Industry Heroes are people working in the Hospitality Industry who either go the “extra mile” for the company or their colleagues. Or who provide a services, support, advocate or promote the industry and its workforce

Tiffany Marie Somes Ferra Hotels Boracay Industry Hospitality Hero

Tiffany Marie Somes Ferra Hotels Boracay Industry Hospitality Hero

 

Tiffany Marie Somes

Operations Manager – Ferra Group of Hotels and Restaurants

Managed by Hospitality Business Group Inc. (Management Group)

 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

I give my heart to everything that I do. Being in the service business is not just about knowing the proper service standards. It is also about the heart you put into it, to make the work and service you give as genuinely and as truthful as possible; for external guests, partners and most especially to internal teams and work mates. I also believe that if you put your heart into what you do, the output becomes more meaningful, with a different kind of quality.

I make sure to build relationships to build the business. I am a very relational kind of leader. I make sure I get to know all of our staff and my team mates.  Not only by name but by their stories. Once I know who they are and what makes them work hard, I use that as a motivation to bring out the best in them. Part of this is building a different kind of respect within the team.  So when all else fails, because misunderstandings can be unavoidable, it’s easily mended because of mutual respect.

Put God in the middle of the team. Meetings and activities are never complete without an opening and closing prayer. Talking to troubled staff will always end with “let me pray for you and with you”.  I sincerely think that whatever I have in talent, in skill, in heart came from God.  And that is how I want to shape the people around me; to walk in Faith, always.

 

Top tips for your Hospitality colleagues:

My two top tips have been my guide ever since I started as a Marketing Assistant.

Increase your value. I started with Ferra Hotels as a Marketing Assistant.  I knew I did not want to remain in that role forever; I wanted to grow professionally and progress. So I started training in the Front Office. I then cross-trained to Food and Beverages Service, with a basic in Bartending. I went through training to become the Hotel’s Pollution Control Officer and then proceeded to train for Housekeeping. My next goals are to improve in Maintenance and start training in the kitchen.

Increasing your value is not always about the money, although that does come with it; you earn more when you learn more. It is about your personal growth and fulfillment;  knowing you have become better than who you were before. When you also know more, you can share more to other people. As they say, you cannot give what you do not have.

Always have ‘the attitude of gratitude’. Big or small, good or bad, be thankful. It makes you see the world and all its ups and downs with a more beautiful and positive perspective.

 

Your activities:

I assist in training our staff team, scholars and our OJT’s (On the Job Trainees).  They undergo rigid, values-centered training and skills enhancement. We also make mental health an essential in the workplace; where staff can get support from the management with their personal and career struggles. I am a young Hotel Leader under our management group, Hospitality Business Group Inc. and we ensure quality values-driven training for our staff and scholars. We concentrate on more than just their knowledge and skills, we develop their heart and their character too.

I set up a personal project when the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) started on the island in March 2020.  I named it #MaskImportanteKa.  The aim is to provide a free washable, cloth face mask to vulnerable people on Boracay.  We had a shortage of N95 Masks even before the ECQ was announced.  I enlisted a local dressmaker, who had lost customers due to the lock down, to help make the masks.  I was able to use the medical knowledge I had from Nursing, which I did before taking up Communication back in college. We have been able to distribute 200 face masks so far, whilst helping local livelihoods, and will continue with production while it is needed.

During the COVID-19 Lock Down I did what I could do support stranded workers.  Not just stranded hospitality workers but the construction workers employed in the ongoing rehabilitation of the island.  I personally donated food packs to 15 stranded construction workers in Manoc-Manoc.  Ferra Hotel also supported the Red Cross My Boracay Share project by donating noodles for their food pack distribution to stranded workers on Boracay.

I also set up and run a Facebook Group ‘Stranded in Boracay‘.  More than 200 workers, stranded on Boracay during Lock Down, are members.  The aim is to provide support and information to stranded workers during ECQ.  I share announcements and words of encouragement to them, as well as useful information.  I have also coordinated with LGUs to get some of the stranded workers home.  That includes helping them process their health certificates and letters of acceptance from their home areas, working with the media to get their stories heard and working with Red Cross for the distribution of food packs to them.

 

One of Ferra Hotel’s projects is Lighting Your Paths. It is an electrical lighting project which runs from the start of the road our Boracay hotels are located on, all along and then down to Bulabog Beach.  During the rehabilitation of Boracay in 2018 this road, and the connecting road down to the kite-surfing beach was plunged in to darkness.     We started Lighting Your Paths in July 2019.  Ferra Hotel provided the equipment; basic 20 watt Firefly Floodlights, and the wiring. Ferra Hotel’s Maintenance Team did the job connecting the wiring to the electricity source of Ferra Hotel’s staff house.

For the community, we invited people of Bulabog for a Covid-19 Awareness Forum, sponsored by our hotel. We also distributed Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials to the neighbors, as awareness campaign during the onset of the pandemic.

We were also able to distribute at least 50 food packs to people from sectors who lost jobs; ordinary vendors, boat men, etc.  The food packs contained 2 kg of rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee and some personal hygiene items and a washable cloth mask.

When tourism first began to struggle, we started the #BestTimeNow campaign. I presented the campaign to the other island stakeholders, to help us push the tourism agenda of the island. We invited managers and business owners for a short brainstorming session, to present the idea and work on uniting people as one Boracay community; promoting the island, setting aside competition to work as a team.

 

Inspirations:

I grew up with my grandparents, so they inspired me a lot. My Tatay, who recently passed away, taught me to be tough yet gentle with people I meet. My Nanay, who is now 75 years old, gave me my hunger for education (both of them are teachers).

My boss, our General Manager, Sir Dante Cruz, also inspired me to be a person of vision and that being young doesn’t mean you can’t become somebody; for yourself and for the people around you. As he said, age is just a number and as young as I am, I should be a visionary leader with high integrity.

 

What’s in your Future?

I hope to grow our team within Hospitality Business Group Inc. and Ferra Group, by building their knowledge, skills and heart. I think that is the real value of me as a leader; build more leaders with so much heart for what we do. I want to inspire young hoteliers like me to dream big and succeed in the industry. We want to expand the Ferra brand soon and I would like to be there when it happens.

On a personal level, my dream is actually to become a lawyer.  For now, I don’t see myself getting to Law School anytime soon, maybe a Masters or additional academic credentials might do for now.

Anne Lapena MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

+Anne Lapena MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

Anne Margarette R. Lapeña

Housekeeping Attendant at Herald Suites

 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work: 

Knowledge about the field of your work

Willingness to work

Always enjoy your day in doing your work.

 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:  I remember my professor once told me that I should choose a job I love, because I will never have to work a day in my life, and that says a lot!

 

Unique Experiences/why you were nominated:

I have worked at the Herald Suites Hotel for more than 5 years.  I have been nominated for Your Hospitality Heroes because of the most unique experience that has ever happened to me.  I was working and found a guest had left 70,000.00php, I was able to surrender the 70,000 pesos to the company without any hesitation. Because I believe that when you are loyal to your company you must be loyal to the customer as well.

 

Your activities:  It’s just only a matter of participating in the company’s program and advocacy.

 

Inspirations: I really just love my job, my work, the environment, the people I am surrounded with, those things inspires me.

 

What’s in your Future? I can’t be specific because I have big plans in future and I don’t want to just dictate what my future will be so, as of now I’m into bettering myself, trying to learn new things everyday as much as possible, also to get more experience in different situation, places, and to get along with different people. Because I know that everyday is a learning process.

No one knows what lies ahead. I still believe that God has designed and planned my future and where I will be in the next five years.

 

 

 

Mike Martillano MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Mike Martillano MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Michael “Mike” Martillano

Owner (corporation) Eclipse Dive Center, Boracay

PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with specialty ratings for Nitrox, deep dive, night dive. 

2016-2019 President of BBASS (Boracay Business Administration of Scuba Shops Inc.).

2020 Vice President of BBASS

 

Mike has held the position of Vice President or President for the Boracay Business Administration of Scuba Shops Inc. since 2016.  BBASS Environmental advocacies include Ocean-Bed Clean-ups, Crown of Thorns removals, maintenance of Dive Buoys, as well as assisting with maintenance of snorkeling and anchorage buoys.  Members may also be called upon to assist with search and rescue missions.

 

3 things you focus on in your work:  Diving is a specific industry so I have very distinct focus points.

Quality of Service – Making sure I have good and well maintained Equipment, so checking regularly. Ensuring standards and procedures of training are strictly followed

Attention to detail – this for me is getting to know and understand my students; how I may teach one can be very different to how I would teach another.

Safety – For me this is about familiarity with the dive sites on any given day in terms of how they react to weather and currents, and with my students; so we can agree on the dive sites appropriate for their skills or experience.

 

3 things that are important to me when I’m working:

Communication – you have to have the best communication with the people you work with. For co-coordinating day to day activities, maintenance of equipment but also during dives

Time-keeping – this is very important, especially in certain dive destinations, where you have to pay attention to the current and weather. Time-keeping is important for Instructors to follow, and our students.

Being physically and mentally fit – Not just me but my instructors too. Diving requires you to be fit and healthy. It is especially important for divers working on Boracay, where there are a lot of bars and parties; you have to have a balance.  It’s vital to keep yourself physically fit for diving, for yourself and for your students.

 

My top tip for my Hospitality colleagues:

Put your best foot forward.  The moment the guest meets up with you, be you’re absolute best.  You are providing a service, an experience.  This approach gives them the best time and also lessens the chance of complaints.

 

My activities:

I have been a member of BBASS since 2012 but I’ve been diving a lot longer.  I was the President of BBASS (Boracay Business Administration of Scuba Shops Inc.) from 2016, when the President stepped down half way through his term, and I stepped up. I was then elected President in 2017-2019.  In 2020 I stepped down to the Vice-President position.

I was the President of BBASS during the closure of Boracay, when the island was under heavy scrutiny.  I advocated hard for Boracay’s Marine environment to be included in the Rehabilitation Program.  Initially it wasn’t included, other than the issue of making the water cleaner.  I attended one meeting early on in the closure, and was then invited to lots of meetings. It was good to know that the Dive Tourism Community’s voice was heard.

During the closure I advocated strongly for the remaining divers on the island to be allowed to continue with the ocean clean ups and monitoring of the ocean bed.  At the time there was a ban on boats and people using the water, other than a small stretch of water at Station 1. I had to approach the Security Committee of the island and negotiate with them to allow the remaining divers on the island to have access to the water.  We had a major Crown of Thorns epidemic, at the time.  It had started early in January and there was a massive epidemic of them across the Philippines. It was vital we had permission to enter the water to try to clear them, before they destroyed our corals and reefs.

BBASS has worked closely with the Boracay Inter-Agency Taskforce ever since, to set up various initiatives and advocacy projects.  We have also conducted seminars for the Greenfins Foundation here; educating island stakeholders and water users.  Topics include Why you shouldn’t drop Anchors, what fish shouldn’t be caught and why, not dropping trash in to the ocean and dry docking for repairs and not doing it whilst on the ocean.  We also put signage, inspired by the Greenfins Foundation, all over the island and with DENR.

Every September is International Coastal Clean Up (ICC) month and all members participate.   Officially BBASS organizes clean ups every quarter, but many members also carry out monthly clean-ups . And some divers practice it daily, always carrying a net bag, to educate the student divers on the importance of looking after the marine environment.

We maintain the Dive Buoys and help with snorkeling and Anchorage Buoys.  We still sometimes see evidence of anchors having been dropped but it’s very few now.  But in the past when it wasn’t followed, we would take photos and make reports of offenders.  Visiting yachts is still an issue ; our dive buoys are not designed for yachts and many don’t know where to moor up.  This is something we still need to address.

 

Inspirations/Goals:

My biggest inspiration is to have Boracay recognized as the leading Sustainable Tourist Dive Destination in the Philippines.

What is unique here is that Boracay’s dive spots are all within 20 minutes of the beach, and an island full of hotels, spa’s, restaurants, bars and other activities.  Unlike other Philippine Dive Destinations, which are really only geared up for Dive Tourism and often a great distance from the nearest hotels or attractions for non-divers.

Here tourists can visit with their families or friends and indulge their love of diving whilst the rest of their party chill out on the beach, have a massage or do their own activities.  And they can all still meet up for lunch, or dinner afterwards.  There’s no having to travel for 2 or 3 hours to get to their dive centre; everything is here within walking distance along a beautiful white beach.  Plus we have a great range of dive sites for beginners and experienced divers.

 

What’s in your Future?

My main aim is to continue to provide a quality service.  I’d like to see more locals becoming more environmentally aware and responsible for the island; to be Eco-Warriors.  Not just on Boracay but across the Philippines and the World. To be aware of the impact that they have on the environment, and how they can minimize it.

 

More about The Boracay Business Administration of Scuba Shops Inc (BBASS):

The role of BBASS is to maintain the Boracay Dive Center Compliancey register and provide a forum for Dive Shops.  BBASS used to oversee the set Dive Rates too  but in 2019 decided to focus more on the islands environmental  issues, continuing with the Ocean Bed clean-ups, maintaining the buoys at the dive sites and the Crown of Thorns removals.

BBASS also polices Standards and Procedures of member dive shops; equipment and training of BBASS members.  They undertake an inspection of all shops at the start of the year, with PCSSD (Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving), Philippine Coast Guard and officers from the LGU, prior to endorsement for renewal of their business permits.

BBASS also does random inspections on the shops and personnel, throughout the year, checking instructors certifications are up to date, dive equipment is well maintained, recording procedures etc.  BBASS decided these issues were more important to focus on, than setting the dive rates for Boracay, which wasn’t being followed anyway.

One of the requirements of BBASS is that every dive shop is required to participate in the BBASS environmental advocacy programs.   Shops send personnel to join the ocean bed clean-up dives.  Or, when they need to collect and remove Crown of Thorns.  This is done with volunteer divers from the islands Dive Shops and various other island officials and groups.

Rommel T Juan MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Rommel T Juan MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Rommel Tambunting Juan

Chief Executive Officer Binalot Fiesta Foods Inc.

DAHON Program

Eggciting Harvest Project/EMBRACE

Rommel started up DAHON (Dangal at Hanapbuhay para sa Nayon) in 2006, in response to the devastation of Luzon by Typhoon Milenyo. Milenyo’s winds and rain destroyed most of the banana leaves in the area, which were normally supplied to the fast-food chain Binalot.  Sourcing a new supplier in Barangay Buhanginan in Nagcarlan, Laguna,  Binalot’s CSR program DAHON has resulted in a community livelihood program benefiting 30 families and has since expanded into a salted egg production program too.

 

Three things you make sure you focus on, in your work:

I always ask people how they are.

I always focus on achieving our targets.

I always try to keep everything light.

 

Top tips for your Hospitality Colleagues: 

Always try to wow your customers! And always keep your people happy, so that they can give the best service.

 

Your Activities:

We started our DAHON Program in 2006.  DAHON stands for Dangal at Hanapbuhay para sa Nayon and it is an ode to Binalot’s iconic banana-leaf packaging.

Binalot Fiesta Foods Inc is famous for its classic Filipino meals wrapped in a banana leaf.  During Typhoon Milenyo in 2006, Binalot’s usual source for banana leaves was wiped out.  We looked at importing leaves from Iloilo but the costs were just not sustainable.  Being proactive, I started searching for more local options and was directed to Nagcarlan, near Mt. Banahaw, in Laguna.

Nagcarlan resident Rodney Oriel agreed to an initial supply of 3,000 cut pieces of banana leaves for Binalot, sourced from banana trees grown in the backyards of the Barangay’s impoverished farmers.  This initiative has since evolved into a Community Livelihood Program, participated in by 30 families.

Wanting to help the community more, we have most recently partnered with another program, called EMBRACE. We’d looked at other crops the farmers could produce, to expand the economic benefits of DAHON, but there was always competition from other areas.  Binalot provides one salted egg with every meal so we decided to introduce salted egg production to Barangay Buhanginan.

We acquired 30 salted egg starter kits and consulted the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on the production process for the Eggciting Harvest Project. The starter kits, which were awarded to the Barangay Buhanginan matriarchs, enables the community to supply Binalot with 1,000 trays of fresh and high-quality salted eggs for its stores, every month.

The success of Binalot’s CSR program lies in its sustainability, and the way it’s sustainable is because we are the community’s direct market. Banana leaves are our primary packaging and we have salted egg with every Binalot meal. As long as there’s Binalot, it’ll be a continuous partnership and that’s our commitment to the community of Barangay Buhanginan.

We are proud that DAHON has received several citations including the once-in-a-lifetime Centennial Prize in the worldwide 2007 UPS Out-of-the-Box Small Business Contest and the Intel-AIM Corporate Social Responsibility Award (IACRA) at the Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in 2010.

 

Inspirations: My family inspires me. And the energy of my people at work energizes me.

 

What’s in your future?  I hope that  we can expand our advocacy further as Binalot grows. I believe that you must first do well, before you can do good.

 

Since its beginnings, the DAHON Program has not only become a reliable form of livelihood for the inhabitants of Brgy. Buhanginan; it has also helped build the barangay’s own dahunan where the townspeople regularly gather to socialize and prepare Binalot’s weekly orders. It has provided financial support to both students and teachers at the local daycare center, and families have been able to send the children to college and university.

 

Vince Navarette MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Vince Navarette MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Vince Navarette

Activities Director & Tour Guide: My Boracay Guide

Partner Boracay Heat Hot Sauce

 

 

Three things Vince made sure to focus on in his work:

His genuine Love for Boracay Island

His Optimism, Mark saw every day as different; a different day, a different adventure

His Passion for wanting tourists to take back great memories, or to remember something good about Boracay when they go back home.

 

Top tips for Hospitality colleagues:

For Vince Communication was key.  He took pride in remembering and using his guests names, when addressing them.  So they didn’t feel like they were one of many, and not important.  Hearing their name used was like ‘music’ to their ears.

Integrity – Vince’s attitude was always ‘Even if there is no-one there to see or know, ALWAYS do the right thing, especially at work’; he was such a professional in every thing he did.

 

How was Vince an Industry Hero?

Vince didn’t just assist guests on their tours, he always made sure he tried the activities too so he could explain them to guests, and he was always looking for new activities to add to their itineraries.

Vince would always try to read up about the country or nationality of his guests.  So when he met them he could talk about things the guest could relate to, whether about their country’s sports teams, a famous landmark, or a rock band from that area.  Each person might share more about their country or culture, and he’d remember that too and talk about it with the next guest.  For the guests it made them feel proud and recognized; that their Tour Guide knew about their country or culture.

Vince was an adventure-seeker; whether island activities, diving as part of the ocean clean-up activities, selling his hot sauce to raise funds for Ocean Preservation and Coral Reef Planting.  He would eat at local restaurants, so he could recommend great places with great food, encouraging tourists to try these instead of the recognizable Fast Food chains.

It was all of the little things he did, that you might barely notice, so he could share his genuine experiences with his guests, when assisting them, so they would make the most of their time and experience on the island.

 

Unique Experiences: 

Vince was able to directly assist a number of TV Show Celebrities (local and SouthEast Asian Celebrities).  These included Kris TV, Motorcycle Diaries, Pop TV and Magandang Buhay.  Promoting Island tourism and spreading awareness of how to care for the island

 

Inspirations:

Vince’s mentor, Barry Chew was someone who inspired him a lot.  And Bob Marley, and his music; which inspired positivity in him and a philosophy in life, that you can do anything if you put your heart in to it.

 

Legacy:

His greatest legacy is My Boracay Guide and Boracay Heat Hot Sauce.  I really believe, as do others that they wouldn’t have been as strong from the start, if it wasn’t for Vince’s hard work, passion, loyalty and dedication.

Vince’s other legacy is the friends he has left behind, who have learned from his example; from his attitude to life.  He’s also left some amazing photos of his life, loves, and work on his Facebook page.

 

Vincent passed away on 25th September 2019 and is greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Hospitality Problems Industry Hero MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

Hospitality Problems Industry Hero MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

 

 

Athena – Hospitality Problems (Facebook Forum)

Receptionist – Themed Park in Davao

 

Name of Industry Project: Hospitality Problems

This is a community page on Facebook, intended for students and personnel of the hospitality industry. It is a place to share our common problems and experiences positively. I started the page myself in 2015.  About 5 years in I needed help and I now have 17 co-admins from Luzon, Visaya’s, Mindanao and overseas, helping with the page.

 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

I make sure that I have a community, that gathers everyone in the industry and who will help each other hand in hand

I focus on offering a helping hand to followers of the page.   And I do this without anything in return because it makes me happy knowing I could help, at least, in this way

I make sure that I learn from every experience and new idea we share on the page. And at the same time acknowledge those great stories from the community

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Be kind. Nothing beats a kind heart. With kindness, you can do everything such as what I and my team do now.

Inspirations: The hospitality industry itself – because it is always challenging.

What’s in your Future? Hopefully, we can have an actual and official community, exclusively for personnel in the Hospitality Industry, with great perks and privileges.

The Hospitality Problems Team: Antonio dela Cruz | Claire Frances Joy Espartero | Renabelle Santos | Carlo Joseff | Villanueva Azurin | Oliver Lance Caramat | Cheska Manalo | Ariel Pilapil | Mhe-ann Balierbare |Jeng Tafalla | Blazie Lopez | Edrian John Martinez | Nellaine Mariz Go | Kate dela Cruz | Justin | MJ Botio | Priscila Anne