Typhoons are common in the Philippines. Commuting through floods, power outages, scary storms… It’s a way of life for the Filipinos and they have adapted. But what happens when there are several storms in a row? Health concerns arise, power and internet are hard to find. Many people get hurt or even die. It’s a nightmare for those living through it.
The outsourcing industry is a major source of employment in the Philippines and a heavily utilized resource for many companies in the US. This makes natural disasters like Typhoons a scary situation for many businesses here.
The last couple months were rough in Manilla. Limited power and significant flooding were just part of day-to-day life. Some said it’s the worst it’s been in recent history. But through this struggle, I was able to observe and learn the depths of the Filipino culture.
We recently opened an office in Manilla and started hiring an incredible team. A lot of the projects they work on are time sensitive. If tasks don’t get done by EOD, it’s a problem. When these storms hit, I thought it would be either the swift end to the company or many all-nighters.
Turns out I was wrong.
Mia, our team leader in the Philippines alerted me to the worsening conditions. She did so by telling me there was a not only a plan B but a plan C. The team was 100% committed and 100% reliable. Mia was personally driving to pick up the teammates since the commuter options were too few and too full. Mia’s mom made home cooked meals for the entire team – each day. Family and kids were welcome to stay in the office and everyone would be taken care of like family.
If all else failed, a cafe far outside of the city was made available with power, internet, and food. Mia was prepared to drive the whole team to this cafe should the need arise. Regardless of the condition, they would find a way to get the work done and make sure everyone was taken care of like family.
I don’t know about you, but this type of passion, commitment, reliability, and teamwork isn’t something I’ve encountered very often. It’s something we should all learn from.
People ask about the Filipino culture and wonder if it’s difficult to ensure quality. That’s why it’s important to share these stories. After these events, I have no doubt that working with the Filipino culture was the best move for us. They are resilient, loving, loyal, reliable, intelligent, hard-working people. The positive attitude and gratitude that they carry with them every single day is something to be admired, shared, and emulated. The intense integrity displayed this last month has left me in awe. I am forever grateful and all the more driven to building an ethical, people first workspace in the Philippines.