Sari Yap and her legacy loom large over an industry set to enter a second Golden Age.
Related: MEGA according to Sari Yap
“I’ve got the magazine. Events are doing well. I’ve got an excellent guy leading the television platform,” Sari Yap was telling me, a quivering applicant. “I need someone to do the same thing in the digital sphere.” In the corner of my eye, I could see founding Creative Director Lorraine Belmonte nodding in agreement.
Right Here, Right Now
This was way back in the aughts. Facebook was still cool. People still had BlackBerrys. Low slung jeans and thongs were a new thing. But Sari V. Yap, as visionaries go, was already here. In her head she already saw a sleek MEGA website, as glossy and as articulate as the magazine. She could see that it would be the youth who would bring in a new world order, that the team would be a group of creatives who breathed and talked and lived online. She knew the role MEGA would be playing in this brave new world, how it would interact to brand new generations. She knew this already and she wanted to be there right this minute.
But for the rest of us, it took a while.
It’s always hard to navigate and pave out the path to a dream. Perhaps it’s the curse of being a pioneer. She could see gold where many of us only saw a murky stream.
When Sari left us three years ago, her legacy cast a long and devastating shadow on the team. Her dream for MEGA, was still not quite there yet. Oh, we’d certainly gone a long way from when we first started, but in true Sari fashion, it wasn’t MEGA—yet. It wasn’t surprising that our new CEO Archie Carrasco made it his top priority. As the bearer of Sari’s torch, he understood well that it wasn’t just what Sari wanted, it was what MEGA needed. And so, here we are, finally living out Sari Yap’s digital dreams.
It wasn’t easy getting here. There were many false starts, a few cringing mistakes, and many, many moments of doubt. Heck, even a pandemic got into the fray. But slowly, methodically, we got there. By getting the right mix of people, getting a clear vision and a definite path to get there, we finally achieved her dream of a thriving MEGA brand.
And what’s next?
Why, to move on, of course.
Thank You, Next
This isn’t an affront to Sari and her legacy. Rather, we’re following again exactly what she saw from way back:
I’m sure she had at least an inkling of this back when she was talking to me (or perhaps to herself) about her plans. But now the future of MEGA lies in a brand new vision and a different team. It will always be her MEGA, but it is also now ours. In a way, this was an essential component of her legacy, that it would be moving and growing in ways even she couldn’t imagine.
Perhaps she knew that too.
A NEW ERA
For over three decades now, MEGA still stands firm as the Philippines’ best fashion magazine, all while successfully adapting to the changing times. Today, the influence of the once singular title has grown into a “MEGAVerse” with an elite roster of prestigious brands that cater to a more diverse audience. This includes MEGA Man, MEGA Entertainment, MEGA Style, MEGA Active and MEGA Drag, all of which has come into fruition because of the core value that the founder instilled in the company: to champion each and every Filipino.
“I think of when I started, and what I’ve become, and how I’ve evolved with the magazine. Some people might feel sad about it, when they realize that their time or their job is done, but with me, I don’t feel that way,” she said in the Making MEGA documentary in South Africa. “It’s because I feel that I have truly done what I was supposed to do, which was to make sure MEGA, my legacy, outlives me. And I think that’s the hallmark of a good founder.”
Every word, image, and story seen in the pages of the MEGA titles will continue to be guided by the teachings of Sari Yap and that is how her legacy will perpetually evolve, just as she intended to.
Additional text by Mia Castro