Heartfelt Sharing at the Heart of saMPTSOUTH CONVO

by Rachelle Anne U. Lee, JUNE 2021

It has been a year and a half, and hey, we are still amidst the pandemic!

But this circumstance is not a hindrance to conduct the annual saMPTSouth CONVO session. This program started last 2020 during the height of COVID-19 pandemic. The program aims to get-to-know and personally greet the employees by our MANCOM. Serving as a great avenue for them to express their concerns and to raise questions as well.

In the 23 CONVO sessions, our MPT South President and GM Bobby V. Bontia (RVB) and COO Chris C. Lizo (CCL) alternately presided over the sessions together with some of the MPT South MANCOM members. Although the program was done virtually, it did not stop us from exploring the wonders of the world and laughed out loud.

As the host of the program, I can definitely say that this is one for the books. Every session has its own story. Since COVID happened, the freedom for us to travel to places that we wanted to go became limited. And so, part of the CONVO was an activity called “Into the COVID Free Future”, where participants are asked to submit a photo of a place they first want to visit after the pandemic ends and explain briefly why. Of course, all the employee sharing’s are fun to hear along with their reasons. Some wanted to go back to their hometown while others wanted to visit the beach. Some wanted to explore the mountains again and I remembered one of the participants shared a photo of a Samgyupsal Korean Restaurant because he wanted to eat there with his friends with no table barriers. I find that unique and cute. We have compiled the top three places they’ve shared and want to visit in the COVID-free future.

  1. Batanes

Ernesto “Dhoy” T. Espiritu Jr., Right-of-Way: I wanted to visit here ever since I was a kid because I want to experience the “Batanes Feels.”

Beverly C. Olivares, Risk Management: Batanes is my family’s dream travel destination.

Clark Angelo C. De Leon, Tollroad Systems and Support: I want to go in Batanes because it’s a beautiful and peaceful place.

2. The Beach

Frederick Santos, Integrated Communication: Missing beach scenery.

Irene B. Abeno, Asset Management: Vacation for me is to spend time in the beach because it has a calming effect on people.

Princess G. Valdeavilla, Supply Chain Management: Want to see my baby playing sand on the beach.

3. Japan

Ma. Sittie Iwaran M. Macabando, Legal Services: I want to visit Japan because of the food and culture.

Arlette V. Capistrano, Communication and Stakeholder Management: The original meaning of the Japanese Tea Ceremony indicated quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste “characterized by humility, restraint, simplicity, naturalism, profundity, imperfection, and asymmetry” and “emphasizes simple, unadorned objects and architectural space, and celebrates the mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials.”Sabi”, on the other hand, represents the outer, or material side of life. Originally, it meant “worn”, “weathered”, or “decayed”. Particularly among the nobility, understanding emptiness was considered the most effective means to spiritual awakening, while embracing imperfection was honoured as a reminder to cherish one’s unpolished and unfinished nature – considered to be the first step to “satori”, or enlightenment.

Romella L. Corong, Supply Chain Management: Japan because of my first love “ANIME”.

It is fun and refreshing to be able to know and see “virtually” their dream destinations in the COVID-free future which makes me think how COVID has affected us all. Majority wanted to unwind and relax after all the stress brought about by the pandemic.

RVB also shared the first place he wanted to visit. His answer was unique and simple. He wants to go to the “Hive”, the newly built amenities building of MPT South. He simply wanted to have weekly gatherings because he is really missing the pre-pandemic events. RVB desires to see the MPT South community in one place which made us all excited and made us looked forward for a COVID free life.

The highlight of the CONVO was the “kamustahan.” Participants were asked one by one about their status and concerns. We heard different stories. But if I were to summarize everything, it all boils down to family’s health. Some are lucky enough that their family are still COVID free, while others struggled with the virus. Nevertheless, all the employees, in terms of health are in good condition. There might have been bumps on the road for some who have lost their loved ones, but I truly believed that everyone in MPT South has a fighter mode in them which makes us go further in life. Another heart-warming part of the session was the employees expressing their gratitude towards MPT South for making them feel safe and allowing them to continue to work in order for them to sustain their daily needs most especially in this difficult times. Watch Dhoy Espiritu as he shares his letter during one of the CONVOs.

You can truly see the the “malasakit” in their sharing. The management with CCL and RVB’s words thanked them whole-heartedly in their continued service. As for me, it was an awesome experience, to hear, to laugh, and to personally get in touch with them… virtually. The CONVO ended still with some fun and virtual games with prizes of course via Kahoots. Although virtual, I did not missed to see their pretty smiles so let me share to you the virtual group photos with the hopes to put a “SMILE” on your faces just like them. Until the next saMPTSouth CONVO Sessions! Enjoy!

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About the writer:

Rachelle Anne U. Lee. One of the HR Specialist from Human Resource and Admin Division. Although writing is not her forte, she enjoys sharing and creating stories through video vlogs. She has her own YouTube channel which showcases her talent in video editing and camera works. Southlink opened a great opportunity for her by capturing stories of people from MPTSouth through the camera lens and sharing her interest in multimedia arts.

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