Essential Philippines Agreement Signing.jpg

Essential Magazines launches in the Philippines

Open Media’s latest joint venture in Asia launched earlier this month and the local business partner is a face many members of the Algarve business community will remember. Evan Jones lived in the Algarve from 1988 to 2007 and established a multi-discipline design consultancy called Comuniqué, which from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s was widely recognised as one of the country’s leading design consultancies.
Evan left Portugal initially to live in Bali, Indonesia, before moving on to the Philippines in 2010, where he set up Insignia Creative Solutions, a design and visual communication consultancy. Earlier this year, Evan created Insignia Publishing and a joint venture agreement was signed with Open Media to launch Essential Philippines.
“I was in Manila last July to attend the Asian Publishing Convention and Asian Publishing Awards where our Macau edition of Essential had been distinguished,” said Bruce Hawker, Managing Director of Open Media. “The Philippines has been on our list of potential destinations in which to launch Essential since we first entered the Asian market back in 2011 with the launch of Essential Macau.”
Next came Essential Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, launched in 2012, both as joint ventures with local publishers in the respective countries.
“I had heard that Evan was setting up a new business in Manila and looked him up whilst there. The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia with luxury brands such as Rolls Royce (one of the advertisers in our launch edition) established in the market and massive development in high-end real estate. The tourism market is also booming, but what attracted us most to the country is that fact that, compared to other countries, there is so far very little competition in the way of luxury lifestyle magazines. Evan immediately recognised the potential and I returned a few months later with one of my fellow directors to tie up the deal,” said Bruce.
The launch edition can be viewed at
Photo: From left: Elaine Adecer Go, Director of Operations – Insignia, Evan Jones, CEO – Insignia, Bruce Hawker, CEO and Founding Partner – Open Media, and Fernando Caetano, International Editor/Partner – Open Media