Fishing the teams

After so many hiccups, due to venue availability and conflicts with schedules, this mid-June finally saw our company’s team building happening. It’s an event we’ve set months ahead, with weekly activities focused on the FISH! Philosophy that will culminate into an out-of-town overnight retreat of sorts, the highlight of which is the pool party and drinking sessions, accompanied by everyone’s favorite videoke machine. While I actually wanted to do as many exercises as time will permit, this time around I decided to just keep it simple and quick, so there will be more time spent for bonding.

Like other companies, especially those that are into the outsourcing business, we’ve been “team building” regularly or at least once a year. It sure felt more than a decade, and in the many years I’ve been in the call center industry, I’ve joined a variety of team building programs–from the remotest of venues with energy draining obstacle courses to the retreat houses with yawn-worthy, lecture-centered discussions–I still wouldn’t claim to be a veteran though, but taking advantage of my experience in teaching and training, especially theater in terms of group dynamics, I think this is something I can easily hack.

From the “porky adobo with eggs” activity–that’s our version of the open sesame game with a twist–to the more serious personality-perception-discussion I pegged as “change not change” capping the dynamics off with the shortened “colors exercise” I picked up from my theater acting days, which associates colors with emotions, encouraging participants to give up situations that trigger negative feelings.

Reminds me of that former accountant from an affiliate company who asked, without hiding her sarcasm, why we keep doing this team building. “Are you guys not that closely knit that you need to be constantly reminded via these costly resort trips?” This question is what actually convinced me that team building must be an essential part of our operations and I’m proud to have the lowest attrition rate, working with a bunch of crazy but funny and talented telesales and customer service professionals. Continue reading

Whoawesome Mother’s Day morning!

Today’s Mother’s Day, and while I surprised my wife with a bouquet of flowers the night before, my wife and I got startled, almost jumping off the bed in panic early in the morning with the noise of our sliding doors opening (thought we’re being burglarized again!), only to find our son Kurt sneaking out to the kitchen, with us foiling what is supposed to be his surprise breakfast plans for his mom. It’s still dark and somewhat cold, Kurt asked his mom to go back to bed (and told her to pretend she’s just dreaming) and while I didn’t want my Sunday oversleeping habit interrupted, I decided to help Kurt prep up his breakfast surprise anyway, as he made me a strong coffee that absolutely shot my senses up, and our father-son bonding ensued with the messy mixing and flipping the almost-overcooked, imperfectly-shaped but delicious pancakes. Continue reading

Let’s meet up 18th of May to snap-filter-share the beautiful beach and golden sunset of Zambales!

Limited slots are available, so register now at IGERSMANILA.COM! This #wwim9 and #PhilippineInstameet #BeachInstameet event is open to all fellow Filipino Instagram’ers!

Outdoor Instameet with IGersManila

Been missing some of IGersManila’s events lately because of my crazy schedule, but I can’t be skipping this invite-only instameet, hosted and sponsored by Outdoor Products Philippines, and especially since it’s held at one of our favorite food-tripping spots, Chef Arch’s Lime, the famous restaurant and bar in Mandaluyong City where you can feast on “street food na pina-sosyal.”

Attended by fellow Instagram’ers and blogger guests, it felt like a throwback of school memories of sorts as we were treated to a showcase of stylishly durable Outdoor backpacks. We were challenged to try to rip one, and true to its unique design, it was really tough and resilient, and that convinced me I needed to buy these for both my teens! These backpacks can definitely keep up with the day-to-day demands of school work (or even commuting to the office or for out of town misadventures), so it’s really worth the price!

Outdoor Instameet with IGersManila

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IGersManila at Preview’s Fashion X Art

It was October of 2012 when IGersManila first joined a live portraiture session via Preview X Claudio Bravo and last Friday, February 21st, we got invited once again by Preview Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Pauline Juan to cover Preview’s Fashion X Art, featuring the works of Rajo Laurel, Leeroy New, and Nikki Luna, in partnership with Art Fair Philippines 2014.


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Advocacy and social media talk at the Buklod-UPLB forum

imageIt was an invitation I initially wanted to decline, but at the same time wanted to do, as it’s been a while since I had a speaking engagement, and I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass knowing that the talk’s target audience are students. It’s scheduled on a Monday the 17th of February and the location is about 2 to 3 hours from our residence – that means waking up as early as 2 in the morning because my car’s coding that day - but it was the former student leader in me that got me convinced it’s worth the long trip, and missing a few hours of sleep.

Actually it was my wife that got me into this, who’s friend’s daughter, Inah Peralta, is studying at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, and who happens to be a member and the Program Committee Head of Buklod-UPLB‘s forum entitled “Youth Republic V” with the theme “#GamerGeneration: Youth Creativity and Innovation” that aims to raise the level of social and political awareness, leadership and nationalistic passion of students. Tagging along my fellow IGersManila moderators Ed Calaycay and Petim Maminta as co-speakers, and of course Mommy A, we reached Los Baños Laguna by sunrise, and started snapping photos as soon as we set foot at the park where the iconic UP oblation stood, marveling at the towering trees surrounding the campus. Continue reading

It’s been 6 years with Facebook

Facebook just turned 10 years old last 04-February-2014 and don’t be surprised if your Facebook friends have been posting “Look Back” movies, which is actually a new Facebook feature that lets you create personalized videos that highlight your shared content over the years, sort of letting you in on the celebratory mood of the social network this February, doesn’t matter whether you’re an old-timer or new to the community.

Unlike its previous Year In Review feature which showcases your content in static pages, the Look Back movie recounts the year you joined Facebook, showing your “first moments” and your most liked posts (including status updates), along with your popular photos, all done with a nice background music, in a minute long video that you can of course share.

In my case it’s been 6 years, and I remember signing up just because I wanted to get in touch with friends who are based in the US, and well, I was getting tired then of Friendster. Thank goodness for Facebook I indeed got reconnected and has been “socializing” since, with most of my friends, relatives, schoolmates, even colleagues, regardless of location.

If you haven’t “look back” go to and I bet it’ll somehow make you smile (or cry?) with the memories of your years with Facebook.

Go Crumpler shopping this January

The holidays are over and you must have bought or been gifted with a brand new phone, a shiny tablet or a sleek notebook computer, and now you’re looking for a matching bag that will let you carry all these gadgetry with you, in style. You of course don’t want these precious gizmos easily gadgetnapped or get dropped or broken when you’re out and about. Good thing January is the aftermath of the holiday shopping season, and it’s the best time to grab that Crumpler bag you’ve been eyeing, now at a special price!


Crumpler Philippines got you covered and you have until January 31, 2014 to go shopping and enjoy discounts from 30% to 80% OFF on bags at its end of season sale at these Crumpler stores: EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Mall, TriNoma, Robinsons Magnolia, and Bonifacio High Street.

It’s a feast at Fez!

Our waistlines seem to be the benchmark for setting New Year’s resolutions, having failed to resist gluttony, what with the many colorfully-delicious and mouth-watering dishes you only get to see and taste during the holidays, leaving you a happy tummy but feeling guilty plate after plate. But while most will swear to hit the gym or go on a crash diet to lose the extra inches earned like unwanted Christmas gifts, the rest of us are on the lookout for new dining spots for our next gastronomic misadventure. And as if on perfect timing that IGersManila got invited by Fez Gastro Pub BGC to try out their latest menu offering. With fellow IGersManila #TheMods Ed Calaycay (@edcalaycay) and Petim Maminta (@ipetim), we tagged along our #TheColl members Ivan Borlongan (@ivanborlongan), Iana Peralta (@ianaperalta), Oscar Garcia (@oscardelahopia) and Christoffer King Perfiñan (@christofferking).


Fez, a word that either refers to the Turkish/Arabic hat or the second largest city in Morroco, what this restaurant and bar is rightfully named after, as it offers an intimate dining spot for enjoying modern fusion Morrocan cuisine. It’s not exactly a new joint in the Serendra block, but with its Arabic-spiced menu, Fez surely is an added attraction for Instagram’er-cum-foodie like me. My snapshots below (posted via Twitter and Instagram) aren’t enough to do these Fez delicacies justice, it’s my first time (except for the Kebab) and each dish served seem to explode with flavors, new and spicy, but all delicious. Continue reading