The Philippine Star
Aptitude for altitude
It takes a lot of creativity to launch promotional campaigns. This is why the role of Singapore Airlines Philippines (SIA) marketing and PR head fits Aiza Soller-Garcia to a T. It was the creative aspect that drew this Assumption College International Business and Economics grad to shift from a job in the banking industry to a career in marketing.
“My course did not offer much background in marketing and advertising, it was really more on the business side. I was working in a bank for a few years, until I decided that it was not for me. I have always loved expressing my creativity. This was what prompted me to move into a completely different direction, which is advertising,” Aiza recalls.
She explored different facets of the field, starting with advertising and below-the-line events. Aiza worked in public relations as well, with multiple Quill Awardwinning agency Stratworks. She also worked for the Singapore Tourism Board for almost three years. “This is why working with Singapore Airlines is something close to my heart, it is already familiar to me,” says Aiza, whose role now requires creativity, coordination and collaboration with different teams in the company.
In terms of communicating with the public, Aiza says that everything they do is based on the three pillars of SIA’s brand promise. “First is product leadership, where we always ensure that in terms of competitiveness, we refresh our products and aircraft fleet.” The second pillar, she says, is their network connectivity. The Singapore Airlines Group of passenger airlines, which includes SilkAir and Scoot, currently serves 136 destinations. Apart from organic growth, the SIA Group also seeks opportunities to expand their route network through codeshare agreements with other airlines. The third pillar is the service excellence that the brand is known for, which is represented by the company’s iconic Singapore Girl, the epitome of Asian hospitality.
Aiza travels an average of five times a year for her job, and takes time to travel for leisure, too, even though she laughingly shares that her husband is not much of a traveler. She was also into fashion, shopped for a lot of clothes in Singapore, and even maintained a blog. But she shares that her priorities have shifted.
“Now, I go straight to IKEA!” she laughs. “I used to always want to be on trend. Now, I am more of a minimalist. I go for more practical outfits that I consider as smart investments,” she muses, while glancing at the chic and sleek all-black outfit she wore for the interview at her office.
That said, she packs more efficiently for herself these days. “Now, most of my luggage space goes to my daughter,” she smiles. “Whatever space is left in the bag is mine. Thankfully, she is big enough not to need diapers anymore.”
She values familiarity, too. The place she always heads out to when in Singapore is the hawker center. She confesses to getting hungry whenever she remembers her favorite dishes of roti prata, satay and Cereal Prawns. “What I love about hawker centers, and the reason why they draw so many tourists, is their authenticity. They stay true to their delicacies.”
Because of her background with Singapore Tourism Board and her current role with Singapore Airlines Philippines, along with her personal penchant for getting on a plane to explore new places (Paris and Barcelona are on her bucket list, along with watching the Northern Lights), she encourages more people to travel.
“When you are exposed to different cultures and the dynamics of the world, you become more open-minded. When you travel, you immerse yourself with your surroundings. And when you embrace the experience, it somehow makes a difference on how you perceive the world where you realize that it is more than where you are from.”