At the center of the continuous advancements in technology today is the Philippines. In the midst of the technological era, it has already been called many names—SMS nation, selfie nation, and now the social media nation. In Facebook, particularly, Filipinos contribute hugely to its number of active users reaching over 66 million monthly, and to its amount of user engagement. The social media giant has even declared that Philippines has the most number of Facebook groups globally.
With the Philippines’ undeniable presence in the social media sphere, it is not surprising for Facebook to set up camp in the country. As shared by country director John Rubio, Facebook Philippines first started in a small shared service office in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, but as the team grew, they felt it important to relocate to a more permanent, appropriate space. Thus, this year, Facebook Philippines has eventually broken ground to a bigger, more dynamic headquarters situated in the booming business district of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
Like the quirky cool offices common in Silicon Valley, the new Facebook Philippines space features divider-free work areas to facilitate openness among team members, an array of recreation rooms from hoops, air hockey and a treadmill, a micro-kitchen full of snacks and drinks, and relaxation areas where workers can unwind and take breaks.
All these are housed within high ceilings and glass windows that allows a lot of natural light to seep through. Inspirational posters embodying company values also abound the duplex, created by chosen Filipino artists and even Facebook employees themselves.
Facebook Philippines also made sure to incorporate a local feel to its features and overall aesthetic. For one, it keeps a secret room that houses a video karaoke machine—a party staple in the country. Hidden behind a movable shelf, the karaoke room is designed to resemble a moving LRT, which aims to depict the daily life of the community Filipino. The office also houses conference rooms named after popular colloquial phrases in the country: Petmalu, HM Po, Saang Banda, Sa Kanto, Walang Forever and May Forever, among others. What’s more is that muralist Kris Abrigo also brought life to the office lobby, combining themes from Philippine craft and culture.
Aside from adding local flavor to their space, Facebook Philippines has also integrated elements from global brand itself. Their ceilings and floors, in example, have an unfinished look, which represents an internal quote in the company: “The journey is only one percent finished.”
“That saying is a reminder that no matter what we’ve accomplished, there’s still so much to be done,” Rubio shares. “We need to continually improve the product and come up with new features that are aligned with how people use the internet, mobile, and other innovations in tech,” Rubio adds.
Building the Facebook headquarters in the Philippines is a move rooted in the company’s mission to build and connect communities. And that deserves hitting more than the “like” button.