Remember making a caricature of your favorite teacher to bully in high school? How about drawing a heart between your name and of that cute boy in class? Etching exam codigos that only you and your friends could decipher? It often got us into trouble but some of the best moments in high school were immortalized on the infamous wooden armchairs. Generations come and go but the basic experiences we go through kind of remain the same. And it doesn’t take much more than words and drawings to remind us of the good, the bad and the ugly times. This is the backbone behind merchandise brand Linya-Linya, which combines wordplay and illustrations to reflect everyone’s adulting feels.
In a time of hugot jokes and memes, the brand seems to fit right in. But for writer Ali Sangalang and visual artist Panch Alvarez — the geniuses behind Linya-Linya — it’s more than just a game of likes and retweets. When the woes of adulting became too much, the two went back to their schoolboy roots of doodles and witty one-liners. Their creative outlet, which started out on sheets of lined paper, eventually turned into shareable memes and an extended merchandise line. In 2015, musician and marketing guy Jim Bacarro joined in the fun and Linya-Linya expanded enough to open actual stores. From then on there was a mission: they didn’t just want to be viral anymore; they wanted to be a smart, striving business as well.
All jokes aside, what makes Linya-Linya successful is that it creatively immortalizes the little moments that every young adult can identify with. And it does so in the most Filipino way possible — with a dose of honesty, tasteful humor and just the right amount of irony. As thousands share and wear these statements (literally) on their sleeves, the message becomes clear: you can take the adult out of the fun but you can’t take the fun out of the adult. And for funtrepreneurs Ali, Panch and Jim of Linya-Linya, this is something that needs to be taken seriously. — Tin Sartorio
Visit www.linyalinya.ph for more information.