Cloud Memorials: Immortalizing a Legacy

We live in a technological world.  In a time when digitizing has become the norm, life is a reality split between physical and virtual.  There’s a necessity to make everything digital so as not to become obsolete.  From schools to government agencies to businesses, cyberspace is everyone’s favorite new hangout.

Despite that, there is always a need to input something more “human” to technology.  Gone are the days when the Internet was a hodge-podge of concepts and content, and when site creators scrambled in the dark to find what clicked with a hungry audience.  Nowadays, the trend is clear: people like social media.  They value connections as much as ever, if not more so.  But how do we merge technology with something rooted much more deeply in reality?  Cloud Memorials PH has found the way, and is steadily making its mark.

Cloud Memorials PH is an online platform for friends and families to celebrate the life of their dearly departed.  Through its website, users can create, manage, and contribute to a deceased loved one’s biography.  Not only does the team bring this unique concept to the table, it also merges a technological medium with the very human need to memorialize.

Cloud Memorials PH Helps People Celebrate Lives of Dearly Departed

After their experience with the loss of a batchmate and friend, founders Jovan Que and Anjo Pagcaliwagan observed that many people memorialize their dearly departed on social media networks such as Facebook, but over time these posts give way to other unrelated content as Facebook friends move on.  The need arose to have a space solely dedicated to remembering the deceased’s life and legacy, and from this need their concept was born.  With the Cloud Biography, users can share their personal experiences with departed loved ones, offering varied perspectives and creating complete profiles.  The biographies are accessible anytime and anywhere, allowing even OFWs to take part in remembering and paying tribute to their loved ones.  Cloud Memorials PH also introduced the concept of digitized graves, wherein QR codes are placed on tombstones.  These codes then link visitors to the deceased’s biography, giving them a glimpse into his or her life.

Cloud Memorials PH Helps People Celebrate the Lives of Their Dearly Departed

Cloud Memorials PH Helps People Celebrate the Lives of Their Dearly Departed

Today, Jovan, Anjo and their teammates Ian Oblepias, Mark Segalle, and Harold Ocampo are pioneers in creating online memorials.  They conceptualized and developed the idea fresh out of college, and while they just recently launched the website last June, the journey so far hasn’t been easy.

“The biggest obstacle […] was we entered this as an advocacy, so we didn’t ask for any help; we didn’t receive any help,” says Jovan.  Consequently, another challenge was in sustaining the initially self-supported business, and having no benchmark with which to compare.  Because of this, they had to go by a purely trial-and-error process, which kept them in touch with their customers’ needs.

The team acknowledges the help they received from startup hub and incubator Brainsparks, which guided them through registration, helped them network and introduced them to a community of fellow start-ups eager to offer advice.  On Brainsparks, Anjo tells us, “Basically it’s an accelerator – it accelerates the process of moving your business [from] a mere concept to an actual stand-alone business.”

Another challenge was in dealing with the sensitive topic of death.  “We’re trying to change the whole mindset that death is hard to talk about,” says Ian.  The team encourages users to focus on the life and legacy of the dearly departed rather than their passing.  This way, the users may find optimism in the aftermath of a dark time, and acceptance in the heart of a painful event.

Cloud Memorials PH Sample Profile

Overall, the concept of death remains something that is personal, sensitive and deeply human.  The team maintains that they are merely a niche, a digital medium for people to connect, console and remember.  As Anjo says, “Everyone’s creating something for a certain desire, a certain action … we’re creating one for memorialization and remembering the dead.”

“Cloud Memorials merely offers the platform [...] all of the messages, stories, experiences, pictures and emotions are real, genuine, [and] human in nature,” adds Jovan.  The team strives to make the site family-centric, and user-friendly for the older generation, who have experienced more loss and are more eager to memorialize.  They keep the biographies simple and solemn, celebrating life rather than ruminating death.  It is by these actions that they merge technology and human reality, and it is this commitment that makes Cloud Memorials PH unique and appealing.

The team’s vision for the future is both ambitious and heartfelt: they want every deceased person to have a biography where relatives and friends – and even strangers – may find peace, hope and inspiration.  They have high hopes of collaborating with other businesses in the death industry such as funeral services and cemeteries.  This way, they hope to capture memories as they are being shared and to be one with families in remembering a deceased beloved’s life.

Much can be learned from Cloud Memorials PH’s story.  Technology has created many opportunities that were once impossible.  These chances are offered to those who choose to think out of the box.  Nowadays a business can survive even without a physical product – all it takes is a need to address, and the means to address it.  The digital platform is definitely the hip place to be, but what makes a business special (and attractive) isn’t the medium it uses, but the experience it offers, and the people it connects.