Last February 2019, our kick-ass creative design team met up for a 2-day off-site. As a remote team, we rarely get a chance to meet up (unless our Managing Director, Grae, decides to treat us for a coffee), so we wanted to make an impact. This time, we celebrated our team’s growth by giving back.
So what exactly did we do?
We kicked off our team building by waking up at 3 in the morning and head directly to Botolan, Zambales. After driving that felt like endless, we were warmly greeted by Brother Albert Reyes, a representative from Kamanggagawa Foundation Inc., who prepared sumptuous food for us.
After a few chit chats and a lot of eating, we met the five (5) families we wanted to share some goods with. Watching their hopeful eyes brighten up to the little groceries we brought with us, we already knew that this trip will not be the last, only but a start.
At around lunch time, we were transferred to Pala Pala to meet Ka Epang, the current chairwoman of LAKAS Community where we had a memorable opportunity to interact with the Aeta families who will raise the carabaos we contributed for their community’s livelihood.
Second day. The day we spent for self-preservation. Meaning, to put in a few good hours without internet connection and trek the admirable beautiful disaster called Mt. Pinatubo. Hard to imagine life without the world wide web just to exhaust ourselves outdoors under the blazing sun. But it was worth it.
At exactly 6am, after signing waivers and caffeinating ourselves, we rode a 4x4 jeep for about an hour. We passed through bumpy roads, crossed rivers and marveled the lahar field with panoramic sand walls.
Fun fact: Our tour guide mentioned that the sand walls changes characters due to debris flow making each of your visit distinctive.
Upon reaching the drop off point, we had to trek for another hour to get to Mt. Pinatubo’s main viewpoint where we got 180 degrees view of it that looks like a huge painting. Its majestic scenery made us all left in awe. Mother nature really knows how to make a disastrous tragedy into a jaw-dropping scenery.
In a day, we were given an opportunity to do good and realise how fortunate we really are. The next day, we get to step back from our polluted minds and immerse ourselves with nature.
The Aetas trek to Mt. Pinatubo every single day with their little children, rain or shine, just to earn enough to get by. Life must be hard on us, but it’s worse on them. While we’re in front of a two-thousand dollar laptop in an air-conditioned room, heavily caffeinated, they’re hiking under excruciating heat with a pair of left sided slippers. So even for a day, let us reach out our hands to those in need. It will make a difference, not only to them, but to your perspective as well.
We ended our team building with priceless memories and full hearts. We met beautiful souls that taught us something we can never learn from a grad school or overpaid overseas seminars. And for that, we are all grateful.
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