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HOMEGROWN MINSTRELS The InqChoirer enchants with another winning performance.

From A to Z (Art to Zumba), PDI employees have more fun By Volt Contreras Metro Editor Ballroom dancing dropout WITH





hobby clubs and sports activities in the INQUIRER for the past 29 years, the following scenarios are highly probable—if not already based on real events. Artist Stephanie Bravo loses a few pounds thanks to her Zumba class, but gains them again after a hearty lunch at a Chinatown restaurant during one of the field trips of the Pen & Inq Club. Business reporter Doris Dumlao scores a big scoop for the paper, then picks up her badminton racket the next day for the company’s MRP Cup tournament, where she delivers a killer smash. Good thing lifestyle writer Vangie Baga-Reyes is there to repulse and return it as a drop shot. A senior desk editor, still cranky from the deadline crunch, attends choir practice to soothe his nerves. A fellow editor joins in the singing and both achieve that elusive harmony. Utility man Renil Bacalangco makes a crossover move against vice president for advertising Kenny Nuyda on the basketball court. Production specialist Darwin Romanillos provides help-defense. Entertainment section editorial assistant Jodee Agoncillo leads the Awtdor Klub in donating secondhand personal computers to remote villagers in Kalinga province. Network communications chief Noli Navarro, who also happens to head the Photography Club, takes pictures of her upland trek. This writer takes ballroom dancing lessons—but gives up after a few sessions. His dance partner, along with the rest of the participants, is secretly relieved. (This really happened.)

COMPUTER programmer Kenneth Molina carries one of the computer monitors donated by the INQUIRER to Luplupa Elementary School students in Kalinga province. RADING DE JESUS

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FOR ART’S SAKE Pen & Inq members view works at Pinto Gallery in Antipolo City (above). The club, whose core includes staff members of the paper’s art section but is open to all employees, started out by having sketching sessions at the office (below). AWTDOR Klub members Jodee Agoncillo and Kenneth Molina orient teachers and students on the use of computers. RADING DE JESUS

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Weekend warriors With a current personnel of around 450, the leading media company known for its award-winning journalism is also a beehive of weekend warriors, dabbling dilettantes or after-work adventurers. Thanks

SATURDAY SHUTTLERS Lifestyle writer Vangie Baga-Reyes gets a high five after a doubles victory. to a supportive management (read: budget), INQUIRER employees have found a deep sense of kinship through various clubs and activities where interests intersect, talents are discovered and friendships are kindled beyond the cubicles and daily shifts. It helps to have a conducive environment. As Winston Churchill said: “First we shape our dwellings, then our dwellings shape us.” Starting out as mere barkada gimmicks, most of the clubs and sports fests started to form and gain traction after the INQUIRER moved in 1995 to Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City, where its four-story office building provides a multipurpose hall not only for official corporate events but also for “extracurricular activities.”

ZUMBAAAAH Fitness buffs and beginners sweat it out to the tempo of instructor John Jay Cuay (center).

No sore losers Dance lessons, for example, were conducted there in the mid-1990s; later it rolled the mats out for yoga and Pilates. Now it’s Zumba territory at least once a week, where instructor John Jay Cuay keeps the calorie-busting beat for 10 to 20 regular attendees.

INSIDE GAMERS The INQUIRER’s reigning men are no softies on the hardcourt

Meanwhile, the company’s seasonal tournaments—basketball, badminton, bowling—and other fitness activities, like fun runs and cycling, have never failed to produce high-scoring heroes, surprise finishers and courtside jesters, but never sore losers. For more leisurely pursuits, there is the touring Photography Club (a clique tutored by the paper’s top photojournalists), which has done scenic spots and colorful festivals in various provinces; the Arts & Crafts Club, whose crowning achievements include the production of dainty scrapbooks and personalized flip-flops; and the more recently formed Pen & Inq Club, which started out with simple sketching sessions at the employees’ lounge but now goes on museum (and lunch-out) tours in Metro Manila and nearby cities.

Outreach projects BOWLED OVER Copy monitor Rolly Abad aims for a strike.

PHOTO(GENIC) FINISH A PDI fun run is double the fun with family members in tow.

There’s one club that since 2011 has been turning mountaineering trips into outreach projects. Agoncillo’s Awtdor Klub has journeyed to poor communities in Kalinga, Aurora, Zambales and Cagayan provinces to donate used PCs from the INQUIRER office. They also delivered used clothes, toys and relief for victims of the 2013 Bohol earthquake. “I just noticed that many of our employees have plenty of time to spare and are encouraged to join activities for their personal enrichment outside work,” Agoncillo said, summing up what drives the INQUIRER family to channel passions in many directions. Of late, however, rumor has it that there’s another coterie of enthusiasts just waiting in the wings and eager to recruit anyone who still has enough energy left after all the above-mentioned activities. They call themselves the Nightclub. But then, they’re probably from another company.

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PDI celebrates 29th anniversary  

The Philippine Daily Inquirer marks its 29th anniversary today with simple rites at its offices in Makati City.

PDI celebrates 29th anniversary  

The Philippine Daily Inquirer marks its 29th anniversary today with simple rites at its offices in Makati City.