A Midsummer 44th JAPI Awards Night (2013)

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  • Wednesday, April 10, 2013
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  • Jennifer C. Jimenez
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  • “You must know the basics,” said Mr. Luis Ignacio Lopa of PLDT as he opened the stage for the 44th Junior Achievement Philippines, Inc. (JAPI) Awards Night.

    The 44th JAPI Awarding Night and the 2nd Registered Marketing Professionals Oath-taking happened yesterday, April 9, 2013 at the Philippine Trade Training Center at Pasay City. It was a night featuring business practitioners and marketers worthy of commendation.

    Mr. Lopa, executive from PLDT and one of the guests of honors, mentioned the BASICS that every businessperson must know: Brilliance, Agility, Sense of Urgency, Integrity, Commitment and Self-confidence. He advised that young as we are, as long as we have all the other sterling qualities and have done our homework well, we must be poised and ready to face anyone in the boardroom. Mr. Lopa also shared how Philippines economy has progressed to the investment-grade. “Never in my 50 years of existence has the Philippines reached this state,” he emphasized. Indeed, the future looks bright, especially with the presence of the budding entrepreneurs, marketers and the expert professionals who take interest in educating the youth.

    JuniorAchievement is a worldwide organization that upholds educating youth about money management and business. It also empowers the youth towards economic success. JAPI, the Philippine chapter of JA, has done a remarkable job in finding gems from all sorts of bedrocks, so to speak. It was amazing to see Filipino elementary and high school students getting superlative training and showing their mental prowess in international trade, risk assessments and technological innovation. I highly recommend students from all levels to check out JAPI's site for timely announcements, competitions and activities. But how did I come to know this organization?

    Last quarter, I joined the first ever Junior Achievement/ DDB-Creo Marketing Solutions Challenge 2012. The screening process involved resume evaluations, individual marketing case and group marketing case. The final process is the most exciting part as our team battled out with other teams to propose a solution for a real marketing challenge of a technology brand. We were also oriented and taught about cracking marketing challenges, thanks to DDB.

    The final defense and presentation took place last February 15 at the Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. The schools that participated were as follows: University of the Philippines, Diliman (our team), Far Eastern University, Miriam College, De La Salle- College of St. Benilde, De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, Angeles University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

    Our judges were as follows:
    • Mr. Joey Ong- DDB’s Executive Creative Director with stints at Bates 141, Ogilvy, Publicis Jimenez, J-Walter Thompson and TBWA
    • Mrs. Fiona Sandoval- member of DDB’s Elite Strategic Planning Team and formerly from McCann Erickson
    • Mr. Judd Balayan- DDB’s Chief Finance Officer (thank goodness I double-checked our budgets and forecast)
    • Ms. Mishelle Alberto- Marketing Manager of Technominds-Easco, Inc. and
    • Mr. Alvin Kingson Tan- President/CEO of Technominds-Easco Inc., Jersey Haven International Inc., Vice President and President/CEO of Fil-Chi Media Productions Inc. He has also been featured in Joey Concepcion’s 50 Inspiring Stories of Young Entrepreneurs. 

    With a complete roster of experts from strategy, creative designs, finance, marketing (plus CEO), you can just imagine the pressure we felt as our team aimed to represent our university well.

    And yes, we made it! University of the Philippines-Diliman, our team, won as the Grand Champion, back to back with Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Manila.

    the awesome plaque of recognition

    with one of my teammates, Marc Fajardo

    all the prizes for UP Diliman team

    with Mr. Krishna Alejandrino (JAPI's industrious head), Mr. Alvin Kingson Tan (President/CEO of Technominds-Easco and Fil-Chi Media Productions), my teammate Marc and Mr. Jayme (Chief Operating Officer of DDB)

    JAPI, DDB, Creo and Technominds-Easco Inc. are incredible organizations with inspiring histories and feats to be proud of in the country’s business world.

    Personally, it was a completely different experience for me. Unlike all the other marketing competitions, the case we’ve worked with for this relates to a brand (of Technominds-Easco Inc.) that has a very good purpose and unique advocacy. My mind was fired with enthusiasm as I spent sleepless nights, with my teammates, doing vast research about the brand’s target market and doing reality checks of our marketing plan. It is almost similar to presenting to executives in the company boardroom. On the marketing vantage point, the task is to present not just to the client side, but to the ultra-creative agency side as well.

    The lessons and training that I gained from MarkProf, along with the mentoring of DDB experts, proved to be very helpful. They reminded us that brands must make people feel better about lives, relationships and dreams. Sir Raul Castro, once said in the MarkProf Bootcamp: “The more intellectual we grow, the more we lost the intuitive touch that understands human behavior.” One basic step that we took is to dig facts about the lives of our target market and try to imagine and elaborate their daily lives, their joys and the challenges that haunt them.

    This event was extra special to me, since my friend and MarkProf batchmate, Jomar Tito, was also given a Leadership Award last night in the same event. The oath-taking ceremony of the Registered Marketing Professionals also took place last night.

    Jomar Tito, Philippine Youth Ambassador in Japan, holding his medal for a Leadership Award (he's also the source of all the photos I featured in this blog entry)

    All in all, the event and the competition reminded me of the importance of giving back and helping out our fellow citizens with all the talents that we have. It is a very humbling experience, to see CEOs and other executives from local and international businesses, mentoring and supporting the students despite their very hectic schedule. These men are the living testimonies of the significance of knowing the BASICS, and coupling it with ardent passion for the greater good.