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The Four Benefits of Team Building

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“Teamwork: Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success”-Henry Ford

Every employer wants a successful business. After all, their endeavors would all be for naught if they do not see their dealings take off. However, accomplishing success is not a feat that can be done alone, and anyone with a lucrative business venture would tell you that your employees play a pivotal role in achieving and maintaining it.
It is no question that a business or company will be so much more fruitful and successful if its employees exert a concerted effort in ensuring that they deliver only the best results. However, this is only true if your employees can work in cohesion and together as a team and as colleagues. In this regard, they should be able to relate with one another at a professional level.

For this reason, team building activities are incredibly vital in guaranteeing company success as it cultivates the relationships of your employees among their colleagues. Furthermore, team building fosters togetherness by encouraging collaboration and teamwork. By making them engage in fun activities, you are effectively allowing your employees to see each other differently. Should the team building activities be successful, then you would see the same problem-solving tactics, unity and team cooperation translated into the corporate environment. In any case, here are some of the reasons why team building is incredibly important:

1.) Meet new people

If your office is particularly big, there is a likely chance that your employees have not met other employees from other departments. It is even more likely that they have not interacted with everyone in the workplace. Team building addresses this as apart from seeing their colleagues in a different light, it also draws them out of the shell. It brings people together and compels them to interact with each other in order to achieve goals and accomplish tasks. In this regard, one can say that team building is an excellent avenue not only for meeting the rest of the employees but also getting to know them.

2.) Build confidence

Team building activities have the propensity to build your employees’ confidence. It enables them to draw strength, not only in themselves but others as well. Initially, stepping out of what they have deemed familiar may seem daunting to them, but accomplishing that feat will give them a confidence boost almost instantaneously. There may be instances in the office where colleagues would be a bit hesitant to work together. Whether this stems from a complete lack of faith in the capability of others or from merely being timid or shy, team building would help them assuage these qualms.

3.) Foster team spirit

It is no question that employees who care about each other will inevitably care about the company more. In this regard, as soon as they begin trusting each other more, they would trust the company as well. In effect, they would no longer see their colleagues as workmates, but a collection of friends who they can count on when it comes to working towards a common objective. With this, your employees would no longer see the company as a source of their paychecks but rather something they are part of in achieving an endeavor. Team building helps your employees see the job as more of a career and the office as a home.

4.) Cultivates teamwork

Lastly, it should be evident by now that team building activities cultivate teamwork. When they have all learned what they can about each other, they will learn to care about one another and trust themselves and each other. As a result, they will trust the company better and would have a better understanding of their role. In this way, they would all then make a concerted effort in working together towards a common goal.

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Affordable Leisure: Five Activities You Can Do on Weekends with Your Family

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“No amount of money or success can take the place of time spent with your family.” –Author Unknown

It has been said that family time is not a matter of convenience, but rather a matter of priority. With this sentiment in mind, we should always endeavor to spend some quality time with our families—most especially on weekends where everyone is unencumbered by work obligations or school homework and tasks. Unfortunately, taking time to really have fun with your family can be a little costly—particularly if you wish to give an incredible blowout such as a weekend spent in Alviera. So, you might have to settle on activities you can do at home, but admittedly, spending time watching TV with your kids can be a little repetitive and it is something you can do on any ordinary weekend. So, how do you reconcile spending a fun weekend with your family and being on a tight budget together?

Well, fun does not have to be equated with forking a lot of cash. Here are some of the best alternative weekend activities you can do that virtually cost you nothing:

1.) Visit your local library

If you and your family are voracious readers, then why not visit the local library for a myriad of books of every genre to choose from? Apart from hosting a range of books, most libraries also have an extensive DVD and CD collection which you can out. If your kids are rather young, some libraries host storytelling time for children and if you live in a rather swanky neighborhood, they would also have book clubs, film nights and book readings.

2.) Play board games

In the age of Internet and social media, more and more of us have become rather dependent on technology. So much so, that it would be quite unimaginable to tear our eyes away from screens for at least fifteen minutes. TO address this dilemma, why not take away your eyes and your kids’ eyes from any sort of screen for the weekend and opt to play board games the traditional way instead? Go old school and teach your children how to play classics such as Monopoly and Pictionary. You can also go contemporary by opting to play Uno and similar games instead.

3.) Volunteer

If you wish your children to become more involved with the community, have them volunteer at local community events instead. Regardless of where you might be, there are innumerable volunteering opportunities for you and your family to try. If you have a flair for gardening, then you and your kids might want to sign up for gardening clubs that spruce up plants in public spaces. If you have a penchant for the beach, take them to do a beach cleanup instead or if you and your family are a bunch of animal lovers, volunteer at a local shelter or animal-rescue organizations.

4.) Meet your neighbors

You might have been living in your neighborhood all your life but have not really had the chance to meet them, then you should make a conscious effort to introduce yourself to them. Go for a stroll in your neighborhood and take your kids with you, say hello to your neighbors and stay a bit for a chit chat. You might not know it, but what started out as an afternoon chat could potentially be a lifelong friendship. Furthermore, meeting your neighbors provides a unique avenue for your kids to make friends with other children who are in proximity to them.

5.) Take up a new hobby

Taking up hobbies and developing skills are best done during a child’s formative years. So, if you have been wishing for them to take up a new hobby or perhaps they have expressed interest in a particular hobby then learn it with them. Horseback riding, pottery, ballets and the like are all activities you can do over the weekend with your child. Moreover, watching you learn the skill with them encourages them to do better and will give them that extra push as well.

 

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The Top Four Reasons to Hold Team Building Activities

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“A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind.” –Bill Bethel

We have all heard the merits and benefits of hosting team building events. The two words themselves can mean different things to a lot of people. For employees, a team building event can mean at least a day away from the office, and perhaps a chance to check out the grounds of Nuvali. Furthermore, team building activities would mean engaging in fun activities that would consequently strengthen their bond with their colleagues. Unfortunately, for employers, this could mean a day that could potentially have been spent productively but was instead spent on what would be akin to a makeshift vacation at the company’s expense. However, employers, supervisors, and bosses should not be so quick to dismiss the idea of team building. After all, apart from granting your employees a brief reprieve from work and having fun with each other, it also strengthens their morale which could significantly remunerate the company—as it is, happier employees would consequently result in a better workforce and office environment.

In any case, here are some of the reasons why you should hold team building activities:

1.) Increases productivity

Team building activities—regardless of wherever they are held—are generally collaborative in nature. As a result, not only does it challenge employees to learn how to work as a team, but would also enable them to learn how to work together efficiently. It allows your staff to discover their colleagues’ different skills as well as showcase their own—both of which are paramount in understanding how to approach a problem. This very same knowledge, when applied in the office environment, would make for a productive workforce and would resultantly make for a more efficient set of individuals.

2.) Improve communication

Team building activities would give participants the opportunity to openly communicate with each other. In the office setting, clear and open communication are two integral elements paramount to the success of projects and relationships. The exercises involved in team building activities foster better communication skills among your staff and as a result, would cultivate open communication in the corporate environment. Furthermore, team building activities allow your staff to get to know one another beyond the confines in the office and a casual setting no less. When it comes to building trust among your staff, this is important.

3.) Develop problem-solving skills

Most team building activities require problem-solving skills and would naturally involve a simulated problem that your staff needs to work out and solve. Considering that most team building activities are conducted in a casual setting, participants are less likely to feel any pressure than they would should an issue occur in the workplace. In a way, their success in solving problems in team building activities would build their confidence and increase their morale. Lastly, the skills they would have developed during the various activities would be ones that would ultimately be beneficial in the corporate environment.

4.) Keep employees motivated

Conducting a team building activity lets your staff and employees know that their success is integral to the company and that you, yourself care about them. Apart from providing employees an avenue for relaxation, team building events are tailored to help participants develop new skills and help them grow as well. These are two things which would show your commitment to your employees’ success. As a result, your staff and employees would likely reciprocate by producing better work and investing in the business. Moreover, they would feel a sense of pride in their individual jobs and are likely to attempt achieving company goals. Considering all these, it would be natural for employees to feel motivated and enthusiastic in doing their jobs. Seeing as team building activities are centered on building better professional relationships, your employees would likely look forward to reporting for work as it would mean seeing their colleagues.

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Pushing Your Limits: Five Reasons Why An Adventure Travel is Good For You

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“Some people choose activities which give them pleasure, while others seek pleasure in every activity they perform.” -Sukant Ratnakar

 

It has been said that the perfect gift you can give anyone who loves the outdoors is to invite them on an adventure—well, at least according to Ben Stookesberry that is. Indeed, if you know someone with a penchant for the great outdoors, then it is almost inevitable that they would have a particular proclivity for going on adventures. Adventures can mean many things; it may be something as simple as exploring the nearest cave in your neighborhood, trying out something you have never done before or simply getting a euphoric rush from the surge of adrenaline felt in doing such activities. With the myriad of things adventure can mean to different people, it would be unwise to limit those so called adventures only to those that push you beyond your boundaries. However, as it is, those adventures that do push you out of your comfort zone would end up being the defining adventures that would make you feel accomplished and as a result, more fulfilled. Furthermore, the experience can be very enlightening, and it would teach you a lot about yourself and your capabilities.

However, there are many reasons why travel centered on an adventure would be excellent for you. So before deciding to head on to an adventure park such as Alviera, try to see why an adventure travel might be better for you. Here are five reasons why:

1.) When you get dirty, you improve your physical health.

If you are one of those individuals who would be incredibly meticulous about a little grime and dirty, then perhaps roughing the outdoors might not be for you. But then again, as we are on the topic of going out of our comfort zones, you might want to give it a try. It has been found that getting a little dirty can actually be good for you. This is because, as scientists have found, an obsession with cleanliness can actually lead to a rise in allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma. Getting a little dirty is an excellent avenue for developing and improving your immune system.

2.) There are no age limits on adventure

You do not have to be young to enjoy your own adventure because when it comes to adventure and exploration, it does not distinguish between the young and the old. Just about anyone can make the great outdoors their playground and going on adventures is an activity you can do for life. However, if you have any existing health problems, it is best if you consult your physician first before going on some taxing adventure excursions.

3.) It raises your tolerance for uncertainty

No matter how meticulously you plan and detail the itinerary of your travel, there would always be the possibility that things may not go as planned. This is particularly the case for adventure trips where you will be constrained to make compromises when something unforeseen occurs. Consequently, you would be able to cope with uncertainty better—whether it is in your adventure or your life.

4.) It fosters reflectiveness

One of the best things about adventure travels is that it cultivates a sense of self-awareness and it promotes individuality—two things that seem to be in short supply today. Without a doubt, adventures would often make the best memories, and you can expect to relive and reminisce about those memories for years to come. Apart from being an avenue for introspection, it also allows you to discover how truly capable you are and discover more about yourself. In a sense, by pushing yourself beyond your limits and your comfort zone, you would then learn to conquer some of your fears.

5.) It lets you “try on” different lives

If you have been living in the same skin for so long and have gotten so used to your everyday routine, life can be quite dull after a while. An adventure travel reinvigorates your soul and reawakens your thirst for life by letting you safely “try” on alternate lives. You are allowed to shed your skin for a while and pretend to be anything you want to be in a foreign place. In a sense, you would soon ask yourself who you would be had you lived there.

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Discovering Pampanga: Six Homegrown Kapangpangan Restaurants You Must Try!

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“Food is our common ground. A universal experience.” -James Beard

Pampanga is known to be the gastronomic and culinary capital of the Philippines. With an array of delectable homegrown restaurants and authentic Kapampangan dishes that is rivaled nowhere else in the country, you are guaranteed an incredible and epic food journey when you have the chance to visit. However, not all of their epicurean offers are the same; some are more authentic than the others and some dishes would be more delectable when they are prepared by the innovators themselves. So, if you have a weekend planned in Pampanga—whether to visit the Sandbox in Porac, Pampanga Alviera, here are some of the best homegrown restaurants with dishes you can sink your teeth into:

1.) Binulo Restaurant- Clarkfield

This restaurant got its moniker from the Aeta method of cooking food in fresh bamboo. Known as one of the only restaurants to prepare food this way, Binulo is popularly known for serving diners only the best and authentic Campangpangan cuisine. To complement their array of local dishes, US grilled steaks are also on the menu. If you have a hankering for good home-cooked food, Binulo is the best place to go. Finish your meal with their excellent dessert of Suman and Mango ice cream which doubles as an ideal snack on a hot summer day.

2.) Historic Camalig Restaurant

If you have a penchant for trying a lot of Capangpangan dishes at once, then head on over to Historic Camalig Restaurant. Established on a century old ancestral grain depot restored in 1980, Camalig is now a restaurant that serves the famous Kapangpangan Pizza. The ambiance and good food would all be worth the long trip. For those who love to indulge themselves, the restaurant offers a Kapangpangan buffet as well.

3.) Angeles Fried Chicken

Known to be the Philippines’ counterpart and rendition to United States’ friend chicken joint, AFC or Angeles Fried Chicken is the restaurant for fried chicken lovers. Known to be one of the most popular restaurants in the city, their chicken has been perfected to be succulent and juicy at the same time. The recipe has remained largely unchanged and has been passed down from generation to generation.

4.) Everybody’s Cafe

No trip to Pampanga is ever complete without stopping over and having a meal at Everybody’s cafe. As the name itself suggests, the restaurant is just about for anyone and has some of the most exotic things in their menu. Unlike your typical cafeteria, you can find things such as betute (stuffed frogs) and camaru (crickets) on the menu which is perfect for those who are looking for a bit of a culinary dining adventure. Known to be one of the longest running restaurants in the city, this cafeteria has a lot of local dishes visitors should sample—from the Damulag (cured carabao meat) to the crispy duck adobo.

5.) Rainforest Kichene

If you are looking for a restaurant with a bit of an ambiance, head over to Rainforest Kichene in San Fernando. Owned by Chef Vince Garcia, the restaurant presents a subtle charm of forest-inspired ambiance that makes it not only inviting to eat but hang out as well. Largely inspired by a healthy and green eating lifestyle, some of the items on the menu are perfect for fitness buffs and sports enthusiasts looking to eat healthier.

6.) Susie’s Cuisine

Of course, a trip to the culinary capital deserves a souvenir and a treat which you can bring back home to share with your friends and family. If you are on the search for delectable kakanins and different Kapangpangan dishes which you can later feast on or give to family and friends, then visit Susie’s Cuisine. Although the restaurant is popularly known for its pancit lug lug, it has become the go-to place for people looking for something to bring home to their families.

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Four Reminders and Tips to Enjoy a Day at Sandbox

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Alviera has an attraction which is aptly termed as an adventure park called the “Sandbox”. Located in Pampanga, Porac, this park promises to offer something for everyone—children and adults alike. The Sandbox is considered as a popular destination particularly during the summer season where patrons would arrive by droves and to keep things fresh and interesting, there has been a vastly increasing number of fun activities added to it regularly. Indeed, the Sandbox caters to a wide array of individuals as travel junkies, adventure enthusiasts, kids and kids at heart would all find something enjoyable to do while there. However, keep in mind that to fully appreciate and enjoy your experience, you need to take a few precautions as well and know a few reminders. After all, safety should be a priority in order to have a fun time in this park.

So, if you are planning on visiting the Sandbox, here are a few reminders you should be aware of:

1.) Constantly hydrate

The Philippines is considered as a tropical country. As a consequence, we would be experiencing humid weather conditions. However, in the summer, the heat can be incredibly unbearable—especially at particular times of the day. While living in this country has made us learn to adapt and enjoy the summer even through the scorching heat, it does not mean we should be any less cautious when enjoying a day out in the sand. The Sandbox is an area located smack right in the middle of flatlands. This means the place is without trees or plants that could possibly absorb heat. Considering this, it can get hot pretty fast. Furthermore, you can only enjoy the place when the sun is up as it would hardly be feasible for any of their themed adventures to be open at night or when it rains. The activities in the park are mostly done out in the open air and under the scorching sun. So, with this in mind constantly hydrate, apply sunblock and wear cool and breathable clothes.

2.) Choose your adventure

There is a separate fee of seventy-five pesos for the entrance while the array of activities you can do inside would have their own fee. The Aerial Walk would cost P150 per head, P100 for the Giant Swing as well as the Free Fall, P50 for the Rappel Walk and Wall Climbing. Roller Coaster Zipline, Mini Gold and ATV would set you back P2,500 for each activity. So, before you set foot in Alviera, it is best if you already have an idea of what you want to do. So, en route to the place, begin planning the adventure you want to experience. If you are on a budget, it might not be possible to check out all rides so choose wisely.

3.) Safety first

The Sandbox is known for taking safety very seriously, but that does not mean you should not take any safety precaitions of your own. Before riding any of the rides or taking part in any of the adventures offered, know the safety guidelines first. If you are unsure of anything, ask the staff for assistance and if you need any clarification, ask them as well. Lastly, remember to wear closed shoes as it is not only advisable, but necessary. Remember, you are going to be roughing it and you are not likely to be playing pretty so keep your feet adequately protected.

4.) Prepare for a long drive or commute

The Sandbox is located in Pampanga which is not exactly a short drive away from Metro Manila. Although you can commute to the place, there is hardly any passing jeepney or other public utility vehicles in the area. People who are taking their own private cars should prepare for a long drive so it is best if they got adequate sleep the night beforehand.

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Five Family Friendly Activities You Can Do in Pampanga

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“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.” -Leigh Hunt

The weekend is usually reserved for families to bond, relax and spend some time together. Typically, most Filipino families would flock to the malls, major commercial and entertainment establishments with their families on these days. However, it can get rather dull and predictable if you and your family are doing this week after week. After all, Manila might have a myriad of malls, but if your typical weekend is consistently spent watching movies and eating at restaurants, it can get pretty boring fast. If this is the case, then a change or scenery should be in order. So, if you are seeking a fresh new way to spend your weekends with your family, plan a day trip to Pampanga where the food is not only divine, but the activities are diverse and numerous. Pampanga is only an hour or two away from Manila, so it would not be too difficult to plan. Furthermore, with a long list of restaurants, heritage places and historical landmarks, the province has a multitude of options for adventure. Here are some of the best activities you can try with your family on a weekend in Pampanga:

1.) Have a grand adventure in Sandbox

If you and your family have a penchant for outdoor activities, you are going to love the Sandbox in Alviera. Located in Porac, this adventure park has a lot of thrilling and exciting activities you and your famiy can try. For those who wish to test their balancing skills, you can try the Aerial Walk Challenge, or you can ride the Philippine’s Giant Swing, or simulate flying with the roller coaster Zipline. Be sure to be there early as there is a capacity limit for the rides. No need to worry about an age limit as most of the rides are suitable for kids aged 7 years and above.

2.) Explore Dinosaurs Island

If you have little tots with an interest of Mesozoic Era, then they are going to enjoy Pampanga’s Dinosaurs Island. Fans of the hit movie Jurassic Park will similarly find fun in this theme park as well. Life-sized animatronic dinosaurs are abound the tyheme park while you walk along the forest trail. Furthermore, a trip to the park can be an educational experience as well as a guided tour is offered where you can observe giant fossils and even watch a dancing dino show.

3.) Reach new heights in the Pampanga Eye

If you want to see the province from a unique vantage point then climb aboard Pampanga’s Eye , the country’s known tallest ferris wheel. Found in the Sky Ranch of pampanga, you and three of your family members can fit into one of its air-conditioned gondolas where you can observe the perimeter of the province from a bird’s eye view. However, if heights are not your thing, you can try the amusement park’s other rides such as the Loop Roller Coaster and the Double Decker Carousel.

4.) Relax at Puning Hot Springs

Being able to relax from a long week at work is anyone’s idea of what a good weekend should be like. If you and your family think along the same lines, then you might want to visit Puning Hot Springs. However, you would need a 4X4 vehicle that can brave the rugged landscape around Mt. Pinatubo just to get there. The little effort required to reach this place is not all for naught however as there are various activities you can enjoy. You can take a dip in the natural pools of the volcano, have a unique and pampering spa experience by being covered in sand from the neck down as well as enjoy the natural sights.

5.) Go food tripping in Angeles City

Pampanga is known as the central hub for gastronomic treats, epicurean dishes and delightful meals. It would be no question that some people would consider Kapangpangan people as the connoisseurs of tasty food as the province itself is known for some of the most delicious Filipino food. Never leave Pampanga without at least sampling some of what their homegrown restaurants has to offer. From tasting their siganture dish, sisig at Aling Lucing’s Sisig to having a refreshing dessert at Kabigting’s Halo-halo, your foot options are virtually limitless.

 

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