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Victoria Court recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work’

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Victoria Court, the Philippines’ leading adult motel chain, has been recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work’, making it the first and only company in the motel industry to receive this prestigious honor. This award, given by Great Place to Work Institute, underscores Victoria Court’s commitment to creating a positive and fulfilling work environment for its employees.

Victoria Court, with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality and pleasure industry, has redefined the motel experience with its unique themed rooms, personalized service, and emphasis on guest satisfaction. But beyond the opulent suites and intimate encounters lies one of the key secrets to their success: their happy and engaged employees.

Building a Playground for Creativity and Imagination

“We treat our employees like our guests,” Atticus King, Owner of Victoria Court says. “Victoria Court is an adult playground, an enchanting space for creativity and imagination. You don’t feel like you’re in the office becausepeople come there to play, enjoy, and live.”

This playful spirit is translated into an exciting work culture where Mobile Legends tournaments and basketball games are the norm. Beyond paid leaves, performance incentives, and training, Victoria Court hosts summer outings, birthday bashes, and open communication activities like general assemblies and employee quarters.

Launching clubs and organizations, and celebrating events like Halloween and year-end parties are also part of company tradition.

A new company signature event called Valentine Palooza is also in the works this year. True to the Victoria Court spirit, the Valentine Palooza will include a training area converted into a love-themed room and includes Valentine-themed activities such as Cupid’s Arrow Toss, Love Bingo, cooking and baking classes, love-themed scavenger hunts, love letter writings, and photobooths.

Creating Exceptional Guest Experiences

Running an adult playground means lots of fun, play, and a very open environment where people can talk about intimacy and sexual wellness. Never mind the taboos, because how does one suddenly find inspiration to create the next Red Room of Pain or a new otherworldly suite based on a Netflix show that grew popular over the weekend?

“Ideas can come from anywhere and anyone,” Sam Pineda, Victoria Court’s Chief Operating Officer explains. “Our employees all have direct access to top management and can speak with the owner, COO, CFO anytime. I mean our company thrives on openness, diba? Even the most taboo topics are openly talked about, because that’s how we can innovate and elevate our guests’ experience–to make it very unique and unforgettable.”

This dedication to creativity is evident in Victoria Court’s diverse roster of themed rooms. From the classic Moulin Rouge to Notice Me Senpai, each room is crafted to be a safe haven and playground for guests to explore their fantasies. The chain even recreates Pinoy-centric scenes like the MRT and Jeepney Ride, alongside fandom-based suites inspired by Star Wars, 50 Shades of Grey, and Squid Game.

“Pinoys are very playful, witty, and passionate,” says King. “We never run short of imagination and play when it comes to exploring pleasure and intimacy.”

“Just think of how many themed rooms we’ve conceptualized over the years. How many clients have entered and re-entered our drive-ins,” King adds. “Though we value their privacy, Pinoys are actually more open about intimacy now, and our employees truly understand how to give a no-holds barred space for them to express that.”

Beyond the Bedroom: Exceptional Service and ISO Standards

Elevating the guest experience goes beyond fun and play. Victoria Court’s ISO 9001:2015 certification means employees have worked hard to uphold strict standards in how they treat guests, from welcoming and serving food to ensuring fast and discreet checkouts. Each staff member is seen as a valuable piece of the puzzle, driving the company’s commitment to exceptional service and adherence to ISO requirements.

A Disney Experience for All: Employees and Guests

The chain combines creativity, fun, and entertainment to give guests a Disney-like experience, with themed rooms, unique activities, and mouth-watering meals. But this magic extends beyond the guests, creating a workplace where employees thrive.

“I believe that happy and engaged employees are key to a high-performing workforce, which ultimately leads to happy customers,” says Pineda. “We are far from perfect, but it is a primary focus of ours and will continue to be.”

Victoria Court’s ‘Great Place to Work’ award is a testament to their commitment to creating a fulfilling and supportive workplace. In a world where work can often feel boring and routine, Victoria Court offers its employees a space to play, innovate, and be a part of something truly special. It’s not just a job; it’s a playground for imagination, and for many, the happiest place to work on earth.

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NewsMakers

Optimism wards off procrastination

While procrastinators often admonish themselves for their “bad habit,” it turns out that their worries for the future are more to blame.

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People with an optimistic outlook on the future are less likely to be severe procrastinators, according to new research at the University of Tokyo. While procrastinators often admonish themselves for their “bad habit,” it turns out that their worries for the future are more to blame. Through a survey of nearly 300 young people, researchers found that those who had a positive view about their stress levels decreasing in the future, compared to the past or present, were less likely to experience severe procrastination. Views on personal well-being didn’t appear to have an effect. Improving people’s outlook and readiness for the future could help them overcome procrastination and achieve a less stressful lifestyle. 

How many times have you made a “to do” list, and although the most important task is at the top, you seem to be working your way up from the bottom or distracted by something else entirely? While we might chide ourselves for procrastinating, sometimes the more we try to overcome it, the more stressed we feel and the cycle continues. That is how it was for graduate student Saya Kashiwakura from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo, so she decided to investigate why.

“I have struggled with procrastination since childhood. I would clean my room when I needed to study for a test and prioritize aikido practice over my postgraduate research. This habit of putting off important tasks has been a constant challenge,” said Kashiwakura. “I wanted to change my behavior, as I realized that I was not confronting the future impact of my actions.”

This inspired Kashiwakura to examine the relationship between procrastination and the procrastinator’s perspective on time, particularly their view of the future. When she began researching procrastination, she was surprised to discover that many more people suffer from it than she had imagined and found it reassuring her problems were not unique.

Previous research has shown that a feature of procrastination is disregard for the future or difficulty linking present actions with future outcomes. However, the reasons for this have been unclear. Kashiwakura and co-author Professor Kazuo Hiraki, also from UTokyo, proposed that it might be because severe procrastinators have a more pessimistic outlook. 

The researchers surveyed 296 participants in Japan in their 20s for their views on stress and well-being, and importantly how these changed over time. This included asking about their experiences from 10 years in the past through to the present, and their expectations for 10 years in the future. From the results, participants were clustered into one of four groups (for example, if they thought their situation would improve or would stay the same), and then each group was divided into severe, middle and low procrastinators. 

“Our research showed that optimistic people — those who believe that stress does not increase as we move into the future — are less likely to have severe procrastination habits,” explained Kashiwakura. “This finding helped me adopt a more light-hearted perspective on the future, leading to a more direct view and reduced procrastination.” 

It was not only the level of stress people experienced, but how their perception of it changed over the 20-year time period discussed, which influenced their procrastination habits. Surprisingly, a relationship wasn’t found between procrastination and negative views on well-being, such as one’s attitude towards oneself, or not yet finding purpose and goals in life.

Using these results, the team wants to develop ways to help people nurture a more optimistic mindset and overcome procrastination. “We hope our findings will be particularly useful in the education sector. We believe that students will achieve better outcomes and experience greater well-being when they can comprehend their procrastination tendencies scientifically, and actively work on improving them, rather than blaming themselves,” said Kashiwakura. 

“Thoughts can change with just a few minutes of watching a video or be shaped by years of accumulation. Our next step is to investigate which approach is appropriate this time, and how we can develop the ‘right’ mindset to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.”

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Study shows how night shift work can raise risk of diabetes, obesity

“When internal rhythms are dysregulated, you have this enduring stress in your system that we believe has long-term health consequences.”

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Just a few days on a night shift schedule throws off protein rhythms related to blood glucose regulation, energy metabolism and inflammation, processes that can influence the development of chronic metabolic conditions.

The finding, from a study led by scientists at Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, provides new clues as to why night shift workers are more prone to diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders.

“There are processes tied to the master biological clock in our brain that are saying that day is day and night is night and other processes that follow rhythms set elsewhere in the body that say night is day and day is night,” said senior study author Hans Van Dongen, a professor in the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “When internal rhythms are dysregulated, you have this enduring stress in your system that we believe has long-term health consequences.”

Though more research is needed, Van Dongen said the study shows that these disrupted rhythms can be seen in as little as three days, which suggests early intervention to prevent diabetes and obesity is possible. Such intervention could also help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, which is elevated in night shift workers as well.

Published in the Journal of Proteome Research, the study involved a controlled laboratory experiment with volunteers who were put on simulated night or day shift schedules for three days. Following their last shift, participants were kept awake for 24 hours under constant conditions—lighting, temperature, posture and food intake—to measure their internal biological rhythms without interference from outside influences. 

Blood samples drawn at regular intervals throughout the 24-hour period were analyzed to identify proteins present in blood-based immune system cells. Some proteins had rhythms closely tied to the master biological clock, which keeps the body on a 24-hour rhythm. The master clock is resilient to altered shift schedules, so these protein rhythms didn’t change much in response to the night shift schedule.

However, most other proteins had rhythms that changed substantially in night shift participants compared to the day shift participants.

Looking more closely at proteins involved in glucose regulation, the researchers observed a nearly complete reversal of glucose rhythms in night shift participants. They also found that processes involved in insulin production and sensitivity, which normally work together to keep glucose levels within a healthy range, were no longer synchronized in night shift participants.

The researchers said this effect could be caused by the regulation of insulin trying to undo the glucose changes triggered by the night shift schedule. They said this may be a healthy response in the moment, as altered glucose levels may damage cells and organs, but could be problematic in the long run.

“What we showed is that we can really see a difference in molecular patterns between volunteers with normal schedules and those with schedules that are misaligned with their biological clock,” said Jason McDermott, a computational scientist with PNNL’s Biological Sciences Division. “The effects of this misalignment had not yet been characterized at this molecular level and in this controlled manner before.”

The researchers’ next step will be to study real-world workers to determine whether night shifts cause similar protein changes in long-term shift workers.

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USANA Philippines celebrates 15-year anniversary

Beyond awards, the community it empowers is the true measure of success. From employees to Associates, life-changing opportunities allow them to grow both personally and professionally.

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USANA Philippines recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary in it its ongoing mission to maintain wellness. Company executives, ambassadors, Associates, and product users all attended this grand celebration — a testament to the unwavering commitment to reach one million families worldwide.  

Since its launch in 2009, USANA Philippines has received numerous accolades: Named among the best companies to work for in the country by the HR Asia Awards; Winning the prestigious Linchpin Award from the Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards (APEA); Recognized by Euromonitor as the Number 1 Vitamins and Dietary Supplements Brand in the Philippines for five consecutive years. 

But beyond awards, the community it empowers is the true measure of success. From employees to Associates, life-changing opportunities allow them to grow both personally and professionally.

When Analan Omambing, assistant customer service manager, joined USANA she was shy and introverted, but the support she’s received has pushed her to step up as a team leader.  “The career growth and personal development I gained here have transformed my personality significantly,” she says.  

USANA Philippines also creates ways to form meaningful relationships.  

“Direct selling, especially USANA, is all about relationships,” says Aurora Gaston, vice president for sales development.   

As the first employee hired by USANA Philippines, Loudelle Cinco, USANA’s regional controller in the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia has experienced it all.  

“One of the things I treasure is the friendship, having a family in USANA. This position has paved the way to building great and lasting relationships.”  

Over the past 15 years, USANA has seen a shift in their Associate’s perspectives — from a focus on individual success to embracing a more collaborative and inclusive view of the community.  

“This comprehensive development approach underscores USANA’s commitment to not only enhance the lives of our Associates but also empower them to make a meaningful difference in the world” shared Cherry Dionisio-Ampig, general manager for USANA Philippines.  

USANA consistently strives to make an impact by being responsive to shifts in consumer behavior. Changes made over the years include strengthening the brand through collaboration, embracing the evolution of social media, and ensuring Associates can effortlessly introduce USANA’s products to the world. And as USANA Philippines celebrates this milestone, its vigor to sustain wins and touch more lives grows even stronger.  

“We are dedicated to ongoing research and innovation to develop products that not only meet — but exceed — the expectations of families worldwide. By focusing on efficacy and quality, we aim to be the trusted partner in every family’s journey towards maintaining wellness” Cherry says.   

The 15-Year “Ignite the Vibe” celebration was held at the Marriot Hotel Grand Ballroom. It’s the final touch to the anniversary festivities that kicked off with a Thanksgiving Day event in January.

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