No two Google offices are exactly the same. However, anyone who drops by any of the search engine giant’s office in any location can surely find common features: murals and decorations that express local personality.
If you happen to visit the new Google Philippines headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, you would certainly never doubt getting into a unique Google office. The newly inaugurated center did not fail to impress Tech and Lifestyle Journal and other members of the press who were invited by the company during its ‘house warming.’
Surely, Google Philippines has kept the tradition of adapting to the local culture through the unique Filipino theme that is apparent all over the location.
At the main entrance of the facility is a huge brand logo, which is an adaptation of a specialized logo Google Philippines rolled out for Independence Day commemoration a few years ago. The sun and three stars in the Philippine flag are among the prominent elements in the logo, which is set with a backdrop comprising of stones that resemble those typical in Ivatan houses in Batanes.
The main lobby is filled with local decors—capiz windows from old traditional homes, nipa roof in one part, chairs designed by a Filipino industrial designer, and a wall with murals of the iconic jeepney with Filipinized android mascot doing the ‘gwaping’ sign.
And because Time magazine has once named the Philippines as the ‘selfie capital of the world,’ the new Google office features a huge ‘G’ sign that dominates the ceiling fixtures in the lobby. Logically, it serves as a perfect background for doing selfies.
Not to be missed in the area is the Google signage on the Philippine map. This fixture’s lights were turned on using code, which its developers worked on for two days straight before the formal lighting on January 26. “No electricity, just apps,” said Google Philippines corporate communications manager Gail Tan about the signage. “That is our commitment to the Philippines—we are here for innovation and technology, and we are here to digitize the Philippines.”
The glass walls that surround the entire office area facilitate a breathtaking aerial view of almost half of Metro Manila. The meeting rooms are creatively designed and named after popular Filipino items and places like vinta (small, colorful boat in Mindanao), salakot (head accessory in Luzon), and Palawan (a province-island that is popular among tourists). One room is even named Whang Od, after the renowned old tattoo artist living in Kalinga.
Along the small hallway going to the pantry area is a townhall room intended for press conferences and talks.
Walls of the pantry are adorned with terms identified with Filipino pop culture. Free-flowing food and beverage is available all day for Google Philippines’ 60 to 70 employees.
At the pantry’s far end is a ping-pong table, obviously for employees who need to fight sleepiness and boredom during long working hours. The area’s ceiling has hanging basketballs and the walls are plastered with Android caricatures of famous Filipino sports icons like boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and bowling superstar Paeng Nepomuceno.