02 | Chief Editor's Note 12 | Amusing Wednesday
04 | Q1 Birthdays 14 | Virtual Coffee Chat
17 | Holi Through My Lense
05 | Tester's Spotlight 19 | Confession: WFH MOM
28 | Q1 Awardees
08 | Recapturing
11 | Q1 Anniverary
EDITORIAL STAFFSNINA RICCI MATULAC CHRISTINE ZAFRA CES KARAMIHAN VINAY TOLAMBIA
CONTRIBUTORSEditorial & Layout
MARK GENO TEJADA TRACY LAZARO ESHANI SHARMA LEAH MORALES
MARLON PASTRANA JULIE ANN MADIS CATHERINE ICBAN ISADORA CABAGUI
SHISHKA BHARTI APARNA PARATE
Good communication is an essential tool
in maintaining strong working relationships
with colleagues –and helps in building
trust across, leading to increases in
productivity, output, and morale in
general. Colleagues’ satisfaction relies a
lot on having a voice and being listened
to, whether it be regarding an idea they
have had or about feedback they need to
make. Well established lines of
communication should afford
everyone, no matter their
level, the ability to freely
communicate with their peers,
colleagues, and superiors.
APRIL | SPM LIVING 02
Where colleagues are enabled to openly
communicate ideas without fear of ridicule or
retribution, they are far more likely to bring their idea
to the table. Innovation relies heavily on this and an
organization which encourages communication is far
more likely to be an innovative one.
At Sales Practice Monitoring Team, we have various
ways of communicating to each other: Team
Meetings, one-on-one sessions with our Leaders,
skip-level sessions, Townhalls and engagement
activities to name a few. We foster good
communication, and we cultivate a culture of healthy
We are introducing another great way of connecting or
reconnecting to each other, in the form of a
Welcome to the SPM LIVING, where we share a
glimpse of our personal lives, as normal human
beings outside work and where we impart how we
fought for a good life and how we emerged as
successful individuals from a seemingly difficult
situation. We share stories that could bring us closer
together, no matter how far the distance we have from
Sit back and relax while reading our maiden issue.
03 APRIL | SPM LIVING
APRIL | SPM LIVING 04
Interview by: Christine Joanne Zafra
SPM sure is growing and it ain't stopping.!
Last March 3, 2022 I had an opportunity to interview some of our new members: namely
Kira, Rocky & Ankit. I asked them questions why they pursued joining our growing team
and a little bit about their pastime.
1) How long have you worked for AMEX
ANKIT: In my 2 tenures with Blue box, I have
and what team do you belong to? spent almost 8 years of my life with American
Express and am currently residing in Team
KIRA: I started working at Amex on
November 2017 as a Platinum CCP. On
June 2018 I was one of the founders of
2) What do you enjoy most about working
CRST until I became a quality analyst in
October 2021 when I joined team Alex.
KIRA: I enjoy the culture of inclusiveness and
ROCKY: I'm delighted to share that I just
collaboration across all departments.
celebrated my 5th work anniversary with
AMEX last February 20, 2022! and I'm still
ROCKY: Frankly, the generous
very happy and motivated to work so cheers
compensation, work culture and the best of
to many more years! the best colleagues & leaders.
I'm currently with Team Leah under SPM
Manila and I'm sharing a picture of us when
ANKIT: The fact that Amex never fails to
we had our get together bonding last
stand for its people, the pandemic time said it
December 2021. all.
05 APRIL | SPM LIVING
3) What initially intrigued you about being
4) When did you decide to make a career
a Quality analyst? of it? (QA)
KIRA: I have a banking background of 20 plus
KIRA: The importance of being compliant
years where one of my roles was ensuring the with banking regulations and making sure our
stores followed federal regulations. I was
CCPs receive the proper training when
looking for a challenge since I had been in
needed. Being an analyst allows us to find
CRTS for over three years. I know the
those instances where we can improve our
importance of the quality analyst role; it was
processes and determine those who need
the challenge I was looking for. This role
brings me back to my roots and I enjoy it.
ROCKY: When I felt that I’ve already
ROCKY: I've always dreamed of being a
mastered the process in our business unit
Quality Analyst since 2010. I feel that QA's
and I saw the opening for QA, I thought it’s a
are the experts in terms of processes, they
way for me to expand my skills, knowledge
gather informative data that could help agents
and the business process of the company
itself. ANKIT: I have worked in different segments
of operations with American Express over my
ANKIT: Perfection! I’ve always been the
tenure, a part of my job as a Team captain
perfectionist in my group, At least that’s what
also entailed ensuring Quality and rolling out
my people say. And the job of a quality
analyst ensures i get to do my thing
And that is when I started developing a keen
EVERYDAY interest in Quality Assurance.
And as they say, ‘If you do what you love,
you’ll never work a day in your life’
APRIL | SPM LIVING 06
5) What is your favorite pastime?
KIRA: I enjoy watching movies, spending time
with the family and traveling.
ROCKY: Every weekend, we would jog around
and play badminton along Track 30th – BGC
and I would tag along my cutie Pomeranian
ANKIT: I am a Naturalist + Melomaniac, I very
much like exploring new places whenever I get
6) Tell us one interesting fact about
yourself that many people don't know.
KIRA: Specially people that have known me
for a while, don’t know I’m a bit shy. Once I’m
comfortable in a new setting, the bubbly
talkative Cuban comes out and never goes
back to being quiet. Although, in my
colleague’s words, I’m considered a soft
speaker in my country.
ROCKY: I have a sweet tooth! I always have
stocks of chocolates or ice cream or even
cakes in my refrigerator. (So jogging
every weekend is a must!)
As the saying goes.. Life is short, and it is up
to you to make it sweet. ❤
ANKIT: Being a kid, I used to be able to climb
down the staircase on my hands. (Let’s forget
I ever said this )
07 APRIL | SPM LIVING
Written by: Julie Ann Madis
APRIL | SPM LIVING 08
Amy, thank you for always having my best interest at heart. Whether it’s professionally or
personally, I know that you truly care about my success and happiness in life. You don’t
always get that in a leader and I’m grateful to have experienced it.
Thank you, Amy for the unswerving support and guidance. You always give us an
opportunity to grow and a platform to voice our thoughts. We’ll be forever grateful beyond
measure for your compassion and encouragement. Again, thank you!
Amy have passion and drive. She put a plan in place and follow it through all the way.
I’ve been with Amy since she joined GSG and created the Business Integrity Team. There’s
many words that could describe her dedication and leadership style but if I had to pick
Your leadership style brings out the best in us!
Thank you, Amy for your great leadership, genuine personality and kindness.
It's just 3 months from when I joined SPM and I really appreciate on how clear you are in
every discussion during townhall and how you try to reach out to every one of us when you
shared how you celebrated holidays with pictures of your beautiful kids and family.
Congratulations on your new role and keep on inspiring people.
Amy has always inspired me with her incomparable honesty, her demeanor, her saying
things that people can relate to and her thought leadership. We will miss you!
Ever since Amy took over the process she was very approachable, very calm and
encouraging. Trying to make it easy for us at every step .Amy, You were there for all of us
during tough times trying
to help and trying to make situation better for a stress free work environment.. This is a
great virtue, though it sounds simple but has a great impact on human minds, you are a
great inspiration ,true leader, true friend because a friend in need is a friend indeed.. Thanks
09 APRIL | SPM LIVING
APRIL | SPM LIVING 11
Written by: Maria Theresa Lazaro
On February 23, 2021, Sparkplug launched this event to gather the SPM
family once in every quarter. They kick-start with a celebration of love month
through a game called “Beat the 2!” They started with a video “All We Need is
Love” that set the mood of the event. Tracy & D were the host and game
masters. The goal of the game is to beat the other 2 contestants and the last
man standing wins. There were Easy & Difficult rounds. The game masters
gave an English word and the player who gave the correct Tagalog word the
fastest and loudest wins. The players were shouting their heart out!
What’s a Love celebration without a serenade? SPM real life lovers and
YouTube sensation MJ & Lie rendered a passionate rendition of the song
Savage Love. It was a fun-filled event as everyone got to play and forget
about work for an hour. The contestants let loose and made sure to give their
all to win. The game’s winner is Lie from Team Joe. Congratulation!
Sparkplug once again delivered and yes it was indeed an “Amusing
12 APRIL | SPM LIVING
APRIL | SPM LIVING 13
GyldraInterviewed by: Nina Ricci Matulac
14 APRIL | SPM LIVING
Before working at AMEX, where were you connected and what was your role
in that company?
Before joining Amex I worked for Procter & Gamble, an American manufacturer
and distributor of the most iconic consumer products in the world, including Tide,
Ariel, Charmin, Bounty, Febreze, Gillette, Pampers, Pantene, Oral-B, Vicks, Duracell…
and I could go on forever. It was my first job out of colleague and my dream job in
supply chain management. I was a replenishment manager for the Fabric Care line
at the Target team – I was basically responsible for ensuring that Target was
ordering enough Fabric Care products (i.e.; laundry detergent, softener,…etc.) to
keep up with our forecasted demand at the store level for the US market.
How did you learn about the company? And what eventually drew you to
A lot of my classmates in the Industrial Engineering program at our local university
were getting recruited by American Express to join their growing re-engineering
department. At the time, I wasn’t interested in staying in Florida so I went to
Minneapolis with P&G. However, about a year after graduation, I felt the need to
come back home. I reached out to one of my contacts within Amex, who had been
recently promoted to manager, and lucky for me he was looking to hire an entry
level engineer. The stars aligned and the rest is history.
APRIL | SPM LIVING 15
What would you consider to be your proudest moment to date at AMEX and
One of my proudest moments as a leader at Amex was the year in which two of
my direct reports got promoted to Directors. It felt really good to witness their
accomplishment and to have been part of their journey.
What is your mantra in life?
I don’t know if this would be considered a mantra but I strongly believe that if you
are not happy with your current situation, only you have the power to do
something about it…even if you can’t change the situation itself, you can definitely
change how you feel about it and how much time and energy you spend
complaining or trying to find the bright side
Where is your dream destination? And why is it special?
I can’t speak for places I haven’t visited yet but of the places that I have visited, my
favorite destination is Rome in Italy. It has great food and wine, not to mention the
coffee, tiramisu, gelato… I could go on. It also offers a lot of things to do and see,
and so much history… I remember thinking that the air inside the Colosseum felt
different, as if the souls of all the people that had ever walked through its doors left
behind a little bit of them on the walls. The cobblestones streets, the fountains, the
churches, everything is so beautiful, almost magical.
Lastly, how do you spend quality time with your family?
Our kids are still small so we spend a lot of time at home, playing, watching
movies, eating popcorn, singing and dancing to kid songs, and just listening to our
son’s stories – he talks a lot
16 APRIL | SPM LIVING
HToHl i ROUGH
and celebrating it with AMEX
Written by: Vinay Kumar Tolambia
Holi is a festival of colours, flowers, and sweets. It is a festival which is not just
celebrated in India, but it is also immensely popular among non – Indians around the
world. Holi is one of the oldest, biggest, and most celebrated festivals in the world.
This two-day festival is marked as a symbol of victory of good and selfless over evil
and selfish. This festival teaches us many things and that is why Holi is known as a
festival of forgiveness, selflessness, beliefs, joy, happiness, karma, and nature. This
festival is indeed celebrated with much pomp.
The first day of Holi is “Holika Dahan” which is celebrated as a victory of devotee of
Lord Vishnu, “Prahalad” over his super powerful but evil father king “Hiranyakashyap”
when using the boon and power of his sister Holika to kill his son. Holika was blessed
with a boon of having a flame-shielding/fireproof shawl. As asked by the king
Hiranyakashyap who was Holika’s brother, she sat on the pyre with devotee kid
Prahalad sitting on her laps, she donned her flame-shielding shawl. However, Prahlad
began praying to Vishnu, who summoned a gust of wind that blew the shawl off
Holika and onto Prahlad, saving him and letting her burn to death. Therefore, the first
day is celebrated as Holika Dahan. On this day, at an auspicious time, people burn
piles of wood as a symbolic ritual and perform more rituals/pooja other than revolving
APRIL | SPM LIVING 17
The second day of the festival is celebrated as “Dhulandi”, “Rang” or “Rangoli Holi”
where people from all walks of life and of all age groups perform some rituals but,
they celebrate it mainly by playing and smearing each other with Gulaal (coloured
and fragranced powder), flowers, petals, and water. Children too enjoy it by playing
with water, water balloons, gulaal crackers, water guns and toys. People welcome each
other at their home with warm hearts and celebrate Holi with love and forgiveness
along with distributing various sweets like the famous “Gunjia/Gujia” and many more.
Holi is celebrated in assorted styles in distinct parts of India. The most popular is
celebrated in “Brij” region of Uttar Pradesh state of India where in that region also,
Holi is celebrated in distinctive styles along with worshipping Radha and Lord Krishna.
Holi is a festival about which I which I can certainly talk for hours, and I will not get
exhausted. But I want to move on to another fantastic memory which I have now with
Amex as this time we had a short and virtual Holi celebration. The E AT team of SPM
India planned some wonderful and cherished events. We genuinely enjoyed a lot,
especially on the unique Bollywood quizzes we played as teams under our respective
team leaders. The fun filled event was also filled with lots of comedy, jokes, trivia
moments and some sort of funny competition as well among the teams. I still
remember the style of presentation by the quiz masters and anchors of the events and
that funny old man walking across the power point slide as a timer. The even also
happened after a long gap as before Holi we only had Diwali Celebration in
November first week last year. The E AT members truly did an excellent job in
organizing such a memorable event from their busy schedule and worked hard to
make us laugh, cherish and most importantly to make a joyful and happy and this is
what Holi is all about.
I say that Holi is not just a festival of India. HOLI is India. H – Happy O – Opulent L
– Lively I – India. This is my first and my last article for this e-magazine as I am
moving on from this wonderful company American Express. The journey with Amex has
truly been fantastic, memorable, and fruitful. The Holi celebration certainly helped me
to explore myself more and thanks to Amex and SPM, I enjoyed participating in that
virtual celebration. I wish all the readers, colleagues, and friends the best of luck and I
pray to God to bless all of us with wisdom, strength, and power so that we can achieve
all our goals and we can enjoy festivals like Holi. Take Care! Keep Smiling.
18 APRIL | SPM LIVING
Work from home
APRIL | SPML LIVING 19
G R A P H I C S B Y : Mj Lonay
20 APRIL | SPML LIVING
As a mother, I have always dreamed of being with my kids 24/7. Alas, life is not always a
bowl of cherries. Time better spent with them was used up travelling quite a distance to
work and spending more hours in the office every day. Now, my little boys have become
young men and I’ve missed lots of precious moments of their growing years.
Although I can never turn back the time, the COVID-19 pandemic had given me the
opportunity to finally be both a working mom and a homemaker. Spending quality time
during meals, exchanging views, going to church, chit-chatting, playing silly tricks, or even
just simply being together made me know them better not only as my children but as their
Balancing work and personal life have always been a challenge and the same can
be said when working from home. There are deliverables at work and a mountain of chores
at home. Therefore, we need to be mindful of our priorities constantly and manage time
wisely. They say, women are good multitaskers however, we cannot overdo it.
"We must learn to focus our attention not only on what is urgent but also on what is
Acknowledge small wins, motivate ourselves, learn from our mistakes, always be moving
forward, and be grateful to God for the blessings.
APRIL | SPML LIVING 21
Being a mother is great joy in life and I was blessed with this an year ago. It feels great to a
mother and at the same time I can continue with my career. Yes, it’s a blessing to
be WFH -Mom. The new term that the world gave us. The role is very hectic but
I’m challenging myself each day to bring out the best of everything.
I found working from home much better as I can easily manage to complete my job
responsibility and responsibility of a mother. It’s saving time of travel so that I can spend that
time with my family and my baby. It’s such a pleasure to see my baby growing right in front
of me so that I can capture every moment of this phase.
This WFH has given me countless memories that I will cherish forever"
It is indeed tough, but the I have my family and collogues as my helping hands always
available for me whenever I need them. I’m grateful to American Express for giving me such
platform to share my life and my story.
22 APRIL | SPML LIVING
Work From Home has made me realized how truly blessed I am having my parents and kids
in one roof. Yes, we are an extended family and I am proud that even if I am a single mom, I
feel loved, and my parents got my back in taking care of my daughters. In return, during my
free time, I make sure that I have quality-time with my parents by accompanying them in
their regular health checkup and with my kids, by joining them in playing Mobile Legend,
and playing with our dogs.
Given the different kind of work setting, there many adjustments that I must do to make it
work for all of us in the house. Since my daughters are using internet connections for online
schooling, we need to take schedules in using it at home. We also took-advantage of the
upgraded internet services offered by our service providers to ensure that our usage would
be sufficient to keep our task running smoothly. Another thing that makes it more
challenging is the reality that there is a lot of distractions such as noise and even other
household chores that as a member of the family, an immediate response is a must.
In spite of all these challenges, I find it fulfilling that I am able to have time to serve my
family by doing the marketing and some cooking for them, and even learn secret recipes
from my parents as I helped them prepare and cook specialty food, like Kare-Kare and
Truly, these moments are precious to me and had brought Working From Home a
memorable experience for me.
APRIL | SPML LIVING 23
Being a working mom is one of the most
challenging and most rewarding things I’ve
The joy of watching your kid grow cannot be expressed in words. I have a toddler and
working from home allows me to be a part of her routines throughout the day.
Working from home makes it easy to balance personal and professional responsibilities. It
saves time on commuting which can be well spent with family in taking care of them and
managing household chores more effectively. I start my day early by completing household
chores first and then begin work so that I have enough time to spend with my family in the
The only drawback I feel working from home brings is limited interaction with colleagues.
However, I often connect with peers on slack or phone whenever possible.
I am thankful to American Express for giving me the opportunity to work from home. As a
mother, working from home has been a blessing to me. I have built many memories and
captured unforgettable moments with my baby, listening to her utter first word to watching
her take her first step. I cherish her hugs and love. No matter how tired and exhausted I am,
it all vanishes in the moments. Nothing like those mother daughter moments I still enjoy
24 APRIL | SPML LIVING
Effective time management is the most important lesson that I learned while working from
home. I used to think that I’m good at it; but I am proud to say that I have taken it to the next
level. I had burnt food a couple of times because I forgot that I was cooking something while
I’m in a meeting. Funny but I have improved a lot since then.
Now I have time for self-care, chores, quality time with my family and Netflix.
Having the right perspective and attitude make a big difference.
I learned that my feelings will catch up with my decision; therefore, I pray and decide every
day to be positive and grateful under any circumstance or challenge that will come my way.
APRIL | SPML LIVING 25
Being a mother of a toddler and working at the same time is very challenging for me.
Honestly, it’s kind of impossible job at times, feels like quieting everything and just handle
the kid. However, I know this is just a temporary phase and the work will continue, and I can
see my baby growing. .
If I talk about my Daily routine, it includes waking up and starting my day while the baby is
Being at home and taking care of other family members and baby is challenging as well as
fun. Family members take care of the baby or play with him when I’m in a meeting or at
work. It feels great to be surrounded by all also working under the same roof.
This not only helps in managing my work hours
but also helps in taking time for baby as the
Mantra say’s “Happy Baby, Happy You”.
My funny moments are uncountable however when I started my work, my baby THREW up
on my laptop. Luckily the Laptop was immediately saved but now we literally laugh on those
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my experience being a WFH-MOM and I
hope we all are sailing in the same boat.
26 APRIL | SPML LIVING
I start my day while ending my Knowing what to prioritize, I remember one time we had a
previous day. How is that so? We planning ahead, avoiding Webex event and I was still
are nocturnals here. Most of us cramming and reaching out to my breastfeeding back then, I was
are awake during midnight. It's like older kids, mom and siblings are breastfeeding my baby while
I'm running a 24/7 business. Other also one of the ingredients why interacting during the Webex
moms would agree with this event. I learned that my
especially the new moms who just I'm surviving being a wfh mom. superpower is multitasking. I was
gave birth. I have 5 kids doing Accepting that I can't do auditing and answering slack
combined online schooling and everything on my own. Most of messages with one hand while the
modular learning and I have a 22 them say, "You're such a other hand was carrying my baby
month old baby with undefined supermom" but to be honest, I who was literally sucking to feed.
sleep pattern. My brood's a total of won't be able to do everything My baby is now bottle feeding but I
6 whose age ranges from 20 without the help of the people still audit with one hand from time
years old to 22 months old, quite around me. We are a team. to time when she wants to be
long spanned. cuddled.
. Smart time management really
One of my major challenges as a plays the superstar in this ball I would definitely miss the
wfh mom is I barely get enough game. Knowing what to prioritize, opportunity to be a hands-on mom
rest and sleep due to the current planning ahead, avoiding when we go back to the office.
set up with the school system cramming and reaching out to my The happiness and fulfillment of
(house moms have become "THE" older kids, mom and siblings are being with my brood 24/7 definitely
teachers), having a baby who also one of the ingredients why outweighs the challenges and I
require most of my attention I'm surviving being a wfh mom. would still choose to be a wfh
(feeding,changing diaper, bathing, Accepting that I can't do mom if given the chance.
staying up all night till she gets everything on my own.
sleepy, watching and singing "Smart time
nursery rhymes, playing, etc) and Most of them say, "You're such a management
at the same time meeting all my supermom" but to be honest, I really plays
wfh goals plus adhocs. won't be able to do everything the superstar
without the help of the people in this ball
We are a team.
APRIL | SPML LIVING 27
28 APRIL | SPM LIVING
APRIL | SPM LIVING Isadora Cabagaui
April Joy Preligera
Christine Aquino Zafra
Mark Leo GAmboa Sebastian
Mark Geno Tejada
Bhishma N. Singh Deo
Robin Singh Dahiya
Ajay Pratap Singh Bhadouriya
Soubhik Kumar Singh
Kawaljeet Singh Mehta
Shikha Elias Bhartri
Saurav Kumar Boral
Aparna Harihar Parate
30 APRIL | SPM LIVING