The Linya-Linya Life Story

Alamin ang kwento kung paano nagkone-konekta ang mga linya hanggang sa mabuo ang Linya-Linya!

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Magsimulang Magsimula: How We Started

Linya-Linya literally started from scratch—that’s us scratching our heads.

Panch Alvarez and I, Ali Sangalang, were workmates back in 2012. I was a writer and Panch was a visual artist. Trying to fight off daily feels and frustration from work, we sat down at a local fastfood chain to sort things out.

To address our creative slump, the solution was quite simple: go back to basics. Me, a class clown; Panch, a cartoonist who drew mischievous caricatures of his teachers. On a lined blank notebook, I wrote my one-liners, and Panch matched it with his doodles. We shared it online and the followers started piling up. It didn’t take long until our Linyas were turned into shirts and other products.

Sineryosong Kalokohan: We meme business

Fast forward to 2015. Over drinks, Panch and I had a meeting with my grade school and high school classmate, Jim Bacarro, and Jim’s wife, Saab Magalona, to discuss expanding the Linya-Linya brand. Sa simula pa lang, alam na: aligned kami! The night ended with Jim and Saab joining the team. Cheers!

Aside from knowing how to use Microsoft Excel, Jim believed in the brand’s concept and knew his entrepreneurial skills were the needed competencies to grow the brand.

From 2015 to 2019, we were able to put up eight stores in malls in Metro Manila, as well as an online store that ships worldwide. Meanwhile, we continued using our social media pages to connect with their customers while promoting their merchandise. Being a marketing and an accounting guy, Jim’s role was clear: Hindi lang sa jokes bumenta ang Linya-Linya.

Pursige, hindi puro sige: Surviving and thriving during the pandemic

The pandemic in 2020 forced us to close our physical stores and rely on Lazada, Shopee and our website to distribute our products. Socio-economic and political issues that were heightened during this time also called us to reflect on how we could continue connecting with our customers. Our personality shifted from a completely humorous persona to that of empathy and active citizenship which was exercised through our collaborations with Filipino artists and NGO’s. A period where most businesses experienced heavy setbacks was a period where we have been exceeding our targets.

Ang mahalaga, lumaban: From a personal outlet to a cultural movement

At the height of Linya-Linya’s growth, our team felt that we were being called to something beyond ourselves. Our mission was to connect with our community– hence, the disposition of our community deeply influenced the content we were creating. The challenge at that period was how to continue making funny and relatable content, while being aware of the growing socio-economic and political pain points (including historical revisionism and disinformation) that were being experienced by our community.

In 2019, we started collaborating with other local brands and artists, which started within Jim, Saab’s, and Ali’s immediate networks like Francis Magalona and the Eraserheads. Seeing its positive contribution to the brand and our mission, we expanded our collaborations to include other artists– musicians such as The Itchyworms and Ebe Dancel; writers such as Lualhati Bautista and Ricky Lee; komikeros like Tarantadong Kalbo, Manix Abrera, and Pol Medina Jr.

We also started to collaborate with organizations that pushed for specific advocacies– AHA Learning Center and Angat Buhay for education; Love Yourself PH and Mindanao Pride for LGBTQIA+ rights and gender equality; Pawssion Project for animal welfare. We wanted to give these artists and organizations the space to be promoted, to highlight their craft, and to celebrate Filipino talents and culture.

Welcome to the Fami-Linya: The Linya-Linya Community

The community is the reason we are still alive as an enterprise. Social media played a big role in connecting with them, and building the relationship. Every meme shared online daily makes the relationship meaningful, to show them that more than just being “customers,” they are our friends, our family. To make them feel that we are here to make them happy, to be there to hug them when something goes wrong, and to fight with them when someone needs to make a stand.

Sa likod ng bawat Linya: The Linya-Linya team

Isang team kami mula sa iba’t ibang linya– may writer, may graphic artist, may illustrator, may musician, may athlete, may podcaster, may mountaineer, may volunteer, may community leader, may tiktoker– lahat, creative content creators na handang magbahagi ng talento, isip at puso sa kapwa at sa community.

Anong Linya Mo?

Kung gets mo kami, at magka-linya ang trip natin in life, tara, join our team!

Join our team