Xilium is Born in the City of Love

By Angela Castañares, Content Manager

Iloilo City, Philippines – the place Xilium calls home. As you might already know, Xilium is a Philippine Virtual Assistant company. So, the question left is, why of all the places in the Philippines was Iloilo chosen to be the seat of this growing company?

For all its almost five years, we can say that Xilium is still a toddler when it comes to the BPO industry. Although, this is by no means that Xilium does not compete with its predecessors! For exactly this competitive reason, Iloilo was chosen as the headquarters. This is why Xilium was born in the City of Love.

Like Philippines’ own Paris, the city is embraced in the languidity of love in the way that the people talk. One of the weirdest but endearing characteristics of Ilonggos is their way of speaking in a slow sweet cadence. They could be really angry with you, but you can get confused by the way that they lower their voice to deliver their words sweetly and with a smile. This could be why the call center business experienced such a boom here. The pleasant way people talk and their patience make them the perfect customer service representatives, that and their well-reinforced English background.

Why Iloilo? Well, it’s fast becoming the hub of commerce. Investors are seeing that it’s one of the safest cities in the country. Plus all the efforts the local government have been making towards the beautification of the city have really made it clear that this place is headed towards progress. The proliferating banking systems in the city is another proof of that vision.


In the past few years, Iloilo has grown exponentially in terms of economy due to the fact that many big corporations have seen it fit for more of their developments. The Philippine’s largest Business Park is being established here in answer to the steady stream of investors looking for new grounds to develop. Kevin Andrew Tan from Megaworld – one of the land developing companies, calls Iloilo as the “business and commercial center of Western Visayas.“ Megaworld has been instrumental in the development of the city in terms of infrastructures and expansion.

The city is multi-awarded and well-recognized by different institutions through the awards it has earned. One of the most significant of these awards was given last 2015, when Iloilo City was hailed as #1 of the Ten Most Livable Cities in the Philippines by The Top Tens website (www.thetoptens.com). This website creates polls regarding the “top ten” of anything via voting so the visitors on the website get to decide. Last 2014, the city also had its taste of excellence in the international arena, when our city mayor won 4th Runner Up in the prestigious World Mayor Project.

But, awards are not the only thing Iloilo has to offer. What else are there? An internationally recognized annual festival known as Dinagyang is another offering. It’s a feast which rakes in revenues for the city coffers in foreign currency due to the influx of tourists wanting to join the festivities.

Then, there is the fact that Iloilo is home to many respected universities where the caliber of graduates is always assured to be in high regard. In fact, one of the universities here (West Visayas State University) has consistently topped in the Best Nursing Schools in the Philippines. Its graduates do not only place high in the Nursing Licensure Exam roster of passers, but each year the school manages to have 90-100% passing rate. Many from Xilium’s own team of Medical Virtual Assistants are culled from this high performing crop. Although not all of them came from that university, they are all board passers who are well-equipped to handle all the medical-related tasks from our doctor clients.

Information Technology and Communications related courses have an end-goal for their graduates because of the BPO industry here in the city. This is proven by the development of IT Parks to cater to the continuous growth of the industry. Graduates from these courses now have an avenue where they can practice their skills in their profession.

As such, Xilium founders Don Wickelgren and Vanessa Belleza saw this as a strong point in choosing Iloilo City as the site of a premier virtual assistant company. The elements of quality workforce, developing landscape, and economic growth of the city are good foundations for a solid company where people can dream and reach their best potential.

Iloilo City is known as the City of Love here in the Philippines. Ilonggos as people have the culture of being patient and hardworking when it comes to work. By temperament, the people are also sweet-natured, open-minded, with an overall positive disposition. They also easily learn new ideas and skills, with a heartfelt willingness to do anything.

These qualities of the people and their excellent English proficiency, plus the forward-moving direction the city is taking make for a very conducive breeding ground of a new business. For this reason, Xilium saw Iloilo City as the best place to be for a company who belongs to an industry whose very foundation is innovation.