July 23, 2024

Being the only Filipino intern in our department sent to Hong Kong has pushed me to go beyond limits – giving my all, exceeding guest expectations, and becoming globally competitive in the tourism and hospitality industry.
After processing numerous documents and having our visa approved, we finally arrived at Hong Kong International Airport last March. As the plane landed, I knew there was no turning back, and I would gain a broader perspective on how the tourism and hospitality industry operates. I expected that the six-month internship with Grand Hyatt Hong Kong would come with difficulties and that life wouldn’t be easy.
Upon meeting the HR assistant learning manager and going through an orientation, I was amazed and captivated by Grand Hyatt and the five-star hotel’s 36 floors. Having the opportunity to intern with them is truly a privilege, as the Hyatt brand has an excellent reputation internationally. Not only will I gain valuable experience, but I will also have the chance to learn and grow.
On my first day, the hotel was hosting a big event, making it a busy day. Since I am not familiar with the different restaurants, halls, and areas of the hotel, it felt like going into battle unprepared. However, looking back now after four months, it was a good starting point as I quickly learned about the various corners of the hotel, interacted with important individuals, and provided service to our valued guests. Meeting people from around the world on a daily basis has helped me learn more about different cultures, social issues, and diverse life stories.
When a Filipino guest walks into a restaurant or checks in or out of the hotel, I always greet them with the “Mabuhay Gesture.” By doing so, I believe we keep our Filipino spirit alive, even in a foreign country. It thrills my heart when they respond with “mabuhay” and “kumusta” because it allows me to engage in a conversation with someone from my home country. Exhibiting the Filipino brand of excellence in service extends not only to foreign guests but also to our Filipino guests at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
Having an internship in a foreign land, working 10 hours per day, per duty, has never been easy. You have to smile when meeting different guests because every second counts, and they value their time. Language barrier is also a challenge as some guests may not speak English, making it difficult to communicate effectively.
Above all, what truly weighs on you is the longing for your loved ones back home – their voices and their presence. It serves as a reminder of how important family is. I still have two months left to complete my internship, so I am determined to make the most out of it. As a Flag carrier, I will continue to show and perform how industrious we Filipinos are.
Witnessing thousands of Filipino workers in Hong Kong sacrificing so much to provide for their families, I now understand the hardship of earning money. I have come to appreciate that every drop of sweat counts in ensuring the happiness of our families in the Philippines. Seeing Filipino workers here in Hong Kong, listening to their stories during Sundays in Central, I can confidently say they are the new heroes of the Philippines. With that, we can proudly exclaim Mabuhay from Asia’s World City.