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I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in Paramaribo, Suriname. It did not take me long to meet the Filipino employees in the hotel.
John Ryan Castelo (Davao City) and Melanie Escora (Cebu City) are the finance controller and assistant finance controller, respectively. They did not know each other in the Philippines. A mutual friend told them to apply to their present positions.
Arnold Tecio (Bacoor, Cavite) is the executive chef of the Flavors Restaurant in the Courtyard Marriott. His junior sous chef is Jurmain Kross.
Arnold, who previously worked in Curacao, invited me to the fish-market night. Being a fish lover, I enjoyed the grilled tuna. And I couldn’t stop eating the shrimp dishes!
Bryan Agustin (San Jose, Romblon) is a front-desk officer at the Courtyard Marriott. One of his co-workers is Jimmy Royer.
Bryan enjoys dealing with customers, and he previously worked in another hotel in Paramaribo.
Greeting the customers of the Flavors Restaurant with a warm smile is Roaida Mani (Zamboanga City), who is a cashier. She previously worked in Venezuela.
The cleanliness at the Courtyard Marriott has a clear Filipino connection: Dennis Jamolin (Quezon City) is the executive housekeeper, whereas Marcel Reyes (Bangued, Abra) is one of the housekeepers.
I wondered why the men’s washroom was always spic and span until I saw Arnold Reyes and Jerry Ortega do their work. Both are from Bangued, Abra, and they work in the housekeeping department.
Rey E. de la Cruz, Ed.D., writes from Chicagoland when he is not loving the arts and traveling. He is the author of the children’s book, Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines, which also has Ilocano, Spanish, and Tagalog versions.
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