By Alyssa Paula Fernandez on December 10, 2015
Gone are the days when most people think that the only place where they can find their best chances for career growth is Manila, and so they target jobs located in the Metro. Nowadays, work opportunities can also be found outside the Metro; for instance, Laguna.
In the past few years, more and more companies are taking advantage of what Laguna’s strategic location can provide their businesses, such as its accessibility to the market here and abroad, and have either relocated or branched out to secure their presence in the said province.
Maple Beans Cafe owner, Judith Cinco, and Chemical researcher, Vida Famorcan, for example, shared their experiences of holding jobs in Laguna. They both said that Laguna’s environment, culture and people make them feel more relaxed working there.
“It’s the people I love the most about working in Laguna,” Vida says, “they’re most often approachable and willing to point you to the right person to talk to. My work becomes easier because of them.”
Vida also shares that Laguna has closed-knit communities where they know everyone, making it easy for her to find the people she needs to connect with regarding matters she attends to for her company. “It is easy to find the right people needed for approvals and requirements. It is also easy get a number of people for surveys or recruitment.”
Judith, on the other hand, encourages her fellow Laguenos to practice their professions in Laguna: “If you’re from Laguna, you no longer need to look far to find a suitable job for you because Laguna can now offer you the same opportunities you will find in Manila.” Laguenos no longer need to worry about having to go through horrendous traffic just to get to work. With the opportunities already present in Laguna, they can choose to work in their hometown, not needing to be stuck in traffic for almost three hours on a bad day, and breathing cleaner air than they would in Manila.
The rise of commercial and business hubs
Laguna is known for its beautiful lakes and majestic mountains—such as the famous Mt. Makiling, Mt. Banahaw, and Sierra Madre—providing a lot of opportunities for vacation, travel and tourism. The long list of hot spring resorts are also some of the most sought-after destination for many people who want some sort of getaway, and some R&R. And who can forget the agricultural and horticultural opportunities, too?
Laguna, however, will not only be known for all of these—it has evolved into a destination for professionals seeking career growth, too. Business and commercial hubs have risen such as the Laguna Techno Park where at least 99 companies—from automotive to electronic and manufacturing companies—had been built. More than that, suburban parks such as Nuvali and Eton city in Sta. Rosa, which are home to a diverse set of industries ranging from BPO to Marketing and Real Estate, also attract professionals.
(Source: Ayala Land Properties)
Nuvali has schools and restaurants all over, while Eton city, which is dubbed as the New Makati of the South, offers an extensive list of commercial facilities among residential communities. Career opportunities in Laguna, including job vacancies for a marketing specialist, a bookkeeper, a head technician or part of the technical support staff, are also easy to find via Kalibrr.
“It’s easy to be productive,” says Judith. "It’s provincial yet near Manila. Work-life balance is attainable because of the presence of commercial areas and R&R venues.”
Laguna has produced talented and highly skilled work force among its locals. Great education is provided through the many great schools and universities around, such as the University of the Philippines - Los Banos, De La Salle University - Science and Technology Complex, Xavier School Nuvali, and soon, Miriam College. There are also many professionals who travel to work in Laguna, so the people you will be working with are just as capable, persistent, hardworking and intelligent as you are.
Judith, who once worked as a Training Supervisor for one of the top local computer products company based in Calamba before she ventured into entrepreneurship says, “Homegrown workers can also give anyone a run for your money. If you’re after career fulfillment as much as financial promotion, in Laguna you don’t only get the chance to work for some of the country’s top brands, you also get to engage some of the of best minds you will ever meet.”
Vida agrees and adds, “It’s such a privilege to work side by side with people who are as passionate about what they do as much as you. You learn so much from the experience that you can take with you as you move forward.”
Becoming one of the most important business locations in the South
Laguna has always been known as the resort capital of the Philippines, but with the introduction of suburban development sites, it is also now labeled as the Detroit of the Philippines for its current number of car manufacturing companies, and the Silicon Valley of the Philippines for the many semi-conductor and electronic companies that abound in it. Laguna arguably has the best-developed business districts in the South, with respected companies such as Honda, Toshiba, Coca-Cola and AIM Corporate solutions establishing their companies in the area.
The plan on widening SLEX, the major road that connects Laguna to Manila, to be able to accommodate the traffic, signifies just how important Laguna already is to the work economy.
With regards to the traffic within Laguna, Vida says that “although the roads in Laguna are not totally free from congestion, there is definitely less traffic to deal with and getting from point A to point B. It is easier and smoother than when you drive around Manila.” Judith adds the availability of shuttles: “Working overtime poses no problems because shuttles are available for you to take going home at any time.”
Exciting job opportunities outside Manila
It won’t be long before Laguna will completely emerge into one of the most powerful business locations in Luzon. With these in mind, new graduates and young professionals should extend their sight beyond the borders of Manila for exciting job opportunities.
Professionals looking for work should shift their focus beyond the borders of Manila and see that their opportunities are not only limited to the metro, but are also extended towards Laguna and other cities as well.