Notes by: Michael Van Lieven
My Business Journey in the Philippines
Clark was introduced to me when I attended a business Outsourcing Tour in the Philippines in 2015. Clark is a major centre of International Business, about 2 hours North of Manila. Part of our itinerary on that tour was to visit some outsourcing companies in Clark, for us to see possible business opportunities. That’s when the concept of PBO Global started. First, our intention was to test the value of BPO through outsourcing specific accounting services. Following this, we decided to establish an outsourcing company which would provide support to our businesses here in Australia. It just grew then by osmosis. After 3 years, PBO Global now caters to Australian companies other than ours.
One factor that convinced me to invest in Clark is the business environment of the area. Foreign companies have paved the way to the development of the Freeport Zone. This special categorization for the area brings direct benefits to organizations which develop businesses in Clark. Many new International businesses have arrived and built businesses and facilities here since we built our custom-facility in 2016. Nowadays, Clark is perpetually changing as even more businesses open. Clark itself is a mixed scene of industry and nature. For a biking enthusiast like myself, it is a perfect opportunity to discover new trails and enjoy the scenery of the place at the same time.
My Biking Story
Everytime that I would visit PBO Global in the Philippines, I would stay for a week. And I must say, five days of pure business agenda can be draining. That’s when it hit me – being a cycling-aficionado, I packed up one of my road-bikes from Sydney and carried it with me on my flight to Manila. That was in 2017. Now, whenever I visit the team in Clark I start every morning with a robust ride on the roads in Clark. I think some of the locals find the sight of a white Australian puffing and panting up the hills of Clark whilst dressed in Lycra confronting at times!
Biking around Clark allows me to explore the area in a unique perspective. As in any other place, the type of view that you absorb when on a bike is far different from what you experience when in a car, especially at before dawn. Clark is connected to expressway which has a beautiful view of mountains and farms. If you are tempted to bring your road-bike to Clark or buy one from the local bike-store expect to meet local and foreign cyclists along your way. And in terms of traffic, you share the road mostly with Honda 100cc motorcycles. Thankfully the riders are very cautious of crazy foreign road-cyclists in lycra! Biking also enables me to explore small communities near the area which is fun although when off the beaten-track, you must be careful of the odd dog which will wander across the road in front of you.
I think that I am very fortunate that I have managed to combine business with the activity that I love in Clark.
To anyone planning to explore opportunities at Clark or anywhere else, adopt the Nike principle (“Just Do It”). See you on the road!