When It Rains, It Pours: The WORLDCONNECT Caliraya Experience 2015

Indeed, from the moment the combined Naga-Legazpi contingent (the first group to arrive at the conference venue) parked their van at the gate of the sprawling Caliraya Resort Club, the rain had been relentless practically all throughout the conference, except for the sun peeking from the clouds at rare times. Truth be told, even while still traveling from Bicol, strong rains pounded on the van of the Naga-Legazpi group for the most part of the trip.

And so began the first day of WORLDCONNECT Annual Conference and Christmas Party.


Getting off their respective vans, delegates from various branches and franchises of WORLDCONNECT – from Cabanatuan in the north down to Cagayan de Oro in the south – were all welcomed by the damp air of the elevated resort as they tottered their way to the waiting ferry, which would then bring them across the lake (nestled on top of scenic mountains in Lumban, Laguna), then eventually hopping on a jeepney that would take them to the lobby of the hotel.

Not to be dampened (both literally and figuratively) by the incessant downpour, the conference formally opened on the afternoon of Dec. 18, 2015, with WC Vice-President Al Ubaña delivering his welcoming address to get the ball rolling, followed by WC’s CEO and President Cathy Altarejos making her presentation for the year that was. Both speeches were very positive as they both presented very good numbers for 2015.

With ‘APEC (Aiming for Professionalism and Excellence in Customer Service)’ as its theme, the first day of the conference steamrolled with presentation after presentation, from New Zealand and Australia visa grant statistics to the best programs in Australia, plus some time spent on bridging courses for doctors. One of the highlights of Day 1 was Dr. Michelle Manuel’s presentation on Customer Service, which was part of the main theme of the conference.


Dressed in their black Fern shirts, the conference attendees got right down to business on Day 2 and spent the entire morning focusing on a SWOT analysis of the competition. Just like the heavy rains and strong gusts outside of the conference hall, there was a deluge of excellent ideas on how to make WC’s branches and franchises presence be felt even stronger in their respective areas of marketing coverage. Strategies were put forward with the aim of boosting sales for the coming year 2016.

After a hearty lunch, the post meridiem part of the day was spent on listening to engaging talks from representatives of EduCo and Southern Cross University, plus Ms. Altarejos’s presentation of the revised AVP and PDOS. Before dinnertime, the day was capped with a talk on Refreshing Australia, which was delivered by Ms. Carol Abella.


On the morning of Day 3, Dec. 20, the clouds finally gave way to the sun as its rays bathed the entire resort complex and its surrounding greenery, as if telling the guests that the location is not just about getting wet and wild, but also about getting sun-kissed and sun-drenched.

Day 3, a Sunday, was a good balance between serious talk and fun activities. The morning was spent on goal-setting and planning, with all the branch and franchise representatives present signing a commitment paper, which was a document that had the target sales numbers for 2016 that the signatories had pledged to deliver.

Serving as a counterbalance to the serious air that had permeated the conference for 2 days, the participants dumped their casual wear and suited themselves up in their sporty apparel for the afternoon’s team-building activity, which was a series of physically challenging tasks – from wall climbing to kayaking – that tested which among the two groups had better stamina and strategy.


Well, not in the Philippines, of course. But it sure felt like winter during the evening Christmas party, which was a fitting culmination to the annual gathering. Dressed up in their Gatsby attire, the partygoers got together for the final night, with teams from Naga (combined with CDO) and Legazpi presenting numbers that would rival any vaudeville performance.

Hundreds of thousands of pesos as cash prizes overflowed as awards were given to the top performers of 2015 in terms of sales.

The participants then started packing their bags after the event as they prepared to leave the following morning to go back to their respective provinces and begin the exciting countdown to Christmas day and the New Year.

Rain or Shine

WORLDCONNECT’s annual 3-day conference may have seen the heavens dumping a huge amount of rainfall on the venue, but, aside from monsoon rains, there was also a downpour of great things that served as takeaways for everyone that attended.

In 2016, WC will continue to aim for professionalism and excellence in customer service – come rain or come shine – so its customers will not only get the best service possible, but also so that they can realize their dreams of studying abroad.

WORLDCONNECT truly is Your Link to a Better World!