AT Republicasia, a company filled with a mix of veterans in the media industry, millennial reporters, as well as several Gen Z creatives, they pride themselves in creating stories made specifically for the young generation.
This is why, in their office, the newsroom is dominated by Gen Zs, with their experienced higher-ups guiding them every step of the way.
For the employees at Republicasia, their space is one like no other; here, you have the freedom to express yourself not just with the clothes you wear or the way you act, but in the things that you create as well.
From the ground up
Twenty-six-year-old JD Lacdao and 24-year-old Josh Ramos have been with Republicasia since the very beginning. From renting a space at a small restaurant in Taft to moving into their office in Intramuros, they’ve seen it all.
Ramos recounts how difficult things were at the start. The company consisted of less than 20 people at the time, and didn’t yet have their own equipment, so Ramos would often have to borrow a camera from his friend just so he could shoot.
Now that they have their own office and are finally managing to build their identity, Ramos finds that the entire experience has been extremely comforting.
“Everyone’s trying their best, everything’s just starting out – everything’s just being written,” he shared.
If he were to look back from just a couple weeks ago, to a couple months, to an entire year back to when the company first came to be, he notes that you can really see how Republicasia has grown.
Republicasia is Ramos’s first-ever corporate job. Meanwhile, Lacdao has worked at two other places before getting to where he is now.
He first worked as a freelance graphic designer, getting clients from different countries, but when his client got mad at him just because he couldn’t understand what the former wanted, Lacdao decided to quit. Afterward, he worked at a tattoo shop, but was given menial tasks like cleaning up after everyone and closing up shop, a far cry from the creative work he was used to doing.
At Republicasia, though, he found a place where he could truly express himself, without a restrictive dress code or a boss giving him step-by-step directions on how to do his work.
Ramos now works as a Production Specialist wherein he shoots and edits the videos you can find on Republicasia’s social media pages. Meanwhile, Lacdao works as a Graphic Designer, making publication materials for social media, banners for the website, and the like.
Lacdao notes that it’s in Republicasia that he feels truly respected, and as someone who’s been here since Republicasia’s birth, is glad that he gets to see everything he’s worked hard for be brought to fruition.
“I am respected here, [also] nire-respect ko rin lahat ng tao; I give the same energy back, minsan higit pa,” he stated.
“Yung pinaghirapan ko noon, before mag-launch, makikita mo. Eto na. I’m grateful that I [was] part of that, and umabot ako ngayon dito.”
As fresh graduates, Bryan Gadingan, 22, and Mariel Roja, 23, were lucky enough to find Republicasia after getting out of school. Now working as a Junior Writer and a Copywriter respectively, they talk about how the company has greatly helped them better express themselves, as well as realize their capabilities in what they do.
“Republicasia has really pushed me out of my comfort zone to do well in this craft, [and] this is my first time working with a lot of talented creatives as well, [but] at the end of the day, it helped me grow as a person,” Roja shared.
“A lot of us here are part of Generation Z, and that’s something you [don’t] see in other networks or newsrooms, so that would have to be our edge as a news provider and content creator.”
From the first time he stepped into the office, Gadingan immediately felt a sense of welcoming envelope thanks to the fact that most of his peers were of the same age as him.
Similar to Roja, there are times when he’s been forced to jump out of his comfort zone as well, but he’s grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to him after he started working at Republicasia.
Gadingan stated: “Iba dito sa Republicasia; hindi ka pa nakakapasok, nararamdaman mo na yung atmosphere, [kahit] nung hindi pa ako nags-start. Nakita ko palang yung mga posts, yung mga social media materials, nakikita ko agad na dito ako, fit ako dito. Alam kong mas makakagalaw akong mabuti dito. Mas gumagaan din yung buhos ng trabaho kasi mas nagkakaintindihan kayo.”
The same sentiments are shared by 24-year-old Andrea Kyle Binuya, the head of the Human Resources Department in Republicasia.
Binuya, who has worked in several offices in the past, says she’s aware of the fact that there are many procedures you need to follow, but the other management teams she’s been under were rather traditional in nature, whether it be in their manner of thinking, talking to their employees, or even in their approach in general.
Everything was also much stricter compared to how things work at Republicasia; from the way she dressed to the responsibilities she’d been given, Binuya felt that she had very little wiggle room in the things she could and couldn’t do.
“Here, maluwag lang – freeing,” said Binuya.
“You can wear whatever you want as long as you’re comfortable. [And] dito, yung binibigay sa’king trust ng management na I can do all these things alone, yun yung pinaka-importanteng bagay na binibigay sa’kin ng Republicasia.”
Where Gen Z culture thrives
Whether it be on the clothes they wear or the material they push out, one thing that’s uniform of these answers is that Republicasia allows their employees to be whoever they want to be.
Though there are some templates that the Graphic Design Team has to follow, Lacdao is still given the freedom to do what he wants with the things that are assigned to him.
“Because of that freedom, nagkakaisa kami,” he noted.
Ramos is given that same freedom with the videos he’s tasked to shoot. Leaning more toward the documentary style of shooting, he often incorporates this into his work.
Perhaps the video that most stood out to him was one focused on the Feast of the Black Nazarene here in the Philippines, wherein he enjoyed immensely because he was able to imbue his style into the video all while directing it the way he wanted to.
“[In other companies,] wala akong creativity dun, kasi I’m just gonna be listening to what they want me to do, and I’ll just do it, pero dito kasi, nagkakaroon pa rin ako ng creative freedom,” he said.
“Siyempre bine-brief kami ng producers namin and yung shoot, tungkol saan, [but] after nun, kami na bahala.”
In this Gen-Z driven newsroom, Mariel feels that it’s extremely important that the people within that generation are the ones making the most important decisions within Republicasia, as well. For her, it’s a reflection of how credible and serious her and her peers are in releasing the stories they know members of the young generation can relate to, or perhaps even see themselves in going forward.
“We represent the Gen Zs – we understand our audience,” added Lacdao.
And in the words of Ramos, now is the time of the Generation Z – the new generation.
“it’s our time to take over; pinasa na yung torch sa’tin,” he stated.
“I think it would make sense rin na [sa] news world, tayo na yung magta-take ng lead.”