GIGIL Co-Founder Herbert Hernandez: Creating Impact and Finding Happiness

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Herbert Hernandez is a man who has found success in two separate careers as a rock star and advertising executive in Manila while maintaining a happy marriage with his wife and three children. Hernandez’s story of success is not a fluke but a result of passion, hard work, calculated risk-taking, and faith in God.

Early Life in the Philippines

Hernandez was first guided towards music in high school when his older brother Darwin taught him how to play guitar. Herbert is also musically inclined, and together with his brother, they founded the alternative rock band, Moonstar88, one of the most well-known bands in the Philippines.

Herbert Hernandez continued to prioritize his studies and his other talent in the visual arts and went on to earn his degree in Fine Arts, with a Major in Advertising from the University of Santo Tomas. Hernandez was able to land his first advertising job with a major agency, J. Walter Thompson Manila, shortly after graduating. Hernandez’s talent for the visual elements of advertising campaigns quickly earned him recognition, and he began receiving promotions. He moved on to DM9, and later Young & Rubicam, where he rose to the position of Executive Creative Director quickly. Hernandez’s rise to Executive Creative Director was so speedy that he regrets his intense focus on advancement. If he could go back, he would allow himself more time to try and fail without the intense pressure of upper management on his shoulders.

The Founding of GIGIL

While working at Young & Rubicam, Hernandez had the opportunity to work alongside one of his idols, Badong Abesamis. The two quickly discovered that their respective talents were complementary, with Abesamis providing the writing expertise that perfectly matched Hernandez’s visual flair. Together, they created advertising campaigns that were not only commercial successes but also critically acclaimed in the Philippines. The awards poured in, and another agency made offers to the talented executives. After weighing their options, Hernandez and Abesamis took a leap of faith and departed from the corporate world to establish GIGIL, which has since become one of the most prosperous independent agencies in the Philippines. Hernandez feels fortunate to be able to pursue his passion on his own conditions, collaborating with a skilled partner and a carefully chosen team.

Thanks to GIGIL’s impressive track record, clients flock to them for their distinctive and noteworthy campaigns. With years of industry experience and honed skills, Hernandez has successfully crafted the ultimate entrepreneur’s fantasy: a stable workload that necessitates minimal self-promotion, allowing him to unleash his creativity without constraint.

Hernandez’s story is an inspiration to young people who are not content with just working a nine-to-five job but want to make an impact in their chosen profession.

A Dedicated Family Man

For many people, a life that involves working 9-6 and spending many nights playing gigs would be full and fulfilling. However, Herbert Hernandez finds success extends beyond his professional accomplishments to include the personal achievements of his wife and children. Hernandez invests in his family, making time for date nights, lunches, and dinners at home, and even playing video games together. For Hernandez, his family is of the utmost importance, and he is committed to making time for them. When work allows, he invites them to the office to see what he does when they’re apart. Although his schedule is packed, family is never last on the list; instead, they are incorporated into every possible moment.

Herbert’s dedication to his family and careers is a testament to his belief that creating success is a daily pursuit. Many nights, he sleeps only four hours and relies heavily on his faith in God to sustain him. Hernandez believes that success is not just about working hard but also about having faith and trust in oneself, in others, and in a higher power. He is grateful for the opportunities that have come his way and believes that his success is not just a result of his talent and hard work but also of the support and guidance he has received from his family, friends, colleagues, and his faith.

Herbert Hernandez’s story of success is not just about achieving financial stability and career recognition, but also about finding balance and happiness in his personal and professional life. He has managed to pursue his passions, take calculated risks, and prioritize his family without sacrificing his career aspirations. Herbert Hernandez’s story is a reminder that success is not just about what we achieve but also about how we live our lives, and the impact we make on others.


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