Pi­noy makes it to Stel­liers Awards 2020

The Philippine Star - - TRAVEL & TOURISM -

The best of Filipino hos­pi­tal­ity is set to shine on the world stage.

Rey Mor­aga, a grad­u­ate of En­derun Col­leges, is one of the fi­nal­ists of “Front Of­fice Hote­lier of the Year” at the Stel­liers Award 2020, rep­re­sent­ing the Raf­fles Grand Ho­tel d’Angkor in Siem Reap, Cam­bo­dia.

The Stel­liers is the only ac­co­lade in Asia that gives recog­ni­tion to the most tal­ented and ded­i­cated pro­fes­sion­als in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

Mor­aga joins 98 lead­ing hote­liers in Asia rec­og­nized across 20 award cat­e­gories. The win­ners will be an­nounced in the grand awards cer­e­mony on Dec. 4 in Ma­cau.

Af­ter com­plet­ing a Bach­e­lor of Science in In­ter­na­tional Hos­pi­tal­ity Man­age­ment de­gree in 2012, Mor­aga joined the pre-open­ing team of the Raf­fles and Fair­mont in Manila.

He started as a concierge and even­tu­ally gained mem­ber­ship into the pres­ti­gious Les Clefs d’Or, an elite so­ci­ety of the world’s lead­ing concierges, in two short years.

To deepen his un­der­stand­ing of the rooms di­vi­sion, Mor­aga de­cided to trans­fer to house­keep­ing.

“It was dur­ing this time when our par­ent com­pany, Ac­corHo­tels, one of the world’s largest hos­pi­tal­ity groups, no­ticed my work and named me ‘The Most Out­stand­ing Heartist in Asia Pa­cific,’ which rec­og­nizes the most out­stand­ing em­ploy­ees across the group’s 80,000 em­ploy­ees in 825 prop­er­ties in the 22 coun­tries of the re­gion,” he shared.

In 2018, Mor­aga re­lo­cated to Siem Reap af­ter be­ing pro­moted as front of­fice man­ager of the Raf­fles Grand Ho­tel d’Angkor, ar­guably Cam­bo­dia’s most dis­tin­guished and sto­ried ho­tel.

“It has been an ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Each day is dif­fer­ent. You can be wel­com­ing heads of state, roy­alty or rock stars. Our job is to make sure that their ex­pe­ri­ence of Siem Reap, the site of the ma­jes­tic Angkor Wat, is some­thing they’ll never for­get.”

Mor­aga’s ded­i­ca­tion to his work is in part fu­eled by a life­long in­spi­ra­tion of Chef Alain Du­casse. “I will al­ways re­mem­ber his words back when I first met him at École Du­casse Manila at En­derun Col­leges.

“He said, ‘work harder, faster and smarter.’ I have al­ways ad­mired him for his ap­petite for ex­cel­lence and per­fec­tion, and his pas­sion for shar­ing his savoir-faire (know-how). For him, knowl­edge is worth­less if it isn’t shared.” Over the years, they met again in Paris, Mi­lan and in Manila, and the same mes­sage res­onates: ex­cel­lence in prac­tice.

Mor­aga has also worked with many as­pi­ra­tional lead­ers in the in­dus­try – Tom Meyer, David Batch­e­lor and Oliver Dudler, as well as Tourism Sec­re­tary Berna Ro­mu­loPuyat, who has be­come a friend.

“I am grate­ful to them for show­ing me what in­spir­ing lead­er­ship and true ex­cel­lence looks like.”

For young Filipinos who dream of a ca­reer in hos­pi­tal­ity, Mor­aga has some ad­vice: “Hos­pi­tal­ity is not only an in­dus­try but also an at­ti­tude.”

“First, stay cu­ri­ous, learn as much as you can, be flex­i­ble and will­ing to move around and try dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines within our field.

“Sec­ond, be cre­ative, open-minded and think out of the box. There will be many chal­lenges along the way but cre­ativ­ity can solve any­thing!

“Fi­nally, and the most im­por­tant part, is to have fun and en­joy what you’re do­ing. Hos­pi­tal­ity is about car­ing for peo­ple, and cre­at­ing ex­cep­tional mo­ments both for our guests and col­leagues, and if you’re hav­ing fun, this will def­i­nitely echo in ev­ery­thing that you do.”

Rey Mor­aga

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