June 12, 2024

Sun, Fun, and Synergy: PH Team Summer Team Building

Sun-kissed days and laughter-filled nights—our company summer outing was a fantastic opportunity for the PH team to come together, let loose, and foster stronger bonds. Join me, Kate, YOYO’s newest Senior Graphic Designer, as I rewind the clock a bit and share with you my experience of our amazing summer outing! Please bear with me as this might get a bit lengthy. 🙏

To preface this blog post, I’d just like to mention one tiny detail about me: In my six years of working, I have never experienced going on a company outing. Not to mention all my jobs the past five years have a work-from-home set-up. Add to that the fact that this is only my 3rd month in YOYO, you can only imagine how overwhelmingly new this is for me! I knew that joining this company would have me not only stepping out but cartwheeling out of my comfort zone and I think it was about time that I did so. Nervous but excited, I packed (overpacked lol) my bags and set off to a great summer adventure with the team.

Gloomy skies greeted us the day of the outing, but everyone’s joyful and contagious energies brightened up the early morning. Catch ups and inside jokes were already thrown around our van (and I’m sure it was the same in the other cars as well!) as we went on our way to Pampanga. 

We made a pit stop at McDonald’s to fill our hungry tummies and also reunite with those who came from the South in a separate car. A quick stop ended up lasting for almost an hour as everyone had late breakfast while chatting with each other about anything and everything. After quick bye-byes and see you laters, we continue on towards Pampanga.

We finally arrived at the beautiful resort that our HR & GA Lead, Toni booked for us (thank you, Toni!) where we reunited with the Dev Team who were actually already in Pampanga the day before to prepare our yummy dinner that night! We then all got in our YOYO shirts and got ready for the Town Hall Meeting. I didn’t know getting my own YOYO shirt would make me a bit emotional, but it definitely did. I felt like I was finally part of the team!

It was time for the Town Hall Meeting where YOYO Founder and CEO, Kyon did a lengthy but super insightful talk about his humble beginnings, YOYO’s history, his goal of empowering the next billion, and YOYO’s future. What particularly struck me most from Kyon’s talk was the concept of Shu-Ha-Ri which describes the stages of learning to mastery. The talk ultimately left us all inspired and hopeful for the greater heights we can all achieve. Let’s go, team!!

After a quick break, it was time for the improv team building activities led by our Marketing Communications Manager, Kara! Positioned in a circle, all 22 of us got to know each other better through multiple improv activities that had us all up on our feet moving, focusing, communicating, and even cry-laughing with how funny some of our teammates were. I loved that after each activity, Kara would always let us process what happened, would ask us what we felt, and would connect the things we learned to the workplace and even in our daily lives. It was definitely my favorite part of the first day of our summer outing. Thank you, Kara! 

After sweating it out and building stronger bonds, we all freshened up and got in our best summer outfits for the dinner party. A huge huge thank you to the Dev Team for leading dinner preparations while everyone was getting ready. We were greeted with a scrumptious sight of a Boodle Fight, rice and mostly meat piled on a long table to be eaten with our bare hands. After our Head of Accounts, Jamie said a short but meaningful prayer, everyone dug into the wonderful feast. The quiet hums of approval filled the place as we all munched on food prepared with love.

But of course, what would a party, especially a Filipino party, be without some karaoke? Microphone and song book whipped out, everyone gathered to punch in their favorite songs and everyone sang to their heart’s content. Some preferred to have a dip in the pool and it couldn’t have painted a better picture; the perfect Filipino summer outing! I also challenged myself to face my fears of singing in front of people and sing one song and to my surprise, I got a score of 100! Kyon even witnessed that exact moment, recording with his phone and all. I tapped out early that night but I stayed up a bit to watch everyone play pool games that lasted until two in the morning.

Day two rolls in with bright and sunny skies. While waiting for everyone to wake up and for breakfast to arrive, Jamie and our Sr. Marketing Communications Associate, Tine brought out some games they had with them and we all had fun playing Kopi King, Expressions Game, and Penguin Trap. Soon after, we all had breakfast together before bidding farewell to the resort and heading out to have a fun time at Aqua Planet!

Confession: I’ve never been fond of amusement and water parks my whole life as I try to steer away from adventurous things (as a complete introvert), so I was already slightly dreading our trip to Aqua Planet when I knew about it, but for me, this trip was all about getting out there and challenging myself to do things I’d normally never do. I surprised myself by going on two big rides together with my supportive and lovely teammates and I honestly couldn’t be prouder of myself. I had more fun than I expected, not even the heavy rain stopped me from going around the park to try other attractions. Definitely one for the books!

Group and team photos taken, we all headed to Razon’s for one last meal all together before bidding each other a final goodbye as each of the cars were parting ways already. It was somewhat bittersweet, seeing everyone grow closer together in just two days. It was nice seeing everyone hug and say goodbye to each other even if we’ll be seeing each other in a few days for a co-working session. After a quiet but comfortable ride home and another round of endless hugs and goodbyes, our summer team building has officially ended.

As I sit and write all of this now, I have three main points that come to mind:

  • (From Kyon’s Town Hall talk) It’s okay to be confused and unsure with what you want to do in life, but don’t stand still; explore and learn more, then you’ll find what you want to do. Similarly, you’ll find the company and team that is the best fit for you.
  • Learning never stops. You can learn from the simplest of things, from all the new people you meet, and from the experiences you go through. Sometimes they don’t come to you immediately, but as you go through your daily life you realize these help shape you to be the best version of yourself.
  • There is beauty in uncertainty. I’m the type to always want to know what will happen next so I can prepare for it but during the outing, I only knew a gist of what we’ll be doing, not the entirety of it. It was nice to not know what was going to happen the next two days and be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. And even if there were hiccups along the way, there are still many things to be grateful for. “There are no mistakes, only gifts” – Kara 💕

The outing made me value the importance of good relationships in the workplace and how work shouldn’t be something you despise waking up for every day. There may be difficult moments but work should ultimately help you learn about yourself and your capabilities, all while collaborating with likeminded people towards a better future with the company.

If you’d like to work in a company with a work culture where you can learn, thrive, and have fun with the most amazing people, consider working at YOYO! We’d love to have you in our next company outing. 😊

Starting the month and looking forward to the years ahead with YO,

Kate 💖

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