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On the Frontline: June 2016

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Published by mistyannelee.marrero, 2016-06-09 09:27:30

Frontline 4

On the Frontline: June 2016

FRONTLINEON THE VOL IV . JUNE 2016

"What do you need to do
to become the person
you want to be?" -Kevin

Journeys of Parenthood

WE ARE A FAMILY

NOT JUST A TEAM

Better is Possible CenEtveernts

Crisis Management
PHPRO: Tipping Point
Open House
Run for Life

READY

SET

TRAVEL

Celebrate TEAM TRIPS : 
 Edition

Service WEEK


Message

KEVIN Baguio Team -

VP, Reservations Be your best You!
& Customer Care
In our fast paced and highly competitive world, most of us spend a
lot of time thinking about goals, accomplishments, and creating
bucket lists of the things we want to do. Unfortunately, not
enough of us spend time thinking about what we want to be.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in an
IHG sponsored leadership program called, “Leading with Purpose”.
During this program, the professional coaches and facilitators
guided us through a journey of self-discovery. I was challenged to
take an honest assessment and inventory of who I am and why I
am the way I am. During these sessions I reflected back on many
of the experiences that shaped my life, the lessons I learned from
them, and the values, beliefs, and characteristics that were formed
from those experiences that have created the person I am today,
with all my strengths and weaknesses. I will admit…it was a
challenging, yet inspiring experience.

Now, you may be wondering, as did I, why a company would offer
such a touchy-feely leadership program to some of its leaders. The
answers to that question have come over time. The more I
understand about whom I am and what I am, and how that
compares to who I want to be and what I want to be, the more
likely I will be to close that gap and eventually be the person I
want to be.

2


Message

What kind of an employee are you? (Hardworking, honest, lazy,
passionate, energetic, unmotivated, engaged, ambitious, bold,
creative, disinterested, etc.)
What kind of employee do you want to be?
What kind of a supervisor or manager are you?
What kind of a supervisor or manger do you want to be?
And the big question…what do you need to do to become the
person you want to be?
I encourage you to spend some time thinking about what you want
to be and then establishing a To Do list that enables you To Be
more like that person. Those To Do’s will then be the foundation of
your personal and professional development plan that will guide
your journey to being your best YOU!
As you enjoy Celebrate Service Week, please know how much I
value and appreciate the service you give to the company, our
Brands and Hotels, and our guests. Many of you are on the front
line and the first point of contact for of our guests. We all know
that first impressions matter, which means you all matter in a very
big and important way. Thanks for making a difference.

Make today and everyday GREAT!

3


Message

HAZEL The idea of team building does not naturally occur to me even
when I was a Team Manager and Operations Manager in PHLRO.
Director Sales & Someone in the team would usually bring it up and organize
Service Operation location and activities. Not that I don’t think it’s important; I just
make it a point to hold meetings and one to ones regularly so that
it seems we spend enough time with each other. Over the years,
I’ve learned that meetings and coaching sessions do not necessarily
translate to successful team work. And even if we feel we have
good team dynamics, we always have an opportunity to work
(even) better together.

Two weeks ago, my direct reports and I had our first team building
event since I joined the team in May 2014. We had 3 activities of
which my favorite is learning Dragon Boat Racing. It was a
strenuous activity and we were exhausted after a 2-hour training.
It was completely worth it though. The experience taught us about
the importance of alignment, technique and timing.

Our trainer provided a drummer and steersmen so that my team
and I can all paddle as a team. We were positioned in the boat so
that the most “calm” were seated in the front part of the boat and
they were called pacers. Those in the middle part were engine
room crew and where the majority of the team sat. At the rear of
the boat were the rockets. As the name suggests, the pacers set the
pace that the drummer and paddlers follow. The engine room are
stronger paddlers that support the pace of the boat. The rockets
are the (physically) strongest paddlers and are needed to propel
the boat with bursts of power.

4


Message

We were taught how to paddle and use a kicking action to push the
boat forward. We started out slow, but we were able to find ways
to quicken our pace. At one point we were asked by the trainer to
paddle one pair at a time to experience the amount of effort it
takes to move the boat. He was surprised that the rest started to
do the kicking action to help out. He said that he has not observed
that in other teams he had trained. We also cheered ourselves on
as we tried to beat the time to get from one bouy to another.

The biggest lesson that I learned from this activity is that, while
each member of the team needs to give the utmost commitment
and effort, we also need to care about each other. If someone
falters, the rest of the team will have to strive harder to
compensate for the lost momentum. In addition, we also need to
try to recover that loss by means of encouragement, mentoring and
appreciation. We all feel good about being recognized and
appreciated no matter how humble or shy we may be. This is the
reason why most work places have recognition programs. In IHG,
the culmination of our achievements for the year are held during
Celebrate Service Week. It is recognition and appreciation for your
daily contribution and achievements.

This year, Celebrate Service Week is also about recognizing the
progress that we have made over the years. PHPRO is a great
example of Better is Possible. So I say, Better is Possible in PHPRO
when we care about each other and work as one to achieve our
goals.

5


Message

PEARL It’s remarkable to witness how PHPRO has risen to Kevin’s
challenge of ‘Better is Possible.’
Supervisor, Human
Resources As we take on the challenge, we also have an opportunity to
consistently assess our approach to assure we have the right
efforts to make better possible. When our vision becomes blurry,
we consult a specialist. They run a series of visual tests such as
reading letters off from charts and fitting appropriate grades of
lenses until we agree all is clear – and with new spectacles, we can
see better.

To make better possible is to gain a sense of awareness of what
needs refining. It’s acknowledging that, although we can see, we
may be near or far sighted. Why not extend the clarity of our vision
from what is comfortable to what is precise?

In PHPRO, we encourage exposure, consultation, and allow
colleagues to share solutions – basically, we get involved! We think
about what we do and why we do it, we share feedback, we agree
or disagree, and we work together to fit gaps with appropriate
solutions. So it’s a lot of hard work and focus.

So when do we know we’re better? We will know when we get
there – when our vision is matched with bold and precise actions.
Meantime, it’s enough to know that we are set up to make better
possible through IHG’s promise of ‘Room to be involved.’

Looking forward to a journey of better success with you, dear
colleagues, as we approach PHPRO’s 10th year anniversary in 2017!

6


Message

MIKE It seems that the best way to show that better is possible is through
people who inspire me the most these days. I can write about one of
Supervisor, Workforce them.
My eight year old daughter plays a lot of Taekwondo, when I say a
lot it means 3 hours every day excluding Sundays, during the school
break. On school days 1.5 hours a day during weekdays then 3-5
hours on Saturdays. She started May of 2014 and she has not let up.
She only skips training when there are special occasions, when she
is sick or during exams. When you ask her why? She just says she
wants to be better.

I think we need to have that kind of passion too in order to become better at what we do.
As adults, for the most part (not all the time) we do things because we have to, rather than
because we are passionate about it. This is a reality and we can’t do anything to change that
but we can do something on how we approach it and act on that reality.
What if we start saying,

“I will kill this rude guest with kindness to make We can say:
sure he doesn’t do it again”. “I will kill this rude guest with kindness
“I will render 4 hour EH so I can pay that 1 year 6 because I stand for what is just and
months and 29 days debt I owe my team mate”. moral”.
“I will consistently come to work 15 minutes “I will render 4 hour EH so I can give my
before because before I usually come in 2 minutes sister extra allowance”.
late”. “I will consistently come to work 15
“I will not be an additional burden to my minutes before shift because I hope to
supervisor and team mates because we already inspire my team to do the right thing”.
have one in the team. Har har.” “I will not be an additional burden to
Kidding aside, if we just tweak how we approach my supervisor and team mates because
doing our have to’s and connect them to what we they too have their own burdens”.
are passionate about I think better is possible. I’m sure this idea is not new and is not
Besides most of have to’s are a means to an end. mine, but it sums up all the things I
If we always go back and remind ourselves as to would like to write about.
why we are doing it then

Thank you for indulging! Cheers to more years working as a community in PHPRO, I’m proud
to be working with all of you, shout out to my colleagues at PHPRO WF who always makes
me look good!

Happy Celebrate Service Week!!

7


Staff Page

#BETTER is POSSIBLE

Jhing Tangonan Misty Marrero R.M. Reyes Diane Pumihic Kim Partible Vaune Cura

Never EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ASSOCIATE EDITOR SENIOR WRITER LAYOUT ARTIST SENIOR WRITER
change your AND EDITOR
Make things Only as high as I When you When we look
values happen no reach, can I Those who learn to let each other in
based on matter how can wisely go of what the eye and
someone difficult it is or grow. Only as far distinguish keeps you accept that I'm
how long it as I seek, can I red and you're
else's will take. go. Only as deep being from blue, side by
perspective. as I look, can I productive expressing side on the
see. Only as who you same canvas,
much as I dream, against truly are. our strokes will
can I be. I am being busy make sense
limited, only by makes more
the things that I meaningful even in
dare not do." and better abstract."
possibilities.


Ranne Castillo Nino Cauton Krizelle Panelo Frianne Bangsilan Jam Dela Cruz Zai Batua

WRITER WRITER WRITER WRITER WRITER GRAPHICS AND
LAYOUT ARTIST
Aim to be a "Smile and think When you When you When the
better version of that you are part have the believe that it is dreams are We don't
Faith that further than always win,
yourself of something you CAN, possible you thought
everyday, be bigger and the Passion because it all yet you take but
better... Practice that you starts within one step to everytime
optimistic, Gratitude, WILL and yourself. When make it close we fall we
always share the Guts TO you see the
your smile and Create DO SO! brighter side of get
be willing to Momentum, things, your BETTER.
extend an extra Build Energy, dedication will
and Bring Joy exude from
mile.
to Your within.
Colleagues!


BETTER IS Towards the end of 2013, if you
POSSIBLE remember, we had a program
called Around the World in 80 Stays.
We may not have Someone told me it was based on a novel
noticed it but we which was also made into a movie. Out of
have been on the curiosity, I got a copy and spent a good 2
right track towards hours of my life immersed in the world of
making things Passepartout and Phileas Fogg. I always
found something fascinating in how the
better here in world operated before technology
PHPRO. We have exploded in the 20th century.
gone through a lot
of changes over the In the story, the character named Lord
past year. We've Kelvin insisted that everything worth
had IDEAS that discovering has already been discovered,
which was the opposite of what the
turned into protagonist, Phileas Fogg, wanted to
INNOVATIONS convey. Phileas, in that time, was regarded
that made us even as sort of a mad scientist going on about
engines, radio waves and flying machines.
better. In the end, Phileas and Passepartout did
indeed circumnavigate the world in 80
10 days. They landed with a bang back where
they started aboard a makeshift airplane.

After the movie, I couldn't put my finger
on a concept that could define the movie
in a nutshell. Sure it has discovery,
progress and technology but I was looking
for something more precise.
Recently, I came across
'Better is Possible'. You see,
all it took was that idea that
he can make a flying machine
and he made it happen.
Better is indeed
possible as long as we have
some Phileas Fogg in us.


To name some, we have the At the moment,
refreshed New­hire Program which we are on the
continues to evolve in addressing brink of two

learning needs in training and significant
on­the­job experience. Our programs
pioneered only
Team Managers continuously here in PHPRO,
undergo TM Certifications and workshops namely the
to further enhance their technical and leadership skills. One ASPIRE and
would be the recently concluded Emotional Intelligence PRIME programs.
Workshop. A large number of us also got to attend the Global
Leadership Summit specially held for IHG PHPRO employees.
All these and more are intended to help us be better because
there will always be room for improvement.

A.S.P.I.R.E is an employee developmental
program somewhat like the Lead Program we
had a few years ago. Specialists who will be
accepted into this program will be given a venue
to work on their set development plan and
achieve them through independent learning,
leadership talks and projects.

P.R.I.M.E aptly stands for Program for Remarkable
Individuals Modeling Excellence. PRIME will be
entirely separate teams of NA Brands Specialists who
will champion growth, responsibility and excellence.
They will be given opportunities to enhance their
skills, attend trainings and seminars, develop their
careers and handle call types with higher booking
potential.

Both programs support If Phileas Fogg said, "One day, I
'Better is Possible' by will build a machine that will
providing opportunities to
develop oneself. Both allow a man to fly", then we say,
programs are products of an "One day, we will look back and
idea which is now coming to say we definitely made better
fruition. We are already
making 'better' happen. happen in PHPRO."

11


CELEBRATE SERVICE WEEK
By: Ranne

An Avenue To Celebrate

                 Following the innovation and changes, our company continues to
recognize the dedication of the three hundred fifty thousand hardworking
colleagues in the business around the world by coming up with the Celebrate
Service Website. Approximately four thousand hotels participated in the past six
years and there are overwhelming entries coming from different parts of the world.
The website is created to become an avenue to share memories, unique stories
and best practices of colleagues. You can visit the website to share your own
story, give a feedback, or download useful materials and tools. Explore each tab to
get common questions answered. Moreover, it's the third year of the Video and
Photo Contest and guess what?! Last year we won the Best Photo and we are
encouraged to keep the same spot for this year. The prize money is amounting to
a thousand dollars per region and it will be used towards the Celebrate Service for
2017. This can be found in the website and you can also send your entry.

12


Have a whale of the time!

                 There are times when we get tired of doing the same things over and over.
Let me tell you this, being a specialist is being a knowledgeable worker. We are the
employees who are effective because we learned to do one thing very well. As a
specialist we produce ideas, information and concepts. We are expected to provide
assistance and advice to those who buy or use our products and services. The
perception of success of such interaction is dependent on us. It is rightful to adjust our
personality to every guest so we can meet their expectations. I know that you know
better than this but knowing the thoughts and ideas of our colleagues who works in
the company for years makes a difference.

                  Let's start it with the five years long service awardees who recently received
their certificates and pins for their hard work and loyalty. I have three of them who want
to share their thoughts, ideas and encouragement about work and life.

Joanne Leal, is one of the most interesting
people I know in the center not only because
we're both food crawlers but because she always
makes sense with everything she does. When
asked about what difference she makes everyday
to keep her going, she enthusiastically replied,
"The difference I make is my attitude towards my
job. Everyday is a challenge of character, on how
to deal with both difficult and easy callers, irate or
friendly ones.What happens yesterday is different
from the next. It's keeping a positive attitude
though I may have reasons not to be
positive." Just to add, Ate Jo, as most colleagues
call her, is recovering from quadriplegia (a person
who is affected with paralysis of both arms and
both legs). She says that each day poses a
challenge as she has to be careful in her
actions/activities. She has the tendency to be out
of balance. "My predicament keeps me stronger
and all the more positive", she said.

13


She also shared that working with one of "You made our day
the best companies and meeting people is complete....God bless you!"
what she likes best about working with
IHG. Subsequently, Joanne shared about
one unforgettable call. It was with  a truck
driver who needed a room for the night and
a parking space for his truck but all the
nearby hotels were sold out. The closest
hotel available with truck parking was 40
miles out. She was able to get the room for
the guest and instructed him on how to get
there. The driver thought she was a local
but when she said, "I'm from the Philippines
and no way near". The guest was
impressed with her knowledge to navigate
the area.

It was just a simple way of
showing how we care for a guest

who is also in the middle of
nowhere, tired and helpless.

Another story is from a dedicated working mom of two, she is co­chairman of the
Environment and Outreach Committee, Jolen Colis. She spearheaded two successful
events this year for the center­the outreach program for the Bethesda Children's Home
and Run for life II. Jolen gets her motivation from her children. She shared, "My kids give
me the energy every time I go out to work. I smile before entering the shuttle coming to
IHG no matter who is inside. Then I look forward to meet my teammates, friends and our
team manager." Jolen is very sociable and it is also the reason why she loves working
with IHG. She states, "It's the environment of friendliness with the good management
from the Boss...and yes including the incentives!" I also asked her to share the most
memorable call she had. She said, "I remember a moody guest who called. He was on
the road with his family. According to him, they called many times looking for a location
along their route but all hotels nearby were sold out. I realized that they had the right to
be in a bad mood­ instead of me. Using Empowerment, I was able to book a room for
them in one of our hotels nearest to their location. The last words he mentioned were,
"You made our day complete....God bless you!"

14


Lastly, an equally hardworking lady also "IHG has continually given
received her long service award, Ana importance to its employees'
Margarita Pineda, who recently cross­trained welfare, which sets it apart from
as an HR assist, is grateful to work with IHG. other companies I've worked with."
She mentioned, "It has been my "bread and
butter" for the past 5 years. IHG has
continually given importance to its
employees' welfare, which sets it apart from
other companies I've worked with."

I asked her to share about the experience she
had when she was cross trained as a HR
Assist. She shared, "I had the chance to help
out with the process of hiring new employees.
I was tasked to help out from and between
contacting interested applicants to assisting
our HR Managers with the new hire
orientation. Being part of one's journey of
becoming an IHG employee was absolutely
satisfying. I couldn't be thankful enough for
that opportunity." Furthermore, she mentioned
that one thing that makes her working
relationship fun and enjoyable is getting along
with colleagues in and out of work. One thing I
like about this lady is that she is always ready
to share her smile to everyone.

A very important lesson we can get from Celebrate Service is valuing yourself so you
become valuable to others too. The motivation starts from within like starting your day
with a smile so it can radiate whenever you interact with someone. Love your job
because it will return the favor. We are able to help the guest over the phone miles
away who might be a truck driver, single parent, travel agent, a student or CEO . The
titles don't matter.

What will always matter is
meaning it when you say,

"How can I help you?"

15


Gearing Up! 

Crisis
Management
Team Completes

Basic Fire
Rescue Training

Center Events

16


Safety begins with team The participants consisted

work. This is what pops up of the Operations Team,

when you search on quotes Crisis Response Specialists,

for safety. Oddly enough, Workforce, Facilities and

we usually think that safety Security Team as well.

is the responsibility of only

a few people, in our case, The training itself had two
FIRE
our facilities department. It parts. First was a lecture

turns out we are wrong. on basic information

Safety is actually an end regarding fire prevention

result of everyone working and fire rescue. Second

together. was the fire drill where

our colleagues actually

March is Fire Prevention had to put out an actual

Month. In support of this, IHG fire and do basic rescue

employees underwent a demonstrations. Probably the most

Disaster Preparedness Skills our colleagues were important part of the

Training event focusing on taught, which they in turn learning experience

Basic Fire Rescue. In demonstrated, included was the rescue drill and

accordance to the local fire the hose throw/roll-out related skills training.

code, at least 50 employees drill. In layman's term, this Our colleagues

should undergo the said would be rolling-out the demonstrated different

training. Due to the large hose without kinks to lifting techniques

number, our colleagues provide continuous water including the fireman's

were divided in 2 batches. flow. They were also carry, lovers carry, two

Training took place on 2 educated on proper hose man carry or four hand

different schedules. The connections, nozzle seat and extremities

training sessions took place adjustment and fire carry. They also had a

on February 22 - 23 and extinguisher usage. drill on rappelling using

March 14 and 16.  the slope of a mountain.

This is needed when

saving a person from an

elevated level. They

also had a search and

rescue drill where they

had to perform an

actual search for a

colleague acting as a

victim.They had to

complete the task while

on blindfold. The

training ended 17


fire prevention

Probably the most
important part of the
learning experience was the
rescue drill and related

skills training. Our
colleagues demonstrated

different lifting
techniques including the

fireman's carry

by: Misty
Photo Credits: L.A. Adriano

successfully by putting out a generated fire for the simulation. Our colleagues
walked away with fun memories of the two-day event, but more importantly;
they walked out with the skills, training and experience for disaster
preparedness.

We can all agree that fire is never something that should be taken lightly.
Lives and property have been consumed time and again by fire. IHG, we are
proud to say, is fully equipped and prepared. Although like what was said
earlier, safety is a collective outcome of teamwork. Being vigilant,
knowledgeable and prepared is a must for everyone.

18


PHPRO on its TIPPING POINT:

Which Way Will It Go?

BY : RM REYES

"Engagement at IHG
is defined as how you

feel when you want
the company to be

successful"

This was how our Center Director, Hazel Tin opened
the 2016 First Quarter Town Hall session.

Last April of 2015, we And based on the result
took the Engagement
survey and identified of the Pulse survey, she
the following as the
focus areas: was happy to bring the

1. This CRO is interested news that 90% of those
in the well being of our
colleagues. who took the survey

2. Performance rating said that the effort put
was a true evaluation of
my performance. on the first focus area is

3. Been given an about right, 84% said
opportunity to develop
a PDP with my manager. that the second focus

has improved, and 77%

said that there has also

been a movement on the

third. 19


This being the The following is the summary of
First Quarter
report on how the :the First Quarter Report
center performed
so far, our OMs
and department
head OICs
reported on how
each department
did.

20


As a Specialist who was able to attend Things that (at least I think so)

one of the sessions, I was inspired by made the Specialists laugh and

the actions that were taken to ensure smile are the section about "The

the well being of the colleagues, the Doctor is NOT in... PHPRO" when
Hazel pointed out that calling each
   various developmental programs other on first name basis will
   o  f  f e  r  e  d   t o   b  o  t h    t h  e   T  M   s  a  n  d   S p  e  cialists

 ­ Leading Others Program, APR somehow eradicate that barrier of

 Calibration C&B Performance unease and will open a more

Review Workshop and the TM relaxed (but still!) professional

Certification Program Launch (For communication between

Team Managers) and  A.S.P.I.R.E (for colleagues. And English All the

Specialists), to align ourselves Time (it has since been referred to
when it comes to the true valuation of as E.A.T.).

our performances  Yes it may seem bourgeois for
and  to make sure that we are guided PHPRO employees to speak
accordingly in doing our Personal English all the time (admit it, we

Development Plans.  continue to do so even if we're
already out of the office premises)
"This made me feel that actions but as what our Center Director

are taken so I can be guided well on pointed out, this is our tool of trade.
We have to be comfortable and
my growth with the company. " eloquent enough in speaking the

language to be more spontaneous
and expressive when talking to our
Different programs per cluster guests. She also pointed out that
 has also been launched to reinforcing this skill will ensure our
incentivize and inspire edge over our global competitors

the Specialists. like India and China.
Gear up,
    PHPRO! We

know where The takeaway for everyone though,
we're

currently at, is the realization of where we are at

we know currently. I agree with the point that

where we knowing where you at, and knowing
need to be. where you need to be will help you
Better is very equip yourself and plan your next
much possible. steps to achieve your goal, and as

a whole, the Center goal.

21


Center Events

By: Vaune

22


Dear Trusty Diary,

If you ask me what my daddy does, I might shrug my
shoulders and tell you it’s about hotels, and according to
him, it’s about, like, this “great company” he says the
InterContinental Hotels Group is. I don’t think he realizes
a 10-year old may not have a clue what a “company”
does, or is exactly. But I do know the word “great”.

Upon arriving, we got our free tickets and mommy
bought extra just in case. I held onto my dress with one
hand, my little brother’s hand with the other, daddy and
mommy at our sides. That was my second time visiting
where daddy worked. This time, for the IHG PHPRO
Perya. The sun was bright, the sky was blue, and my dress
was pink.

First left from the entrance was the “Halo- Halo” booth.
Next to it were booths that sold pastries like chocolate -
coated mallows and brownies, and another that sold fruit
shakes. Two steps from it and we were looking at the
siomai and siopao booth. In front of it were rows and
columns of chairs, and there was music and people
shouting, but shouting in a happy way. Mommy said they
were playing “Bingo.”

I guess the people who invented the game loved dogs.
She also mentioned “you get to win free stuff.” I wanted
to win free stuff, but we were hungry so we went straight
for the food booths.

23


The line for barbeque and hot dogs was the
longest eveeerrr, but worth it. Otherwise
why would people wait their turn?? My
daddy had to do the waiting because my
little brother started going Hulk when he
was told he wasn’t allowed to play darts. So
she took us down to where the cool
musicians were. Not too many people in
that area though. Only a few of daddy’s
workmates were playing funny games. I’m
guessing most were busy waiting either at
the food booths, or at the photo booths---
the ones with the wacky but very cute
props like pirate hats, neon wigs and giant
sunglasses (I wish I had giant sunglasses, or
neon hair). Waiting for us across the stage,
ginormous and fluffy, tall like Sleeping
Beauty’s tower, maybe taller! The inflated
castle - slide - Moonbounce thingy!!! No
wonder my little brother had stopped
crying.

At around 3:30PM, the sun decided to not
be so bright anymore, and the drizzle came.
Not heavy, just enough to make the wind
breezy peazy. That was everybody’s cue.
Heads tilted upward, hands fumbled to
open umbrellas. Our tummies were full, the
lines way shorter, and the Bingo prizes
almost gone. It was a great day.

24


I could tell us kids weren’t the only ones
who had fun, thank you Moonbounce.
From the time we arrived to the time we
were about to leave, I noticed that even the
grown - ups were, well, happy? Grown -
ups who were actually smiling! Not like
most of them out there who take the fun
out of everything. Not like most of them
out there who are always very serious,
always complaining about this and that in
life. I saw happy families in one place
today, and I’m glad IHG loves family,
because so do my daddy, my mommy, my
little brother, and I. Can’t wait for the next
Special IHG Day!

Photo credits:
Carmie Diaz
Dani Romanillo 

25


Running for a Purpose is Better, Center Events

RUN FOR LIFE by: Diane
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing

is going to get better. It's not."

­The Lorax, Dr. Seuss   RUNNING10K

               After a series of carelessness
                and greed the Once-ler was    
               left to live a dejected life, alone,
              in a wretched environment. Now,
            he poses the challenge to anyone  
          to carry out the task of planting    
      the last seed of the Trufulla tree and  
   to make sure it lives. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
may be intended for young readers but it
has so much to teach everyone about social
responsibility. 

Taking responsibility... Arguably the
most popular
......for something you have nothing to do with is of our facilities
absolutely difficult or pointless for some. Only those
with hearts filled with genuine empathy truly staff, Kuya
understand the deeper cause. This time a deeper Neyo ran 10
cause was brought to light in the recently concluded km in support
Run for Life 2 organized mainly by the Environment of the Run for
and Outreach Committee (E&O committee) with the Life II project. 
help of sponsors.  

It is the project’s......second run with the core purpose to gather funds for    the

PHPRO Care Fund along with their outreach projects to local schools
and  communities. This year’s beneficiary is Pasdong Barrio
Elementary School who is need of assistance due to poor roads
causing difficult transportation to and from their vicinity.

5K26


The project May 14, 2016 3K

would not have been possible                        The race participants          
                            were not only IHG          
without each individual who                              employees but also       
                       family and friends who        
accepted the challenge to take               understand the cause of the
challenge. Participants range from kids to
the course on Saturday, May 14, adults, males and females, experienced
and first time racers all raced for the good
2016 alongside with others who cause. The winners per category
were announced right after the event with
supported the cause by purchasing some notable prizes. But really everyone
feels a winner just being part of the race
the official race shirts and with a purposeful cause. Salute to the      
                             champions and to the  
those who were in support                                champions at heart!    
                           You are an instrument    
in their own ways. E&O                             to make things better    
                            not only for yourself      
committee has prepared
                            but for others. 27
3k, 5k and 10k categories

for the run.

It was a perfect early morning
in Camp John Hay for the race.

Excitement filled every participant,
organizer and spectator as the race was
held. While some parts of the route can
be taken lightly, no one can take an
uphill slope easily. All runners broke
sweat to finish the race. Water stations,
marshals on foot and on wheels, and first
aid teams were plenty and ready for the
runners.


Better Lives from the Journeys
of Parenthood

by: Nino Cauton

Every Mom and Dad has a story to tell. About half of PHPRO's population are parents and
the rest of us somehow understand how it is to be in their place. Some of us may consider
ourselves mothers and fathers in our own unique ways. Each of us has our own stories and
we may be aware of the stories of others as well. But most often, what we fail to grasp is the
immensity of each and everyone's unique experience. How is it to be in the shoes of others?

How would we feel if we were in their place?

I spent many days during my days-off and after shifts in the office looking for an inspiring
story that we would deeply appreciate. I was thrilled since I have met incredible people who

shared with me their remarkable stories. It is good to know more about people and
understand where they are coming from because it helps us guide our perspective in life.
And since, I wanted to share to you some stories with a hope to inspire you to always look at
the brighter side of any situation - that any challenge in life is but an opportunity to be
better. I felt so happy and blessed that I was one of those who has been inspired by these
amazing people. Let me present you the stories of a few of our colleagues and their Journeys

as a Parent.


LIFE goes on...

by: Dino

The turning point of my life happened when I

had a car accident in Pozzorubio, Pangasinan-

due to drunk driving in May of 2006. It was the

time when my team at Golden Pine Hotel

qualified for the basketball championship

game of the Friendship Cup Tournament here

in Baguio City. We lost the game, but win or

lose, we celebrated. We had some drinks, I got

drunk and drove off. I crashed my dad's car to a
tree. As a result, my left leg

was amputated. My life
changed.

Before the accident, I was living a charmed and 29
privileged life. I was happy-go-lucky,
everything I needed was provided by
my parents. My whole life revolved
around playing basketball. I
was a varsity player in my
elementary and high school
days. I was awarded Mythical
Five Best Point guard twice in the
Camp David Basketball training
camp, I played in college as an
intramural player for Nursing in
Pines City Colleges and was
awarded MVP of the Friendship
Cup tournament in 2003. I
loved to hang out and

drink with my friends and family. I had a simple life.


If there is something I can be proud of after
what happened, that is my humility
and my optimism in life. It was my family and

a few good friends who supported me during those
times that I needed their comfort and
understanding. I am very thankful to have them, ,

but most of all it is GOD whom I got my

strength from for this trial that came in my life. I
always prayed and always believed that there is a
plan and a purpose in my life, this is why I keep on

going on despite my physical disability today.

I met my girlfriend "Khikhee",
3 years after I had the
accident. We have been
together for almost
6 years now.
My disability was not a
hindrance for me to
engage in a relationship.

"I think my leg prosthetics
became one of my assets."

She is the mother of my kids
and I hope that we get
married soon. We have 3 children, Anneka Rayne,
Maximus Odin and Athena, For me, being a dad was
difficult at first because I have to adjust myself to
become responsible. I learned to provide for the
needs of my children by sacrificing my own wants
and needs. It was a challenge for me because I was
raised differently by my parents while I try to apply
differently towards my own.

The difference is I am more sensitive and very
     strict in disciplining my kids. The good thing
        about my family is they give me the strength
      and the motivation to work and move on with
         life. They inspire me to smile everyday and to
            stay positive no matter what challenges
             may come in life.

30


"I’ve learned from my experience to be
thankful, to be content in life, to learn
from the past, to live in the present and to
dream about the future. "

Right now, I am very
happy working in IHG, I
have a good working
relationship with my
colleagues and managers
at work. I am able to
provide for my family, and
I'm happy that my family
is doing good, they are
healthy and strong.

I do my best to be
optimistic by following the

saying,"Kung gusto may
paraan, kung ayaw

maraming dahilan"

same as, "If there's a will, there's a way". This
saying always pushes me to do the things that I
need to achieve my goals in life.  One more
thing that keeps me going is doing the right
thing. Doing the right thing can bring positive
results in all aspects of life.

31


Photos by : Tracy Villanueva

oAf  SGSetiavlfitlneegss

"I welcomed by: Tracy
motherhood in
the most Imagine having your first
unconventional
way. I was period surrounded by guys at
labeled the
prodigal child At 21 years old (still home! When I gave birth to
as running in college, not a care my son,  all I could think of
away was a was spending every hour of
habit I
developed in in the world), every day with him (literally).
my late teen I thought my love for music Sure, my dad was
years." would get me far (my closest disappointed in me for not
having finished college first. It
32 friends can attest to that if was my choice not to leave
you haven't already followed my son in the care of others.
me on social media), but the

news of my pregnancy

brought about the challenges

of hormonal imbalance and

future goals. This also

strengthened my relationship

with my father.I was

practically raised by my 3

older brothers, grandparents,

and uncles. My dad was

almost never around as he

had to work abroad to

support us.


It was my choice to rewrite After having surgery
my bucket list and be there

for my son (and smother him in 2013, it is unfortunate to

with hugs and kisses). I know that I am no longer able

know many of you can relate to produce another awesome

to this when I tell you I intend human being. Talk about

to go the mall to buy things happening at the right

something for myself, but time, without you even

end up buying stuff for my knowing it. So to you, single

son just because ("it's so mom, married mom, young

cute", or "it's on sale and it's I had a few previous gigs mom, or whatever kind of mom
his size!", etc.). writing web content and you've been labeled as. This is
SEO articles from home, the best job in the world!
 Moving forward and I must say working for
IHG is a huge milestone
 t o    2   0    0   9   , five years after  I for me. Not only is it my
first tax paying job, but
gave birth, things are finally

falling into place. I was able also my first time working
to go back to college – just in night hours.

time for

my son's pre­school years. I

must admit, there are perks I hope you find my story
to having your son sit­in with entertaining yet inspiring.
you in class: shortened class Allow me to share one of
periods and the adoration of the most powerful quotes
instructors/professors. about motherhood I have

Having graduated in 2011,

there were a couple of ever encountered: The

opportunities to work abroad, natural state of
motherhood is
none of which I took. I could unselfishness. When you
become a mother, you are
not fathom being in a no longer the center of
your own universe. You
different time zone or zip relinquish that position to
your children.
code from him. My son may My son and I had a lot of
"hate" me for being the #sepanx moments, and the
"always­present­parent" for adjustment period was very,
his school programs or very challenging. Every 10th
activities (something I rarely and 25th of the month, my
ever experienced when I
was his age), but I'm sure he son knows it's "sahod" day.
will soon understand why. He also knows what AWOP
Being there for your child, no and ROCKSTAR are all

matter how small or big his about. That look on his face

role is in a performance, can when he sees my getting a

never be replaced by long­ bunch of gift certificates we
distance calls and imported can use to eat at
goodies
McDonald's, buy stuff at the

bookstore, and the once in a

few months "big cart" 33
grocery shopping day.


UnbreBy:a KiffkHabOlPe E

The Longest Nine Months of My Life

At the age of twenty-three, I got
pregnant.

I know it is not really the ideal age for
a girl to become a mother, but what
else can I do? It already happened.

At that time, I was very unsure of what
to do next. I told my parents about it and
they reacted just like how most parents
would do if they learn about their
daughter's unexpected pregnancy. They
became even more furious upon learning
that my boyfriend can't take the
responsibility because he is in jail.
He and his friends got involved in a public
brawl and were accused of the death of a
colleague.

I tried to run away during the early months of my
pregnancy. I just wanted a quick escape that time from
tahllotsheepsetorpelses3wofh1boeyinoug judged by other people, especially
thought would support me in the
first place. I spent a lot of sleepovers with friends and
then went to Manila to look for work. Unfortunately,
the companies that I applied for would not like to hire a
pregnant woman. So again I failed and felt that the
world was against me.

I went back home on the seventh month of my
pregnancy. My family already accepted my situation and
supported me all the way. Though they never left,
something inside me still felt incomplete. I was missing
Mike. We seldom saw each other ever since he was
convicted. He tried to comfort me at times when I visit him
in jail, but I can see the sadness in his eyes mirrors mine,
with him not being there for me during those difficult
times. .

34


Though we never lost contact, we were physically
separated while facing our own battles. This made me think
that I had the worst pregnancy experience ever. I had no
one to give me massage when I felt sick and dizzy, no one
to spoil me of my food cravings, and no one to tell me that
we were going to make it through together

The Blessing of
Being a Mother

He was the best thing that ever happened to me, 35
the happiest moment of my life.
I named him Trix Seneca. He was born with bright
eyes, an innocent smile and never-ending
playfulness. He gave me strength to move on and be
strong. Suddenly, I wanted to change and just be the
best mom I can be for him.

At first, I stayed home and took care of him during his
babyhood. It was a tough experience. Just like in
movies, I experienced waking up late at night
to feed him and lull him back to sleep. It was
tougher not having his father around. And when
we almost ran out of money for expenses, I decided
to work again.

"At the age of twenty-
four, I gave birth to a
Gladly, IHG welcomed me to be baby boy. "

a part of their growing company.
Working with IHG and it's people proved to be very
enjoyable that I managed to balance my responsibilities of
being a mother and an employee. As I grow with IHG, it is
inevitable for me to face more challenges especially because
I am a working mom. I am lucky that my friends and
supervisor are supportive enough to know what I am going
through.


"I know problems One day, I opened up and shared my troubles to
will always be on our my supervisor and she gave me some friendly advise
which helped me a lot. I started going to church with
way and some of them and a few other friends from IHG. From then on,
them might seem I knew and realized that all along, I wasn't alone. I
impossible to face have my family and friends to support me, and most
but with hope I know especially God who will never leave me in times of
everything will fall in trouble.
its perfect place in
The same things happened to Mike. He
God's perfect started being optimistic. He got to know
timing." God and his faith on Him gave him hope
that someday, our family, the three of
-KIFF us will be together. This made me love
him more and it enlightened me not to
give up on him through his battle.

36


The Joy A Gardener Brings

A Conversation with Mang Melchor :By Nino Cauton

One Sunday morning, I was greeted by the I saw goats running about and there I saw
rays of sunlight peeking through the gaps of the Mang Melchor running after them. "Apay
trees. I felt the breeze, it kept me cool. The sun was Mang Melchor, tinarayan da ka manen?"
vibrant and pleasant, it made me warm and (Why, Mang Melchor, did they run away
from you again?), he noticed me    
lsoov edliyd  cthhee eler.avheesr eofi nthteh pelaonftfsi. "cIIet tgawanvades Itahweb aeflonawtuetedirfsut oal
day and  greeted me by nodding his head up    
appr e  c  i a  t e   m   o  r  e  .  with a smile and replied in a

I took a walk to marvel at the beauty of  jolly note.. "Wen, ta limsot da manen jay
nature around me. More trees, not just pines. Birds kulungan da, sir! (Yes, because they broke
flying, chirping and crowing. Ducks walking and       from their pen, again, sir!.") He always smiled
                             quacking. "Where's your with his eyes. Aside from a good morning
                                        keeper?" I asked in sunshine in the office, seeing Mang Melchor
                                              my thoughts.  around taking care of our surroundings
makes me happy with a gentle heart.

37


There were many days, that I had conversations with him. And in every conversation,
I always felt thankful for what he does and his passion for nature. We may not be
conscious about it but it is that passion that brought us joy whenever we appreciate our
surroundings. Many of us may brag about being fortunate to work at an environment
that is idyllic for nature lovers, but not many of us know that there's
a lot more on our backyard. 
Take a look sometime and you
would find out that we have
vegetable plots, a flower
nursery and a mini animal
farm that could bring
about a country feel that
some of us may
long for.

It is a huge
garden perimeter
that we have in
the office and we
only have one
keeper. His name is
Melchor Flores. He
has dedicated his
passion to PHPRO's
natural surroundings for
the past 9 years. He is one of the contractual employees from Aurora
Services that pioneered in PHPRO. It's sad to say but he would be retiring
soon and most of us have yet to discover more about him. He wanted to
leave a legacy with us by planting more trees that our children and grand
children may enjoy.

38


He is now 61 years old and a father of 6
children. It intrigued me when I found out that
he got married at the age of 34 while his wife
was at 20. I told him I'm 34 and I think getting
married with a 20 year old is quite remarkable.
She must still be in her prime. "How old is she
now 45?" , I asked. At that time of our
conversation we were at the backyard and he
was showing me the flowers at the nursery.
He told me that his wife already left him. When

  b I    hu   et  s a h  ore  dm     w t e h a   esk    wcin ho dur  cd ok sf ,l in I  g st  haw od uh ngile eh  tsh  esI     w wi n oa  suh   ilssd a    yes in ey gn e  sist   e–   h e    s a i d   it   

like it was just a fact to laugh about. Whenever he talks,
he often smiles and I somehow felt how optimistic he
was about life. We had a walk around the perimeter and
he talked about the plants he grew and
cared for. During that walk he told me that aside from
his 2 elder children who are now working, the remaining
4 who are still studying are all living under his care. I
asked myself out of curiosity once again, how could a
mother leave her children to his husband? That's quite
unusual from my perspective, I guess. I thought that
there could be a reason behind it and when he noticed
that I was curious, he said "Awan, inarem da ni baket ko"
(Oh well, my wife was courted by someone else) and
again he chuckled like it was a joke. We laughed about it
but I didn't see him meant that he was taking it easy. 

He is a single Dad and it is not
easy to be one. 38

Our conversation went on, I learned of many
plants I didn't notice before and there were many
more stories that he shared with me. He made me
look up to him by the way he laughs and looks at

the bright side of life. He is a humble man, with
simple wants in life. His joys are simple which
makes him bring about that happiness and smile

most of the time.

39


Simple joys can make a difference.
There are so many things around us
that are waiting to be appreciated. If
we just open our hearts and our minds

to the possibility that each and
everyone of us has something good to

share, it would also help us discover
an immediate blessing. We all
influence each other in a lot of

aspects. Mang Melchor for example
has helped me to be a better person by

allowing my self to be influenced by
his good qualities. In return, my

conversation with him made him feel
important and genuinely appreciated.

Dino, Tracy, Kiff and Mang Melchor
has something in common, they

touched our hearts and brightened our
minds. We are a family here in

PHPRO. I believe that whether we
have a remarkable story or not or
whether we be real parents or not, we
can always influence each other to be
better and happier. And just like how
a simple smile from a humble man
could be a catalyst of happiness and
success in the workplace, it is my hope
that we may learn from each other's
journeys and discover great qualities
from each and everyone of us. By
then, we all can be a catalyst of each

and everyone's happiness and
success.

40


WE ARE A For starters, it all began with the word
GRIT which means ones passion for
FAMILY long term goals coupled with strong
Not Just A motivation to achieve such goals. We
TEAM each gave our own opinion on such a
By: Frianne powerful word. We also had a recap
on our team performance thus far and
Prevention is better than compared it to last year's
cure they say. performance.. I'm a newbie so I was
impressed by how the team got grittier
This is basically the premise of the added Official and more passionate as the weeks
Business in the NA Brands Department this year passed by. From being one of the
aside from the allotted FamCode for Team bottom teams to striving to be one of
Building. It is mainly a collaborative effort with the best teams. At the moment, we
your team in building firm strategies to be "No.1" are still in the middle but I'm confident
ahead of the year before we start slouching and we can go beyond this after the
getting excited for the Holiday and AWOP session.
season. It is better to have a strong start than
wait towards the end to make up for deficiencies.

My team, MoSheila Firefox, was the first team to 41
have their Team Planning on the 12th day of
February this year at the Training Room 2 of our
PHPRO Office. We were apparently the ones
who introduced this program.

As we entered the room, everyone seemed
mostly relieved from not taking calls for the day
but somehow nervous because who knows what
expectations are going to be brought up.


Moving forward, TM Sheila Jane Fe After all the serious talk about metrics, goals
decided to have an ice breaker about love and personal life; the food has arrived!
language which is about finding out what Thank you Good Taste! Buttered Chicken,
kind of gesture makes you appreciate Pancit, Chopsuey and a lot of rice with two
someone more. The jokes kept going or three extra servings. Who wouldn't be full
especially with those who prefer physical in an instant?
affection to feel loved. Let the green jokes
begin! In the end, results showed that Anyway, we had a late lunch so we didn't
almost everyone felt loved and important have a lot of things to do. Afterwards, it was
through quality time.  more about suggestions on what would be
the best practices or strategies that we
This says a lot about the team's character could do personally and as a team to boost
and how important their loved ones are in our targets professionally and how we could
keeping them grounded at work and at keep tabs of each other so that if someone
home.   needs a little boost then we're more than
Eventually, two of our teammates took ready to help out.
charge of the floor and discussed about our
aspirations in the company. Each one It was indeed a fun yet fruitful team planning
pointed out their strengths and weaknesses session. Plus, we ended up heading home
out of our Winning Ways and it looks like with a Pre­Valentine rose from TM. So far, I
most of us needs to work on Aim Higher can truly attest to its effectivity. Each of us
with a little push! We ,then, had a fun­ are more conscious of our performance both
competitive activity on building the highest individually and as a team. Let's see how far
tower using straws and paper clips. Two Team MoSheila Firefox could achieve in
teams were formed and we ended up with a reaching our company's goal to be "No.1".
similar design but only one can win. I wasn't
a part of that team though.

42


Ready TEAM
TRIPS
SET Edition

TRAVEL Here we give you a tribute to
all those team buildings over
        Many people simply love the years, with a whole lot of
to travel. They plan it, save for it memories and a few secrets in
and have so much passion for it. between. Take a trip down
But to some people, travel may memory lane yourself as our
be limited to those 'need' trips colleagues share with you the
only or in most other cases, our team buildings they hold dear.
Team Buildings. Tragic I know. It
may simply be that travel isn't To more team buildings ahead!
one of their passions or just not
a priority. Even though this is the Because a Team
case, non-well-traveled people That Travels Together,
are still game for that much Succeeds Together
awaited team trip. They enjoy
and treasure the trip just as 43
much as others or maybe even
more.


GREEKS

Visit OldBwyo: oRdasnbnyethe Sea

The best things in life are free. This may Final Options
be cliché but I couldn't agree more to

this. I came into Greek Mitchology's

team just recently. I am so grateful             The struggle is real!

because the team was generous enough Whenever we plan a team building, it

to welcome us in the team building is inevitable to come up with several

they've been planning even before we options and things to consider. The

came in. Another reason to be thankful best way to narrow it down is to

was knowing that the transportation and come up with a checklist. It will save
accommodations were free courtesy of time and it is an efficient way to
the collaborative effort of each member.  communicate when members have

It's been a house rule to strike while the different schedules. We have a

iron is hot so we can save funds for tracker queen in the team who is

out-of-town trips such as this. To add, always responsible in making our life

the team has always been eyeing for easy. She makes it a point to know  

the prize from our monthly programs   everyone's whereabouts.

so we can add to our team funds. Most

to be thankful for though would be

coming to work with these passionateReady

individuals making the work

environment fun and loving. SET

TRAVEL

44


PLANNING FOR YOUR TEAM BUILDING

                                                                   1. Each member should know and      
                                                                    agree with the itinerary.
                                                                    2. Make sure everyone's schedule      
                                                            is convenient for the trip.
                                                       3. Each one should agree with the plan          
                                                   and budget should be right.
               4. Meeting place and time should be communicated to each member.
5. Always take note of the address and download offline map in case of
emergency.
6. Check the weather forecast.

After a pretty long drive, we arrived We had one large suite that has a
after lunch time at the resort and the separation for women's room to men's
staff were ready to provide a much­ bedroom. Each has separate bathrooms
needed relief for the warm temperature, with bathtub and shower. After settling
a cold towel soaked in lemon grass and down everyone was excited to see the
sweet pineapple juice. Just the perfect amenities of the resort. 
combination to start our vacay.
We had fun doing some team building
The resort, Oldwoods by the Sea, is games in the pool, relaxing in their
located about 200 feet above sea level. Jacuzzi, visiting the pristine beach and
It has access to Olanen beach via a enjoying the sumptuous buffet they
short trek down the mountain. The served. 
resort also encompasses Tubong
beach,a 1km private stretch, that
guests can access via 10 minute drive
using a 4x4 vehicle. The beach's coral
and rock formations makes it a perfect
venue for tide­pooling. The location of
the resort is a dead spot for any
network however it does not make it
less fun because the place has more to
offer. 

45


Later on in the day, we also had the What made this resort really special
opportunity to see all the rooms, was the amazing service the staff and
suites and two function room of this owners provide for all of their guests.
facility. They have different suites to From the warm welcome to the over­
offer like Molave Premier Suite that flowing buffet, we could not have
has a magnificent view of the West asked for more. To my team, more
Philippine Sea while lounging on a team building memories to come!
hammock on a private veranda.
Another option is a Kamagong
Seaview Family Suite great for
travelers with children because it
features a large private veranda safe
for toddlers. There is also Gmelina
Garden Suite that has a private
veranda which allows you to soak in
the view of the gardens on one side
and the ocean in another. Enjoy a
siesta on your own hammock or
unwind on the antique rocking chair.
Also, Sunset Suites namely Raya­
Raya, Bittaog, Anadong, and
Parunapin will allow you to soak up
the simple serenity of the sunset in
the spacious verandas and the the
unrestricted view rewards with the
tranquil beauty of the sea. They also
have The Casitas and these are
private cottages with its own outdoor
living space for the guests to enjoy. 

These outdoor sitting areas are
perfect for those happy bonding
moments while on holiday. Lastly,
there is Balay Bato Loft Villa a private
spacious area for you and your
special someone.

46


Hotwills
RRiiddee ttoo TTaammbboobboonngg BBeeaacchh
READY By: Krizelle

SET

TRAVEL

     Tambobong Beach is on one of the virgin They are not just hot, they
coasts our beautiful Philippines has. There are also are also on fire!
two nearby islands that could be visited, namely
the Crocodile Island which was indeed shaped like Hotwills is a fourteen wheeler
a crocodile from afar and the Colibra or the Snake truck. Willie Mae is the truck
Island but thankfully without real snakes.
driver.
     Feeling the fine, white sand get between your Thru bumps and curves, we
toes is always priceless after months of cold
weather. Watching the rough but breathtakingly pushed through.
pristine water makes you want to breath it all in. Thru rains and storms, we strive
Splashing around in the clean water is always a
treat. harder.
     After taking a short dip, we explored the area But at last, the destination we
and passed through the shipwreck in Balinmanok. never thought we would reach
According to our research, we found out that it Was right in front our eyes
was a Taiwanese vessel shipping almost 600 Kilos Where the wind is blowing soft,
of methamphetamine (shabu)! The sand warm beneath our feet,
Our minds beyond the horizon,

47


     Life was so laid back that we      No one had no clue that it
didn't want to go home. Going would be our last team building.
home also meant that we needed Willie Mae resigned shortly after
to ride the jeepney again. Yes, we the trip to take care of her
traveled by jeepney for more than family. She just couldn't drop the
a 9-hour drive! It sore our butts sad news because like she said,
for sure but travelling by jeepney "Lahat masaya, ayoko namang
was actually worth the ride. It sirain yung moment." Later, we
forced us to face each other, only found out through facebook
sharing our deepest secrets with during our christmas party. But
clever eye contacts and reading life continues so they say. Even
body languages while laughing out though everyone was feeling
loud. It made strangers to friends down and still trying to grasp
and friends to family. the situation, we were still happy
for her. We were happy as well
Ready realizing that it doesn't really
matter that she left, what really
SET matters was that she brought us
together. Tambobong beach was
TRAVEL witness to that.

48


JARVIS ANGELS Obpy: tJ aNm ot To FlyReady
SET
TRAVEL

   We folded our wings and took a After an almost two hour hike,
hike to the hidden falls in San we reached our destination, the
Gabriel, La Union also known as Tangadan Falls. We watched
Tangadan Falls. We climbed up astounded by its grandeur as
and down embankments, the water splashed from above
jumping from one rock to another and raced to the bottom. The
and passing by tall bamboos and falls made for a high and mighty
trees with the burning heat as our fifty foot high jumping cliff, which
biggest challenge. Halfway along none of us dared try. Our tour
the trail we came along a 10 foot guide showed us off anyway
high jumping cliff, where people which made our jaws drop. With
have dived after a thousand our magic bamboo raft ride, we
deep breaths and a million one­ went closer to the overhang and
two­three­jumps.  enjoyed the cold water and the
massage the falls offered.

49


We turned water into stone, From water into stone into fire.
arriving at our next stop Bahay We ended the night with a
na Bato at Luna, La Union. The bonfire with us going around the
place is known for its rich supply fire telling tales of our lives,
of pebbles in various shapes, adventures and secrets. The fire
colors and sizes. The House died right before our eyes and
made from corals and stones is set aflame a stronger bond that
oceanfront to Nalvo Norte's will stay among us.
Pebble Beach surrounded with
different stone carvings of
different sizes and shapes.

50


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