Explore Filipino culture inside Google’s headquarters

One thing that brings this office to life is that that every nook offers a patriotic nod to almost every era of Filipino culture, as if time traveling through history from Philippines’ early beginnings to modern contemporary.

Photo by Vnita Sohal

The tales of Google’s offices are boundless: its frivolous perks and the creative features, all quirky and fun-looking, are many employees’ haven. The moment Google Philippines announced the opening of their new office that rests in upscale Taguig, everyone flocked on over to just take a sneak peek of their new abode.

One thing that brings this office to life is that that every nook offers a patriotic nod to almost every era of Filipino culture, as if time traveling through history from Philippines’ early beginnings to modern contemporary.

Stepping inside the office, the first thing that catches the eye would be the gigantic google logo bearing all the colors and elements of the Philippine flag right above the reception area. Right behind the encased logo is the huge wall of rocks, similar to the limestone houses of the Ivatans in Batanes. Right near its entrance is a large, colorful mural of the Philippine Jeepney, that pays homage to the classic Filipino mode of transportation what we all have a love/hate relationship with. Google’s meeting rooms are named and designed after various Filipino icons and places, such as, ‘Vinta,’ a room embellished with colorful textiles, and ‘Inay,’ a breast-feeding station for mothers. For a more modern take on the decorations, Google has its own selfie spot: in the lobby, holding any camera phone in a downward angle, one can see a giant “G” at their ceiling, always lit up in case anyone would like to have a picture.

After a tour around the lobby, standing front and center is Kenneth Cobonpue’s fun-looking and quirky furniture—a break in the usual office setting with vibrant colors and the odd materials used for chairs, tables, and desks. The work area is a scene on its own.

The floor-to-ceiling windows frame the landscape that is Taguig, and the desks are placed in an untraditional way, as to represent the many islands of the archipelago. Sheltering a part of the area is the depiction of the famous Tabon caves in Palawan, where employees can lounge and encourage social interaction.

The recreational side of the office, on the other hand, focuses on modern Filipino Living. Their pantry is designed with edgy and witty décor, with several puns such as “the more, the manyer.” Accompanied with food served fresh every meal time is the gaming area, complete with a Ping-Pong table, a basketball ring, and walls dripped with famous sports icons like Manny Pacquiao.

Each function is part of the all-embracing work philosophy of Google, encouraging a balanced, healthy work setting and a holistic community. The way culture is conveyed through decorations and design is to encourage the preservation of culture in a modern way, a refreshing take on today’s office space. What makes it stand out from the other offices is all because of one simple reason: it’s Filipino, that’s why it’s different.