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Sunday, October 14, 2012
WHO knew three young lads who played in a rock band are now behind one of Cebu’s more preppy and up-to-date online magazines? If Carlo Villarica, Jason Almendras and Jeremie Lim are not making music together, they’re probably busy with setting up, constantly improving and making sure zerothreetwo.com is an active entity online.
“We were waiting for our practice/jamming session to start,” recalled Carlo. “This was around the same time the film Social Network came out so we may have been talking about the movie first then the subject turned to local websites. We came to the conclusion that there weren’t many “Cebu-centric” websites out there with a magazine and editorial feel. We decided to go for it and made one.”
For the record, their team is divided as such: Carlo is the content editor, Jason handles their online store and Jeremie takes care of web design.
Almost every internet-savvy Cebuano have probably come across this website, perhaps due to a viral entry in the past, or by seeing pictures of its cool merchandise floating around on social networking sites. Just in case the site’s concept is missed, a person does not need to be familiar with telecommunications jargon to realize that the website’s name is actually based on Cebu City’s telephone area code: 032.
“I don’t really know who came up with the name ZeroThreeTwo. We had a whole list of crappy names to be honest. We just wrote down as many names as possible, tried them out and ZeroThreeTwo just stuck,” Carlo revealed.
The website claims it’s an online magazine “showing of Cebu.” By the looks of the hundreds of entries either posted by official site administrators to local contributors themselves, this online stopover is sure to contain the popular and not-so popular tidbits about Metro Cebu.
“It has a contemporary view of our city and is written by people… not robots,” a line in the About Us section in the site states. “Look through our pages and you will find the latest news, restaurants, hotels, beaches, fashion trends, events, and a whole lot more about our lovely island.”
And the site is not just merely about containing information about Cebu.
“The site has two main components; the magazine and the store. Right now, we are looking into developing the store some more. This will entail more products and a better online store experience. We’re releasing ZeroThreeTwo products for those who love the brand and are proud to be Cebuanos.”
Creating something out of scratch isn’t exactly a new thing for these guys. Picking up from this article’s introduction, these guys make up three/fourths of an alternative indie act in Cebu called Rescue A Hero. They released an album dubbed Corrupt, Honest, Awake late last year. I miss playing and most of the guys feel the same way. Rescue a Hero is only possible with Mark in it so we’ll be waiting for him to come back. “I miss playing and most of the guys feel the same way. Rescue a Hero is only possible with Mark in it so we’ll be waiting for him to come back,” Carlo shares about their vocalist who as of this time is based overseas.
But anyhow, their online project lives on. And just like any other business endeavor out there? “Online businesses are similar to regular businesses in a sense that you have to work hard for it to succeed. We are still working hard.”
For what it’s worth, here’s just one of the many examples of ingenuity from Cebu.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2012.