TELUS House McKinley lights up with rainbow colors

Barry Viloria

Posted at Jun 30 2016 12:21 PM

TELUS International Philippines supports Metro Manila Pride March

TELUS House McKinley Exchange lights up with rainbow colors.

MANILA – One of the country’s leading call centers and outsourcing services providers TELUS International (TI) Philippines showed its support to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community again this year by joining the Metro Manila Pride March at the Lapu Lapu monument in Luneta last June 25.

The annual walk with the theme “Let Love In: Kahit Kanino, Kahit Kailan” aimed to call for equality where individuals can freely live their authentic selves and love without fear of persecution.

TI-Philippines’ presence at the parade is well represented and known in the industry. Hundreds of its team members wore shirts that read #ShareLove and walked behind the company’s float.

TI-Philippines’ newest location, TELUS House McKinley Exchange, at the corner of EDSA and McKinley Road was lit up with a rainbow of colors a day prior to the pride march as another show of support.

The five-storey state-of-the-art building strategically located in Makati City became an attraction to the motorists and commuters who passed the area.

Deep-rooted cause

Arnon Almonina, TI-Philippines’ client relationship officer, walked loud and proud supporting the cause. An active volunteer in HIV counseling for the non-government organization Love Yourself, he was one of the founding members of Spectrum, the LGBT community team in the company, two years ago.

It is a group that specifically caters to the members of the LGBT community and its allies while developing activities that address their own interests and rights. From a starting member lineup of six, its membership grew to 327 to date.

Photo shows from L-R: TELUS International Philippines’ Client Relationship Officer Arnon Almonina (third from left), loud and proud at the Metro Manila Pride March in Luneta.

“Through TELUS International and the Spectrum team, we do HIV awareness seminars twice a year. We also sponsor some events partnering with Love Yourself, meet-and-greet with our Canadian counterparts and other gender sensitivity awareness projects.” Almoniña says.

The Metro Manila Pride March couldn’t be of much stronger cause than in today’s situation with the recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida where a gunman believed to be previously irked by the sight of two men kissing shot 49 people and wounded 53 others at a gay nightclub in the area all in one night.

In contrast to last year’s pride march that celebrated the US Supreme Court’s upholding of gay marriage with the widely promoted #LoveWins, Almoniña believed that this year’s event set a different mood.

“I felt sad because I realized that there are still people who hate us and will commit senseless crime against the LGBT community. The victims just wanted to dance and have fun but they died instead in a place they thought was safe.” cites Almonina.

“What we have right now is we’re not really accepted but we’re tolerated. I long for the day that the LGBT community will be given equal rights and total acceptance. It doesn’t matter if we’re taking baby steps, but any forward movement will be appreciated.” he adds.

TI-Philippines’ diverse culture

Almonina has been with TI-Philippines for almost 10 years and he considers it as his second home. He enjoys theme days where team members are encouraged to dress up creatively, decorate their workstations and engage in friendly site-wide competition through contests.

He never misses the annual Town Hall, a concert that features the country’s top musicians with free-flowing drinks and games on the side. TI-Philippines holds trick-or-treat every Halloween and pays tribute to frontline agents called Heroes Day.

The company also has TELUS International University, an innovative program that provides an opportunity for team members to earn college degrees, short and non-degree courses whilst concurrently working full-time. TI-Philippines launched TIU Family Program which now allows the team members’ families to enroll in short courses such as baking and culinary arts, basic fashion design, basic photography and language courses.

TI-Philippines is very active in CSR activities and its team members volunteer at least once a year to build homes, refurbish schools, paint classrooms, repair chairs or teach children. These initiatives help nurture its team members in various ways.

Almoniña feels grateful about TI-Philippines’ very inclusive environment.

“We are not just employees here. We are a community and we don’t care about who or what you are. Everyone is family regardless of age, position, race and even gender.”

To know more about TELUS International Philippines, visit www.telusinternational.com.ph or follow its social media accounts Facebook.com/TELUSPh, Twitter.com/TELUS_Ph and Instagram.com/TELUS_Phil.

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