That is the catchphrase of IDEA’YALA, a new competition that encourages young Filipinos to take the first step and tap their innate creativity to come up with an enterprising idea within a mall context.
The event was a call for entries from groups of young adults (aged 18-24) to contribute ideas which they feel can improve the lifestyle experience of families and communities.
What’s notable, however, is how the scions—particularly the daughters of the country’s billionaires and captains of industry—are the ones spearheading the project.
Paloma U. Zobel, co-founder of IDEA’YALA with Ayala Malls, is daughter of the late Don Juan Urquijo and Bea Zobel Jr.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she worked in product development at Estee Lauder and Tom Ford, and will be one of the “ideators” and mentors of the 30 teams to be shortlisted for the project.
Joining Paloma are Ayala Corporation corporate strategy associates Mariana Zobel and Jaime U. Zobel.
Mariana is the daughter of Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Eder Zobel. She started her career at J.P. Morgan in New York after graduating from Harvard College with a degree in Social Studies.
Paloma and Mariana said that being a scion is not a heavy burden or something they needed to struggle with.
“I was really lucky to be born into a family with many role models. I was born into a business-oriented family. Even if I’m more into design, nobody ever stepped in my way or told me what to do,” Paloma said.
Mariana, who has always been interested in business, said she is “grateful for the resources” at her disposal. “The opportunity to come home and learn from the Ayala group is very unique and I’m very grateful for it.”
Both agree that the best thing about the Philippines is its people—their warmth, smiles and hospitality.
“There is great poverty, of course, but I think there is progress and the country is on the right track,” Paloma said.
If there was one thing she could change or improve on, it would be the state of education in the country. “I believe that teachers are not given the recognition they deserve. I will never understand how actors make more than teachers,” Paloma said.
Mariana, who is thrilled by the increased focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, was hard-pressed to list down what she liked least about the Philippines, or what she would improve if she were in a position of power: “I guess we’re all still very euphoric and excited about IDEA’YALA at the moment.”
One of the guest mentors for the project is Katrina Razon, only daughter of billionaire Enrique K. Razon, chair and CEO of Manila-listed International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI).
Katrina, nicknamed Kat or DJ Katsu, co-founded the Manila Music Festival in 2012. Since then, she has traveled around the world as a DJ playing in shows from Hong Kong to New York City.
She admits that there is pressure to step up, but that it comes from others as well as from herself.
“I’ve never felt any pressure from my parents; they always support what I want to do. However, I always feel like stepping up because I want to improve myself and be the best I can be,” she said.
Katrina agrees that the country has much more to offer than beaches; the mountain ranges of northern Luzon is one example.
“I’m always trying to get my friends from abroad to visit. When they leave, they always make plans to return,” she said.
She wants to put more bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly areas, create a more efficient transportation system, and come up with more outdoor cultural events, if she were to be given the power to do so.
In a way, the winning IDEA’YALA teams will experience what it feels like to be in a position to change things once their ideas are brought to life by Ayala Malls.
Proposed ideas should address any of these categories: retail, food and dining; entertainment; and sustainable development. The best teams stand the chance to receive round-trip airfares and accommodations to El Nido Resorts in Palawan; Ayala Malls prepaid cards worth P10,000; and internships at Ayala Malls.
For more information, visit www.ideayala.ayalamalls.com.ph.