People at work do not have summer break. It is sadly one of the perks given up after college graduation but that does not mean that your summertime should be spent chained in your cubicle. Any healthy organization should acknowledge that sometimes all it takes to survive a crazy work place is to converge and enjoy for a day outside the confines of the office.
Team Building is the widely used term and while it sounds boring, come summertime this only means an opportunity to get a glow from the sun and not from the toxic rays emitted by computer screens.
The key is to fill in the entire day with a lot of activities with some hours allocated to relaxing in ways that are the own choices of the participants and unstructured bonding for people whose probably only interaction on ordinary days are limited to just a word or two of awkward greeting. The perfect venue then should be able to cater to the various activities lined-up but also should have amenities for slowing down during break times.
Here are two recommended places, one close to Metro Manila and the other one all the way in Mindanao, where cohesiveness can be attempted without risking intra-office over share.
Out of the Metro
While going to the beach in Batangas or a balai in Tagaytay are usual suspects for a day trip, try heading the other way and know that you have just as much choices to pick from. One of the newer places to go to is The Lakeshore in Mexico, Pampanga. Although not yet as developed, there are already many things one can do within this vast venue.
The highlight though is the small island in the middle of a man-made lake, which is ideal for a group of 30 people or less. It is a almost like having your own private event in an island for only P15,000 during daytime and P18,000 for night time. The ground space is big enough for games and also has a pool and a karaoke machine.
Take advantage that you are at the food capital of the Philippines by ordering in from nearby Apag Marangle to get a taste of authentic Kapampangan food.
For those times when one is allowed to venture away from the group and away from the island, the guys can shoot some hoops in the basketball court while the girls can play some sets at the volleyball court. Those who want to engage in solitary activities can have any spot in the surroundings of the lake and spend their time just listening to music or getting some much needed snooze while breathing fresh air, an especially refreshing treat for those who are exposed daily to the city smog.
Into the South
Another interesting route to take is to travel down south of the country and organize an inter-city Amazing Race. Land in the Davao International Airport and check in at any of the city hotels. Instead of the boring city tours usually offered, allow everyone to discover the city landmarks by making them the pit stops of your version of Amazing Race. For starters, check out the streets of Claveria, Uyanguren and San Pedro for such.
Your last pit stop can be Camp Holiday located right next to the barge of Samal Island. Their room rates (P1,500/night for a Standard Room and P1,800/night for the Standard Color Themed Cottages) are actually more affordable than some city hotels.
They have a large grass ground and a function room fit for group of activities that requires the participation of over a hundred people. Even the eating area by the beach can host a large group while the restaurant area has pool tables for you to win a game or two before or while sampling the freshest seafood and local dishes.
When it is time to cool down, they have casitas all over the resort where smaller groups can come together to just laze around or share some laughs.
It does not matter how small or big a group you are or how much budget you have, there is no excuse for not to get out of your office and relish some summer fun.