World Class Filipinos: Meet Justine Blanco, Duty Manager at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Justine Blanco, Duty Manager at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Filipinos are naturally hospitable people which makes them globally in demand by hotels, airlines and cruise ships. During my travels abroad, I met several kababayans working in hotels around Asia and their stories were really inspiring. One common value they share is their passion to deliver excellent customer service.

Many successful Filipino hoteliers begin their career in the Philippines. Such is the case of Mr. Justine Blanco who is currently working at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila as Duty Manager. Justine is a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines). He started his career as a Front Office Receptionist at The Manila Hotel and he later on joined the pre-opening team of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila in 2014 as Guest Relations Agent.

Justine's hard work and dedication to excellence has won him several awards and recognition, and gaining the trust of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila to appoint him as Duty Manager at a young age of 23. During an interview with Justine, he shared with us his personal recipe for success at work:

  • Innovation & Creativity - think of new ways and ideas that can improve the services of the company
  • Honesty & Integrity - keep doing the right thing even when there is no one watching, this shows your sense of responsibility
  • Respect - respect your colleagues, your employer, and the hotel

Work-Life Balance, on the other hand, is a key factor in Justine's overall happiness at work. Justine is very fortunate because Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is very supportive to promote work-life balance. During his rest day, Justine would watch a movie, visit the spa, or catch up with friends and family. He also loves to travel, and beach camping and mountain hiking are his favorite activities.

According to Justine, traveling allows him to reconnect with nature, it helps him relieve the stresses from work, and traveling makes him feel recharged with a renewed passion for work. Traveling also creates wonderful stories which he can share with colleagues to encourage them to travel together as a team, thus strengthen camaraderie.

As Aristotle said, Excellence is not an accident but a habit. In order to constantly deliver excellence, one has to continuously undergo skills development. Justine agrees to this. As being in charge of overseeing the hotel operations, he strives to learning the skills, concepts and technical knowledge that would help him better perform his current role. Ultimately, he wants to take on greater responsibilities that could greatly contribute to the success of the hotel.

Despite the challenges at work, why do hoteliers choose to stay in the hospitality industry? Justine shared that the fulfillment of seeing how hotel guests are delighted by his efforts to make their stay very memorable, plus the commendations he receives on Trip Advisor, are his source for motivation.

Finally, we asked Justine what advice he can give to our future hoteliers. In his own words he said that, "Education is the foundation of one's success. It provides the fundamental knowledge and skills that one needs in order to succeed at the workplace. Most importantly, one has to possess the very basic idea of hospitality, which is to delight guests through genuine service and always go beyond what is expected from one's job."

Our genuine hospitality is the best product we can offer to the world.
- Justine Blanco, Duty Manager, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

He ended by saying that, Our genuine hospitality is the best product we can offer to the world. Through this service-oriented industry, we are able to demonstrate Filipino hospitality. In this way, we get to help promote our country’s branding as one of the world’s friendliest countries. This will eventually help boost our economy through tourism.

We would like to thank Marco Polo Ortigas Manila for giving us the opportunity to interview Mr. Justine Blanco. He is indeed one of your brightest stars, as source of pride for the hotel, and a source of inspiration to other Filipino hoteliers and future hoteliers of our country. Thank you Justine for allowing us to share your story. Mabuhay!

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