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Do you serve on your birthday? Or get served?



Hello! My name is Takaoka from the Technical & Engineering Service Division.
Recently, I had a chance to visit the Philippines to participate in an English training course.
I would like to introduce the customs and culture I experienced during my stay in the Philippines.

On the weekends, I enjoyed shopping in the nearby mall. At the entrance, there is a security check point. Everybody who wants to enter the mall has to go through this security check.



At first, I became nervous because I thought maybe some incident happened but it seems it is a common practice in the Philippines to have a security check before entering a mall or building. The guard does a body check with a metal detector and also checks inside our bag. It was tough because you have to wait for a long time since there are many people coming and going. I was also surprised to see a security building guard carrying a gun.

The English training course I participated was a 5-week course, consisting of 3-weeks in the language school and 2 weeks of OJT (On-the-Job Training) in Manila office.



Above photo is a picture of Manila office. I felt that the atmosphere is similar to the office I worked in Japan, the only difference is that English was the main language for communication among staffs.

One afternoon on the week I started OJT in Manila office; everybody gathered and had a buffet style party.




I was enjoying myself without knowing what kind of party it was but then later on I found out it was a birthday party of one of the staff. I thought it was such a great thing for the office to organize and throw a birthday party for the celebrant. But to my surprise, this party was organized and paid by the birthday celebrant herself.

They said this is a custom in the Philippines to serve food to other people on their birthday, as a means of expressing their gratitude for the kindness of support in the daily life. There are about 100 staffs in Manila office. That means a birthday party is thrown in every few days. And in saying so, I was able to attend twice during my 2 weeks of training.

It was a very good opportunity for me to experience different culture and customs. Now I am thinking that on my birthday I should also cook food and throw a party for my family and for the people who support me every day.

SMCC World通信 -世界の現場から-