#TOAReferAMate Winner Goes to Batanes!

Our 2016 Refer-A-Mate program has come to a close! We now have the winner to an all-expense-paid trip for two in one of the beautiful islands in the Philippines. The results are in and we are happy to announce that with six successful referrals, Rea Forte, an accountant out of our Manila office wins.

Among the destination choices for Rea are Bohol, Palawan, and Batanes. For someone who has dreamt of traveling to Batanes, Rea had no second thoughts in choosing Batanes, also known as the ‘New Zealand of the Northern Philippines’. Together with her husband, Rea gets to enjoy the beautiful island of Batanes for 3 days and 2 nights.


Rea and her husband, Angelo, pose in the BATANES sign.

RAM: TOA’s Employee Referral Program

Refer-A-Mate program or RAM is a recruitment initiative that gives great rewards to employees who have shown extra initiative and interest to be career matchmakers. Through this program, employees are given the freedom to surround themselves with people they respect and look forward working with. These can be their former colleagues, schoolmates, friends, relatives, or peers.   

Only in its first year, RAM proves to work better than any other recruitment methods via job orders or social platforms. For The Outsourced Accountant, RAM is the leading source of getting new people into the business. For 2016 alone, there were 91 successful new hires out of the Refer-A-Mate program. Six of these are referrals of Rea Forte, our 2016 RAM winner.

How RAM Works?

It is pretty easy to join the Refer-A-Mate program. Below are the mechanics to follow.



For every successful referral, team members will get an equivalent cash incentive. At the end of the year, the Recruitment department finalises the list and the person who has the most number of referrals gets to be the winner of:

  • A trip for two in Batanes, Bohol or Palawan
  • 3 days, 2 nights
  • Round-trip airfare transport
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Pocket money
  • Travel assistance from TOA

What Are The Benefits of Refer-A-Mate Program?

Statistically, there are great positive effects on the recruitment process and retention rate of employees through the RAM program, at the same time, culturally creating a positive working environment for employees.


Rea Forte, Refer-A-Mate Winner

RAM creates a positive working environment. I get to work with friends. It makes me look forward to working everyday. More importantly, RAM had me sent to my dream vacation place for free!

Reah Mallari, Head of Talent

The response has been great. Last year alone, we hired 91 new employees just from the Refer-A-Mate program. So, it’s actually doing really good and we really appreciate the help that we’ve been getting from the team members.

Ben Vickers, COO

Refer-A-Mate program truly gets people to promote the business, tell them about who we are and what it’s like working at TOA. And by doing that, not only do we reward the people for bringing their friends into the business but then we’re also making recommendations on their behalf as well.


When asked how her referrals are doing, Rea was quick to answer, “they’re happy working with TOA because they enjoy the work-life balance environment and they are receiving good compensation.”

So what’s Rea’s adventure-filled Batanes journey like? Let’s jump right into it.

Rea’s Adventure-filled Batanes Trip

Situated in the northern part of the Philippines, Batanes is the smallest province in the country in terms of land area and population. Inhabiting this beautiful paradise are the famous Ivatans, which has a unique culture that is partly reflective of the climate of Batanes.

The island of Batanes offers a unique blend of natural attractions, breathtaking sceneries, and a well-preserved culture of the Ivatans. With such beauty all in one place, Batanes is such a refreshing escape.

With its picturesque hills, jaw-dropping beaches, and historical sites, Batanes is no wonder a dream destination to many, including our RAM winner Rea. “It’s my dream destination but I always thought that it will cost me a lot to go there. So, when I got the chance to go there for free, I grabbed it.” As a newlywed, Rea’s Batanes trip is extra special because it is also their first honeymoon.

To make the trip hassle free, TOA has helped Rea with everything — from travel arrangements to hotel accommodations, to itinerary — all were settled for Rea.

Feb 3, 2017 marked the start of a memorable journey for Rea and her husband, Angelo. It was a sunny day in Batanes when the couple arrived in Basco airport and 4 km away is the Dive Batanes Lodge where the couple stayed.


Rea in front of Dive Batanes Lodge.

Batanes Tourist Spots

The couple’s 3-day tour includes North Batan tour, South Batan tour, and Sabtang tour. A fantastic, dreamy, and surreal tour that would make you question whether everything you see is real.

    • North Batan Tour

      Among the three, North Batan is the least overwhelming as others have claimed. But, exploring the place says the otherwise. The couple was simply blown away by the beauty of the place. Imagine how Sabtang and South Batan could be prettier than these gorgeous views.


Vayang Rolling Hills


Basco Lighthouse


Front of Mt. Carmel Chapel


Valugan Boulder Beach

    • South Batan Tour

      South Batan Tour is a one-day tour covering the municipalities of Ivatan, Uyugan, and Mahatao. As others have claimed, South Batan is such a beauty to behold. It’s a place where you can spend your days and not get tired of the views.

      Here are some of the breathtaking sceneries of Rea’s South Batan Island Tour:


Racuh a Payaman (called ‘Marlboro Hills’)


Mahatao Shelter Port


Alapad Road and Rock Formation


Honesty Coffee Shop

  • Sabtang Island Tour

    Located in the southernmost part of the island, Sabtang is the smallest of the three inhabited islands of Batanes province. It is composed of 6 villages which include Malakdang, Chavayan, Sinakan, Savidug, Sumnanga, and Nakunmuan.

    Sabtang is known for its native headgear protection against the rain and sun called “vakul”, and Rea had a chance to wear one.


Rea wearing ‘vakul’.


Morong Beach


The old Beaterio in Savidug Village.


Chavayan Village


Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint


Batanes, Batanes, Batanes! A paradise we can’t get enough of.





See more photos of Rea’s Batanes journey here. 


“The Batanes trip was very memorable for me and for my husband. We are newly married and it was our honeymoon trip. We were mesmerized by the beauty of Batanes. To escape to Batanes is to escape to a different world — to a green wonderland,” says Rea.

The locals of Batanes, or the Ivatans, were also very welcoming and nice. No doubt, Rea’s encounter with them was one of her memorable experience. “We also fell in love with the Ivatans or the locals of Batanes. It’s amazing how they were able to preserve their heritage and culture. For us, they are the most hospitable, most honest, and kindest people that we’ve met. And, there’s a lot of reason for us to go back there.”

Sneak Peek of RAM 2017

So, who will be the next winner of another set of an all-expense-paid trip to one of the beautiful islands in the Philippines? It can be you. It can be anyone of us –start making referrals now and reap the prizes below!



Thank you, Rea and to all who participated in our RAM program. Till our next Refer-A-Mate winner.


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