February is regarded as the month of love by people all over the world and Filipinos are no stranger to Valentine’s Day frenzy. Valentine’s, along with Christmas, is regarded as one of the most commercialized holidays in the Philippines.
The celebrations are very similar to those in Western countries. Even though February 14th is not an official holiday, you can still feel Valentine’s day atmosphere everywhere you go. Shops, large and small, grace their interiors with hearts and cupid arrows; hotels and restaurants become overcrowded and fully booked, and flower and chocolate prices skyrocket. This holiday also contributes to heavy traffic, particularly in the metro area, which houses all of the major shopping malls. But with the pandemic restrictions in place, many Valentine’s traditions weren’t possible. Despite the limitations, we still wanted to show our appreciation for our staff through a virtual gathering to celebrate the holiday and spend time together.
Valentine’s Date Fun
Sparks flew on Valentine’s Day during one of our virtual happy hours. Employees from our different locations gathered to share and celebrate the evening—a date with Xillium. Having our staff join us virtually to celebrate this holiday gave us the chance to spend some quality time together and to get to know one another better.
Jumpstarting the session was a 14-question activity in which attendees were asked love-related questions. Laughter and giggles erupted as attendees volunteered to share their experiences. Discussions ensued, with some sharing their perspectives on specific experiences. After everyone had their fun and shared some laughs, there were short films featured that everyone discussed and expressed their thoughts on. The films, which appeared to be simple love stories, took us on a journey to see how Xillium is accepting of all its employees, recognizes and appreciates their individuality, and invests in the wellbeing of its people.
Earlier that day, our staff were surprised with both flowers and chocolates to celebrate the holiday and to show our appreciation. Before our gathering ended, some of our staff won prizes such as vouchers and gift cards for a free dinner date.
Sending Virtual Love
This activity has inspired Xillium to repurpose Valentine’s Day to learn more about their fellow employees and to express their gratitude towards them. At the end of the day, what better way is there to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by treating your employees to a nice dinner at their favorite restaurant?
Liezel is a senior writer at Xillium, holding a degree in literature. Prior to joining the company, she spent six years mentoring foreign Asian students to improve their English communication skills in a web-based education. Her academic involvement included developing and revising instructional materials and content. Liezel's career in distance learning has honed her skills in communication, management, research, and technology.