In celebration of her birthday, MEGA looks back on its founder Sari Yap, a visionary who understood what it meant to leave a legacy: like all things, it will keep on moving, beyond her own vision.
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 two 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: that for MEGA to continue, it needed to go beyond what she envisioned. The river of life, after all, keeps on flowing. 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 moving and growing in ways even she couldn’t imagine.
Perhaps she knew that too.