The Philippine Marketing Association’s IPSUM JPX brings top Japanese brands to the heart of Manila.

The Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) marked another milestone in its 65-year history with the launch of its new flagship conference, IPSUM. A restrengthening of the National Marketing Conference, which commemorates 50 years this 2019, “IPSUM is the first country-focused brand marketing conference to be held in the Philippines. And what better way to launch the IPSUM Series than with a country with which we have a long history of friendship,” says this year’s IPSUM Director, Alpha Allanigui.

On its inaugural year, the PMA proudly unveiled IPSUM JPX: Marketing Exchange Japan, which was held last September 19, 2019 at OKADA Manila. Highlighting the strong ties between Japan and the Philippines, the conference sought to strengthen the long-standing history and economic relations between the two nations. IPSUM JPX also recognized and explored the strong impact Japanese brands and products have had on Philippine culture. 

Offering new perspectives, IPSUM JPX went beyond the usual business lessons to magnify the vital roles of Japanese Culture, Leadership, and Innovation in creating some of the best brands in the world. Matched with a line-up of more than 20 speakers—a refreshing balance of both industry leaders and cultural influencers—the one-day event served as a platform for Filipinos to gain a more holistic understanding of the Japanese marketing philosophy.

“The vision of taking IPSUM to the world stage came to life because we know that learning is a continuous and collaborative process as we share best practices with one another, one country at a time,” adds IPSUM JPX Co-Director, Aaron James San Pedro.

Unraveling Japanese Culture

With a national identity so strongly built on both the traditional and the modern, the IPSUM JPX Culture Tract explored what makes the Japanese way such a global influence. 

Takahiro Kimura, Administration & Sales Manager of All Nippon Airways in Manila, discussed how each of their flights is inspired by the distinct Japanese experience—from service to quality and a desire to always create interest. 

Sparking joy, the Philippines’ first certified KonMari Consultant, Christine Dychiao, spoke on how the renowned Marie Kondo Method is deeply rooted in Japanese beliefs, including mindfulness in all aspects, even business and marketing decisions.

The Culture Panel brought together Jerome Villanueva (Founder, Voltes V Documentary), Jay Tablante (International Panelist, San Diego Comic Con Cosplay / Photography), Dr. Blue Soon (International Trainer, Pokemon-Go), and JJ Yulo (Food Travel Organizer, Japan) to elaborate on “The Passion for Japanese Culture”. Moderated by blogger and cosplayer, Carlo Patrick Torres, they gave insight into what makes Japanese products so attractive, and how Filipino brands can learn from this.

Speaking on the art of Japanese hospitality in the Philippines, Okada Manila’s President, Takashi Oya, and Okada’s Chief Managing Director, Kenji Sugiyama, explained how Okada Manila was conceptualized, and how they created a distinct leisure experience that combines Japanese service with Filipino warmth.

Closing the Culture Tract, Salesforce’ Juancho Jerusalem, Vice President Marketing Cloud Asia Growth Economies, and Chris Jacob, Director for Product Marketing, talked about the new, empowered consumer and what marketers can do to remain relevant to these audiences.

Understanding Japanese Leadership

Gathering branding lessons from industry front runners, the IPSUM JPX Leadership Tract lends insight into how this Asian nation became a global economic power.

Opening the discussion was Kazuhiro Ozawa, President and CEO of Canon Marketing Philippines, who focused on the way their company has localized efforts towards “Delighting Filipinos Always”, effectively maintaining their strategic market position.

This was followed by the Leadership Panel, moderated by Carlo Ople, Founder and Host of Unbox, and Vice-President for Digital Strategy and Consumer Disruptive Business at PLDT/Smart. Entitled, “Japanese Cult Brands in the Philippines”, the panel included Christian Herradura (Co-Founder, Onitsuka Tiger Shoe Club of the Philippines), Joni Viado (Head, Tamiya Bulacan), and Jeffrey Villafranca and Tony Pavon (Administrators, Pinoy Nintendo Switch) who discussed how Japanese brands have maintained followings throughout the years, effectively highlighting best practices and product strategies.

Ann Christine Palisoc, President of Philippine Wacoal Corporation, later spoke about brand integrity, and how this has been key to her company’s market leadership, especially as they continue to celebrate the women of the world through their diverse products.

As a fitting end to the Leadership segment, Masako Okamura, Executive Creative Director of ASPAC – Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines, tackles: “Weird or Cool? Which is the Japanese Way?” Showcasing Japan’s distinct take on advertising, she shares how thinking differently has created opportunities to rise higher.

Appreciating Japanese Innovation

Pioneering new ways of living and doing, the Japanese are always looking for better, and the IPSUM JPX Innovation Tract dives deep into the brands and products that have done just that.

Enlightening audiences on the difference between Japanese and Western beauty trends, Jaclyn Cayetano, Head of Education and Training at Prestige Shiseido Philippines, shares how their brand combines traditional practices with modern technology to create holistic beauty products.

Celina Matias, Head of Integrated Marketing and Strategies at Philippine Familymart CVS, discussed how FamilyMart is taking great strides to redefine the convenience store and to design spaces that feel just like home.

As the finale, Ma. Cristina Fe Arevalo, Toyota Motor Philippines’ First Vice President for the Brand and Product Planning Marketing Division, explained Toyota’s “Three-Decade Love Affair with the Filipino Consumer”, highlighting their initiatives to meet changing client needs from the early car models to the new hybrid designs.

IPSUM and Beyond

The success of IPSUM JPX strengthens the PMA’s mission to elevate the local marketing industry and to provide Filipino marketers with more opportunities for growth. 

IPSUM JPX Overall Chair Jos Ortega proudly announced that IPSUM will not stop at just one country. “When you put two different concepts together, uniquely, they become a fresh new idea, and this is what we’re trying to do at IPSUM. By getting insights from other countries and combining this with what we already know, we hope to spark breakthroughs in Philippine marketing in the next few years,” he says. 

For the PMA, this is indeed the start of a new tradition. From the Land of the Rising Sun, the coming IPSUM 2020 will center on France—a world leader in fashion, food, arts, and culture.

“With the vision of bringing the world stage of marketing to the Philippines, what makes IPSUM so unique is its focus—its deep dive. Being able to zoom in on one particular country and to see how they became successful allows us, in turn, to truly reflect on how we do things and what more we can do as Marketers,” says PMA President Faith Abano.

Hosted by the PMA, IPSUM JPX was presented by the following Partners: Salesforce, FamilyMart, Carlo Rossi, Casino Filipino, Maxicare, Okada Manila, Pagcor, and Rebisco Sandwich; Affiliates: Animo Magazine, Binary Digital Communications, Ex-link Events, Inspire Leadership Consultancy, Salt & Light Ventures, and TeamAsia; and Media Partners: Adobo Magazine, Business World, DOOH, DWIZ 882, 97.9 Home Radio, Manila Bulletin, My Inquirer, The Philippine Star, and United Neon Media Group.


Redefining Marketing Conferences, the word “IPSUM” refers to the world stage of marketing, and with this, the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) aims to create a platform for Filipinos to learn and exchange global insights and expertise. A restrengthening of the PMA’s annual National Marketing Conference, this event will highlight a chosen country each year, with the vision of allowing Filipino Marketers to dive deeper into international cultures and economies in order to gain a better understanding of the best international brands, businesses, and experiences.

About the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA)

Founded in 1954, the PMA was established to create awareness for the power of marketing in business, industry, and the academe. Pioneering various initiatives across the country, the Association works to develop and promote marketing as a science and a profession, and to serve as the policy-making and the recommendatory arm of the government on marketing-related issues. Today, the PMA remains the leading institution for marketing excellence in the Philippines.