In two weeks I will make my second move to CBE’s office in Manila, Philippines. Sam Deines (Vice President, Organizational Development) chronicled my first stint in the Philippines (April 2013-April 2015) in a previous blog post. At that time I had been with CBE for five years. Looking back, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. What I did know was that our team was given the opportunity to build CBE and its culture on a global scale, an opportunity that no one could turn down.
We witnessed immediately how the Philippine culture and CBE’s culture synergized. The team-centric focus, optimism, and eagerness to learn allowed us together to create an office with high expectations that’s driven to perform at a high level. Personally, there was no better way to assimilate with a new country and culture than through my new hires. I learned so much from them about the Philippines; their values, pop culture, humor, everything. It eased any culture shock right from the onset.
Fast forward to 2016, and I now have the opportunity to go back to the Manila office, in a new role as Manager of Operations. The preparation this time around has been so different, from selecting a condo, packing for the move, setting up the flights, etc. Any nervousness or anxiety is gone and replaced with excitement. I find myself counting down the days and looking forward to seeing my wife Monica’s family, enjoying Filipino food, getting back to Elorde Boxing Gym and settling back down in BGC (Bonifacio Global City, or The Fort, or Fort Bonifacio … it has many names). Most important to me is having the opportunity to be back in the office with my team and continue the growth and development of the site, at both the Associate and Management levels.
This time around it feels like moving back home more than an international assignment. “Babalik at babalik ka ‘rin”