Back to his roots!
Alfred Reyes began his magnificent hospitality career in the place he was born, Cebu. Starting from the ranks, he has climbed the organizational ladder quite steadily, never experiencing jobless moments. His facility with a third language, Chinese, propelled him to exciting assignments both here and overseas. I qoute Alfred from my book Hospitality Superstars published in 2015 about his very first experience when he was still applying for a job:
“In 1988 I applied as a flight steward in Philippine Airlines Lines. They were quite blunt to tell me, “we are sorry but you cannot fly with us as you only have nine working fingers and passengers will see that.” I did not hide my disappointment and thought that they were cruel for frustrating me. This initial failure sparked my quest to find a job in other tourism and hospitality related companies.
As I started walking out of the PAL office that day, another applicant who was also rejected asked me if I spoke Chinese, and if I’d like to try to apply for a job in the hotel where he was a bellman. With much resolve, I said yes to both his questions. He volunteered to introduce me to his boss, the front office manager, Steve Alfafara. I will never forget the day Steve interviewed me. I was wearing white socks, polo shirt and Fido Dido hair. During our conversation, he told me that I had to change two things-my hairstyle and my white socks, “you’re not Michael Jackson,” he said. Of course, I took his advice and started working on all my pre-employment requirements. That was the start of my hospitality career at the 1Cebu Plaza Hotel, earning P25 a day. Cebu Plaza was the best hotel in the Queen City during that time and for many years later and of course, I was very proud to be a part of it.”
Alfred has been Executive Assistant Manager of the Fours Seasons (Taipei) and the Hilton (Jakarta) and General Manager of The Linden Suites, Waterfront Hotel & Casino (Cebu) and the Widus Hotel & Casino (Clark), just to name a few.
Last year Alfred moved back to Cebu to develop one of the biggest hotels in the city, the Bai Hotel Cebu with 600 rooms and scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2017. Alfred’s expertise ensures Bai a secure place in the second most competitive hotel market in the country.
1Cebu Plaza Hotel is now the Marco Polo Hotel Cebu
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