03 November 2009

Subic Takes On The 21st PAC Challenge

Preparation for the 21st Philippine Advertising Congress (PAC) from November 18-21 are taking place at lightning speed. This is the homestretch after more than a year of work.

One of the final details to tie up is the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), where the 21st PAC will be held in its two-year old Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center.

Heads of the PAC and Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard) traveled to Subic On October 23 to formalize arrangements with the SBMA authorities. SBMA CEO and Administrator Armand Arreza, SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA Deputy Administrator Raul Marcelo welcomed 21st PAC chairman Margot Torres, AdBoard chairman Charmaine Camillas and 21st PAC administrator committee chairman Digna Santos in an afternoon gathering.

The group came together at the Lighthouse Marina Resort to sign the MOA amid the fast-track to the 21st PAC. Subic barely has a month to get ready to host the ad event- the result of a last minute-change of venue brought about by the inclement weather that ravaged Northern Luzon.

"Uso yata dito 'yun short and sweet," Torres says. We'd like to thank SBMA for welcoming us back to Subic. Can you imagine our luck that Subic was available? We did check Metro Manila for available venues because of the heightened fear and paranoia of the typhoons, unfortunately, there was none."

Securing Subic came was a major break for the 21st PAC. The Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center was booked for the celebration of Subic's (17-year) anniversary in the first place. Fortunately, it's organizers gave way to the 21st PAC.

"It is indeed a privelege to host the PAC for the third time," Arreza says.

The first time was 14 years ago when SBMA had to convert a basketball gymnasium into a convention facility to receive the ad congress delegates. In 2007, the 12,000 square- meter Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center was purposely built to host the 20th PAC.

"Now that you'r back, I think we have more than enough time to prepare for the 21st PAC," Arreza jokes.

Despite numerous setbacks this year, the ad congress chooses to push forward, and it does so resolutely with the purpose to make a difference.

"We started this congress with a vision which is fun and relevant learning for the industry," says Torres. "But our theme 'Perspectives: Ano sa tingin mo?' takes on a bigger challenge. We started out as an economic crisis has turned into a socioeconomic and environmental crisis."

"Action will lead to change and will lead to something productive. The first question after Typhoon Ondoy was not the pullout but how to make the ad congress relevant. If we postpone the event to a later date, how can w help? The best venue to get the industry together and discuss this is still the ad congress. That's how we can make a difference as an industry."

Subic has made it possible for the 21st PAC to carry on. The notice was short and the time in which to prepare is getting shorter by the day, but like the ad congress, Subic has risen to the challenge. It's all set. Get ready for th 21st PAC in Subic. (Business Mirror)

Photo: Oct 23, 2009 4pm Lighthouse Marina, SBFZ. The 21st Philippine Advertising Congress Memorandum of Agreement between SBMA and PAC - Signed and Sealed! From left: Deputy Administrator for Tourism RAUL MARCELO, SBMA Administrator ARMAND C. ARREZA, SBMA Chairman FELICIANO G. SALONGA, AD Board Chairman CHARMAINE CANILLAS, 21st PAC Chairman MARGOT TORRES, PAC Admin Committee Chairman DIGNA SANTOS.