Camsur was a-buzz all of last week, filled with more than 2,000 “game changers” attending the 22nd Philippine Advertising Congress, the industry’s biennial conference. I felt like a game changer, too, since that seems to be what I do in the car these days—putting on makeup and changing my wigs as I rush from one event to another.
For the first time, the Ad Congress was in a new location, the game-changing Camsur Watersports Complex or CWC, as the wakeboarders call it. Attending the event made me so proud of my sister, Sandy Romualdez, who was the overall chairperson. I was happy to host the Inquirer-sponsored lunch, moderating with the ultimate party planner himself, Tim Yap.
I knew that Sandy and her committees had been working for many months to deliver a successful and well-organized Ad Congress, so it was no surprise to see the super incredible, game-changing events they prepared. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited to watch a Powerpoint presentation as when I sat down for her welcome speech, complete with animation and graphics.
And to think I almost didn’t make it! I didn’t check and so turned up late for my Air Philippines flight. Luckily the Cebu Pacific staff finagled a way for me to buy a ticket and get onboard with my mother Marixi Prieto and brother-in-law Philip Romualdez. Thank you, Lance Gokongwei, for training your staff to go the extra mile!
Great coop event
I was happily amazed to note that Sandy’s Excom Team included Emilio Yap III of the Manila Bulletin and Miguel Belmonte of Philippine Star. I’m so much more into just being friends with everyone, and am glad that so many normally at-loggerheads CEOs were mingling with one another. The interview of the three TV bigwigs, Henry Gozon, Gabby Lopez and Manny Pangilinan, discussing the future of TV, was another great coop event.
More than the corporate superstars, I enjoyed meeting game changers like Miss Universe first runner-up Shamcey Supsup, and internationally acclaimed furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue. These are the stars that show us how Pinoys can shine brightly in global markets.
Kenneth told me about his bamboo car, now drawing raves in Europe. Brad Pitt already has his bed, and may soon have his car as well.
Raffles are always a highlight of the Ad Congress. Inquirer’s grand prize was a trip for two to Cannes, France, for the Cannes Advertising Festival, complete with airfare and accommodations. One of the two winners was Merlee Jayme of dm9 Jayme Syfu. Their ad firm did the elegant Smart Infinity ad that features a certain bewigged person.
The best raffle prizes are always the cars. At the TV5 dinner, five cars were raffled off. Can you imagine if they were TV10! The highlight of the TV5 dinner was the introduction of Superstar Nora Aunor. As a fellow Kapatid, I can hardly wait to find out who of us is taller.
Of course, no Camsur event is complete without the presence of its visionary governor, Lray Villafuerte. He always pulls out all the stops to make Camsur shine when hosting events, whether it be an Ironman triathlon or the Ad Congress. It all makes me wonder where the next Ad Congress will be when it returns in 2013.
There are so many great examples of game changers all around us. One fave is Smart Infinity, which has elevated the prosaic act of owning a telephone into a privileged lifestyle program.
Together with fellow Infinity brand ambassador Johnny Litton and Infinity head Julie Carceller, I recently attended an intimate lunch at the Mandarin’s Tivoli Restaurant to introduce the latest Blackberry mobile phones. In fact, BBs seem to be all the rage these days. They were also the top raffle prizes when Paolo Bediones and I co-hosted the recent MVP Bossing Awards at Meralco Theater.
The best awardee was Socorro “Nanay Coring” Ramos of National Book Store. In her acceptance speech, she quoted from Steve Jobs’ biography, noting, of course, that the book was “available at National Book Store.” It’s this sort of focus that makes a “bossing” a true game changer.
Family Christmas trees
There are many ways to change the game, and some families are currently competing to show how their creativity can do just that. It’s the annual Dusit Thani Manila Christmas Tree Project, and this year eight families have dressed up a tree in the hotel’s lobby, in hopes of winning money for their favorite charity.
Prateek Kumar, GM of Dusit, told me all about The Family Tree Project. “Christmas is about families, and that is why we invited these families to give an expression of what Christmas means to them.” Voters can do so at the hotel lobby or on the hotel’s Facebook page.
Among the entrants are the families of Rhoda Campos-Aldanese, Joel Cruz, Emerson and Lingling Yao, Christine Cunanan, RJ Jacinto, the Llamases, Sen. Manny and Cynthia Villar and the De Venecias. My personal choice is the poignant De Venecia tree, “Butterflies of Hope,” in memory of their beloved KC.
I should change the Dusit’s game by getting the University of the Philippines Pep Squad to do their cheerleading routines in the lobby. The spritely kids are heading to foreign competitions, where they will surely be game changers to the world. The pep squad is supported by Smart and Assumption High School Batch ’81.
Today is a hectic day for me, as I have just come back from hosting the first anniversary of Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu. It’s always a pleasure to work in Cebu. My designer friends, like Ronald Enrico, can whip up a gown at a moment’s notice— which is exactly what he did so I wouldn’t have to check in anything for Radisson Blu’s Cotton Club-themed anniversary bash.
The best part of Radisson Blu is that it is next to SM Cebu, with its endless pasalubong options. I always stay there when shooting the local episodes of TV5’s “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.”
Let me end with a birthday wish for the best game changer of all, my Dad, Alex Prieto, who turns 75 tomorrow. My Diamond Dad has always thought out of the box, which is why he is so special to so many. Happy birthday, Dad!