Following the legacy of leaders before him, such as of Sari V. Yap and Archie Carrasco, Suki Salvador rises to steer the company to even greater heights.
“I never thought I was artistic or creative,” discloses Suki Salvador. It is core shaking, especially for someone who is highly regarded for a refined and cerebral sense of aesthetic, as well as for constantly reminding us on calculated increments to “Keep pushing the creative forward.”
While the confession does leave one at the edge of the seat (I almost fell off, to be honest), it isn’t a case of false humility but of a sharp earnest awareness. “I was so allergic to the word artistic or creative or anything like that because I didn’t know how to draw. To me someone who is creative, someone who is an artist is someone who can draw or paint. I was neither of that.”
Let it be known, Suki Salvador is a creative person, it just manifested itself in a way he had yet to understand. Well beyond his early years, he already had an aesthetic, one that banked on clean, minimal, and classic. “I like having the balance of old and new all the time, especially with the work I do now,” he says. “In high school I was advised against taking a medical career,” a path he was decided on very early on. “And I didn’t know why until much later in life, my guidance counselor told me I got the highest marks in my arts class. I got the top marks because of the way I arranged my portfolio. I guess it was decided then that I was made to layout, I was made to put art and copy together.”
Suki Salvador was already curating even before he made sense of it and more notably, even before he actually knew how to do it. “It’s hard for me to admit that it is natural to me because I didn’t take it seriously. No, not at all,” he explains.
This isn’t to say this wasn’t what he wanted; at the time he just thought he wanted something else. But like with any great destiny, it was just there waiting to be reawakened.
His Aha Moment
It was during his collegiate years in New York when fashion started to seep into his skin and psyche. “I saw this posting for a dresser position at YSL during fashion week and I signed up, got in and I was dressing a presentation and a fashion show,” Suki recalls. “That’s where I got excited…I guess you can say bitten by the bug.”
From then on, that was it. That was that defining moment.
Life would then be a succession of going with the flow and stumbling into where he was eventually actually meant to be. From ushering at musicals and working as operations manager for Raymund Isaac, Suki Salvador would soon interview for Lifestyle Asia and MEGA where he would serve as Creative Director, before eventually handling all things creative for One Mega Group. “When Lorraine told me, I literally ran to the toilet and vomited because this is the Philippines’ best fashion magazine,” he remembers of the day he was told to take over the position 7 years ago. “It isn’t just given to anybody.”
The Continued Evolution of Suki Salvador
As Group Creative Director and eventually, Vice President for Content and Creatives, Suki Salvador has seen almost everything come into fruition not only for MEGA, but for the entire portfolio of brands, platforms, and assets of the company. Over the years, he admits, a lot of learning and unlearning had to take place to get to where he is. It can only be assumed that it would hard-pressed for him to get excited about well, anything. On the contrary, he still finds excitement in everything he interfaces with on the daily.
“Something what really excites me is not knowing what to do next. Half the time the ideas will arrive when I least expect it,” he says. “You never really know what you’re going to come up with until you do. The period between not knowing and the final deadline is the most nerve-wracking. As you approach that deadline that’s when the magic happens—that’s when the beautiful image is captured or that final word is thought of. That is what excites me the most. It’s nice to not know what’s going to happen.”
Crucial to the company adapting to the demands of the time, covering everything from a full embracing of all things digital, as well as of hurdling the creative and content challenges in the midst of a global pandemic, Suki Salvador was meant for more. Much like the concept of change and evolution, which is central to his work and life, bigger adventures now await for him. Today, following the tenure and leadership of Archie Carrasco, he is officially appointed as President of One Mega Group. Under the helm of Suki Salvador, the company is expected to soar to greater heights, seeing a seamless integration of all things creative, content, and commercial in the service of the readers.
Pushing The Story Forward
Together with the employees and editors working towards this goal, the focus and objective is clear: to honor the legacy of the leaders before him and continue being the standard of excellence in all things pursued from here on it. The ribbon on the corner of MEGA magazine is permanently wrapped there for a reason: The Philippines’ Best—and now, Suki Salvador is determined to make sure that it trickles down to last punctuation of every story.
In his professional life and time, Suki Salvador has orchestrated a harmonious symphony of artistic and commercial merits that have taken One Mega Grooup to where it sits today on the stands and on the browser on your computer or smartphone. He will wince and flinch at the accolades and compliments thrown his way, but for what it’s worth, under the skillful flick of his baton, he has always fought for the best. Now, the narrative continues for Suki, this time as Mr. President.
Responsibilities like these aren’t given to anyone, just the deserving and the worthy. For Suki Salvador, with the work in his glowing resume to the what he has yet to achieve, it makes the most sense. Not too shabby for someone who doesn’t consider himself traditionally and by-the-book creative.