Updated: Mar 13, 2019
At 25 years old, I become a ‘mom’ to what might be the biggest baby in the world. It stood 18 stories tall, grey in color, and was in need of some T.L.C. No, I didn’t give birth to a child that magically turned into giant. But in 2016, I signed on as the Brand Manager of the first ever TRYP by Wyndham in the Philippines. TRYP is a global lifestyle hotel brand that celebrates the city it is in and the local culture with unique room types designed for different types of travelers like the family-friendly loft with a queen bed and bunk beds and the fitness room suitable for workout junkies to name a few. With my experience in the Phil. Department of Tourism, this was the perfect fit!
We were asked by our President and CEO, Mr. Jose Mari del Rosario, to veer away from the usual way of doing things and off we went. Being employee number one, I felt immense pressure to launch the first hotel in the Philippines. To my surprise, promoting a new hotel it is not as straightforward as it may be for other products or services. Fortunately, I was given trust and freedom to exercise my creativity when working with all those invested in the project like the architects, graphic designers, operations, human resources, housekeeping etc. to make sure everything was aligned to the young and fresh TRYP brand.
To give TRYP its local yet modern flavor, we worked closely with award-winning artist, Dan Matutina, to create the artwork for the hotel. With ‘exploration’ being an integral part of the brand’s DNA, aside from the usual modules, the team was given tour-guiding training to enhance their skills and deepen their love for the city. We also changed ordinary titles like General Manager to Team Captain, Executive Housekeeper to Maestro of Senses and used a more casual tone for our signs around the hotel to inject fun into to it i.e. ‘Get wet, not wild’ instead of the usual ‘Swimming Pool Rules’.
Looking back, a lot of hard work really went into building the brand. As cliché as it may sound, the time, energy, and effort into my one year old ‘baby’—TRYP by Wyndham Mall of Asia-Manila was all worth it. The success of TRYP is product of great team work and especially the leadership of our General Manager, Mr. Dean Cid and our President and CEO Jose Mari del Rosario.
I know millennials have a bad reputation for being lazy, disloyal, and constant job-hopping individuals. However, I think I’ve figured out a way to break away from the stereotype and continue doing work that makes my heart swell. For me, it is as simple as working with genuine and inspiring individuals who believe in you.
Although I was young and had no formal hospitality training back in 2016, the company made sure to give me opportunities for upskilling and self-development. Within a month of signing, they made me undergo training in our flagship Microtel by Wyndham hotel where I learned the ropes from each department. I’ve always believed that travel is life’s best teacher and the company has been generous in sending me on trips to Singapore, China, and the U.S. to expand my knowledge on our brands, the business, and on the hospitality industry.
And yes, other companies may be doing the same things but what they don’t have Mr. Jose Mari del Rosario as their boss. For milliennials, having an inspiring mentor is crucial and I am beyond lucky that I get to work for a man who is intelligent, honest, kind generous, open-minded, and loves the Philippines. And after 3 years with the company, it’s been a TRYPTASTIC ride so far and I am excited to grow with them even more!
Bella Prieto is brand manager for PHINMA Microtel Hotels, Inc. Under this company are TRYP by Wyndham Mall of Asia - Manila and Microtel by Wyndham.