What’s that? Sunny days, ice cream, and the music of a city-wide festival? It can only mean that we’ve got a summer huddle in full swing at Diversify! We waved May goodbye with our monthly huddles, dedicated to the summer festivals of the Philippines: Diversifiesta. It was a joyous occasion where we celebrated the lively and colourful festivals in the Philippines that we know and love.
But before we dive into the festivities, let’s talk about what summer is like in a tropical country of pristine beaches and great hospitality. As you would guess, it’s pretty amazing.
Summer in the Philippines
Summer in the Philippines is a wonderful time – save for the heat! As an archipelagic country, there are tens of thousands of beaches for local and foreign tourists to visit. It also only takes less than a day to travel to far-off beaches or to see breathtaking vistas, making it easy to visit multiple vacation places at once.
Of course, it doesn’t take a long road trip to have a great summer in the Philippines. During festival season, neighbourhood kids would wake up, look out their windows and see decorations along the streets. Local residents would be dressed in elaborate costumes and the aroma of festival delicacies in the air. Festivals in the Philippines are a staple since there are over 100 festivals celebrated in the months of April and May alone. It’s no wonder that summer festivals are such a classic and nostalgic season for everyone!
From the vibrant flowers in Flores De Mayo to the show-stopping performances in Aliwan Festival, there is always something to celebrate in the summer.That is precisely why we couldn’t resist dedicating this summer huddle to fiestas with Diversifiesta! It’s a celebration of street parties and performances, embracing the Filipino way of festivity.
Viva La Vibrant Vibes at the Summer Huddle!
During our summer huddle at Diversify, we organised an exciting contest called “Viva La Vibrant Vibes,” where teams participated in a Design-Your-Bay competition. The aim was to bring together the refreshing atmosphere of the beach and the lively spirit of a Filipino fiesta into our office. In the days leading up to the judging, our Diversify team members immersed themselves in beach vibes, diligently creating recycled and hand-crafted decorations for their workspaces. Some even shared traditional Filipino treats like kakanin (glutinous rice desserts), because what’s a festival without some signature grub?
One of our folks from our night shift team turned their bay into an “office-tival” inspired by the MassKara festival! An homage to the famous festival in Bacolod, the big and vibrant masks were everywhere. Painted masks were elegantly strung across a huge archway that made them truly seem like a mini-festival. To truly embrace the spirit, they even wore colourful masks during their presentation!
Also highlighting festivals, teams at the Twenty-Five Seven site went all out with their Pahiyas-themed decorations. This festival is in honour of San Isidro, who is the patron saint of farmers, and deeply rooted in thanksgiving for harvests. The team beautifully incorporated elements such as using harvest-like fruits, vegetables, and Kiping (leaf-shaped wafers made from rice paper) as ornaments for their bays, paying homage to the traditions of the festival.
Meanwhile, over at our The Curve site, teams gave a loving tribute to the stunning beaches of the Philippines. As you hop off the plane on the tropical beaches, you’re greeted with amazing entertainment and activities for tourists to enjoy! We saw a loving depiction of Filipino hospitality in places like Boracay and Palawan.
Did Someone Say Summer Huddle Games?
To keep up the fiery spirit of summer, our Diversify teams were not short of classic Filipino parlour games. We Prepared two beloved staples of Filipino fiestas: th: the Palabunutan and the Pabitin.
Taking a nostalgic trip back to the ‘90s, we held our own Palabunutan game. As the name suggests, “bunot” meaning “to pull something out” the Palabunutan is a sort of raffle for kids. In the 1990s up until the early 2000s, kids would take a chance at the local Palabunutan to pick out a number from a board and collect small prizes! Of course, we did this the Diversify way with delightful snacks and exciting prizes to add to the fun!
Next up, we had the classic Pabitin, a must have at every Filipino festival or street-wide celebration. Prizes are suspended from a bamboo frame using strings, which are then raised and lowered. The objective of the game is to grab as many prizes as you can before the slats are hoisted up into the air again! Now you might think, “How did our good old friends at Diversify pull this off in an office setting?“. Well, our teams are known for their resourcefulness. A simple ladder and a guy holding up the frame by a rope did the trick! And our teams got fired up with their competitive spirits to do their very best once again!
Huddle Games That Energized the Crowd!
In addition to the site-wide games, each of our huddles brought its own unique twists to the festivities. We truly stayed ahead of it as our folks from The Curve played a lively game of Paper Dance! The name of the game is to keep dancing until the music stops, and then you (and your dance partner) must stay on top of a piece of paper together. Every round, the paper is folded, and they have to rely on their Diversify smarts to keep them steady together! Let’s just say that breaths were held as we saw them piggyback one another to win the game.
As summer doesn’t come to an end when the sun sets, our nightshift teams kept the party alive with a game of Limbo Rock. Our players shimmied their way under the ever-descending line of rope, all the while dancing to festival music. Everyone in that room was completely on edge, and amazed.
Up Next: A Huddle with Pride
And that wraps a neat little bow for our summer huddle: Diversifiesta! But don’t let that fool you into thinking that sunny days stop here. Summer might have come and gone, but the heat of the huddles persists.
We’re truly thankful to everyone for the part they played in this huddle. Diversify huddles are always special, in-person or virtually. But, what’s next? Some of you might already know that for the month of June, we’re celebrating Pride Month with Queertopia! It’s going to be a celebration of kings, queens, and non-binary monarchs. We cannot wait to see you there. Till next time, fiesta-goers!