Work and Play: What I learned about TeamAsia during my very first GeTAway

by Patrick de Jesus, Marketing & Accounts Department

Coming in as a new Accounts Manager in TeamAsia, I immediately noticed how the culture is a great combination of work and play. I enjoy the fact that working overtime is not encouraged, even though it’s a trend among agencies. Because my personality is a mix of serious and quirky, I realized that getting along with the team would be a breeze.

LAIYA

This is why when they announced the summer outing, I was sure that it would be an unforgettable experience even though Laiya, Batangas is a familiar place. The theme was Summer TAmbayan–very characteristic of the fun and laid back TeamAsia culture. In fact, we were given the liberty to do what we wanted upon arrival. I for one enjoyed the morning sunshine by the beach with my awesome teammates from the Marketing and Accounts department.

MADness

Being a new member of the TeamAsia family, I had reservations about spending time with the other departments; but everyone’s warm welcome and easygoing manner quickly washed away that feeling. The team activities especially helped me warm up with the others, as we were grouped in random. It was a great chance for me to get to know them better.

YAY!

The “The Longest Waste Line” was a highlight for me. The goal of the game was to collect as much trash in the resort and beach front as we can to make the longest line of trash possible. Aside from honing our competitive spirit and uniting us as teams, the activity also served as an opportunity for everyone to take part in conserving the environment. It was a memorable experience that made an impact in the way I see the trash we leave behind.

Beachside

Upon sunset, we concluded the day with a bonfire and a heartfelt speech by our principals. Afterwards, a handful of people decided to stay up to hang out or take a dip in the pool with music and some drinks. As I chatted and talked about life with my new colleagues under the stars, I realized that they are the bunch I want to stick around with. 

geTAway 2018

Even though I’ve only been with TeamAsia for over a month, people treated me as if they knew me so well. What’s more, it was interesting to see how everyone took the activities seriously all while having fun. It was a clear picture of how everyone is able to balance work and play–a culture that I personally look for in a company. It’s no fun when your colleagues treat you as merely colleagues, so I’m glad that in TeamAsia I feel like I am part of a family.

 

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A Gallery of Terror – TeamAsia’s TAkot 2017

by Derek Primo, Marketing and Accounts Intern

TAkot 2017 was a gallery of true terror.

Hours before the annual Halloween tradition last October 30, everyone in the office was working as usual. Their eyes were glued on their laptop screens, calmly minding their own business, and acting as if they did not prepare for the impending horror of the day’s event. Or so I thought.

A week prior, each department was notified of this year’s challenge. The teams were tasked to organize a hair-raising experience revolving around the stories of ghosts living in each room within TeamAsia premises.

As soon as the bell was rung to prompt everyone to stop working and start gearing up for the event, the atmosphere of the office changed completely. The competition started to heat up and the people prepared to bring their A-game in unraveling what they have planned to terrify everyone else.

To add to the thrill of it all, TeamAsia clients were invited to be judges for the day. Capital One Country General Manager Peter Hayden and J. Walter Thompson Manila Managing Director Golda Roldan were great sports as they walked through each scary room. Before my eyes was a total transformation, as everyone embraced their characters and dedicatedly enacted their stories.  

EXPERIENCE TEAM – The House of the Occult

The Experience Department lived up to their name as they gave the judges an unforgettable experience that transported them to a scenario that can only be seen in movies.

They won first place for their story entitled “The House of The Occult,” which is centered on the story of a little girl seeking for help to save her mother, who was kidnapped by evil elements while they were buying dolls at an unknowingly occult house.

Passersby Peter and Golda showed mercy on the little girl. They went inside the house, found the mother, and tried to set her free, only to find out that she is actually evil herself. Beside her were cohorts waiting to feed on fresh prey. With barely enough time to escape, the terrified lot watched in horror as the little girl locks them in and watches them perish with a menacing grin. It was a trap all along.

CONTENT TEAM – #NasaanSiJunJun

Winning second place, the Content Department masterfully narrated a realistic tale about JunJun, the ghost that resided in the old TeamAsia office. They capitalized on the terrifying possibility of the scenes actually happening, as it was based on true to life experiences.

As Peter and Golda entered the room, the voice of a young boy started talking out of nowhere. It was JunJun, who was beginning to reminisce. He told them stories of the times when the old office was filled with the smiles and banters of TeamAsians, which brought him joy. However, his stories of fond memories slowly transitioned to bitter complaints as he recalls the pain of being left alone when TeamAsia moved to its new office. Wanting to reconnect with his “friends”, JunJun decided to haunt the Think Big Conference Room to seek revenge and make sure that he will never leave his “beloved” TeamAsians ever again.

MARKETING AND ACCOUNTS TEAM – Driven Mad by Passion

In third place was the Marketing and Accounts Department, who wittingly told the horrors of creative work.

Their story entitled “Driven Mad by Passion” is about Kia, a very passionate worker who would do anything to get the best and biggest ideas. In this journey to greatness she would go the extra mile and kill anyone who opposes her idea with a better one, lock their souls in the room and steal their ideas.

One night, Peter and Golda witnessed what happened when she was alone with the last member of the team. The member gave an amazing idea and this kindled the monster inside Kia. This revealed the morbid truth that Kia has parts of her victims inside her head that talk to her. The souls of the dead people will remain in the room forever unless Kia is stopped.

CREATIVES – The Overtime Meal

The Creatives Department showcased their remarkable craftsmanship to narrate their story entitled “The Overtime Meal”. It is about a group of employees who had to work overtime to complete a deliverable by the end of the day. The group labored non-stop as they worked against the clock. Exhausted and hungry, they realized in the dead of night that they did not have money to buy food.

Out of severe starvation, Hardy, one of the employees, slowly became possessed. This led him to perform a ritual and sacrifice one of their own, which ended up in cannibalism.  

DIGITAL – Emily

The Digital Department told a gripping story that is set in a closet. The closet used to be a refuge of solace for an eight year-old girl named Emily, who suffers from Juvenile Schizophrenia.

Found within the closet is a page from her diary, and her disturbing medical records. Her stories detail a troubled childhood. With her parents struggling with drug addiction and peddling illegal substances, Emily found comfort with her stuffed toys, which she would pretend to have tea and have play dates with. Until they all became real for Emily. And Emily became gruesome with her play dates with her toys, ultimately deciding on her demise by jumping off the window.

FINANCE AND ADMIN – The Haunted Office

The Finance and Admin Department told a story about TeamAsia’s auspicious move to its new headquarters. The team worked hard to set up operations in the abandoned building, only to discover later that there are restless spirits living within its halls.

As TeamAsia tried to ignore the threats, the spirits and dark elements lurking in the office grew more and more restless, deliberately disturbing the peace of the mortals who call this haunted place their home.

WEB & IT TEAM

Finally, the Web and IT Department told a story about a newly hired employee who was bullied for being a newbie. The pain and shame that he experienced led him to experience depression and eventually, commit suicide. The news spread in the workplace quickly, causing shock, fear, and accusations. Since the incident, the once happy office became haunted. The new employee’s restless soul stayed in the office to take revenge by picking and killing one person each year. Everyday, he haunts like a poltergeist, shaking things up, and reminding everyone of his presence.

At the end of the frightful showcase, everyone proudly applauded their colleagues. Looking back, I can say that it is truly one of the highlights of my internship experience as I witnessed an excellent exhibition of teamwork, creativity, and amazing storytelling.  

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Experience team’s The House of The Occult won first place

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The Content team won second place with #NasaanSiJunJun

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Marketing and Accounts team won third place with their enactment of Driven Mad by Passion

Pop of Creativity

By Hardy Araza, Graphic Designer

Art lives. Art lives in me. It is my hunger for beauty and character that makes me a restless soul of boundless vision.

It seemed like a hobby, but it had eventually become a part of my personal growth as my mind continues to sprout ideas that bring more color to my quirky world.

My first medium was on paper with a pencil or pen. I would usually lock myself at home, with art becoming my form of travel to a far-fetched place in the universe. During class, I would escape to medieval and fantasy worlds by drawing monsters and knights at the back of my notebook.

And so I kept drawing and creating until I entered the college publication as a cartoonist. Then they wanted me to add colors to my comic strips using Adobe Photoshop, a computer program for editing and creating visuals digitally.

toph__sweetness__by_hardyishere-d537vfd

“Toph: Sweetness” (The Last Airbender) is one of my first attempts in digital art.

Eventually, I was tasked to do layout and graphics for newspapers and magazines and learned graphic design. It was really fun and it became a lot easier to give color to my sketches, put effects that I couldn’t do on paper, and cheaper too, since I don’t have to keep purchasing materials for it. Thanks to the internet, I can upload my work online where it also serves as my portfolio (link: http://soda-kid.tumblr.com)

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A peek in my Tumblr world.

My passion for design is driven by my passion for expression and individuality. Since I love mixing and matching colors, it became more prominent when I started loving fashion—another channel of expression for me. Moreover, my love for Japanese culture led me to discover their Harajuku fashion scene. I love that they’re very bold and experimental in their clothes, representing the otherworldly nature I had always been drawn to. In 2015, I met a group of of friends who were into streetwear, which I evolved into my own version where I could still play up the loud colors or crazy style but I would make it more contemporary for everyday wear. It broadens my creative vision, adds to my persona as an artist, to get to play this way. It’s not just style—it’s a culture that I embrace; an ever-changing one representing the new age.

But how do I keep up with artistic trends? I don’t exactly follow what’s popular, but rather what’s new to the scene. Popular doesn’t always translate to new. For example, the gesture called “dab” (which is originally a dance move that started from the hip-hop scene) is popular but it’s no longer a new thing. Taking photos in “flat lay” is popular but it’s not new either. What I’ve noticed from people who start trends, especially in art, is that they create something new out of the conventional or take inspiration from it. That way, they are able to innovate. Keeping up with trends is not really hard since the internet is there but the challenge is in keeping it classy and cool.

One of the artistic trends I have grown to appreciate is “Vaporwave.” I never knew of the term until roughly eight months ago, when a friend mentioned it. But unknowingly, I have been embracing almost the same art style which consists of neons, pink colors and pixels since I have been into Japanese culture for years. I fell in love with it in no time.

Vaporwave came from the term “vaporware” which means software. It is an internet subculture and music genre of lo-fi computer sounds and retro-futuristic vibe. And like any other subculture, it has a visual form. Its visual style commonly consists of old school Windows 95 and Mac graphics meshed with shades of pink, screen glitches, Greek sculptures and Japanese elements, forming a specific aesthetic. I have not fully immersed myself in the Vaporwave subculture but I’m still able to express my love for it by using contrasting colors in my artworks and even in my day-to-day outfits.

Samples of the Vaporwave aesthetic:

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Loop-the-loop by Thao Tran

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Street by Holzperle

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~ • S A F E T Y • ~ by Aaron Campbell

I always try to express myself in my work for TeamAsia, where we are always excited for creative ideas and executions. I’ve been able to incorporate my love for the art of Vaporwave through the 3D pixel text and the use of bright pink and blue bubble gum colors for key visuals like this one:

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Together, all these art forms, namely street fashion, Japanese culture, and Vaporwave, greatly inspire my creative vision. It has influenced my art style which I’m able to alter to fit the client’s requirements. It has also affected my view of the world; the constant digitalization of a growing age and the nonstop flow of ideas, opinions, and information through the internet space. Because of this, it has driven me to love my field more. Studying behavior in the digital market and applying it in concept creation for brands to engage its customers through visuals has been my interest. My creative process also influences my work culture. I’ve been able to fuse ideas to form concepts with the way I integrate my interests together.

My best tip is this: surround yourself with artistic people of good taste. They don’t have to be of the same taste as yours but they have enough credibility and personality to inspire you and your visual aesthetic. But don’t just rely on them! You should also be able to create for your own, or at least make something out of what inspires you. Stay fresh and think new. But most importantly, you have to be yourself and not pretend. Never, ever pretend. You must embrace what you expresswhat you believe in.

Thanks to the diverse culture we have, we are able to find different ways to appreciate each other’s uniqueness. This gave value to self-expression and the celebration of individuality, which has saved many lives. My passion for it saves me everyday by giving me purpose.

A day in the life of a PR girl

by: Florence Joy dela Cruz, Senior PR Associate

Public relations can be a tiring job. Creating PR plans, scheduling media interviews, and making sure the brands we handle enjoy a good reputation can take its toll, but it can be extremely rewarding. PR is basically storytelling, and I enjoy creating wonderful stories and experiences for our brands. One of the brands I handle is Google, and one of the things I look forward to is YouTube FanFest!

 

The YouTube FanFest, or YTFF, is a live event featuring international and local YouTube creators. The event aims to create opportunities for YT creators, fans, and the media to find new ways to connect with their audiences. It began last year when a tweet #BringYouTubersToManila trended worldwide, and now it’s back for its second year!

 

I was nervous at first to meet these internet sensations, but after handling them last year, it became easier this year. We went to interviews with them and got to know them on a personal level. We also became friends with their managers. Well, sort of! My personal favorite is the a cappella group The Filharmonic,  who I watched at The Sing-off, a singing competition featuring a cappella groups. I was so starstruck that I was lost for words when I met them for the first time. We even taught them Filipino words!

 

Fans were also excited to meet them. They got to interact with the YouTube creators at the YTFF Meet and Greet, where many fans came out crying because they met their idols. To top if off, the YTFF Night was pure entertainment. Seeing these creators perform on stage felt like we were stage parents waiting for our kids to come out and perform! It was a great honor to see everyone having fun by watching their favorite creators on stage.

 

Doing the PR for one of Google’s biggest events is tiring. Imagine waking up as early as 1am and staying up late to take care of international YouTube creators for several days in a row. But it was all worth it. Most importantly, I am doing what I love: telling the world about my brand.

 

Check out some of our behind-the-scenes photos below:

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No rest for the weary. Team call time is at 1am, but we’re still looking fresh. #TeamNoSleep #AirportWelcome

 

Sneaky fangirl

Sneaky fangirl. Day 1 of media interviews and I’m trying to get them all for a phoro. Look! Niko’s smiling!

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One down, two more to go! The first of three interviews scheduled for the day. Bring it on! #Day2ofMediaInterviews

 

 

Lucy shot!

Lucy shot! Our last chance to get a group picture with the boys. Look at Kuya Mike, the bodyguard, smiling at the back!

 

Downtime with these three.

Downtime with these three. While waiting for the next interview, the team had a chance to rest for a while at Nobu Hotel. Fancy!

Ibang level na sila!

Ibang level na sila! Here are Vince and Steph posting for a photo with Gab Valenciano and Tanner Patrick after their Rappler interview. (Photo courtesy of Rappler.com)

Lucky Shor Number 2!

Lucky Shor Number 2! Mikey, Alex, and Wengie are just some of the YouTube creators we got to know during the YTFF. They’re really fun to be with!

It's not over yet!

It’s not over yet! The day’s not over yet as we had to go to and check out the venue.

A selfie a day takes the bad vibes away.

A selfie a day takes the bad vibes away. Nobody can tell that we haven’t got enough sleep. Look at us! All smiles and ready for this day’s battle! #BringItOn

Registration tradition.

Registration tradition. I take photos of the media registration table before the event starts every time. It’s me saying “Hello! Bukas na po ang ‘tindahan’.”

 

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Husshhhh! Press conference is ongoing!

Husshhhh! Press conference is ongoing! We’re a bit jampacked today. It it just me or everyone’s really excited to ask questions?

 

Side by side interviews with the creators.

Side by side interviews with the creators. The Filharmonice boys with Tanner Patrick during the excluisive interview with the Philippine Star anf Gist magazine. Other exclusive interviews were with Wengie with Wengie with Cosmo.ph, Tyler Ward and  Alex Wassabi with BusinessWorld but they are in different rooms.

A girl should never forget her birthday.

A girl should never forget her birthday. And oh, yeah. It was my birthday two weeks ago. I almost forgot about it!

 

Post presscon group picture.

Post presscon group picture. Yay! Press conference is done! One down!

 

Sneakers=Lifesaver

Sneakers=Lifesaver During events, sneakers are my most reliable friends. They are comfortable and easy to wear. I can run around the whole day with these bffs on!

 

Off to the next venue!

Off to the next venue! Nobu Hotel to the World Trade Center? Easy peasy!

Awww. Dog.

Awww. Dog. While the fans are doing Meet and Greet with YouTube creators, here I am petting this adorable Labrador. Look at that face. Isn’t he cute?

#YTFFManila2016

#YTFFManila2016 And the show starts in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

Always 'selfie' ready!

Always ‘selfie’ ready! In between breaks, the team never forgets to smile when there’s a camera in front.

PR + Media Represent!

PR + Media Represent! My good friend (and schoolmate… and PR ‘Major-mate’), Vberni, is in awe of YTFF. It’s his first time and he’s looking forward to the next ones!

Fan mode ON!

Fan mode ON! Connor Franta walks in and we’re like “WAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

It's a wrap!

It’s a wrap! What a show! That, my friends, is YouTube Fanfest!

Post event debriefing.

Post event debriefing. Cramped in a little room labeled “Secretariat”, we’re still in high spirits after the event.

 

 

YTFF Ninjas.

YTFF Ninjas. Running back and forth WTC is no joke but we don’t look tired at all! Cheers to another successful event! See you at the Next FanFest!

 

 

 

 

geTAway 2016

by Monette Hamlin, TeamAsia President and Founder

It’s been a yearly tradition for our TeamAsia family to have a summer outing. It’s a time to stop and smell the roses, or better yet, to stop the frantic pace of work, get out in the sun and play, laugh and get to know each other better outside of work.

 

geTAway 2016 1

Last year, Bea and I could not join because we had to go to Bangladesh, so this year, we were determined not to miss the fun. Bea joined the group in the bus, and I followed with Niccolo as I had to give a talk on The Business of Meetings, Conventions and Conferences to the Philippine Council of Association Executives (PCAEE).

This time around, we went to Stilts in Calatagan, Batangas. This is a picturesque beach resort with houses built on stilts. Our family was assigned to Wishes, the stilt house closest to the beach. The house is comfortable and airconditioned with a wrap-around veranda. My favorite spot is the hammock. I love the sayings painted on wood scattered around the resort.

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This trip, the committee decided to lessen the activities to allow as much chillin’ time as possible. The only challenge posed to the five teams was to create a one-take music video at Stilts that best presented the Kalma vibe wearing their team caps.

Bea, Niccolo, Denise and I comprised the board of judges, and we were all laughing out loud watching the videos prepared by the Yellow Bright, Lively Lime, Passion Red, Big Green and Inspire Blue teams. Even the White team committee got into the act and had their own.

Inspire Blue won hands down with Levon Frilles, recovering from his traumatic week, cavorted with gusto as he pretended to talk to me on his mobile phone while the rest of the team were relaxing. Next was Yellow Bright with Anna Limon swaying to the music as her wheelchair was pushed by Maricel Salialam, and Darwin Santiago danced while draped on the table. Coming in third was Big Green with macho men Leo Halili and Meynard Landrito dressed in bikinis sashayed along the stilts carrying their big green umbrellas. Lively Lime, Passion Red and White all did admirably as well.

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As we do monthly, we sang for the birthday celebrants as they held their individual cupcakes. Our April celebrants were Bea, Zyra, Francis and Junel.

And then came the initiation of the newbies, where they were given the choice of performing or butt spelling their name. Meynard gamely sang striking a pose. The rest of the newbies — Emerson from Accounting, Monica from Accounts, Mazee from Telemarketing and Dezza from Media Relations — opted for the butt spell. Dezza had everyone dazzled with her limber rendition of the butt spell, prompting Anna’s thought bubble of ‘hmm, cursive’ while Bea’s was ‘on point, with a squiggle.’

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After dinner, everyone settled on just having fun, jamming, playing beer pong, swimming, chatting, and drinking. The mommies in the group put their children to bed. Since I hardly had any sleep the night before and wasn’t allowed to drink any alcohol, I went off to bed early.

The next day during breakfast, stories abounded on who passed out, who fell into the pool, who won the beer pong, who had a hangover, and so on. We transferred to the pool to spend the rest of the morning swimming and relaxing.

Soon it was time to leave and bid Stilts adieu, but not before having a TeamAsia family picture. Kudos to the organizing committee!

Thinking Big: TeamAsia Town Hall 2016

By Mira Ortega, Senior Digital Media Associate

2015 was good. 2016 will be better – this is my biggest takeaway from our recent Town Hall last January 22, held at The Bellevue, Alabang. The previous year left us with new undertakings, learnings, and best of all, challenges. These challenges may be different for each of us; but we rise above them as one team, with one dream. With this, let me give you a quick run-through of our Town Hall.

This year’s mantra, in a cute notebook.

This year’s mantra, in a cute notebook.

The event kicked off with MIH’s look back on 2015. What a year it was!

TeamAsia Founder and CEO, Monette Iturralde-Hamlin rehashes the agency’s 2015.

TeamAsia Founder and CEO, Monette Iturralde-Hamlin rehashes the agency’s 2015.

Next up was an ice-breaker. TeamAsians played “Two Truths, One Lie”. This is a surefire way to discover something about your colleague without being sneaky. Hehe.

Hmmm… which is which?

Hmmm… which is which?

We also welcomed the new members of our family in the Town Hall. They were so game to introduce themselves in a non-conventional way.

Vince Gapit from Content serenades the crowd.

Vince Gapit from Content serenades the crowd.

TeamAsians also sang Happy Birthday to our January celebrants.

TeamAsia’s January Babies

TeamAsia’s January Babies (L-R) Leo Halili, Patrick De Jesus, Pamela Jocson, Jeff Enriquez, Monette Hamlin and Denise Limon

To top it all off, TeamAsia Managing Director, Bea Lim, unveiled Project Think Big, and a whole lot of awesome things happening in 2016!

TeamAsia founder and CEO,Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, and Managing Director, Bea Lim, dish out the surprises about to unfold this year.

TeamAsia founder and CEO,Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, and Managing Director, Bea Lim, dish out the surprises about to unfold this year.

How do you make something good better? By thinking big. Thinking big is surpassing the limits you set for yourself. 2016 is the year we expand our horizons even further. No idea shall be too over the top nor shall a pitch be too ambitious. With “taking brands to the next level experience” in mind, we think big and keep our passion for learning and trying new things.

TA Family