By: Marielle De Guzman, Content Department Intern
When I found out that I was going to have my internship at TeamAsia, one of the top PR agencies in the country, and what some call “The Ahensya of the South”, I was pretty excited. While most of my classmates wanted to work in creative agencies and companies in central business districts such as Makati, Bonifacio Global City, and Quezon City, I looked forward to spending my days in the south as I worked with the Content team to help out with their PR campaigns for the duration of the program.
When people hear the word ‘south’, they usually associate it with food trip destinations and malls, and not so much with building a career here. Although there are some pretty great places to visit in the other business districts in Manila, I have to admit that for the past couple of weeks I’ve been here, I have become a work-in-the-south advocate.
Together with the awesome folks over at TeamAsia, we have compiled a list of things we love about working in the south:
”Dito, isang tumbling lang.”
Most of the employees from TeamAsia live nearby — in Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Cavite, and Laguna, although we have a handful who reside in the north. For those fortunate enough to live near work, having an office that doesn’t require us to pass through EDSA and other congested highways makes life a lot easier. It doesn’t mean we’re the only business here though. Did you know that Filinvest City’s Northgate Cyberzone, the BPO IT Park of the South, is in the same area as our office? This 18.7 hectare PEZA-registered IT zone was designed and built to accommodate the needs of technology-based companies engaged in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), and other IT support businesses.
And even if TeamAsia is happily based in the south, majority of our clients are situated in the north. In fact, it’s rare for all TeamAsians to all be present at the office since everyone almost always has an offsite meeting or event. They wouldn’t have it any other way though — after all, it keeps things exciting! With clients such as Jollibee, Board of Investments, Schneider Electric, and more, there’s a variety of events and industries they get to work on and learn from.
Whether it’s for a client pitch, an alignment meeting, a press conference, or an event, it isn’t difficult for them to reach their destination in the north since the office is located near the Skyway.
”No need for you to unleash your ‘inner ‘mandirigma’.”
There are around 2.35 million cars competing for road space in the Philippines. Edsa, the most frequently used road of office workers, has a capacity of 200,000 vehicles a day. If the volume nears capacity, the speed decreases. These days, the average speed there is approximately 10 kph.
Doesn’t it sound stressful? Well, southern residents working in Alabang won’t have to experience that. The roads here aren’t as congested as its northern counterparts. You won’t need to leave the house four hours early, only to still arrive late at the office due to the traffic regardless of whether or not you brought a car. And if you do bring a car to work, you would never have to pay toll fees every single day. It’s an instant sweldo-saver.
”Working for an Ahensya of the South, you don’t just get any ordinary cityscape.”
One of my favorite things to do at TeamAsia is to work at the pantry because of the view I enjoy from there. Everyone at the office is usually free to work wherever they want to so it’s a common occurrence to have people from different departments busily typing away on their laptops there. Unlike the other offices in the more crowded areas of Manila wherein the only views you get are up close and personal views of nearby buildings, the TeamAsia office lets us catch a glimpse of the Alabang cityscape, which features a few buildings, open fields, and a view of the Laguna Bay. Who wouldn’t be inspired and/or relaxed with that view?
Some of TeamAsia’s visiting clients have been as equally awed by the view, remarking how they wished they had it too. In fact, we’ve had clients who’ve gone in for a meeting and stayed a little longer just so they could appreciate it more.
”You can always go for casual strolls, or a night out with your colleagues or friends outside work.”
Working in an agency can be incredibly busy and fast-paced, and sometimes it’s also necessary to find time to take a break and unwind. I’ve been part of some of the Content team’s brainstorming sessions, and there have been times wherein the Best Idea Ever for a pitch came when the team had been out for a quick stroll to grab a snack from Family Mart or Fastbytes. Taking a walk can be a relaxing experience because of the wide roads and the laid-back feel of the area — and it sometimes does wonders too for idea generation!
When it comes to a fun night out, there’s a lot of talk about how Makati and Bonifacio Global City are the must-visit areas. That’s all well and good, but the south is also actually a great place to hang out in after a busy day (or week!). The malls and restaurants here are 10-15 minutes away, and even if the roads get crowded, you will never have to endure a 2-hour stay on the road because everything is right around the corner. You might want to check out the restaurants in Alabang, such as Neil’s Kitchen, which serves traditional Filipino food with a modern twist, or Butumaru and Ramen Yushoken, both of which can whip up some delicious ramen for you.
Some of the TeamAsians here usually head out to Molito, which is directly in front of Alabang Town Center. Given the nature of the job and the fact that they spend a lot of time together working on their respective accounts, the teams are all pretty close and they like unwinding after a busy week. It was nice to see that they don’t just treat each other as colleagues, but as friends they can also laugh and share fun moments with.
“Work-Life Balance is really in the South.”
For me and my fellow southern dwellers who don’t have to encounter heavy traffic spanning for hours on our way home, working in the area enables us to save a lot of time since we’re not on the road that long. Decreasing our travel time enables us to make more time for our loved ones.
In fact, one of the newest TeamAsians, shared how working in the south has enabled him to go home early to see his kids. He had worked in Makati before and would at times arrive by 11PM, only to find his kids already asleep. Now, he gets to see them by around 7PM, enabling him to bond with them.
Not only that, there are schools in Muntinlupa that are also near the business area in Alabang. TeamAsia, for example, is near schools such as De La Salle Zobel, Woodrose, and the like. It’s easy for some of the TeamAsians to pick up their kids after work because of the proximity, giving them more time to bond.
Of course, work-life balance also applies to making sure that you also take some time to take care of yourself. Whether this is in the form of spending time with your friends food tripping or taking some alone time to focus on your health by hitting the gym or going to the spa, you won’t have a problem because of the myriad of gastronomic and recreational establishments nearby.
Some of the TeamAsians here have their own badminton group wherein they would make time to play after work, and some of them just prefer to hit the gym or watch a movie with their coworkers. How’s that for awesome?
I’ve learned so much during my stay in TeamAsia, and I’m thankful that I got to experience what it’s like working in the south. Although convenience due to its proximity to my house was one of the things I loved about being an intern there, I realized that what made my time there special wasn’t just working in the south. It was working in the south with the TeamAsians who have been nothing but welcoming and helpful.
Each work location definitely has its own perks, but if being based in the south appeals to you and you want to work in a creative and challenging environment filled with awesome people, then TeamAsia might just be a great fit for you. I know I definitely had a blast there.
Interested in learning how you can be part of this awesome Agency of the South? You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.teamasia.com/careers to learn how you can join our passionate team!