Saturday, June 21, 2014

Building One's Team in a Farm and in a Forest

I grew up in a working environment where a team building activity means a mere outing - eating, swimming, drinking or some parlor games. I was looking for the real meaning of team building for years. I even wondered how to build a strong team when there are no leaders. I observed only few persons attending the event. Similar faces through the years. 

Man-made forest

The concept, which is not supposed to be, changed for a day. After eight long years, I encountered a unique place in the suburb of Metro Manila. The venue is named Phillip's Sanctuary. It is located in Pestano Farm, Sitio Palinglingan, Antipolo City.

Phillip's Sanctuary is a man-made forest. It is planted with lined up trees. There are lots of greens to be enjoyed to see. It is at the same time a farm. Vegetation surrounds the Pestano estate. From marang to durian to vegetables, they have them in the Sanctuary.

Where the mud slide ends
Mud is all about fun. I enjoyed them all. I was not able to bring my phone for my own photographs, because it was just possible for the gadgets to get soaked in the mud or be thrown in the water. Lots of rope activities too and the balsa was enjoying. It was great success when I crossed the swinging log with my trembling feet. Only few participants made it to cross that wet log; the rest were outbalanced and ended up in the water. 

Base of zipline
I had the privilege of being lifted on the top of a rope hole. They thought I was the lightest of them all. I just closed my eyes and my team lifted me with all my trust on them. I felt loved.

While one may be paying separately for the zip line in other outdoor venues, it is already incorporated in the package in Phillip's Sanctuary. When doing it remember three words: check, check, check. Safety first before fun.

A heart-pumping mud slide is the finale. I slid from top to the base with a waist-deep of mud and water. I managed not to open my mouth as I splashed in the base but I felt the impact on my nose and ears. No untoward incident happened. 

I liked the humility that the mud spa brings. We used to crawl during our mandatory training in the fire service. We were oriented on the collapsed structure search and rescue but in Phillip's Sanctuary, it was a different way. There was no fire, no collapsed structure, no victims to be rescued. There was complete mud and everything's wet. All my shorts' pockets got filled with mud even. 

What a rewarding plunge in the pool after a day-long of strenuous team-building activities. It is not a hot spa but a generally cold pool. Complete change of all clothes (including all used undergarment) is required in order to be allowed to use the pool.

An added bonus is a rare Honesty Store which is not generally seen in Metro Manila.

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