The secrets to success in the hospitality scene

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Cielo Ortega-Reboredo, Vice-President for Sales & Marketing, Hospitality and Entertainment Division of Okada Manila

Okada Manila’s Cielo Ortega-Reboredo emphasizes the value of relationships and integrity

By Bjorn Biel M. BeltranSpecial Features Writer

As far as her career is concerned, Cielo Ortega-Reboredo can hardly wish for anything better.

As Okada Manila’s recently-appointed vice-president of the hotel’s new Sales & Marketing, Hospitality and Entertainment division, she oversees a dynamic team responsible for the diversified portfolio covering “land, sea and air” venue offerings, from ballrooms to The Garden, Cove Manila and Crystal Corridor, as well as the hotel’s private yacht and jet services.

And only less than a year into her team’s operation, the division has achieved 96% of their 2019 bullish revenue goals.

“I’m proud to say that my boss and the management team are very happy and have recognized our contribution, hard work, and all the projects that we have done,” Ms. Reboredo said in an interview.


“We’re not just doing events, we’re cross-selling rooms, our spa, Play for kids, and our food and beverage outlets. We’re not limited to our events alone. Anything about the property, we sell. [The management team] recognize our efforts and though the expectations are high, I can say that they have a high regard and respect for our division. This inspires the team to push themselves further to attain goals.”

When she started her career at the front office of Manila Midtown Hotel, she admitted that she never imagined her future self to be where she is now. After moving on to work at Makati Shangri-La, she eventually found an opportunity at the Events Sales and Marketing division of Sofitel Philippine Plaza under the mentorship of the esteemed Rose Hilario-Libongco.

“I never thought that I would fall in love with Sales and Catering (Banquet),” Ms. Reboredo said.

But she did. She found her calling under Ms. Libongco’s tutelage, and soon enough, the Philippine hospitality industry has found itself another visionary. She became instrumental in the growth of Midas Hotel and Casino, where she joined the pre-opening team as director of Sales and Marketing in 2011.

Ms. Reboredo with the Okada Manila team, Co-Vice Chairman and President Takashi Oya, and other top executives during the inaugural Okada Manila yacht tour.

In 2015, she received the first Virtus Leader of the Year award from the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association of the Philippines. And shortly after that was when Okada Manila came knocking.

Now, over three years into her job, Okada Manila’s top management, spearheaded by its Co-Vice Chairman and President Takashi Oya, has recognized Ms. Reboredo’s strong leadership skills, wide network, and stellar accomplishments; and set up the new division under her wing, catering to clients’ evolving needs with its diversified events venue portfolio.

Not that her career was one completely free of hardship. With more than 20 years of experience under her belt, Ms. Reboredo has seen her fair share of challenging events, dealt with different personalities and stressful circumstances, which are particularly part and parcel of pre-opening properties. There are unforeseen circumstances like changes in construction timelines and therefore, entailing the need for flexibility, patience, and coming up with clear-cut solutions to ensure that clients’ needs are met.

Ms. Reboredo puts a premium on sustaining a good professional relationship with clients by sustaining ties and ensuring that each event, whether big or small, is given the same level of importance.

“What matters to the clients now is who they’re talking to. ‘Is this salesperson or sales manager going to deliver, or work with me hand in hand to make my event a successful one?’ Thus, we’re there for our clients 100% because we have to ‘own’ their events to ensure we deliver seamlessly and excellently,” she said.

Ms. Reboredo always has a positive stance who looks at all the triumphs to be celebrated and would not change her job for the world.

In 2020, she looks forward to the continuing growth of her division, as well as help with the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) business. She also envisions the Okada Manila brand to further penetrate the international market and become among the premier integrated casinos in the world. She believes that every day is an opportunity for growth.

“I enjoy being a hotelier so much and feel motivated and inspired to do my job everyday. I always get excited for what’s happening tomorrow. As the saying goes, find a job that you love and you’ll never have to work in your life. I’m glad I’ve found the job I truly love and enjoy,” Ms. Reboredo said.

“You need to have passion for your work because that will sustain your dedication, drive and help you establish a stronger client relationship by putting yourself in the place of your customers and clients to deliver your very best. As I always advise my team, they have to ‘own’ client events because their success is also theirs to celebrate. I’m also proud to say that I have a cohesive team; team members support each other. Those are my formula for success,” she added.

As one of the most recognized women leaders in the country’s hospitality scene, Ms. Reboredo knows that client relationship plays a pivotal role to grow the business. Her secret is her innate ability to nurture relationships with both her clients and her team members.

“You’ve got to have integrity. You have to deliver what you promise to your customers. Because at the end of the day, you will still have these relationships. And I’m glad that we work for a company like Okada Manila, which helps us nurture and grow our business relationship with clients through their unwavering support.

She added, “It’s really all there is to it. Love your job and the company you work for, take care of your clients, nurture and help the people under you thrive, and everything else will follow.”