Monday, March 10, 2008

Ultimate Offline Experience

They said it was impossible, but that was until I intervened. Hah! Finally, after two long years, Offline team went out of town in an outing. After so many colleagues went ahead to greener pastures, after teammates were hastily transferred to other accounts, and after so many factors and obstacles that Offline were faced with but not once flinched nor panicked from those situations, we guys are still tight!
Planning for a trip of such magnitude is no walk in the park. I wanted everyone who knows how to chop and timestamp, or at least have an idea who Huell Howser is to be present in the outing. Hence, “Offline by Heart” getaway. For three weeks, I was planning everything: venue, food, people, the whole nine yards. Kinda took its toll on me but hey, it pushed through anyways.

The said event were supposed to happen last March 1 & 2 to give way to the Incubus concert that many of my teammates purchased tickets to. But seeing that more people wouldn’t make it on those days was another headache of mine. So, we decided to move it on the 8th and 9th, and the Incubus people compromised to it. They can always go home early, which they did. Date is set; next: venue.

This is the most important thing and is the hardest to come up with. Several factors need to be considered: price, accessibility, private or public, and the likes. Bless an old colleague, Carmi, for she has this private resort for rent. And that pretty much takes care of our venue: Villa Carmencita at Pansol, Laguna.

Next would be charging the team. Not really that much of trouble as they were more than willing to shed half a thousand for this outing. Food was more of a challenge for everyone as there are lots of considerations and really can’t set the budget for it because not everyone gave their share yet.

And so, the week leading to the outing, everyone was anxious and excited. I mean, who wouldn’t be? This is history in the making. No one achieved such feat before. That’s why I said in my initial invite that the venue doesn’t matter as long as everyone’s there--which is what happened. Yay!

March 8, 2008. The big day. I reported to office early for the outing. Three sets of people will be going there. Us, shift ending at 5pm, will be the last one. One important thing: this day also marks the last day of Carl. So the event also serves as despidida for them and Anna, whose last day is on Wednesday, March 12. Anyways, come 5:01pm, everyone’s giddy and ready, except for me as I need to finish up reports. Fine, we’re still waiting for Kads anyways. Our manager did a surprising thing, before he left, he approached me and said, “Tim, magiingat kayo dun ah. Kaw na bahala sa kanila.” Err…so they know? No surprise there. As I’ve been saying, something this big is impossible to keep from everyone. Besides, who cares, right? We planned this one, we paid for it, we’re the ones who initiated this, so we’re free to take whoever we want to. Anyway, it’s go time.

We didn’t experience traffic in the expressway so we made up for lost time and arrived at Laguna around 8:30. Almost everyone was already there. The sight was surreal for me. Seeing everyone there, everyone happy and laughing, excited about the whole thing, nice! They didn’t eat until we got there…aww! So after some picture taking that ran for 30 minutes non-stop and group hugs from people who just got out of the pool (bastards!)--it’s chow time! Not bad with the grub. We had barbecue, hotdogs, roasted chicken inasals, adobo, and cerelac rice. Everyone’s full, I’m sure.

March 8 also is the birthday of our long-time mentor, Ru, who wasn’t able to join us because her friends decided to set up a surprise party for her. Well, we hoped she was surprised because she missed one helluva event. We did call her before we ate and passed the phone around so we could pay respects and greet.

Dandan started the “party” with his “You Make Me Feel Brand New” rendition; the first of many laughable moments to his credit. Time to bring out the booze. I mixed up a friend’s concoction, Screwdriver, for everyone. Well, since we didn’t have pitchers, my measurements a little off, but it was good nonetheless. But no one replaces Happy Horse so that’s the primary drink for the night.

It ain’t a party if there no singing and dancing. Unfortunately, I never planned to include myself in the dancing part. Let’s just say that it includes a Roderick Paulate song and lots of Pussycat Dolls hits. Really lost respect to lots of individuals that night. Hahaha. Here’s Emman if he was a Pussycatt doll: “Bro-Cha!” After more festivities and singing, I was surprised to see that most people retired to their quarters around 3:00 am. Only Mackoie, Claire (who just arrived), and I were the ones left with the karaoke machine. Weird, because they told me when I was planning that it’s okay even if there’re no rooms or beds for outings such as this one because hardly anyone sleeps; just party till the sun comes up. Cutscene: 3:00 am and everyone’s so peaceful. **Sigh**

I slept around 7:00 am and never really what happened from then on. I woke up to find that half of the people already left and those who are left are bugging me to go already. It’s only 11:00 am. This was probably the one who downed my spirits but the fun and experience the night before compensated more than enough to make it one of the most memorable experiences ever.

Truly, this indeed is one for the history books. It was the day that Offline Transcription & Captioning team got together, left their worries in the city, and spent time together like one big happy family.

To: Anna, Boy, Carl, Claire, Dandan, Emman, Fredz, Honee, Jacq and Ovie, Jen, Kads, Kibi, Mackoie, Mark, Met, Mico, Nyce, Odette, Patty, Roi, Ronn, Ton, Veejei

Thanks you very much, guys. Until next time.

For more photos, check out: Carl's, Honee's, Patty's, Kibi's, Met's, Ton's, and Mackoie's...
And for videos: Together Forever and Bro-Cha...


Kadz said...

Didn't have time to write a lengthier one. Good thing you did! Hehe.

I'll link this blog on MD. It was truly a memorable partaaaayyyy!!!

timeenutlatte said...

It's the only I think I can contribute in posting eh. Hehehe. No pics and videos, just the memories. I'm waiting for the other photos so I could make an appreciation blog in Multiply. Hehehe.

Saw yours! Nice nice. The beach thing, that one's for the books too! I'm excited.

VeeJei said...

Together forever and never to part
Together forever we two
And don't you know
I would move heaven and earth
To be together forever with you