Best of the Best: The Return to Punta Fuego

I finally got a free time to post! I hope I can still remember the details. The problem with late posts is I have to remember what exactly happened on a given day, rather than real time posting. But anyway, here is what I have experienced in Punta Fuego, as I can remember. I’m also going to go against my principles, posting my face on my next posts, but only for my travels.

Let me start from the beginning. The company I work in celebrates their best employees by sending them on a two day vacation. The last two years, it was in Punta Fuego, and I was fortunate enough to be part of it the for two years in a row too.

The event was held last September 22. The shuttle picked us up from the office and headed straight to Nasugbu, Batangas. I did not expect that the travel was going to take three hours, so I got a little impatient.  Well, a lot impatient. I am not used to travelling, and I consider myself an athletic person, so being cooped up in a vehicle for three hours is already torture. I remembered I borrowed my girlfriend’s Blackberry to take pictures, so I tried taking as much as I can while waiting. It didn’t work. I took a few photos, and got bored. Here’s one, a picture of our in-vehicle meal:

Rice in a Box style

I got a little dizzy trying to eat on a moving vehicle, so I stopped. I was not used to travelling as I mentioned, and I was not about to vomit all over the shuttle. I was hungry, but I decided to eat later since they said we’ll have a buffets anyway.

After an hour or so, I woke up. I was not sure when I fell asleep, but when I looked out the window, we were refilling the gas tank.  The Caltex station was on a vast lot, but ironically, it only had one pump.

Yes, the window is dusty

After the quick stop over, I again fell asleep. The next thing I know, we were already in Punta Fuego. The place looked the same as I remember it, and it was just the way I like it.

We were welcomed by the Employee Engagement Committee, and they asked to take our pictures. Of course, being the fair guy that I am, I decided to take the picture of the person taking our picture (who happened to be one of my friends in the HR department). Here he is:

And here is what he was seeing:

They also gave us welcome drinks. It tasted like the local sago at gulaman, although it has a different name, which I just forgot.

The opening program was held next, hosted by one of our company’s managers, Alex, who hosts most of the company events because he was that good. He is a real funny guy, and all events he hosts are successful.

Had to blur out the company-related logo (amateurishly)

They had a game for the attendees, who were from different departments. First prize was Php 10,000 (roughly $240), which we also won. It was called the Human Board Game. One of our teammates was our human marker, and the rest of the team had to answer questions, depending on the tile that our marker would be landing on. The game had similar rules to Snakes and Ladders, just throw in a bunch of questions and a bigger game board. Our marker had to wear a cow hat. I almost volunteered to be the marker, but I thought of my hair-do. Again, an amateurish attempt to blur the company-related stuff.

The Board

I hated the game, to be honest. It took an hour to finish, just because of the questions. See the tile that has a guy with an idea light bulb? Every time our marker lands on it, we had to listen to a three to five minute video of Stephen Covey talk about his philosophy and answer the question that followed. At first, it was exciting, because I got to roll the gigantic foam dice (more like throw it), and our team was leading. Then, it dragged on, until the timer sounded and our team was declared the winner via a landslide. I think everyone expected our department to win, because our group composed of managerial level folks, but the game was still competitive, until I figured out how to get sixes with the Goliath dice.

The food was awesome! The suite they gave us was awesome! The service was awesome! All in all, the place is awesome! Did I say I had an awesome experience?

Here’s a few photos of our suite:

The Welcome message on our suite TV
The view from the Veranda is a bit blocked by this magnificent tree
Our mini garden
Our Key Card
The bed I called dibs on
The goodie bag

The guitar in the picture above was not ours. The owner forgot to place a tag on it, and the Punta Fuego crew thought it was ours, and mistakenly put it in our suite. My friend called the reception to report the error, and also his bag, which was also misplaced, due to the same error. He recovered it so we were okay.

These events make me want to work harder every year, not only to help the business, but to also receive perks like this. Who doesn’t want to have his or her hard work rewarded? The culminating fireworks display was beautiful. I was staring at it for the longest time, thinking “I need to go back here next year!”.

I tried taking a few shots of the fireworks, but I guess my fingers were too slow.

Here are my team mates:

I’m the kid with the blue tank top

We’re all holding the Havaiana’s slippers give away. I’m not into that particular brand of slippers, but of course, I accepted it! Who am I to refuse a freebie???

Here’s me on the buffet table:

Oh, there was also a visitor from the trees near our veranda:

A Philippine beetle dropped from the leaves and was not able to get up! I rescued it and tried putting it back on a leaf, but it fell again and disappeared.

Overall, the place never gets old. Swimming in the infinity pool was relaxing. I hope I get do well enough next year to get picked again.