As we welcome a new era in our history, we take a look back at how the MEGA cover has changed over the past 28 years.
You’ve probably heard of the adage, change is the one thing in life that’s constant. In this business, we try to stay away from a cliché as much as possible, but it does speak volumes of how life is lived. A moment in time cannot—and will not ever—define who we are. As life progresses, we will have a variety of distinct moments, and that happens because we are carved by the pulse of our current environment.
Now, while we all have our own timelines, our experiences here on Earth are not only relatable, but all our actions are interconnected with each other. There will always be a domino effect that can shape or even reshape the views and perspectives of the people. And much like our lives, MEGA has been through a lot since being established in 1992. The Philippines’ first-ever glossy fashion magazine has already endured and survived various turmoils—from the Asian Financial crisis to a variety of major health crises such as the 1998 flu epidemic and SARS-COV, to name a few.
So, as we face yet another global economic recession and the coronavirus pandemic, we must adapt and innovate. Now, change is not a new thing for us. In fact, every year, we welcome the turning of the tide with pertinent redesigns and recalibrations to reflect the nature of the times. The inevitability of change, however, does not make it any simpler to implement. We know that new challenges await us, but here we are, ready to rise to the occasion as we have been reared to do so by pioneers before us. But before we do, we must never forget our very own roots—who we are and why we do what we do. That said, let’s take a trip back down memory lane and cherish our past victories.
The Maiden Issue
When Sari Yap founded MEGA, she had this vision of bringing a glossy fashion magazine in the Philippines—one that was unheard and unseen of in 1992. At the onset of MEGA’s rich history, it was already breaking barriers as the maiden issue featured top Filipina model Gerone Oloricisimo. And from afar, one will immediately notice this new magazine in the market with its oversized and bold masthead attracting the right audience.
In Your Face
A few years after the maiden issue was officially published, we noticed a trend of close-up portraits being used in the cover, as well as starting the trend of putting celebrities, such as the one and only Megastar, Sharon Cuneta at the forefront. Come to think of it, putting the faces of stars on the cover was an instant act of intrigue, a curtain to be lifted as to what to expect from the inside pages of the magazine. Will it be focused more on beauty or fashion? Well, there’s only one way to know: buy it. (Fun fact: Not only did they buy it, but even Sharon Cuneta herself was a known subscriber, personally calling the hotlines then for her monthly copies.)
Come the 2000s, MEGA even became more aggressive in making sure to live up to its title of being the country’s authority in all things fashion and beauty. Apart from consistently putting the showbiz industry’s most beloved stars like Judy Ann Santos on the cover, the cutlines equally stood out thanks to its vibrant use of colors and a mixture of eye-catching fonts, as well as of a language that was both charming and conversational.
Icons of Pop
When ushering the years 2005 to 2010, MEGA had a new Editor-in-Chief, Carla Sibal. Under her tenure, we witnessed the fashion magazine transition to going all things pop culture and high-fashion. Not only did we put icons like Lucy Torres-Gomez and Ruffa Gutierrez on the cover, we also managed to make sure the fashion direction was on-point, vibrant and reflective of the global trends as lensed by Filipino fashion. Graphic and optical with saturated colors and indulgent styling, the communication on the cover was confident and ready to take on the rest of the world.
By 2011, MEGA has gone global as it successfully penetrated the international market, as evidenced by the fronting of Paris Hilton on the cover. It was also this year when the magazine had its thickest fashion issue ever. At 308 pages and shot in Russia with Bianca Gonzales in unapologetic of-the-moment style, there was a shift in terms of the fonts used for cover lines, which as it was a thing back then, would fill up a good real estate of the cover, revealing what the stories within are.
The Big Leap
Continuing the great momentum of MEGA, we took a much more significant leap of faith as we have gone digital, launching megastyle.com then. In doing so, we made sure to pay homage to this big step and put fictional characters on the cover: Betty and Veronica. Another noteworthy move in 2013 was laying the foundation of the annual Making MEGA tradition with Anne Curtis in Brazil that up to this day and age has truly been regarded as iconic.
A Year Of Firsts
Perhaps we could say that 2015 was a year of our many firsts in MEGA. With Peewee Reyes-Isidro becoming our new Editor-in-Chief, there was a wind of fresh new ideas that we never really thought of coming. In our 23rd year, we made a herculean task possible by putting 23 of the country’s brightest in our anniversary issue. It was also this year when we put Vice Ganda, breaking the stereotypes in this Making MEGA cover. Now, aside from putting these celebrities on the cover and milestones we’ve reached, we became aware that the times have changed and understood that less is more. With MEGA’s art-director-turned-associate-creative-director Jann Pascua, he slowly and surely made it a point to radically change our covers, entering the world of minimalism.
Era Of Reinvention
Due to the unprecedented pandemic that resulted in limiting our movements, our industry was profoundly affected. So, we had no other option but to innovate and find new alternatives on how we can continue publishing in 2020. Raw and real, we turned the idea of a selfie—a term that was often used to described narcissism and superficiality of a generation—into one that urges authentic introspection and a desire for a positive change. In doing so, we made a collage of all the celebrities alluding that it is only through the collective effort that we can survive. Following this innovative cover, we made yet again an unexpected cover we never thought of seeing: typography. For our Pinoy Pride issue, as we know that the country is in the midst of pandemonium, there was no clearer way for us to convey our message than by employing the true power of words.