Xilium: Making a Company, Building a Family

by Czarina Ganancial, Business Virtual Assistant

One sunny day in May,  Xilium embarked on a journey for adventure…

Day 1

7:30 A.M. – XPS HQ. Sporting colorful beachwear, burdened with heavy backpacks, and glowing with excitement, team XPS was ready to invade Guimaras Island.

8:00 A.M. – Ortiz Wharf. Under the scorching morning sun, we arrived at the wharf to be swallowed by the long queue of fellow vacationers. With our heavy packs and food supplies, we waited for our turn as sweat dripped from our faces.

8:40 A.M. – Jordan Wharf. Greeted by the refreshing Guimaras breeze, our excitement heightened for the team building event we have been looking forward to. We we’re just a jeepney ride and a short walk away from our destination –  Cabaling Beach Resort. It was a long ride on a dust-encrusted dirt road. We just chalked it up to adventure.

9:30 A.M. – Cabaling Beach Resort. The jeep left us on a strip of beach, steps away from our destination in the scorching heat. The resort’s name printed in bold white letters against the blue backdrop looked very inviting from where we were standing, so we marched on excitedly to the resort. It was a long walk and we found ourselves cooling off at the resort’s cafeteria after. Then, it was time for taking Instagram-worthy pictures.

1:00 P.M. Just mere minutes after the Xilium team gathered at the resort’s cafeteria for lunch. Some of us were gearing up to go swimming, while others decided to take a nap to recharge their energy. Clad in our swimsuits and a few layers of sunblock lotion, we lounged around the pool area.

4:15 P.M. Shouting, “What team? XPS! What team? XPS What team? XPS!” signaled the start of the afternoon program. The first activity was aimed to make the team get to know one another. We were given a piece of paper to be taped on our backs. Then, we had to go around to have everyone write something that best describes us. This one was not really part of the competition, but it was fun nonetheless. After this, the competitive games began. We were grouped into two teams – Blue and Green.

5:40 P.M. We all still had lots of energy to spare for a few more games, but sadly, the sun was already setting so we had to hurry up to catch the last rays for picture-perfect moments.  Of course, team XPS wouldn’t let such an opportunity pass. Everyone gathered on the beach for the photo op.

6:00 P.M. It was a bit dark after the photo session, but we still had one more activity – the water balloon toss. And yeah, you know how it goes, some of us got wet with a bursting water balloon and pretty much laughed about it. The activities ended there. Everyone hurried to their rooms to change and prepare for dinner. With a little time to spare, some of us went for a dip in the pool, some had booze along the beach and others prepared food.

7:30 P.M. The Boodle Fight! Imagine eating with your bare hands. We had meat, grilled fish, red watermelons, sweet mangoes, and rice all laid out on banana leaves. Everyone looking all hungry and excited to munch on anything they’d come across with. That is exactly what we had, a huge and delicious boodle fight – Filipino style.

8:30 P.M. After a sumptuous dinner, team XPS listened to an inspiring talk given by Sir Joven. After the talk, he had an activity for us which encouraged everyone to express what they feel, what they can do for the company, and what they wish for in the future. When it was over, some of us went back to our respective rooms to rest, while others headed back to the pool for more swimming time. This concluded the first day of the XPS Team Building.

Day 2

It sounds like a lot has happened, that we were ready to pack up our bags and leave. Nope! Not just yet. We only had a day in the beach, so we made sure to make the remaining time worth it.

5:00 A.M. Those who went to bed early had enough energy to catch the sunrise and go for a quick swim or wander around taking pictures. Before we could even sit down for breakfast, we were making waves in the pool. If I’d have to summarize the whole trip in one sentence, it would look like this – Team XPS laughed their hearts out and swam a lot.

7:00 A.M. The team rendezvoused for morning meal. We had cookies, bread, and of course, coffee. In case you are wondering, we at Xilium take our coffee seriously which explains why we brought a coffee grinder to the resort.

9:00 A.M.  Game Time.  The games tested our listening skills, leadership capabilities, openness for collaboration, self-motivation, and competitiveness. Our trust in each other was also put in the line. We learned strategies for leadership and collaboration.

10:00 A.M. Just in time for the last few games and lunch, the rest of the Xilium team arrived at the resort. They were the ones who couldn’t make it on the first day.

11:00 A.M. Ms. V had an empowering talk which made us all feel appreciated as we learned her hopes and plans for the future of the company. She shared with us the importance of collaborating with each other. She made us see how learning to accept each other for who we are will help achieve a good collaboration. Then, we capped off the talk with an activity which enabled us to know ourselves better, as well as understand more our colleagues and their  personalities – the embodiment of her talk.

12:30 P.M. Just when everyone’s tummy was growling, lunch was served. It was a sumptuous lunch filled with chitchats and laughter. Afterall, Xilium is family.  And, what better way to enjoy food than to share it with your family?

2:00 P.M. We hate to admit it but the team building activity came to its end and we had to go home. Everyone already had their bags packed and was ready to sail back to the city. However, before we could say goodbye to the beautiful island, team XPS once again gathered for the awarding of winners. A community song rose to the occasion to celebrate team-spirit that filled the air. Blue Team was hailed champion and were prized with movie tickets. Outstanding employees were given surprise appreciation as well. With another quick message from Ms. V, our team building activity formally concluded.

3:40 P.M. – Outskirt of Cabaling Beach Resort.  Our ride for the wharf finally arrived, but there was one problem – it could not accommodate us all. So the boys had to wait for a different ride. The girls were towed-away first, with a brief stop over at the market to buy some delicious mangoes to take home.

4:15 P.M. – Jordan Wharf. Burdened with exhaustion and summer heat, some of the girls decided not to wait, so they headed back to city ahead of the rest.

4:30 P.M. For the ones left, the wait was lengthy. We were worried because of the boys’ delay, so one of us texted them to find out what kept them. They replied that they were in a minor accident, but they were fine and were headed our way.

5:15 P.M. We boarded the pumpboat that would take us back to the city. While on the boat, the boys told their story about the accident. The driver of the vehicle they were riding lost control of the steering wheel, so they crashed onto some thicket by the side of the mountainous road. We were so thankful that they were okay. The story sounded bad, but we knew they were fine because they were still laughing about it. Turned out, they were imagining some zombie apocalypse scenarios after the crash and made jokes about the whole situation. Ah, team Xilium always finds ways to brighten even a gloomy experience.

6:00 P.M.  – Iloilo City. And the boat docked on port. . . we were home.