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Monday, April 26, 2010

Survival Notes from the Teambuilding Weekend at Caliraya

You’re probably reading this with a sore leg or sunburn. Thanks to TFC (ehem, ehem) for another round of energy-zapping (and probably stressful) set of teambuilding activities last weekend at Caliraya Recreation Center in Lumban, Laguna. True to its initial vision, “social club year” was capped with something simple and massive fun.

Surviving it is definitely a good back story. Here’s the list from my plate (feel free to share yours, too):

1. The resort is isolated by a lake so it means an extra five minutes boat ride to reach the civilization. Not only that, the crossing is limited by a curfew. This means, you have to secure the booze (among other stuff, of course) the moment you check in. There’s a store near the main building that sells goody-goody food like chips, water and soda. Price is reasonable though (a small bottle of C2 costs P25). Unfortunately, the store closes at midnight. So when the evening gets cozier, the best you can get is a chaser;

2. Yes, you can sneak in some long necks but the idea there is to keep it discreet (or else, expect some corkage). Pretty much just like any other resort in the Philippines and Filipinos are pretty much good at under-the-tables. What actually happened last weekend was we converted one of the rooms (C4 it is) into Distillery (a favorite hang-out place in The Fort). We had a barista there who served Ja-Coke, “Guyabano juice” and the like but we had to finish the drink inside the room. Since C4 couldn’t accommodate all of the tugs-tugs-tugs people, we ended up chitchatting at the nearby alley. Good times;

3. I just realized last weekend that sunburn is not always synonymous to sun. You can get it even during the night;

4. Officemate Josh celebrated his birthday there, complete with tipsy kind of singing and a little interview. Proof of the interview here;

5. There are lots of things to do inside the resort. Aside from the usual swimming pool, basketball court and videoke machine, they’ve got a spot for jet ski and canoe. They also have this water roller and a giant round thing called Earth Ball. Plus a section for wall climbing that connects to the zip line (the resort’s best seller). There's also a mini zipline called Slide Pinoy (there's a video here). I’m not into sports and the only thing that fascinates me big time is the mudslide. It’s a must-try (which I did for three or more times). I can say that beyond words, officemates Justin, Joey and Jay-jay enjoyed it, too. Proof of the slide here and here;

6. Just a thought: sliding into the mud is best enjoyed with friends. Literally and figuratively;

7. If you care for some precious me moments, good spots could be the viewing deck at the gazebo and the hanging bridge. The more obvious option is the House of Prayers;

8. Meals are served within certain of period of time only. Except for breakfast (until 8am-ish), that in-house rule is tolerable. On our part, we went to the function hall at a little past the morning schedule and we ended up sharing a limited plate of hotdogs and mini-pancakes. I’m not sure if they have the usual sunny side ups. Food is generally OK. I can single out the butterscotch dessert during lunch on Day 2;

9. If there’s another activity during the weekend that moved me most, it’s probably the bonfire ceremony. Or better yet, the camaraderie established while looking at the fire and enjoying its warmth after having a breezy dinner by the lake (check out the video here). Biblically, there are two elements of cleansing. One is water and the other is fire; and

10. I believe that a teambuilding event is effective if you see colleagues from all walks of life hanging out. Getting drunk altogether is, of course, another statement.

Complete set of pictures here.

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