One of the best perks in Symph is we get two weeks of paid holiday break on top of our vacation and unlimited sick leaves. In one of our Founders Friday meetings, our CEO Dave empowered everyone in the team to end the year strong and take the time to genuinely relax during our 2-week holiday break. With this, we asked a couple of our fellow colleagues (a project manager, a full stack developer, and product design intern) to share their stories on how they spent the holidays and what their takeaways were. One from Cebu even shared his story on how he lived through Typhoon Odette - our country’s latest calamity and one of the strongest typhoons Cebu has experienced.
On Rest and Relaxation
“The two week break was purely for relaxation. Even though I stopped going to the gym during this time, I had lots of time to rest and I really enjoyed it! I spent the time playing the plethora of games I wanted to play for the year but didn’t get the chance to. I watched TV shows and movies to my heart’s content. I was able to bond with my family and relatives who invited us over for a holiday meal. I also got to spend an exorbitant amount of money to buy nice gifts for my loved ones (all made possible by Christmas bonus - 13th & 14th month, another great perk in Symph).”
On Family Time
“I got to check an item off my bucketlist which is spending my holidays with my family at the beach. We have never been to the beach together as a complete family due to financial constraints growing up and we are a very big family of 9 siblings. For the holidays, we got together in Boracay and also spent our vacation with my husband’s family too. We also had a dedication for my daughter while the family was together. Because of the pandemic and typhoon, I have this sense of urgency to be more intentional on spending time with family and make more memories with them. As I always say to them, “We are not promised tomorrow.” So I am glad and fortunate the trip pushed through. ”
On Initiatives for Typhoon Rai/Odette Victims
“Because of Odette, I now have a deeper appreciation for the different job functions humans perform.
I reside in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu where Typhoon Odette unleashed her wrath and harvested our electric posts. Our house would sway and cracks started to appear on the ceiling. The morning right after, at about 8AM, I went out to take photographs and put together a mini documentary to show people how Odette let loose from somebody on the ground My mother’s company gave our family free hotel accommodation and food subsidies. I felt we were lucky which makes me in a better position to help. With this, I volunteered for Tabangay Ta, a website made to help victims of Odette locate essentials like water and remittances with the help of crowdsourced information. Working on UI/UX and, surprisingly, backend tasks. My responsibility was to facilitate adding features through bubble.io, a no code tool I am acquainted with.”
Before (left/up) and after (right/down) photos of the website redesign for Tabangay.Ta via bubble.io
“With this outreach and humanitarian efforts, I was able to improve my ability to work with databases and logic. Since Stephen Suico, the founder of Tabangay Ta was the only person who is working on the site, I offered my coding expertise and managed to become a Full stack developer. Not only did I get to help people during the height of the typhoon, I also became well-versed in handling data and logic. What a fulfilling way to use the two week break and make the most out of the situation.”
The two-week holiday break may have a different definition for most of our team, but ultimately this gave us time to reflect and retrospect on ourselves in the past year. Let us know what you did during the holiday break!
Story by Jaiun Roa
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