Mabuhay! It’s winter 2023 and time for our in-real-life meetup. It’s our 11th IRL, but this will be my first time joining one. Because of the COVID lockdowns and the war in Ukraine, I was only able to attend these meetups virtually. We do these IRLs not only for work but also to bond and create memories that are not limited to only the black screen. This blog post will immerse you in the memories of this adventure.
Niteans decided to organize this face-to-face meetup in Manila, Philippines, and our team gathered on this island.
Manila itself is a beautiful and nicely planned city. The only thing more beautiful than the landscape there is the people themselves. To me, the Filipino people are what truly make the Philippines what it is: nice, easygoing, and happy.
My flight to Manila was a bit long (18 hours). Nonetheless, I’ve safely arrived in the Philippines. Wooh! It was the first time I met everyone in real life, and I would be lying if I said that I was not worried at all. Moreover, this was my first trip after a long break. Seeing my coworkers in real life was amazing and a bit exciting.
How to prepare for the first IRL abroad and not forget anything?
I started preparing for it by gathering documents for receiving my visa. This is very important to do in advance and responsibly. Next, every Nitean should think about packing. When you are in hurry and go for the first time, you can forget some stuff and not even think about something necessary. Such a thing for me was an adapter from a European plug to a Philippine one.
The time on IRL was perfectly planned because we had a good split between work and fun. Moreover, activities were different, and everyone could find something interesting for themselves.
We’ve done a lot of work, discussed, and planned new projects. In addition, Niteans spent a great time together by sightseeing and visiting the city center, Chinatown, karaoke, pubs, mountains, cooking classes, etc.
Below are some pictures of our travel.
The most exciting for me was the hiking day. We discovered the Philippines’ greener and less-crowded side by visiting Mount Daraitan in Rizal. Mount Daraitan is an ideal spot for nature lovers. It was challenging to get to this place, but we did it! Furthermore, I was impressed by everything around me: the beautiful Tinipak river, the landscape, the fresh air, and the peaceful nature.