UNDER AN OPEN SKY
Lifestyle Asia|Volume 3 - 2021
Cornerstone Entertainment’s ERICKSON RAYMUNDO and SAM MILBY talk about trust, loyalty, and their openness to change—key elements that have allowed them to fly forward amid the drastic shifts of the entertainment industry
GELO DIONORA

Cornerstone Entertainment’s president Erickson Raymundo is on Instagram at @visionerickson. His handle is more than just a cool or creative name, however, as Sam Milby shares.

Everyone at the company calls him “Vision” because his leadership, management, and vision catapulted the talent management agency toward greater heights.

From a talent management agency, Cornerstone has grown into a full-fledged entertainment agency. Under one roof, the company now adds concert and event production, TV & film production, a music label, a publishing arm, entertainment facilities, and digital management in their roster of services. Their strong partnerships with talent agencies abroad—in line with their goals of going global—have allowed their artists to work on projects in Hollywood.

“Cornerstone has grown so much because of Erickson’s hard work and how he is like as a manager. He believes in you and pushes you to be the best that you can be. He doesn’t treat his artists as mere investments; rather, he goes the extra mile to take care of your wellbeing and growth,” Milby shares.

Arguably, the actor is one of the best people to talk to about Cornerstone’s journey and Raymundo’s vision—after all, the celebrated actor and singer is the company’s first-ever artist. It all began serendipitously 16 years ago, back when Milby recently flew in the country from the United States, and when Raymundo took a leap of faith.

A SERIES OF FORTUNATE EVENTS

“In March of 2005, I first met Sam in Glorietta. I was a business partner for a modeling agency then, and I thought of signing him up as one of our models. I handed him my card, but I found out that he got signed to a different agency a day before we met,” Raymundo fondly recalls.

“He then asked me if I knew any bars around the area that had any live bands playing. It so happened that I was going to Tapika that night, so I invited him to go with me,” he adds.

In the early 2000s, Tapika played host to several musical acts, filling the resto-bar with live acoustic band enthusiasts. Raymundo himself was a regular who loved listening to Richard Poon’s band play on stage. (Interestingly, the crooner is also now signed to Cornerstone.)

“When Erickson approached me that day, I felt his genuine kindness. I had only been in the Philippines for a month then, and I didn’t know anyone. That’s why I appreciated his sincere heart to help,” Milby recounts.

The next six months saw their friendship and trust strengthen even further. “We became good friends after that. Since Sam lived in Bulacan, he always called me up whenever he visited Manila. I helped him with a lot of things, from inviting him to church to looking for his own place in Makati. When he decided to get into the industry, he had no one else in mind to ask but me,” the president says.

Eventually, Raymundo got Milby to audition for Pinoy Big Brother (PBB). It was during and after the actor’s stint at the reality show that the executive thought about managing talents as a full-time career.

“We were both newbies at our respective fields. While Erickson has managed models before, he’s never done the same with artists,” Milby notes.

In their first year of working together, Raymundo became not only his manager, but also his assistant, driver, stylist, and everything else in between. “That’s just how hardworking Erickson is. He has always been there, just pushing me, giving me wisdom, and helping me out in many aspects of my life,” Milby says.

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