Wednesday, June 26, 2024

IT Sustainability Bootcamp in Paradise: Learning, Fun, and Unexpected Adventure in Siargao

IT Sustainability Bootcamp in Paradise: Learning, Fun, and Unexpected Adventure in Siargao

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A bootcamp was recently held in the stunning island paradise of Siargao, originally scheduled from May 22 to 24 only, but was extended up to May 26 due to the flight  cancellation on the 24th as Siargao was put under Signal #1.

Sponsored by VST-ECS in partnership with APC and HPE/HPi, the event offered a unique blend of technical learning, island hopping adventures, and an unexpected twist that turned into a positive experience.

DAY 1: Sustainability Focused Learning

The bootcamp kicked off with an engaging icebreaker activity, followed by insightful sessions on sustainable IT practices.

Mr. Maurice Altar, VST-ECS 2nd VP, Marketing & Communications welcomes the delegates to the Sustainability camp
Celso Ravena, AVP & General Manager, CBG1 – welcome remarks


Balancing Sustainability with APC by Schneider Electric:

Ave Victoria, Product Solutions Engineer presented how APC Schneider can help in DeCarbonizing thru eConversion. True to their mission, to deliver excellent solutions while maintaining sustainability and efficiency, APC introduces EConversion.

Ave Victoria

eConversion is a patented high-efficiency mode UPS that combines the best efficiency (up to 99%) with maximum load protection, typically provides a 3x reduction of the UPS electricity consumption. Schneider Electric’s patented eConversion mode is one of the many solutions to promote decarbonization.

Optimizing Workloads with HP Workstations and HP Anyware:

“Now you can work and collaborate anywhere securely with ANYWARE”, says Marcus See, HP Regional Software and Solutions Sales.  Star Wars “The Mandalorian” editing and post production during the pandemic was done remotely with HP Anyware”, he added.

Marcus See talks about how HP Anyware works

HP Anyware gives you freedom to create, collaborate and work securely from anywhere. With its IT Infrastructure deployment flexibility, virtual collaboration capability, strong security and data protection and its world class remoting performance to improve productivity, HP Anyware can support your growing hybrid workforce needs.

Security-First Networking with HPE Aruba:

It’s Security First for Aruba, says Mr. Harvey Ysip, Aruba Systems Engineer. It provides a common Zero Trust foundation for networking and security teams.  It’s built-in anywhere, protects everything and works with anything removing complexity and inconsistency thereby eliminating blind spots and gaps. The operation-centric Next-generation Central allows continuous monitoring and AI-powered client visibility and profiling.

Harvey Ysip

Data-Centric Modernization with HPE Storage and Greenlake:

Ageing servers consume excessive power and space.  Mr. Brian Rabago showcased their solutions to address data growth while minimizing e-waste and optimizing power usage.

Brian Ravago, Technical Architect Multi-tech, HPE

Being a force for good is now also a source of business advantage. Plan your sustainability journey with an able partner like HPE.

DAY 2: Island Hopping Adventure

Day 2 offered a well-deserved break from the technical sessions with a delightful island hopping tour. 3 boats, 3 islands to visit, each participant armed with the Island Sustainability kit prepared by VST-ECS.

Boat #3
complete island travel essentials provided (including the rash guard)
  • Naked Island: A quick stop at this picturesque sandbar for photos and breathtaking views. Naked Island is a 200-meter-long strip of powdery white sand located off the southern shore of Siargao Island in Surigao Del Norte. It is completely bare, no trees, no shade, no structures whatsoever.
Naked Island


  • Dako Island: Known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, the group enjoyed a delicious seafood boodle fight lunch and some friendly beach volleyball games with fellow tourists.
The wonderful boodle spread at Dako Island
  • Guyam Island: This tear-drop shaped island, nicknamed “Ant Island” in the local language, provided a relaxed setting with palm trees, hammocks, and picture-perfect Instagrammable views.
Guyam Island

DAY 3: Unexpected Crisis and a Silver Lining

As the participants prepared for departure after a fulfilling learning experience and island adventure, a surprise awaited them. Flights were cancelled due to bad weather, leaving everyone stranded with rescheduled flights two weeks later.

The VST-ECS team stepped up admirably, demonstrating exceptional crisis management. They secured accommodations, provided updates, and even managed to arrange a last-minute flight to Manila via Mactan-Cebu the same day with the kind efforts from one of the attendee, Mr. Manny Dizon. This unexpected turn of events turned into a blessing in disguise, offering an additional day to explore Siargao’s beauty.

The unexpected bonus Day 4: Land tour via rented motorcycles
1st stop, the secret beach


Quick refreshment at Kanaloa Beach Bar



at Cloud 9 (photo credits Marcus See)
quick stop at the coconut view deck
Harvey Ysip ready to jump in Maasin River


Maasin River
Groufie at Maasin river
AFAM bridge at almost sunset
The famous Barbie ice cream seller at AFAM bridge

A Memorable Experience

The IT Sustainability Bootcamp in Siargao proved to be a valuable and unforgettable experience. Attendees gained valuable knowledge about sustainable IT practices while enjoying the island’s stunning scenery and camaraderie. The VST-ECS team’s dedication and resourcefulness during the unexpected flight cancellation further solidified the positive experience. This bootcamp truly delivered on its promise of learning, fun, and a touch of unexpected adventure.

Dinner by the beach! The last night in Siargao

As delegate Maricar Lopez-Olan remarked, “The meticulous planning and execution of the event were truly commendable. Even with the unexpected flight cancellation, the VSTECS and HPE Aruba teams exuded grace under pressure. Everyone got to work to make sure that we were all comfortable and well-fed.”

Some other delegates can’t help but voice out their appreciation as well…

“Commending the organizers and VST girls for a really well-done job taking care of us. You have such great culture in your company.”  Christian Santiago, Philippine Veterans Bank

“As the cliche goes.. True character is revealed in times of adversity and challenge. With the Marine Corps.. we call it the ” Foxhole ” …. when adversity or challenge happens… is the person with you in the foxhole still beside you or running away already ? The incident of Friday last highlighted the composure and strength of each as everyone showed ” calm during the storm ” and grace under pressure. Keeping your guests comfortable as you manage and handle the heavy task of getting everyone home safely.” – Rookie Nagtalon, Alegria Capital Partners

“From start to finish, your genuine warmth and concern were evident, making us feel comfortable and free of any worry. Your constant attention to our needs, from making sure we were well-fed to regularly checking in on us, truly made a difference. It was a remarkable experience and a wonderful first for me.” – Karla Borromeo, JG Summit Holdings Inc.


It was indeed a special and memorable experience for the CXO attendees, learning, fun and adventure all combined. Two thumbs up for a job well done VST-ECS, APC, and HPE/HPI team!  Congratulations and more power!

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