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Angel S. Velasco Country Marketing and Communications Manager – Philippines Hilton

“My field is constantly evolving and allows marketing communications professionals to constantly grow and evolve. “

HOTEL PR managers have certainly come a long way since being beautiful and charming were considered major job requirements.

Angel S. Velasco, Country-Philippines Marketing and Communications Manager for the Hilton Group, should know. In recent years, he has been at the forefront of radical developments, aided by the technological advances that have marked his specialty. He says: “It is a constantly evolving field that allows marketing communications professionals to constantly grow and evolve.

“Good message”

“We’ve gone from sending out press releases, through hard copies and photos through CDs (and real photos printed before that) to .zip files now. From face-to-face distribution of flyers and brochures to today, easily creating digital communities joined by a scan of a QR code.

“In the hospitality industry, it is our duty to be able to ‘send the right message’ to our customers. No matter how good a vacation package is, if the message or words used are too deep or trite, it becomes lost in all the information that is being shared right now on multiple channels. So not only do you have to have the skills, but you also have to have that passion and dedication to your craft to get the right message across. Honestly, I continue to learn every day, and I never fail to ask my team to correct me when and where they can. You can’t just sit back on your laurels in this industry; it’s the same in life really. “

Analysis of Angel’s updated resume (yes, Angel is his real name) shows a steady rise in the marketing communications ladder. After graduating in journalism from the University of Santo Tomas in 2007, he briefly worked as a creative writer at GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc. He then joined the hospitality industry through Traders Hotel (later renamed Hotel Jen) in 2008, then moving to his sister property Edsa Shangri-La, in Manila, in various positions to reach the Director of Communications in 2014. That same year, a turning point came when he decided to “take a leap of faith” and to join his female flight attendant Winny in Muscat, Oman where she had registered with Oman Air. By chance, he landed the position of Marketing Communications Manager at Best Western Premier Muscat, Oman, which allowed the couple to juggle their jobs and raise their young daughter Sophia.

“I made a lot of friends and even played basketball with the Filipino community there,” Angel recalls. “However, the Middle East was always just a place where I could step out of my comfort zone for a while and save for the future – which I was able to do. It was never a place. place to grow old, especially for my kids. Plus, I continued to miss Jollibee, which was not yet available there! “

After three years, Angel and his family returned to Manila. The post of director of marketing and communications awaited him at the newly built Conrad Manila, whose brand was considered the luxury level of the Hilton network. Thinking back to his last appointment in early 2020 as Country Marketing and Communications Manager – Philippines for the Hilton Group, he says: I have been with the group for almost five years since I returned to the Philippines, and it has been a real blessing. . Conrad Manila has always been at the forefront of innovation in hospitality, proudly embracing diversity and celebrating Pride Month around the world.

“From a career perspective, I’ve been allowed to continuously grow and been entrusted with so much. From managing a single property to overseeing Hilton Manila’s marketing and communications campaigns [at Resorts World Manila in Parañaque City and the recently-opened Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort [at Clark Freeport, Pampanga Province]. “

Practical parent

Commenting on his experience in managing new properties, Angel, a product of La Salle for his elementary and high school education, says, “It’s about laying the groundwork, setting the standards for the brand, doing multiple sessions of training and present the property to the market. For operational teams, it is a question of constantly knowing and growing with the market. What worked for Valentine’s Day last year, may not work this year or next year. Same at Christmas or New Year, we must continue to evolve. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we focused on delivering our award-winning culinary offerings to our customers through the Conrad’s Signature Takeaway and Hilton Manila’s Bring Hilton Home initiatives. Angel has also been responsible for coordinating pre-opening information activities for DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka, New Zealand.

    (Clockwise from right) Conrad Manila;  Angel with his team Conrad Manila (left to right) Angelica Restrivera, Zeny Iglesias and Bettina Someros;  and the new Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

(Clockwise from right) Conrad Manila; Angel with his team Conrad Manila (left to right) Angelica Restrivera, Zeny Iglesias and Bettina Someros; and the new Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

When asked to name a few people he sees as important influences in his business journey, he said: “I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the best in the hospitality industry: Lourdes Tan Arrieta, who opened the doors to the Traders Hotel (now Hotel Jen) for me; my achi (older sister in Chinese) Lesley Anne Tan, who really pushed me out of my shell; Roel Constantino; Annie Gatchalian; Zeny Iglesias, whose wisdom is unmatched and the person I consider truly indebted to most and Conrad Manila’s Commercial Director, Michael Jaey Albaña, whose overall approach and gritty mindset I truly admire.

“Lately I reread Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which I try to apply to my daily life; Strunk & White Style Elements due to my background in college journalism and a few light readings from Our Daily Bread and the Holy Bible. “

“A practical parent” would be the best way for Angel to describe his involvement with his daughter Sophia and younger brother Matteo. He says: “My wife Winny, after years of flying with Oman Air, took on the heavier role of playing the full time mother role for our two children, plus a giant 6ft capricious baby – me. as my kids know, they take it from my wife, and whatever is stupid or crazy, they get it from me.

“I do my best to be available to them full time on weekends, to give Winny her much needed R&R (rest and recreation), while I usually take care of the children and spoil them with pool and ice cream days. I guess that’s because I grew up standing, my mom was busy with work and my dad was away, so I really want to have a big, happy family. “

In five years, this affable hotelier sees himself “still in the marketing and communications arena, but probably in a more detached role, if that is possible”.

He adds, “I’m probably going to work more in the background and leave it to the younger, brighter minds to deal with the sleepless, dark, sleepless nights. Growing up, I was always an introvert, mostly laid back. and relaxed. ”I had a“ wake-up call ”when I went to Oman, and I kind of“ grew ”or“ matured ”there.

“So now I’m trying to seize the day – carpe diem. Anything I can do, I’ll probably do it already or be halfway there.”

About me

Model

My mother Edna, who looked after me and my sister in every way possible. She ran the store, which she owned, every day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. without fail – if only to make sure everything was going well. On Sundays, she would open the store until noon, then spend the rest of the day with us. It taught me love, passion, perseverance and above all responsibility.

Goal

It is being able to permanently care for and provide for the needs of my loved ones, to put them in a good situation, just like my mom did for us. I would also like to help share the light and warmth of hospitality, which I truly believe in, with everyone.

First paid job

I used to sell my designs (mostly Marvel, DC characters) to my classmates from P20 to P50. I also sold MP3 CDs for a while. Professionally, my first job was for the Philippine Daily Inquirer as an administrative assistant for the business section.

Morning ritual

I watch my children, say a short prayer, then get ready for work. I like quiet mornings, but if the kids are up I don’t mind playing with them a bit before I go.

Special skill

I drew pretty well when I was younger; I would draw everything from Batman to lions and elephants. I wanted to write my own graphic novel, which is why I started journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. Unfortunately over the years I have injured my right wrist so I cannot hold a pen or pencil as accurately as I would like. Today I just try to correct my children’s drawings where I can.

Time spent on social media

I am mostly online during the week, as I use social media as a business intelligence tool. This is where I can learn about the latest trends, not only here but abroad. I follow certain luxury brands related to my own property. On weekends, I do my best to “unplug” and just play with my kids.

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