More than a big paycheck, Quest Hotel glad to serve bubble delegation

Published October 10, 2020, 3:33 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Michael Gapin (Photo by Jeremiah Sevilla)

CLARK FREEPORT—With the pandemic driving businesses to enormous losses, general manager Michael Gapin is grateful that the Quest Hotel is busy serving the 350-strong Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) delegation in the bubble. 

Gapin said they submitted their proposal to the PBA upon knowing that Clark would host the bubble and the good news came just within a week. 

“We’re really happy to be awarded as the official hotel (of the PBA bubble). As we all know during these difficult times with this pandemic, it’s a very good source of revenue for the property,” Gapin, who was tight-lipped on the specifics of their deal with Asia’s first play-for-pay league, told the Manila Bulletin on Saturday. 

Gapin, though, bared that 210 rooms are occupied. 

Besides the financial and promotional aspects of the deal, the French manager said most of their 140 employees are glad to see and serve the basketball players they look up to. 

“It’s something amazing for them also because some of them really see their idols.” 

But having a huge delegation as the PBA entails the same enormity of responsibility, especially with the all guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

All the staff, who would also stay in the hotel for the duration of the bubble, were tested for Covid-19 four days before the teams started arriving. 

Thermal scanners and foot baths were placed at the hotel’s entrances and hand sanitizing stations can be seen in various areas. Health protocols were also made for cleaning rooms. 

All in all, the hotel employees are working round the clock to make sure that everybody in the bubble lives in a safe environment.

“It’s a huge responsibility because it is the first one in the Philippines. So, we want to make sure that we set high standards. But first of all, what we really need to understand is that the safety and health of the players are our top priorities,” said Gapin.

“Our goal is to make sure that the players focus on their game and we’ll take care of the rest,” he added.

Fortunately, Gapin said that they have not encountered major problems yet, thanks to the lessons they had when Quest was chosen as one of the hotels for the delegates of Southeast Asian Games last year.  

“We learned a lot from there and we were able to replicate it for the PBA bubble,” said Gapin, who also commended his diligent staff.

“It’s a team effort. We want to make sure that we help each other.”

And their hard work isn’t going unnoticed. 

“The teams were happy with the check-in process. They feel very safe and that’s really our target here, to make sure that there would be smooth check-in, they feel safe and they enjoy the isolation so that it doesn’t last too long for them,” said Gapin. 

“We also have to deliver good food and they have been quite happy with the meal plan that our executive chef has put in place. I would say, so far, we have received very good feedback from coaches, team managers and players as well.”