On family reunions and technology

Published July 12, 2022, 9:27 AM

by Millie Manahan

When was the last time you had a reunion? 10,15 years ago? As for me, I couldn’t even remember the last time we were complete. Until we had the opportunity to reunite once again after 20 years. My sisters and I went to Davao last month. While it was just a short trip, it sure did give us a meaningful time and a lot of realizations. One of which is how technology made this reunion bearable.

But on Filipino family reunions, it has been a tradition that one is on leave for work or be “present” to fully enjoy the moment. I hate to rain on your parade, but gone are those days. In this digital world, it is almost hard and impossible to go offline, especially, if yours is online.

Well, at least for our family, we spend time wisely. There’s a time for work and a time for karaoke moments; a Filipino reunion is not a reunion without Karaoke, right? So, looking for places that will help us achieve a “work-life balance” is pivotal.

Good thing, a work-at-everywhere has become a lifestyle for most of us now.

During my trip to Davao, we stayed at The Acacia Hotel. They have a Club Lounge area that offers free use of meeting rooms.

For someone who works everywhere, a quiet lounge like this is heaven’s sent!

Acacia Hotel Davao’s Club Lounge offers buffet breakfast, afternoon tea delights, and evening cocktails. They also have Luk Foo on the 3rd floor and of course, their signature restaurant, Waling Waling.

While the seasons have changed, there will always be this family member that needs to be updated with a lot of things. My sister hasn’t been in the country for many years. She didn’t know about Grab and Lalamove. While systems and processes are more advanced in the US, she was quite impressed with the dynamic growth of the Philippines.

Allow me to share with you how these technological breakthroughs helped our reunion as seamless as possible.

Digital Couriers

My sister’s first night was a disaster. She didn’t know where to eat, where to go and order food. I live in Tagaytay and she stayed in Manila. She arrived so late that the restaurants were already closed. Thankfully, there’s Foodpanda and Grab. I was able to order on their behalf, and voila, they were able to enjoy a sumptuous yet extremely late dinner.

And since I live far from where she was, Lalamove became our “personal errand boy.” We were able to utilize it by sending documents, parcels, and other things!

Digital Wallet

Oh, she was so surprised by how powerful digital wallets are here in the Philippines. G-Cash and Maya were our best friends during her stay in Manila. One of her reasons to come back was to reactive her dormant accounts. As you know, some companies are still not digitally inclined. Having a digital wallet is not a must, it should be every Filipino’s privilege to have one. It’s easy, fuss-free, and safe!

These apps were instrumental to all of us, well, at least for us. I wouldn’t know how I could help my sister gather her things from different places to their proper destinations without using the above-mentioned breakthroughs. I wouldn’t know how she’d be able to pay if I wasn’t able to transfer money from GCash to her account. These apps solved the majority of our societal issues like the ability to open or maintain a bank account. How do arrive on time without Angkas or Grab? I question our government’s processes a lot, but this reunion made me realize that small steps can make a difference.

With great technology, comes great responsibility

While I love the fact that technology makes our lives a lot easier, we must stay responsible. We must learn how to be diligent so that we won’t end up regretful about the things that are totally controllable.

This era has made our family and bonding time more achievable than ever. Thanks to technology.