“How’re you liking the weather?” may not be a common conversation starter back in Manila, but it surely is in London, according to Philip Nodora. He is one of Orbium’s many consultants who had the chance to relocate from one office to another. Originally from Manila, Philip is now in the company’s London office, taking on a new role.
“Growing up and living in a tropical country, it’s uncommon to talk about the weather, probably because it’s not much of a concern back there,” he says. “On most days, the sun is shining brightly and the temperature soaring.”
“It has only been a few months since I arrived in London, but I have already experienced the varying weather that Brits love to talk about. A sudden shift is quite common and I have now acquired the habit of checking the weather app on my phone before leaving my flat.”
One of the many perks of working in a global company is learning about different cultures and experiencing different countries. Philip was among the first hires in the Orbium Manila office before he was given the opportunity to transfer to Europe.
“The first time I set foot in the city, just as I exited Heathrow airport to take a famous black cab, a stinging icy breeze blew hard, chilling me to the bone. Shivering, I wondered whether it was really spring or if winter had just been extended,” says Philip.
“The dark skies and rain that welcomed me accurately matched the descriptions I had read and heard about London. It made me realise how much I’ve taken the sunshine back in the Philippines for granted. Now that the British summer is here, I’m among those with a full appreciation of the rare sunshine!”
So far, it has been exciting – and a learning experience for him.
“In Asia, a meal is only considered a proper meal if there’s rice in it, everything else is just a snack (just kidding). It’s a real adjustment to be in a place where rice is not the staple food.
“Fortunately, London is one of the most global and diverse cities in the world and many influences have infused its culinary offerings. From Chinese dumplings to Japanese sushi, Indian curry to Italian pasta, American burgers to the local must-try fish and chips, there is something for everyone! Filipino cuisine hasn’t gained much ground here… yet.”
One of Philip’s takeaways from this is that he appreciates Orbium’s culture all the more.
“London is a melting-pot of cultures. I’ve found people to be welcoming and accommodating. The best examples are my new colleagues in the Orbium London office. I cannot emphasise enough how amazing the welcome they gave me has been, helping me adjust to a new environment and easing my move to a new country.”
He may be away from home, but there’s so much to be gained now that he is on the other side of the world working.
According to Philip: “This is the first time I’ve been away from the Philippines for such a long period of time and I admit to feeling homesick occasionally – it’s a long way away. But above all I am very grateful for this opportunity to learn and gain new experiences, both professionally and personally.”