UP ISSI, WIN DRR PH, BCMAP feature Creative Industries’ resilience stories

QUEZON CITY –University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries in partnership with the Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines, and the Women’s International Network on Disaster Risk Reduction Philippines (WIN DRR PH) through the Communities of Practice for Entrepreneurship (COPE) program featured the Resilience Narratives of the Creative Industries through a webinar held last May 16, 2023, highlighting their efforts of adapting to the changes in the business landscape during the pandemic.

Direk Jhon Phil Hiro De Vera and Coach Rommel D. Kebek, both from Roshe Entertainment Productions (REP) and Roshe Performing Group (RPG), Robert Nelson V. Besana, Executive Director for Multimedia Arts at Asia Pacific College, and Mr. Noel Gallon De Leon, publisher of Kasingkasing Press, were invited to highlight their experiences in the dance, creative and publishing industries respectively in line with the celebration of the Business Continuity Awareness Week.

Beats in the Dance Industry

 RPG and REP founder Direk De Vera shared that their business struggled in various aspects especially on delivering their services to their clients.

“It has been the most difficult time for the dance industry most especially to my business because of the following: target market, access, delivery of service and availability of test kits and vaccine and funds,” explained Direk De Vera on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected them.

He further elaborated that when the pandemic happened, they lost clients during live events, concerts, face-to-face events including coaching, daily sessions, and debuts which forced him to close his dance studio. This led them to having free workshops and advanced booking for their services.

In addition, Coach Kebek stated that because the dance industry was affected by the pandemic, having loyal contacts helped him in having private online dance classes which also provided income for his family.

“Zoom pa rin po or Google Meet pa rin po kami nagtuturo; actually sobrang hirap po kasi po imagine niyo po kausap ko po computer…mahirap po siya pero dahil kailangang lumaban, may anak ako at asawang kailangang providan, kinaya naman,” he said.

Coach Kebek added that they survived by learning new skills like baking cakes and making chili garlic through the help of their manager and director.

Hues in the Multimedia Industry

On the other hand, Mr. Besana said that the pandemic has brought unprecedented changes that have affected their curriculum, facilities, and industry partnerships.

“When the pandemic hit, we had to adapt quickly to the new normal. Our faculty had to adjust to alternative teaching methods such as online classes, video conferencing and HyFlex learning,” he stated.  

He also shared that their students could not use their specialized equipment and that they needed to rely to their personal devices and software to complete their projects which compromised the quality of their output. 

To continuously provide their services, Besana explained that they prepared and implemented a range of Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness strategies which outlined the steps necessary to ensure the continuity of critical services in the event of a crisis or a disaster.

“We provide online platforms and tools to enable students and faculty to continue their academic activities even when they can’t attend physical classes. We are also ensuring that our IT infrastructure is robust and capable of handling high volume of traffic so that there is no interruptions in online services,” he said.

Pages of the Publishing Industry

To understand the development of the book industry, Mr. De Leon explained the importance of knowing the experiences of the small and independent presses with the hope that the viewers can also amplify their initiative or replicate it in their regions or communities.

“Because community is important to us, during this past pandemic, we introduced a new segment of the Iloilo Mega bookfair – the Sari-sari Bookstore sa Barangay – where we bring the books to the communities ourselves,” he said.

He also added that they conduct storytelling sessions, and they help reading clinics on how they can start their curated library for children in their own barangay.  

“In our experience here in Iloilo during the pandemic, we actually launched 40 e-books, yung mga pre-pandemic books, ginawan namin ng version as e-books but of course, it was very challenging because our book industry ay hindi naman talaga handa sa digital kind of distribution,” he also shared during the Question-and-Answer segment.

Furthermore, Dr. Teresita P. Medado, Convenor of Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR) and President of Asia Pacific College, and Mr. Keith S. Chan, President of Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines (BCMAP) and Vice President for Information Technology at Wilcon Depot, Inc. delivered their messages of resilience during the webinar.  

Meanwhile, UP ISSI Director Melanie M. Moraga-Leaño stated in her opening remarks that with a sense of urgency, Business Continuity advocates have pushed to a higher level to call to equip the MSME sector the ability to prepare and implement business continuity plans.

“Resilience coupled with preparedness on Business Continuity can bring about positive changes for our entrepreneurs,” said Dir. Moraga-Leaño.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein or in any article in the UP ISSI website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of UP ISSI nor the views of the University of the Philippines.

Regarding Accuracy of Information and Usage of Data: Visitors and users of the UP ISSI website are advised that information contained within the website is assumed to be accurate. However, errors can occur even with computer-generated information. UP ISSI makes no representation regarding the completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of such information and data, or that such information and data will be error-free. Visitors are encouraged to review the official version of all documents on which they plan to rely on.
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