Much has transpired in the previous year for the hospitality industry and there’s so much to look forward to as the year 2021 unfolds and as the good old saying goes, ‘With each sunrise, we start anew”. One exciting news in the industry is the appointment of Maria Manlulu-Garcia as the very first female General Manager for Accor in the country and the appointment of Darwin Labayandoy as Resident Manager, both filling up the said positions in Novotel Manila Araneta City at the City of Firsts.
Prior to her appointment as the hotel’s General Manager, Garcia goes way back into the hotel industry as early as 1992. She began her career as a Front Office Agent and eventually rose from the ranks and subsequently became Rooms Director of the Ramada Hotel, Portland, Oregon, USA in 1995 and was part of the pre-opening team of three hotels in downtown Portland, Oregon namely Hotel Lucia, Paramount Hotel both under West Coast Hotels and Intercontinental Hotel prior to her going back to the Philippines.
She has been awarded as the Manager of the Year by the Philippine Association of HR Managers in the Hospitality Industry through the Mabuhay Awards in 2008 during her assignment with Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila as Executive Assistant Manager of Rooms. Moving on, she became the General Manager of Pico De Loro Country Club and Pico Sands Hotel, Batangas, and re-joined Accor at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua, Indonesia prior to joining Novotel Manila Araneta City, Quezon City as Executive Assistant Manager and eventually promoted to Resident Manager in 2016 and Hotel Manager in 2019.\
Moving up with GM Garcia is Darwin Labayandoy. With 25 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry under his belt, one cannot ignore this seasoned hotelier’s contribution to the field. Prior to joining Novotel Manila Araneta City, Labayandoy held key positions at Dusit Hotel Nikko and Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Rooms Division Operations being his expertise, Darwin is a passionate individual known to be “result-oriented” with a strong dedication and a key driver of customer satisfaction.
He has undergone the Accor’s National Talent Program (NTP) and successfully finished the program in 2019 and has contributed significantly during the pre-opening phase of Novotel Manila and has been instrumental in its successful opening. He has provided unrelenting support, strategic direction in guest satisfaction that led to the successful delivery of the hotel’s objectives for the past years. Fast forward to this day, he has been appointed as Resident Manager of Novotel Manila Araneta City from being Director of Rooms.
With the Garcia-Labayandoy leadership, Novotel Manila’s Heartists are ready to roll up their sleeves to bring the hotel to even much greater heights. Novotel Manila Araneta City will be breaking new ground for years to come.