRightsAreHumanRights, #ReproductiveHealthForAll, and #MalayaAkoMaging, Cosmos 2023 served as a platform for everyone to celebrate who they truly were without prejudice from others. Placing the concerns of ALL Filipinos at the forefront of an overarching advocacy for equal rights, Cosmos stands with belittled groups in the country as they craft safe spaces for their freedom and liberty, and find platforms to make their voices heard in a society that merely favors the status quo.
Back on Wheels with MarkEd Access Granted
With the goal of providing a platform for public high school students to advance their marketing knowledge and deepen their understanding of current marketing trends, MarkEd Access Granted returned to their main initiative: face-to-face campus roadshows.
Last November 14, the team made their first stop at Batasan Hills National High School in Quezon City, calling the help of CEO of Hiraya Pilipina Cleo Roque to teach their students about crisis management and marketing techniques. In the face of 80 Senior High School students from the ABM strand, Hiraya Pilipina set the standard for initiating a discourse towards risk mitigation in the professional world, ultimately working towards making the students equipped to create their own Integrated Marketing Campaign as part of the workshop.
Following this, the team visited Las Piñas National High School last November 21 with guest speaker, Claire Ongcango, CEO and Founder of Parlon, to initiate a workshop on business ideation and execution. With the theme “Revolutionizing Traditional Industries,” Ongcango recounted her experiences to an audience of 100 Senior High School students about how she turned her groundbreaking business idea into a reality.
Finally, the team hosted its last roadshow for this academic year last May 22 at Francisco P. Felix Memorial National High School in Cainta, Rizal, with Hanap Habi founder Kat Estrella leading the discussion on the relevance of sustainability in fashion and marketing excellence. In an effort to convey her marketing journey, she emphasized the importance of one’s character in the endless pursuit of their goals, inspiring a primarily junior high school audience to proactively work towards their own dreams. Honing their skills even further, the students finished the day creating their own products and crafting a specific marketing plan as part of the grand Access Granted Summer Festival.
Telling diverse narratives of marketing excellence, MarkED Access Granted pioneered the discourse on skills development within public high schools, as well as business ideation from the young minds of our students. Throughout all these events, the team faced immense challenges as COVID-19 restrictions still required compliance. That being said, the team was successful in their implementation of numerous profound workshops that not only built the foundations of our students’ knowledge in marketing, but allowed for further growth through sufficient opportunities to cultivate their skills.
Widening Perspectives with MarkEd 360
Just like MarkED Access Granted, MarkED 360 aims to broaden students’ marketing knowledge and give them opportunities to apply what they know through an extensive show of their skills. However, the focus of MarkEd 360 is on providing a platform for budding marketers to hone and showcase what they have learned throughout their journey through a competition that will surely push them to reach greater heights. This year, MarkEd 360 held “MarkEd 360: Marketing for the Youth Summit”—a two-day online summit where senior high school students were given the chance to learn the ins and outs of marketing through expert-guided workshops, all of which culminated in a case competition where they would battle it out for the grand title.
Guest speakers and UP Diliman alumni Anthony Chiang, Skin Cleansing Lead of Unilever Philippines, Inc. and Laurenz Salindong, Product Manager for Lazada PH, enlightened our students on the importance of crafting relevant marketing campaigns as a means of setting the tone of your product to your target audiences. This effectively laid the groundwork for an exciting case competition which tested the knowledge of over 160 participants across 22 high schools who gave their all in a nerve-wracking showdown of their marketing excellence.
As summer rolled around the corner, the team organized “MarkEd 360: Summer Summit,” UP JMA’s first on-site marketing workshop and consultation since the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-day event was held at the Engg Theatre in Melchor Hall at the UP Diliman campus last June 10-11 inviting guest speakers Jil Bausa-Go, Ro Manalo, and Cheng Kabigting, the heads of Broadcast Business, Marketing, and Sales and Marketing, respectively, at Kroma entertainment to lead talks on market segmentation, campaign making, and more. These talks were supplemented by asynchronous modules as well as one-on-one consultations with Loreal Brandstorm Champions in order to give the students an opportunity to ask for real-time advice from UP JMA’s own Roque Mercado, Yans Ong, Kara Santiago, Alex Pates, Chelsea Dy, and Veronica Julio.
Fostering healthy rivalry and team-building through case competitions between students, MarkED 360 shed a light on the importance of engaging the youth in a real-life setting of business in order to hone their skills towards a greater understanding of the professional world. Undoubtedly, the team was able to persist in the face of adversities, and continue the fight towards the inclusive marketing education that UP JMA stands for.
A Taste of Tradition With CRAFT
Indulge in the taste of tradition, and savor the flavors of the streets. For the past two semesters, CRAFT’s marketing initiatives have taken its audiences on a culinary journey celebrating both the vibrant essence of Filipino street food and the secret culinary wonders of Katipunan Avenue.
CRAFT’s first semester took us on a gastronomic tour highlighting the colorful spirit of Filipino street food cuisine. The CRAFT Sama-Sama campaign featured 3 local businesses namely “Baon Koh”, “The Ihaw-Ihaw House”, and “Airballs320” which collectively aimed to promote the local Filipino street food embedded in our heritage by highlighting its two primary classes, "inihaw" and "tusok-tusok.” CRAFT boosted the platforms of these local home-based businesses through spearheading short promotional videos, creating informative pubs, and sharing vouchers and gift certificates through entertaining minigames. The campaign then culminated in a week-long online bazaar, wherein the team consolidated the business pages of their partners along with a list of their bestsellers. Buyers could have a full-on food trip with a click of a button with exclusive discount codes from CRAFT to match!
Building onto an already successful first semester, CRAFT set its sights on a culinary journey closer to home: Katipunan! A hidden treasure trove of culinary delights waiting to be unearthed, Katipunan served as the perfect avenue (literally!) for CRAFT to highlight these eclectic eateries through video showcases, collaborations, and marketing initiatives that successfully conveyed each business’ individual food culture and entrepreneurship. With major plans slated for the semesters to come, exciting things are expected as CRAFT continues to shine a spotlight on the hidden gems that find its home in Katipunan. Through a slow but steady return to a sense of normalcy, CRAFT continues to advocate for the growth and expansion of fledgling businesses in an effort to aid these partners in attaining a taste of triumph in the ever-changing landscape of the food industry.
Trailblazing towards a Greener Tomorrow with WeChampion
Amidst the urbanized landscape of Metro Manila, WeChampion—the premier student-run social initiative of UP JMA— has sown the seeds of change towards the protection and restoration of the lush forestry that once covered our surroundings. Emboldened by a commitment to raising awareness about the urgency of sustainable reforestation, WeChampion has empowered the public to fight for the conservation of our jungles through online discussion forums and fundraisers, eventually taking concrete initiatives towards achieving a greener future.
WeChampion has amplified the discourse on sustainable living through initiatives such as “Plant Tayo,” which is a blended environmental campaign that utilizes hiking fundraisers as a means of information dissemination about their cause. As “Plant Tayo'' became the flagship campaign of the team, WeChampion was able to attract the attention of the public through the utilization of various digital media outlets to advance their call to action. Successfully amassing a huge following on social media over the past semesters, they went on to educate the public about the main roots of deforestation through an online forum entitled, “UPROOT: A Webinar on the State of Philippine Forests.” Experts, academics, and concerned individuals alike came together during the online symposium to discuss the egregious impacts of deforestation, especially in impoverished communities.
The team also grabbed the opportunity to integrate hiking activities into their fundraisers with “UPHILL” and “UPWARD”, marking significant breakthroughs in the organization’s return to face to face initiatives. Through fun-filled yet extremely insightful hikes through Mt. Mapalad and Mt. Maynoba, the participants were pushed to new heights with thrilling excursions that made them encounter the damaging potential of deforestation face-to-face. Every stride taken served as a symbol of dedication to the mobilization of knowledge and an unyielding commitment to a greener future.
WeChampion’s environmental initiatives continue to inspire students to become orchestrators of change, and the symphony of hope they play resonates with our duty to be stewards of the world’s forests. Their journey serves as an indication that, when motivated by a shared goal, no mountain is impassable, and together, we can reach new heights towards a future anchored on sustainable reforestation.
Embracing the New with MANA
Making a triumphant comeback as the iconic footwear store we all know and love, MANA pioneers an advocacy of sustainability and celebration of cultural heritage through a commitment towards the craftsmanship of local artisans. Step into the world of MANA and discover the unique handiwork and artistry of Marikeño sapatero Mang Jhun, a passionate handicraftsman with over 30 years of experience in the shoemaking industry. This year, MANA has evolved to adjust to the new and upcoming trends of the times, providing an assortment of improved styles and silhouettes that naturally follow the latest fashion craze in the market.
This semester, MANA released two new silhouettes, namely the Classic Clogs and Cross-strapped Slip-ons which fed into the resurgence of artisan-made shoes as an everyday fashionable accessory. Following an advocacy of an everlasting dedication to local talent and environmental sustainability, the MANA team has actively ventured into new and distinctive clothing lines that introduced experimental accessories such as the leather lanyard, laptop sleeve and coin purse. This laudable show of diversification allowed MANA to expand its branding beyond the confines of a mere footwear store and establish its presence as a craft industry retailer towards a wider reach of consumers.
With a commitment to sustainability coupled with the artistic prowess of local craftsmen, MANA has laced up its shoes and taken impressive strides towards sustainable retailing. As the brand continues to captivate customers and expand its consumer base, MANA builds a legacy where every footprint tells a tale of artistry and sustainability at heart.
A Sense of Belonging through 1958
This year, 1958 aimed to become the pinnacle of merchandise for every UP student in the university. From the production of brand-new print designs like the vintage collection to old-school classics such as the signature UP-branded lanyard and tote bags, the team has seamlessly encapsulated the spirit of UP establishing itself as the go-to source for collegiate fashion and university pride.
In an effort to fully employ its marketing expertise for a cause, 1958 produced clothing lines as a means to bring in consistent revenue for its main beneficiaries—the UP JMA KIDS Program. Ever since its establishment in 2016, the brand has been expanding its catalog of affordable UP-themed items for Iskos with an aim to keep the KIDS program at the heart of its advocacies. This academic year, 1958 has once again displayed a mastery in creative innovation with their rebranding through the release of updated designs appealing to a vast array of audiences. Iconic images of the UP Ikot, Palma Hall, and even the Mango Graham shake were infused into the catalog designs to evoke a reinforced sense of school pride and capture the collective memories of UP students through a trendy voguish look that deviates from typical design philosophies. The brand also recognized the power of visual storytelling, and with students filling the bustling corridors of the university it would be easier to visualize merchandise through captivating pictures set on campus grounds
In adapting to the ever-changing landscape of technological innovation, the brand also ushered in the emergence of two improved platforms for sales: E-commerce and traditional selling. Through the use of a diverse slew of social media platforms to promote their products, 1958 promotional content was able to directly bank on the convenience of online shopping by allowing purchases on both the UP JMA site and the Lazada app. 1958 also made the most of traditional selling techniques by taking measures such as roaming and pop-up booths, which altogether boosted them towards a record-breaking sales of Php 99,250 and counting.
Pioneers in the student-run org merchandise business, 1958 has continuously clothed Iskos with a stylish display of school pride, where every stitch strings together a vibrant tapestry of school spirit and belonging. More importantly, however, the brand has stayed true to its commitment to the UP JMA KIDS program, and incorporated marketing themes into the very fabric of its designs, ensuring that every purchase supports a cause greater than themselves.
Map Your Journey
All things considered, there is no denying that this was truly a year fraught with milestones and achievements for UP JMA. With each program spearheaded, each event mounted, and each voice uplifted, the organization has not only pursued marketing excellence among its members, but transformed lives through the social initiatives that sewed unbreakable bonds with our stakeholders. Similar to how a cartographer masterfully draws maps of our world, UP JMA adapted to a new landscape of possibility, exhibiting the utter power of generosity by inspiring real-life change from within. From charting new territories through the efforts of MarkEd, to embarking on paths of change through the likes of Cosmos and WeChampion, UP JMA has truly done more with marketing by involving each member in creating a lasting impact.
That being said, none of this would have been possible without the passion and fortitude that stems from our beneficiaries. With an unyielding determination to fight for their rights and an undying refusal to settle for anything less, our partners served as our true teachers in inspiring us to use our marketing-centered passions towards a greater cause.
And now, as the compass of this year’s journey finds its true north, may the success of the organization encourage us to set out on our own transformative experiences, ceaselessly traveling the route of compassion while making our own individual mark on the world. As the sun sets on this year’s chapter, rest assured that this is only the beginning of the organization’s endless voyage towards fostering an inclusive and authentic future.