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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Team Building

The sun was already up on Saturday morning of January the 26th. There were two passenger buses waiting at the parking lot. The activity was for an out of town team building of around 90 employees set on January 26th to 27th, 2008, destination, Calamba City Laguna.

I got lucky I was granted a one night vacation leave that enabled me to sleep well the night before we headed for an out of town team building. Working at night is not an easy task. But one thing good about working at night is that, traffic jam in Metro Manila is lesser or no traffic jam at all. I am not the type of person who enjoys night life but going out of town is a go for me. Actually, I barely slept two nights before the scheduled team building dates. It was because I thought of the things to prepare and how to squeeze in the household chores I normally do on weekends. The two-day out of town, having less time to prepare could mean I would sacrifice some of my time for my weekend activities. Giving up my qualms, I decided to take time off from my weekend chores. I thought to myself it is an opportunity for a change of environment after all.

I woke up feeling refreshed, Saturday January the 26th. After a shower, I took my backpack I had readied the night before and took a cab heading to the waiting area at the parking lot. It had been a habit formed I would prepare my things the night before of an activity be it the normal office work, to avoid the rush and avoid forgetting valuable items. As soon as I got to the ground floor of our office, I took my breakfast at a fast food while waiting for my team mates. The team builders are around ninety people, in our team there are at least nine of us including our team captain. Two buses were hired to bring us to the site, which reminded me of the Girl Scout camping in my elementary grade school years. We got lucky being a Saturday perhaps, the road was rid of traffic jam.

The idea of having the activity out of town drew overwhelming support. Except for some, who really could not make it due to some unavoidable family concerns, most of my team mates were looking forward for the date set for the team building. After a hectic week of preparations, our team captain managed to prepare all the groceries and food for our team to be brought to the team building site. We reached the resort, the venue, after an hour and a half bus ride. It was such a beautiful site! I loved nature, and I thought to myself I am glad I counted myself in.

Our team captain, my team mates and I, upon reaching our designated cottage, busied ourselves with preparing our lunch. We had an American lady visitor, our client, who joined the fun of food preparation. I was amazed of her talent in peeling green mangos. She had patiently peeled several pieces of green mangos without much ado. After lunch we, had a chance of getting to know more of our American lady visitor who aside from her talent of peeling green mangos is very conversant and made all of us at ease. We had coke and wine and the conversation did not waver until we got a radio message it is time for the afternoon program.

The program was followed by parlour games and awarding for the year 2007 best performers. Though we did not win the team cheering contest, we were happy for winning the best team of our division for the year 2007. There was a round of applause and cheering as our lady team captain was awarded the team captain of 2007. Soon as the program concluded, we raced back to our cottage for our swimwear ready for the afternoon swim.

It was such a nice feeling to be in a pool with lukewarm water. The Jacuzzi was so much fun for the whole team. The water that flowed from the mouth of a huge cauldron sent us all, to sheer laugher when one of the naughty guys would make the water flowed on his back making the water splashed in our eyes. Photo sessions did not let up until we got tired of looking for a good background. We had to be careful we were not standing behind a trashcan or trash plastic bags. While other teams busied themselves with beer drinking, we roamed around and visited the other swimming pools. Dinner followed. After dinner, the sleeping cots were luxuries to some of my team mates that had passed out from exhaustion and being awake for too long. I slept at around eleven in the evening savouring the coolness of the evening not from air conditioning but from the nature itself.

Bus ride going home was set at around seven of Sunday morning, January 27th. But we did not leave the place not until everyone had bought the best buko pie and espasol. Laguna, a Southern Tagalog region in the Philippines is known for the buko pie and espasol. Buko pie is a pie made from young coconut. Espasol is finely grounded sticky rice rolled into flour made out of sticky rice. The Laguna folks packed espasol in a clean bond paper rolled like a stick.

I got home at around ten in the morning. While in my bed, I recalled the two days event. I thought for a moment, I hope we get to have another out of town team building before the year ends. As I experienced, the camaraderie was a never let down. I slept soundly and woke up almost dark.

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