Monday, August 26, 2019

Hello, Hannah

WALKING around on a paved walkway in 4-inch heels had never looked so easy until then.

As she gave us a tour around the resort’s spacious grounds, she displayed utmost poise, confidence and wit - the very traits one would look for from a front-line representative of a luxury resort.

Her name is Johannah Marie Patalinghug. Some call her “Jo” while others, mostly those she had met through her position in the resort, simply know her as “Hannah.” She is the Public Relations Associate of Plantation Bay Resort & Spa.

The field of public relations seems perfectly cut out for the exuberant 24-year-old.

She openly admitted, however, that it is a career she had never intended on pursuing.

Coming from a family that consists of doctors, Hannah thought she would also follow the same route.

Hannah initially took up nursing at Cebu Doctors University but after a year or so, she realized she did not like the sight of blood. This fear was prompted when she nearly fainted in one of their practicum activities.

“Some of my friends took up tourism back then,” she recalled, “and they told me it’s fun, you go everywhere, you meet different people, and there are plenty of opportunities in the hospitality industry.”

It was not long before Hannah found herself studying tourism at the University of San Carlos. “I think I made the right decision because I’m here and I’m definitely
enjoying my job right now,” she said.

She joined Plantation Bay as Guest Service Officer in the resort’s front office and barely five months later, she was offered the PR post.

“So I said to myself: why not try? It was hard at first because I didn’t have a background in PR since tourism is more service-oriented,” she shared.

Her seeming determination and versatility was what helped her through; and today, handling ads, dealing with media, and conceptualizing events all come so easily to her.

“I think I’m doing well because I’m still here,” Hannah said light-heartedly.

“Everyday is a new challenge, I deal with different kinds of people, and I get to see this everyday,” she said, pointing at the resort’s enticing lagoons surrounded by reclining beach chairs and hammocks.

“It’s fun being in PR,” she added.

Unsurprisingly, Hannah’s favourite bit in her job is socializing. “When it comes to guest relations or if we have VIPs, it’s not hard for me to socialize with them,” she said animatedly. “I come from a political family so meeting new people is not new to me. Actually, I love it! I love meeting people from different walks of life because I get to learn a lot from them.”

Quite recently, Hannah was at Cornell University in New York for a two-week class on project management. “Plantation Bay always sends their supervisors and managers to Cornell, and I was one of the few chosen this year,” she said.

“At first, we did hotel oculars in San Francisco for a week,” Hannah shared. “We got to experience different five-star hotels there, and what was surprising was that most of the people who toured us around are Filipinos! And they’re all so hospitable.”

Despite the hectic schedule inherent in the hospitality industry, fun-loving Hannah also makes it a point to have enough time for the activities she enjoy doing. “I’m a beach bum. I may see this everyday,” she said, referring to her work environment, “but
I still love going to the beach.”

As a student, Hannah had briefly dabbled in the modelling world, a fact that perhaps somehow explains her poised bearing. She was formerly a member of the Models Association of Cebu.

Hannah is more than a statuesque young beauty though. She is confident, outgoing, and someone who lives by the principle of finding satisfaction in achieving “things that other people say she can’t do.” Indeed, that goes to show that she is also the kind who is very determined to get things done - in her chic, towering heels and all.
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