Moonlighting for Uber

How Uber infiltrated Manila’s labyrinthine streets and succeeded in making the Philippines the only country (so far) where they’re legal.




The workspace of Uber would strike one as predominantly millennial: surprisingly hip and alive with a youthful energy; chinos, denim vests, round neck t-shirts and jeans meandering around. There is controlled chaos in office chairs not tucked in desks, typical office clutter, an impressive pantry stocked with food, and scribbles on glass windows.

General Manager Laurence Cua, I heard, is the urbane, corporate sort; impassioned about the brand. I spot a tall, effortless Filipino-Chinese man in shorts and a light rain jacket, casually saunter across the room. “Oh, is that him?” I ask. Their marketing manager looks toward my gaze and laughs, “That’s our intern,” he says, gently touching my arm. (Uber actually only has around 15 employees to manage the corporate aspect, a separate floor houses the manpower who take care of things like customer service, and the rest of the 25 people running around the office are interns.)

Originally published in Esquire magazine, July 2016.

Read the full story online at Esquire Philippines.