There were many ways to describe the last 12 months Diversify had. Last year, we said “huge” would be an understatement and when we recapped our 2019, it also rang true. One other way to describe Diversify’s 2019 is that it was a year full of “firsts.”
Indeed, Diversify’s Year-End Party for 2019 was a celebration of many different firsts for the company. As we continued to grow as a company, it also signalled the beginning of maturity and further opportunities. Through the highs and lows of the year, we weathered each storm and celebrated all our accomplishments, big or small. Diversify’s annual Year-End Party continued to show just how much we have grown and the different successes we achieved. We did this the only way we knew how.
Similar to last year, we capped off 2019 in Sofitel. This time however, we found ourselves in a much bigger room than last year – the Grand Ballroom of Sofitel. Considering our massive growth this year, it was more than a fitting space for Diversify to celebrate. Taking our yearly “class photo” now requires plenty of space, adjustments and wider angles from the photographers to truly capture how big Diversify’s year was. Needless to say, this continued to be a welcome challenge to have.
Before the night truly began, it was worth looking back at what made 2019 our greatest year yet. As Managing Director Angela Vidler took the stage, there was a high sense of pride in her remarks on what this year has meant for everyone present that evening and the company as a whole. From unparalleled growth to major company milestones and a new office space in BGC, Diversify’s history book continued to be rewritten with each new achievement reached. A few of these programs certainly stood out as well. Last year, we began to recognize the long-tenured Diversify employees who’ve been with the company for five years. This year, we gave out service awards to nine of our long-time employees, completely eclipsing last year’s roster.
One other particular program highlighted was the Core Values Program and the recently concluded lunch that recognized our winners for the year. It was a celebration of the people who helped make Diversify the success it is today by continuing to personify the four Core Values the company is founded on. Their contributions to Diversify have been immeasurable and recognizing their efforts was the least that we could do for them. As the night went on, we also recognized other company milestones like the huddle of the year and various employee awards.
Of course, it would not be a Diversify year-end party without some great performance numbers from our teams. For long-time Diversify employees, there was plenty of anticipation in what would be able to top the previous year of performances. It always seems like an impossible task but somehow, all the teams at Diversify manage to exceed expectations. They certainly worked hard during the year, and it was clear they partied just as hard.
Many often wonder where Diversify is able to come up with such energetic, creative performances each year. The faces on some teams may be different, but the efforts put into their stage shows is unparalleled. At the same time, it becomes much more difficult to always select the best performance in the evening! There were also a few special performances from Diversify’s management team that included a special guest.
As the evening went on, several prizes were also raffled off to lucky employees who were present. When the final prizes were given out and the night’s best performance was named, it was time to truly kick back and dance the rest of the night away.
It was a fitting end to both the year and the decade for Diversify. The mood during that Ethereal evening was a mix of pride in the work and efforts put in by everyone, and excitement for what was to come. A bit of the groundwork for what was to come in 2020 was laid out and it was clear that Diversify will have its work cut out for it. But as Diversify continues to show, this was something they would take on with full effort and enthusiasm. Before that happens however, it was fitting we celebrate all our victories and milestones to close out what could be called a truly historic year.
The Diversify Halloween party is one of the company’s biggest events. Alongside the Sportsfest and Summer Outing, the effort that Diversify puts into making Halloween special is second to none. For the last few years, there have been some very memorable moments during our celebrations, which coincide with trick or treating and who came in the best dressed for the day. It’s also a chance for Diversify to flex its creative muscle and get into the spooky spirit of the season.
In a word, Diversify’s Halloween celebration this year was “big.” With its growth in the last few months and a brand new space in BGC, Halloween at Diversify became it’s biggest and spookiest one yet. To put that into perspective, Diversify held not one, not two but four Halloween parties last October 25th that were full of fun activities, great food and creative costumes.
Last year, villains took the spotlight during Halloween at Diversify. This year, it was the heroes’ time to shine. As is tradition during Halloween, this also meant competition between our teams on who could have the best-designed bay on their floor. Diversify teams took inspiration from different superhero movies and went to work in designing their stations that also served as trick or treat hubs for our special guests. On top of this, it also meant creating costumes and reenacting scenes that our guests could watch when they stopped by.
One important aspect of the bay design was to keep it environmentally friendly. Both the costumes and bay designs of all our teams were created from recycled materials and an incredible amount of creative vision. Walking around and seeing bays based on visually stunning movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok, it may be hard to imagine that these sets were created with old boxes, paper mache and some creative planning.
Needless to say, this made selecting the best-designed work bay much more difficult for our judges.
It wouldn’t also be a Halloween party without a program! We began the festivities with a video message from the Managing Director Angela Vidler, who spoke to all our teams and praised them for their continued work and dedication, especially in the last few hectic months. We also took time to acknowledge our birthday celebrants and recognize the most recent winners of our Core Value Awards.
After our guests went trick or treating around Diversify’s office floor, it was time for our teams to participate in the day’s biggest game. Taking inspiration from the latest Avengers movies, teams were tasked with retrieving Infinity Stones for their own Infinity Gauntlets through a series of small, themed games located around the office floor. Participants had to answer trivia questions, skillfully shoot balls into cups or brave drinking unknown juices to retrieve different stones. It was an exciting – and at times amusing – event that showed a light-hearted yet still competitive side to all our teams.
At the end of the day, the judges made their decisions and awarded those who wore the best costumes and had the best bay design. Regardless of where you celebrated Halloween with Diversify however, everyone deserved credit for pulling out all the stops in holding another great Halloween party, all while also attending to their own responsibilities around the office.
In some ways, the Halloween party was just a small glimpse of things to come for Diversify. As Angela stated in her video message, the next major event to watch out for was the annual Year-End Party. Given the increasing scope of each year’s party, it stands to reason that this year’s party is going to be massive. As early as now, a few of Diversify teams have begun planning their annual showcase as they look to show why their office is the best out of them all.
Until that time comes however, the Diversify Halloween party this year is certainly one for the record books. Some employees are still talking about the events and continue to share photos and videos they took during the event. If the efforts that went into making this Halloween celebration exceeded all expectations, one certainly expects Diversify to end the year with a bang.
A recurring theme during every Diversify sportsfest is that each year promises to be bigger and more competitive. It’s amazing to the vastly different sportsfest landscape just some three years ago compared to today. Back then, teams were divided into two and team members could pick what sport they wanted to play. Today, there are bigger, fuller teams with more people who can play and manage during the event. A good problem to have, but a welcome one to be sure!
What did not change however is how Diversify staff, both new and old, approached each sportsfest with all their efforts. As Diversify continued to grow, so did the competition between all our offices around Manila. In some ways, the excitement and unpredictability of Press Play last July showed a brief glimpse of what a competitive event with this many teams meant. All of this culminated last August 31 during The 2019 Diversify Cup.
This year’s sportsfest was indeed a much different event compared to previous years. The biggest, immediate difference was where the games were played. For years, British School Manila was our home venue. With the number of teams and athletes we had this year, it was clear we needed a much bigger space, and we found it in the Philippine Navy Gym.
Last year, we introduced the Diversify Cup as the grand prize for being the games’ overall champion. As part of a brand new tradition, the “Diversify Sportsfest” would now be known as the Diversify Cup. With this, the winners of the Cup would have to defend their title each year and prove they were worthy of being called the best. Team RSC was crowned the first champions of the Diversify Cup after hard-fought victories against two other Diversify teams in 2018. This year, a second team from Twenty-Five Seven was ready to make their mark in the Diversify Cup.
As the Diversify Cup got closer, many exciting questions began to arise. Could Team RSC defend their title and become two-time champions? Can Team Twenty-Four Seven avenge their defeat from last year with stronger showings? Will the new, hungrier teams from Twenty-Five Seven surprise everyone and take the crown for themselves? These were questions just waiting to be answered and many could not wait for the games to get started.
Throughout the day, the Philippine Navy Gym was roaring with sounds of basketballs bouncing, the impact of shuttlecocks and volleyballs being returned. All these while raucous cheers from the spectators showed how strong the support was for every team. Indeed, each team had a strong purpose that day with different reasons to be at their best. Team RSC wanted to show why they were the reigning champions. Team Twenty-Four Seven had something to prove when going against their long-time rivals. As still the “new kids on the block,” the teams from Twenty-Five Seven brought a fire to the Diversify Cup that only they could.
Right from the get-go, it was clear that all of Diversify’s teams brought their A-game. No team took top honours in two events, taking the competition in all our events up to a whole new level. In volleyball, Team RSC continued their dominance in the event as they went on to take top honours. Team Twenty-Four Seven ruled the roost in badminton and won first place in both women’s and mixed doubles. Team RSC was declared the winner in the men’s doubles. In basketball, both teams from Twenty-Five Seven finished on the podium that day, with the ninth floor team winning first place and the tenth floor team finishing in third. Having these many games with everyone giving 100% made it more difficult to see who would be the winner by the end of the day!
After fiercely played games and competitive matches, the defending champions showed why they were a force to be reckoned with. Twenty-Four Seven and Twenty-Five Seven teams kept the pace going but ultimately, Team RSC had a little more in the tank and experience on their side. When the dust settled, Team RSC was once again victorious and successfully defended the Diversify Cup.
Even with the result, there were no hard feelings and everyone agreed they played great. The staff was exhausted by the end of the day, but they also felt a stronger connection with each other. The rivalry between RSC and Twenty-Four Seven continued with this new chapter, while Twenty-Five Seven put everyone on notice for next year with their performances. The Diversify Cup has always been about creating new bonds and strengthening old ones through some friendly competition. With 2020 being a huge year for athletics in general, one can almost guarantee that next year’s games will be fiercer and stronger than ever.
Want to see more photos from the event? Check out our Facebook page!
Back in 2017, Diversify held its very first gaming festival. The idea to have a gaming festival came up during a conversation about what it would be like to host one, similar to the already established Sportsfest. After gauging interest, “Playtesting” was unveiled and it involved teams from both Diversify offices at the time battling it out for supremacy.
Last July 27th was the third annual gaming festival. What began as a small, almost casual gathering of players has now grown into a bigger and much more competitive event.
The first major change to the event was its name. Playtesting was both the standard set and a reflection of what the event was about. For game developers, playtesting means looking for bugs or issues in the current build of a game in order to address them before going live. For the organizers, an event like this was the first of its kind and they wanted to see how participants would react. It allowed them to see what mechanics worked, what could be improved and what to do more of next time. After the first Playtesting was held, many standards were set that the organizers knew what to work on.
This year, the event was rebranded as “Press Play” and it was a culmination of what has been learned, seen and developed by the event’s organizers. But the name change was only just the start.
As Diversify grew bigger, so did the number of eager participants in all our company events. We’ve seen how our summer outings, year-end parties and Sportsfests continue to be much larger affairs than the last. Press Play gaming festival was no different and having more players and more teams this year certainly brought out the online competitive spirit in everyone.
What began as an event involving teams from two offices now turned into four teams from three of our offices! Players chose their preferred game and did their best to represent their respective site in friendly but intense competition. Teams from every office went all out to prepare for the event, often staying after work to practice on games with their teammates.
It certainly was a wonderful mix of the old and new during Press Play. Old favourites such as Tekken and NBA made returns for single player competition, while team competition in Counter-Strike and DOTA 2 were more exciting and intense as ever. The introduction of Mobile Legends as a playable game last year also meant more players could join Press Play. Mobile gaming’s popularity continues to rise and it was the perfect game to play for anyone who specialized in it.
The games were fast, intense and competitive throughout the day. No matter where you were on Twenty-Four Seven office floor, you could hear the sounds of spectators cheering their teams on, or players reacting to their games.
Still, there had to be winners and every player – whether competing alone or with a team – gave it their all. When the dust settled, the players of our Twenty-Five Seven office dominated Press Play, coming out as overall winners for Tekken 7, NBA 2K, DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike. RSC was also declared the winning team for Mobile Legends.
The final of DOTA 2 was an especially notable event. It pitted teams from Twenty-Four Seven and Twenty-Five Seven and the competition was very close and intense. So much so that it was difficult to declare a winner that afternoon! Both teams refused to let up and it was decided that the final game would take place at a later date. The eventual game was held last August 7th just after office hours where Twenty-Five Seven would eventually prevail. Indeed, no one expected such the exciting finish to the day would happen after the event finished, but that is what Press Play and e-sports are all about.
Some would argue that competitive gaming is indeed a legitimate sport like basketball or volleyball. It’s this belief that allowed something like Press Play to flourish with Diversify’s commitment to creating a work culture like no other. Events like Press Play allow our staff to show off their prowess and competitive spirit that isn’t limited to physical sports.
The excitement and intensity the games from Press Play brought certainly could rival the same reactions you hear at our Sportsfest. Much like them also, anyone that wants to can join. Whether it’s a few games of Counter-Strike or a few rounds of Tekken, there’s something for everyone at Press Play.
The Diversify Summer Outing is one of the company’s biggest events of the year. For one weekend, the company travels outside of Metro Manila for a full day of rest and relaxation while also bonding with all their teammates. The day is always about bringing people together. This year the core value was no different, but how we executed it was!
At previous Diversify company outings, we were all systems go with full programs planned! were There were relay races and obstacle course and loads of friendly competition. For this year’s outing, however, Diversify decided to do things a little different. This year was about relaxation, quality time together in a relaxed environment and unwinding at a beautiful location.
A quick look at all our recent summer outings showed that they were always energetic, high energy and in remote places outside Metro Manila. Whether it was in Subic or in the beaches of Batangas, the early call times and long road trips often helped build the excitement for the day’s events. Last year, Diversify created its own version of The Amazing Race that took them exploring around the Whiterock Resort in Subic. The year prior, we had our equivalent to the CrossFit games that everyone was invited to join. They were fast paced, tiring and also very rewarding for everyone who took part in them.
Which is why it was so surprising that none of that was present at our most recent summer outing last May 25th.
This year, Diversify traveled to Momarco Beach Resort in Tanay, Rizal, a good two hours away from Manila. Compared to previous outings, the travel time was much shorter, which also meant a later departure call time (much to the relief of the team members!).
What truly separated this year’s outing from the previous ones was that there was less to do competitively and much more focus on a casual, laid back day. The theme of the entire outing was to Unwind, which meant that this trip was for everyone to relax as much as possible. That meant no competition, no CrossFit Games and no one needing to rehearse for any presentation. Instead, everyone was free to explore Momarco’s great facilities and take advantage of them. Want to take a dip in the pool? You certainly could. Fancy a game of billiards or basket? That was on the table too. Think you could beat friends in a game of Snakes and Ladders? You were most welcome to try! The ultimate goal was to have a day of full relaxation and, after a few opening remarks and company photo, everyone was free to do what they want they wanted around the resort.
With the lack of any competition this year, it certainly raised the question if it was possible to have a memorable outing with no events involved. Would team members still have time to bond if they weren’t working towards a competitive goal or trying to win something for their respective site? The answer was a resounding yes!
Even if there were no games or activities planned, Diversify found creative ways to engage in some friendly competition. Around Momarco, there were different facilities – like a swimming area and basketball court – for them to enjoy. Giant sized board games were also introduced for anyone looking to play childhood favorites like Jenga or Snakes and Ladders but with a fun twist. By mid-morning, the resort’s swimming area was filled with Diversify team members. In the afternoon, the basketball court was abuzz with different games being played. A few employees showed off their skills on the pool table with a few rounds of billiards. The giant Jenga set was an unexpected, but welcome highlight as different team members took turns with their friends in trying not to topple over the tower. A few even got creative with their games, such as using a small pocket of grassy areas in Momarco as a site for some dodgeball games.
During the day also, some team members also had fun just lounging about. In keeping with theme of unwinding, you could see many from Diversify staff just sitting in their huts or under the lounge area umbrellas by the pool with friends. A few brought playing cards and enjoyed the food and drink provided by the event’s caterers. In these moments, you could see and hear how they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and the time they had to get closer. Not bad for a day that didn’t have any inter-office games or contests planned.
It’s said every year, but Diversify’s summer outings consistently deliver on a high level. This year’s outing was a special one as it broke with what a traditional Diversify outing was and did something new. But as reactions have shown, it might be how we do all our summer outings moving forward.
The outings as a whole often become a favourite talking point among the staff whenever they look back at all the cool things they’ve done in the year. With the different approach we took, it was wonderful to see so many adapt to the change with plenty of enthusiasm. For the organizers, it was the least that they could do for the team that put in the hard work on a daily basis. Diversify consistently puts a strong focus on its culture and the people that make it up, and we wanted an event that strongly reflected that. It was one for the Diversify history books and many already cannot wait for the next one.