Dada Santiago - CoolBrands Curator Philippines

Meeting Dada Santiago – CoolBrands Curator Philippines

We’ve been in Manila for three days and today we’re going on an out-of-town excursion to a beach resort near Laiya where media and marketing guru Dada Santiago has asked us to meet her for lunch.

As we drive down the South Luzon Highway towards Batangas, Anouk pulls out her notes. “This is going to be so interesting,” she says. “Dada’s profile is a perfect mix of media, corporate communications and marketing – I think she’ll add so much to the project.”  

“She worked in TV right?” I ask.

“Yeah, for 22 years!” says Anouk. “She’s like the Christiane Amanpour of the Philippines! She was an anchor on the morning news and then had her own current affairs programme. She’s interviewed everyone from Indira Ghandi to Sean Connery.”

“Wow, cool!”

“Then in 1990 she made the switch to corporate communications and became the Philippine PR manager for De Beers, and in 1999 she started her own marketing communications agency and worked for clients like Nestle and Del Monte. It says here that she is ‘a born communicator’.”

“Great! That means she’ll love our NextWorld Storytellng project,” I say as we arrive at the resort.

Dada Santiago - CoolBrands Curator Philippines
Dada Santiago – CoolBrands Curator Philippines

We find Dada on a shaded terrace overlooking the beach, just finishing off a call to her daughter. After we order drinks, she proudly tells us about her two kids – her daughter is finishing medical school and her son wants to go to law school. “I was completely focused on my career until I was 43, but I have made up for lost time since and have devoted all my time to my family for the last 15 years,” she says.

“Tell us a bit about your time in broadcasting,” says Anouk.

“It was a fascinating time,” says Dada. “I got to meet so many interesting people and I also travelled a lot. Even afterwards, when I went into corporate communications I was very lucky that kept on travelling, because I love to discover new places and learn about other cultures.”

“And you also have a passion for communications,” I say.

“Oh yes,” Dada says with a smile. “It is my biggest passion after my family. Already when I was a little girl, my parents always made me emcee at family gatherings and later at school I loved acting and always came first in oratorical contests.”

“Truly a born communicator then!” says Anouk.

“I guess you could say that,” says Dada and laughs. “I still use my skills now as part of seminars on work values and marketing concepts. I really love giving these workshops. Nothing can make me more fulfilled than being able to deliver a message, see that people are convinced and have taken action. That’s when I really know that I have made a difference in people’s lives.”

“That sounds like a philosophy that fits right into our NextWorld Storytelling project concept,” I say. “What would you say to joining our global team and becoming our curator for the Philippines?”

Dada smiles. “I thought about it carefully,” she says. “And my answer is yes!”

Tags: Dada Santiago, CoolBrands NextWorld Storytelling, NextWorld, CoolBrands Storytelling, Storytelling, CoolBrands, curator Philippines, coolbrands curator Philippines, dada, santiago, meeting Dada Santiago

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