Bain Southeast Asia adopts typhoon-hit community in the Philippines

Bayanihan1

When Typhoon Haiyan became the most devastating storm ever to make landfall, over 10 million people in the Philippines were affected. Entire communities were destroyed and over 500,000 homes were swept away by winds approaching 190 mph (305 kph) last November.

Responding to the disaster in their home country, the Filipino consultants in Bain’s Southeast Asia offices spearheaded the Bayanihan initiative with the support of Bain Cares and the office leadership team. Bayanihan is a Filipino word describing how villages in the Philippines would come together to lift each other’s huts on bamboo poles to relocate them in the face of flooding.

This spirit of communal effort to achieve a shared objective was collectively adopted by Bain Southeast Asia. The Bayanihan project aimed to raise funds for relief and reconstruction, partnering with the Philippine social enterprise Gawad Kalinga to adopt a village in one of the most affected areas in the Philippines.

Bainies were encouraged to give in one of three ways. The first and simplest was to pledge a donation directly from individual payrolls, which was met with dozens of contributions from Bain Southeast Asia’s 200-strong staff. The second was to participate in a silent auction of items donated by Bainies and generous vendors. Everything from full-time MBA admissions consulting with a Manager who’d graduated from Harvard, personal portrait sessions by an Associate Consultant who was also a semi-pro photographer, to cases of Merlot wine, Nescafe coffee machines, and Apple and Samsung tablets donated by our IT and office suppliers, were up for grabs.

Finally, the centerpiece of Bayanihan was a live auction held during Bain Southeast Asia’s annual holiday party. One-of-a-kind experiences from Partners were the highlight of the auction. Dinners at exclusive restaurants or personal yachts, a 20-person tent at Singapore’s Shakespeare in the Park, and the opportunity to drive an F1 race car were just some of the lots donated by Partners for the night.

Live auction items from the Bain Southeast Asia holiday part

Live auction items from the Bain Southeast Asia holiday party

The bidding was brought to a close by a Dance-Off, where Partners and Managers from each of the Southeast Asian offices – Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Jakarta – could bid for each other to go up on stage and perform the Gangnam-style dance.

Partners and managers dancing Gangnam-style for the Bayanihan Charity Auction

Partners and managers dancing Gangnam-style for the Bayanihan Charity Auction

By the end of the night, Bayanihan had raised close to USD 50,000 – money that is now being used by Gawad Kalinga to purchase materials to reconstruct 15 homes for the Polpogan community of Leyte, the province in the Philippines that bore the brunt of Haiyan. A new location for the village has been located that is safer from the regular typhoons that sweep through the province, with members of the community contributing sweat equity in the building of their homes as part of Gawad Kalinga’s model of ownership and empowerment. As the major donors to the rebuilding, Bain Southeast Asia will have a chance to choose the name of the new village.

Community members of Barangay Polpogan, Leyte in the Philippines

Community members of Barangay Polpogan, Leyte in the Philippines

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