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Why working in the south is awesome

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 hr@teamasia.com or visit https://www.teamasia.com/careers to learn how you can join our passionate team!

TeamAsia’s sweet LU escape: three days in Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel

by Axl Ross Tumanut, Kaye Chua, and Luigi Almario 

Three days at Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel in La Union could fill any traveler’s newsfeeds with all sorts of upload-worthy snapshots–beach selfies, groufies, sunset photos, surfing shots, influencer poses, live videos, stories, and more. For us at TeamAsia who are all too deeply absorbed in the fast-paced agency life, our getaway was a chance to unplug from the busy city life.

And though it’s been weeks since we had our outing, we still look back fondly to the moments we spent in surfers’ haven away from the Metro’s concrete jungle. Here are our newbies Axl, Kaye, and Luigi sharing about their very first TeamAsia getaway.

Pre-getaway: the anticipation builds

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Axl: Planning this entire adventure was like pitching for an event and bringing it to life. All of us who worked behind the scenes knew that the entire experience is not just about sights or sounds. We needed to tell a story like we do for our clients. After all, this is not just another out of town trip, this is a celebration of TeamAsia’s 25th anniversary.

There were brainstorming sessions and timelines to follow, and everyone worked together to make it happen. The time, talent, and effort we all shared to make our clients happy were shared with equal dedication so that our colleagues could have a wonderful time.

Kaye: As a person who is so enthusiastic to explore the great outdoors, I have always believed that travelling to places and trying out new things are like bringing my dead-tired body back to life. Adventures do not just introduce me to new places; they immerse me into diverse cultures.

I was excited about going to La Union because I have always wanted to try surfing there. Aside from that, I’ve seen how everyone in the committee exerted so much effort in putting everything together to make sure we all enjoy our three-day break.

Luigi: I have never been to LU but it has been featured extensively on my friends’ Instagrams, so much so that I already have a gameplan in mind of what I’m gonna do when I get there: swimming, surfing and most of all, trying out that hipster coffee place – El Union Coffee – that seems to be a main fixture on my friends’ IG posts.

DAY 1: Getting to the surfers’ haven

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Wooden artisan chairs and tables at the Flotsam and Jetsam (with Abi!)

Axl: The last person you would expect to miss the call-time is the person who wrote the “be on time” EDM, who is no other than myself. On the day of the departure for La Union, I woke up at the very minute that the bus should leave.

The bus left without me, and I managed to ride with my colleagues, who happened to be holding an event that day. When I arrived at Flotsam that evening, the chill night program that my colleagues from the outing committee planned was underway.

Kaye: LU captivated my heart instantly not just because of its beauty and laid-back vibe, but also because I was with a bunch of amazing people. There were a lot of new people in the team, and there were games such as Charades–but with a twist! We had to act out a song, a movie, and mimic the mannerisms of TeamAsians. It resulted in a lot of laughter and amusing guesses from everyone.

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So much team spirit!

Luigi: Our home for the duration of our stay is the Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel – it has this “wooden shack” vibe that I’ve always been very fond of. During the program, I had to do the infamous butt spell for the second time in my thus short stay here in the company. You see, it’s tradition here in TeamAsia for the newbies to perform the butt spell during their first week in the company, and even though I already did it a task I undertook as tradition permits.

After the program ended, drinks were had, songs were sung, and guitars were played til the wee hours.

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Crashing of the waves

DAY 2: Game on!

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Group activities under the sun

Axl: The TA getaway day two was a day for games and surfing lessons for most of us. One part of the day that I really looked forward to was the fun night, which I had to host. And since my co-host was sick that day, I had to do a solo act.

Hearing my colleagues laugh while I do the hosting was such a rewarding experience.Though a long time have passed since our outing, remembering my colleagues’ laughter that night still inspires happy thoughts.

Of course there is only one part of the entire getaway that can top all performances–the toast led by our president and founder Ma’am Monette Hamlin. Most of us imagined a quick celebratory toast around the bonfire but she asked us to form a circle and arrange ourselves based on our birth order–a scenario which meant to show how long TeamAsia has been elevating stories and experiences to the next level.

 

 

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We gathered around the bonfire by the beach

Then she asked each one of us to share about the things we are grateful for. Some of us are grateful about work, some of us about life, some of us about our families, and some expressed their gratitude to God. The toast served as a reminder of the things we are passionate about and how passion fuels everything that TeamAsia does.

Kaye: We played games by the beach not minding the scorching heat of the sun and made a group yell out of spontaneity. On the night of the awarding, our team, Live, placed last among the four groups but we really didn’t mind because we all had a great time!

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The beautiful beach of La Union at sunset

After the awarding, we all headed to the beach for the toast. That was the most heartwarming moment that I never thought that I’d actually feel home with this family that I have now. Being the not-so-confident person that I am, I grabbed the opportunity that night to to thank everyone in TeamAsia for believing in me when I can’t even believe in myself.

Luigi: Day 2 was wholly devoted to contests of skill, cunning and intellect, of which, my team was in abundance of. Hence, we emerged victorious. (I may or may not be exaggerating, but we really did win.)

The true highlight of the entire trip, though, would happen much, much later. In the night, we started a campfire beside the shore and a formed a circle around it. Our esteemed president, Ma’am Monette Hamlin, delivered a thoughtful speech to kickoff the proceedings, and then, it was party time!

It was an unbelievable atmosphere – a campfire by the beachside, people jamming to the sound of acoustic guitars and free-flowing drinks all around! Y’know, just wholesome stuff. For the first time ever, I got to witness people from other departments bond with each other. Drinks were being passed around and while the fire eventually burnt out, the feeling of being just under the stars only served to heighten the experience.

Post-getaway musings

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TeamAsia fambam!

Axl: Of course, not everything turned out the way they were planned no matter how meticulously they were put together.  Yet for all these challenges that came along the way, we knew that the show must go on. And then there were surprises such as the amazing TeamAsian talents who really caught the spotlight during the two evening programs of our getaway.

For those of us who worked behind the scenes, it was a rewarding feeling to watch everything we planned (and didn’t plan) unfold. And all those unforgettable moments would not have happened if our TeamAsian colleagues were not equally willing to share their time, talent, and efforts to create unforgettable moments during our getaway.

Kaye: Aside from the usual happy stuff and good food we shared that day, there was something else that came up. Sarah, Dezza and I had to look after one of our colleagues who had so much fun on our last night and got a massive hangover before we left LU! Hint: his name starts with an L and he may or may not have also written about his experiences here.

My stay in La Union was beyond amazing, and I definitely look forward to more geTAways with these bunch of people I love to call as my family.

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Content team in Flotsam and Jetsam

Luigi: I woke up to the view of the sun directly above me and the sand beneath me, with only the faintest recollection of how I ended up there. Then, it hit me: I recalled resting my head on one of the beanbag chairs we had set up on the beach after taking what would’ve been my last shot of whiskey sip of grape juice. I passed out on the beach! was probably so exhausted from last night’s festivities that I fell asleep where I laid by the shore.

Still tired and suffering a massive headache after a night of fun, I skipped breakfast entirely and barely touched my meal at lunch time. If I’m going to be completely honest with you, everything was a blur that day. Even the long, six-hour journey back home was a blur.

And so there it was, two days of pure, unadulterated fun, followed by a day of headaches. That being said, even though I was not able to do everything I set out to do in LU: the surfing, the hipster coffee experience, not to mention suffering through a massive hangover migraine, it was time well spent with the most amazing people you can ever hope to work with. I would do it all again if I could, preferably minus the headache.As for La Union, I will be back! And next time, I may even try surfing.

Postscript

Those three days at La Union gave us TeamAsians a well-deserved respite from work. Every day was an opportunity to bond with our teammates and our colleagues from other teams. Each day was full of discoveries about our fellow TeamAsians–things we would not have found out within the familiar corners of our office. Those three days offered us glimpses of the things that our fellow TeamAsians are passionate about.

There is a bittersweet feeling at leaving Flotsam and Jetsam after soaking in the sun and waves with our friends and colleagues turned family, but we all came back more energized and refreshed, ready once again to bring our clients’ stories to the next level experience.

Driving Passion: TeamAsia Town Hall 2017

By Hapy Benitez

Last February 3, TeamAsians gathered in Launchpad Coworking, Alabang for a catch-up afternoon also known as our Town Hall.

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Launchpad Coworking’s wall of encouragement.

It was my first time attending a Town Hall of any kind, and as such, I looked forward to it. For this year-starter event, TeamAsia opted for a venue with a laid-back vibe (for which our own office is known for!). The Town Hall unofficially opened with refreshments. We were served a satisfying combo of burger and potato chips with iced tea—not to mention the popcorn and gummy bears free for the taking on each table. I must admit: for me, that set the good mood right off the bat.

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The best food combo to feed hungry TeamAsians.

When the official program began, TeamAsians were given an energetic welcome by Marketing and Accounts Director Denise Limon. She kicked it off by calling on the new members of the family and having them introduce themselves the TeamAsian way—by name butt-spell or talent presentation. You can just imagine the awkwardness of it all, but it was hilarious all the way through!

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The Web and IT team.

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The Finance and Administration Department.

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The Marketing and Accounts Department with Ms. Maricel and Ms. Bev of the Finance and Admin Department.

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The Experience Department.

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The Content Department with Meynard and Pat of the Creative Department.

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The Digital Department.

2017 is indeed a remarkable year for TeamAsia because we will be celebrating our 25th year anniversary in May. And to kick off this celebration, our Managing Director, Bea Lim, unveiled this year’s theme: “25 Years Driven by Passion”.

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TeamAsia Managing Director Bea Lim launches #OurSuper25.

To underwrite this mantra, a guest speaker, Sam Pimentel, shared with us important principles on passion and overcoming difficulties. Being the first Filipina to conquer the North Pole, Sam knows how passion plays a big part in winning against struggles to achieve your goals. She shared with us her rigorous training before joining the last degree ski expedition to the North Pole and the harsh environment she and the other hikers went through to reach their destination.

At the heart of it all, there are two things I learned from Sam:

1.      Never take your eyes off your end goal

2.       Finish what you started

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“If you believe that you can do it, you will find solutions to overcome the problems.” – Sam Pimentel on conquering the North Pole.

For TeamAsia, 2017 is the Year of Passion. That is why one of the highlights of the Town Hall was the Directors’ announcement of each department’s plans. Coming from the year where TeamAsians were challenged to “Think Big”, there really is no way to go but up. It really excited me to learn that so much is in store for us in the coming months—new projects, weirdly-named innovations (such as one of my favorites, the “Project Baby Monitor”), and new territories to foray.

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Directors Denise, Bea and Jeff announce what TeamAsians can look forward to in 2017.

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TeamAsia’s ManCom: Pam Jocson (Experience), Anna Limon (Content), Maricel Salialam (Finance), Denise Limon (Marketing and Accounts), and Beverly Aguilar (Human Resources)

Each of us has something we are passionate about. They may be the little things in life, or the big dreams we want to attain. Nonetheless, they motivate us to get out of bed and work hard each day.

Before she closed the Town Hall, there was one thing that Ma’am Monette Iturralde-Hamlin said that struck a chord in me. After observing what we had written on the big 25 standee that has been displayed in our lobby for weeks now, she discovered something interesting: most of us had written not just what, but who makes us passionate. Ma’am Monette gave us something to ponder when she made us realize that we do not need to look far to find our motivation—because we draw it from the people who are close to our hearts.

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TeamAsia CEO Monette Iturralde-Hamlin gives her closing remarks and a thought for TeamAsians to ponder.

For me, each day is fueled by the comforting thought that I can end it with my family and a good book. This makes me passionate to deliver the best that I can for each day so I can go home in peace, knowing that I can have tomorrow worry about itself.

How about you? What are you passionate about?

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MAHat3: Father of TeamAsia Celebrates His 3rd Birthday in Heaven

via Love in Pictures | Monette Hamlin.

Three years ago, we lost the father of TeamAsia. March 9, 2013 is a day none of us will forget, a day filled with immense sadness as we said goodbye to Michael Alan Hamlin, a second father for us here in the company.

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But though we still grieve his loss, we continue to be grateful that we met someone as wonderful as Sir Mike, or MAH as some would endearingly call him. Through an intimate mass celebrated with TeamAsia employees and officers, everyone remembered the greatness of MAH and his passion for life, family, and work.

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Not a day goes by without us remembering MAH, our mentor, leader, and friend. But the loss of Sir Mike is best articulated by our president, his partner, his wife, Ma’am Monette. Through her blog post Love in Pictures, Ma’am Monette shares the story behind the caricatures and movie posters that are lovingly displayed in the office of TeamAsia.

for MAH

 

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Originally posted at monettehamlin.com
http://www.monettehamlin.com/2014/07/26/love-in-pictures/

TA Goes to The Chosen Children Village

By J Darell M. Sapin, Web Development Supervisor

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The marker that welcomes visitors to Chosen Children Village Foundation in Lalaan II, Silang, Cavite

It is always better to give than to receive – that has always been true to me since I started giving Christmas gifts to my godchildren. It just warms my heart to see the little angels’ faces light up.

It all started last July 2014 when our IT and Web Director, Jeff Enriquez and I talked about conducting our own CSR.  The first one I thought of was the Chosen Children Village Foundation (CCVF) since it has been very close to my heart since my first visit four years ago.

Last December 21, 2015, we gathered 20 boxes of donated Milk Magic products and set out for the Chosen Children Village Foundation (CCVF) in Lalaan II, Silang, Cavite.  AC and Marvin from the IT and Web Department, as well as Zyra, Ayen, and Teresa from the Experience Department accompanied me on the trip. We were greeted by the cool and refreshing climate of the place. It was entirely different from the hot weather in Alabang. We were given a brief background on how CCVF came to be and the success stories that have happened in the village. One of our new found friends, Charlie, suffered from hydrocephalus and a walking disorder as a child, but is now healthy and able to walk without crutches.

CCVF is a non-profit organization that aspires to provide a permanent home for abandoned, neglected, and surrendered children / adults who are mentally and physically challenged. For security purposes, we were not allowed to take solo pictures of the children. CCVF admits that the foundation provides early intervention to children between one to nine months old and those who cope with multifaceted delays. Through its adoption program, CCVF places children in permanent homes locally and even internationally. Children who don’t get adopted grow up in the village and are trained at The School for Chosen Children to maximize their potential to become productive members of society.

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(L-R) TeamAsia employee AC Esguerra, Chosen Children Village Foundation Executive Director, Ms. Che Naval, TeamAsia’s Ayen and Teresa, that’s me beside Marvin.

As our donations were unloaded, we were warmly greeted by Ms. Che Naval and her colleagues, the teens and young adults of CCVF as well.

We played a few games with them, namely basketball and volleyball. The CCVF team was very happy, and so were we.

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Ayen from TeamAsia’a Experience Department serving the ball.

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Marvin of TeamAsia’s IT and Web Department playing volleyball with the kids.

We were then given an hour to freshen up before dinner time. While we waited for dinner, TeamAsia visited the children in the different cottages within the village.

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Ayen and Teresa posing at the logo hedge of CCVF

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Marvin and AC posing at the logo hedge of CCVF

A bell rang that meant dinner was ready. We proceeded to the dining hall where we were greeted by the children. We saw the boxes of Milk Magic beside the gifts under the Christmas tree.

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The 20 boxes of Milk Magic products that have been donated by TeamAsia

CCVF welcomed us and thanked us for our help in ensuring the continuity of the foundation.  

The children prepared a short song and dance number to show their appreciation for the support that TeamAsia has given. It was so much fun that even our very own AC and Ayen joined in their performance!

 

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The IT and Web, and Experience Team enjoying the Welcome Dinner at CCVF

It was a heartwarming experience to spread the love and joy of giving back to our community. In her welcome speech, Ms. Che mentioned that hopefully our visit will not be the last. We went home feeling fulfilled knowing that we are not just a world class integrated marketing communications company but also a champion of CSR.

Hope you enjoyed reading our experience. For the full album, you can see it here. To know more about CCVF, you can check it out here.

(Photo credit:  Ms. Teresa Espino)

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Our Christmas TA-gether Year-end Video!

Two decades since our establishment, we continue to innovate and grow. Now, we are a large team of highly talented individuals driven by passion in creating larger than life experiences and intricately crafted stories that spark life into brands.

Catch the highlights of 2015!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!