These students from FEU Cavite want you to rediscover adventures in Manila

MANILA, Philippines — Ever taken the LRT during a weekday rush hour? Then you’ll know how everyone’s just waiting for the ride to be over.

After finding out that most users do not take the LRT 1 for anything other than getting to and from work or school, the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) decided to encourage ridership and give Filipinos other reasons to ride the train.

And what better way than to promote the beauty of Manila? In 2019, LRMC is set to launch Ikot Manila. The app, aside from providing station and trip information, would also feature touring, dining, and shopping recommendations.

Since the youth makes for a huge chunk of the LRT 1 ridership, the LRMC sponsored the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) YouthCon, an intercollegiate contest. 

Out of 35 teams, 5 finalists were selected to create campaign strategies for Ikot Manila. The culmination was held last October 5 during the 2018 DigiCon at the Philippine International Convention Center. 

The panel of judges included Facebook creative director Dale Lopez, TeamAsia president and MICE director Monette Hamlin, IMMAP president and Google PH country head Ken Lingan, and Light Rail Manila head of corporate communications Rochelle Gamboa. 

Meet the four runners-up: 

For all its faults, Manila has so much to offer. There’s the food, heritage, and of course, adventure — attractions such as Rizal Park and Arrocerros Forest Park, and vestiges of Old Manila, including Intramuros, Binondo, and Escolta.

They want Filipinos to pay attention, rather than taking these things for granted.

“Commuting makes you desensitized. You have your earphones on, so you fail to notice or even think about all the things Manila can offer.”

The hope of the future

LRMC's Rochelle Gamboa says listening to the student demographic is integral to improving LRT 1.

For her, it's also important for the youth to create connections outside of technology.

“To be able to use social media effectively, for social good, is to really explore what’s outside of those screens. Don’t just stick to the screen and judge everything based on what you read on it.” -