Palabas Bago Makalabas: When distance made the team even closer

QUICK READ: The Geosciences group of Energy Development Corporation came up with a good company activity for its team members.


By Loraine Pastoriza-Primaleon | Geology | Geosciences


Since the lockdowns, many companies have implemented a work-from-home setup, and many have discovered that one of the major obstacles in a remote work setup is the lack of social interaction amongst employees, making it difficult to ensure that everyone is engaged and motivated, especially in these uncertain times.


Palabas Bago Makalabas (PBM) was conceptualized by individuals from Energy Development Corporation to address these concerns. It also made sure that everyone in the Geosciences team—most of whom are field-based and are not used to a remote work setup—is occupied. PBM is a twice-a-week activity when everyone gets the chance to share their passion project. It allows everyone to learn new ideas and skills from each other while interacting in an informal setting via Zoom.

The Geosciences group of Energy Development Corporation came up with a good company activity for its team members.
A Geosciences group photo during the Sharers Awards Night last July 16, where some sharers were recognized by their colleagues for being inspirational, surprising, and prepared.

As all members were given the freedom to choose their topic, subjects varied rather extremely—from business ideas (e.g. hog and chicken breeding) to practical homemaker skills (e.g. dehydrating food, aircon cleaning) and even to random knowledge (e.g. the history of Punic Wars). Because of this limitless freedom, more different topics emerged, and the passion was clear in each speaker as they shared their know-how to their colleagues.


The best part is, it was not a one-way track. As early as the second week of PBM in April, many have already tried what others have shared. Those who have been afraid to bake have started to make cakes using rice cookers as suggested by one colleague. Some have explored new online games that they could enjoy with friends that were introduced by another sharer. Potential business partnerships were built as one talked about his successful accessible WiFi-for-all business. As members saw and heard what other members were doing, many were inspired to try new things and go out of their comfort zones.


There was also another major benefit: as people took the digital stage, everyone saw a different side of everybody. There were often oohs and aahs as the members discovered the lives of their fellow colleagues outside the workplace. Questions of origin, tales of childhood, and sentiments on common interests flowed freely during the sessions. There were no heads, no geologists, no technicians—when one enters the PBM session, everyone becomes the same: an individual who just wants to listen and learn from their fellow. In the process, despite the distance, everyone actually got the chance to know everybody deeper—the team no doubt became closer.


Now on its second season, PBM has been elevated to foster more varied topics—from demos to personal stories and even troubleshooting common problems. Season-long friendly competitions (i.e. online games) are also being hosted in between sessions whilst a Talentadong Pinoy portion has been introduced, which features the talents of the Geosciences members. In as much as this pandemic has changed the way we work and the way we live, PBM continues to lessen this stress—it’s something everyone could look forward to twice a week.





The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.