MANILAMAN: MOD­ERN PLAY­GROUND

Mod­ern in­dus­trial el­e­ments and graphic, play­ful ac­cents make this ad of­fice a cool place to work and hang out in

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When ad­ver­tis­ing pro­duc­tion house ManilaMan was es­tab­lished, it had only four peo­ple—its founders—in a 12-sqm of­fice space. When the team grew to 12, they even­tu­ally moved into a 65-sqm play­ground. But fur­ther ex­pan­sion and the need for ex­tra room for client meet­ings and free­lance sup­pli­ers re­quired more space. Good thing an of­fice freed up at Pa­cific Of­fice Ma­chines Build­ing along EDSA, one of the older, mid­cen­tury build­ings in the area.

Ac­cord­ing to man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Miguel Gu­tier­rez, they felt lucky to have stum­bled upon this 250-sqm, open-lay­out space.

“Suw­erte kami when we got here. Ev­ery­thing was fixed, [even if] out­side, luma na yung build­ing,” says Miguel. The pre­vi­ous ten­ant oc­cu­pied it for less than a year, so the walls and floor­ing, among oth­ers, were prac­ti­cally new. “The lay­out has al­ways been like this, with a glass par­ti­tion for the board­room,” Miguel adds. All the staff had to do was clean up and bring in their work desks.

The of­fice has a mod­ern in­dus­trial vibe with hints of breezy Scan­di­na­vian aes­thet­ics. While there are in­di­vid­ual work­ing sta­tions, there are com­mon spa­ces and lounge ar­eas which en­cour­age col­lab­o­ra­tion. The glass walls of the board­room give the pri­vacy needed for client meet­ings without cramp­ing the space.

“The main fo­cus of the of­fice de­sign is the ex­pe­ri­ence of ev­ery­one—not just the clients, pho­tog­ra­phy HANS FAUSTO pic­to­rial di­re­ac­tion TALA SINGSON styling as­sis­tant KAMILA GAR­CIA words BUB­BLES SAL­VADOR

but also the em­ploy­ees and even the sup­pli­ers when they come here. That’s…what re­ally brings the projects to us,” Miguel ex­plains.

ManilaMan was founded in 2012 by Miguel, to­gether with Alec Rivera, Paolo Abri­han, and Gio Puyat. As a startup, they did mostly event cov­er­age, and later tran­si­tioned into pro­duc­ing TV com­mer­cials, dig­i­tal ads, and cin­ema ads. “We want projects where we have more in­put in terms of cre­ativ­ity and ex­e­cu­tion,” adds Miguel.

“We re­ally wanted to fo­cus on ex­pe­ri­ence and points of con­tact with clients and agen­cies, which is our of­fice. Ito na yung pinaka-rep­re­sen­ta­tion

namin. What we want you to feel when you’re with us [is that] we’re fun and we can col­lab­o­rate,” he says.

This seems to be ex­actly the vibe here at ManilaMan’s of­fice. The big­gest com­pli­ment? When peo­ple tease them to host a party. They’ve given in a cou­ple of times. “Ev­ery­thing gets trashed...pero pumupunta ta­laga sila, even clients. I guess that’s a com­pli­ment. When I in­vite them here, they re­ally come be­cause they know it’s go­ing to be a good party.”

(CLOCK­WISE, FROM FAR LEFT) Found through­out the of­fice are props used for shoots and some per­sonal gifts from the di­rec­tors they work with; open workspaces and glass par­ti­tions en­cour­age bet­ter col­lab­o­ra­tion; one wall sports this eye-catch­ing mu­ral that lends a laid-back vibe to this work space; the build­ing’s orig­i­nal win­dow grills were main­tained, al­low­ing nat­u­ral light to come through.

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