Solutions 8 Onboarding Manager Maxwell John Bongo Talks about Food, Family, and Learning to Free Dive

Like so many of our incredibly talented team members, Max joined Solutions 8 after being referred by another team member—our very own Angelia. She raved about the company and its positive culture, and needless to say Max was hooked.

Fast forward two years, and Max has settled into his role as Onboarding Manager as if it were tailor-made just for him.

“I’ve learned so much in my time here and I’ve grown both professionally and personally,” Max shared with me recently. “I’m so grateful to my friend for referring me to Solutions 8 and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”

A day in the life of an Onboarding Manager

Here at Solutions 8, we take onboarding pretty seriously. It’s the secret to our success, in fact, because we take the time to really understand each client and make sure we’re the best fit for their needs.

As Onboarding Manager, Max is a BIG part of that success. He oversees the entire onboarding process for each and every client to ensure we provide them with the best possible experience. 

His role includes being the client’s main point of contact and guiding them through each step of the onboarding process to ensure everything goes smoothly. He gathers important information to help our Client Managers develop a suitable campaign strategy, creates detailed SOPs to improve efficiency, and helps set up access to the different tools and platforms used to build our clients’ Google Ads campaigns.

Max airborne

Max also helps his own team by onboarding new Solutions 8 employees and making sure they have everything they need to perform at their best and keep our clients happy and successful. On top of that, he is always the first one to acknowledge and celebrate our birthdays, anniversaries, and special milestones—crafting the most thoughtful and inspiring messages to make each of us feel honored and appreciated. 

“One of the things I love most about my job is the variety of work that I do,” Max shared. “Every client is different, so I need to be able to adapt my approach to each one. This keeps things interesting and challenging, and it allows me to learn new things all the time.” 

He also loves the opportunity to build relationships with people from all walks of life. Max told me he enjoys interacting with clients, team members, and others from all over the globe because it gives him a unique perspective on the world and helps him grow as a person.

Max and his family

Outside of work, it's all about food and family.

Max lives in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, if you ask me. 

Cebu, Philippines is a beautiful island in the country’s Visayas region, and Max says it’s known for its white-sand beaches, clear blue waters, delicious food, and hospitable people. What’s not to love??

He says if you ever visit, you absolutely have to try humba (a sweet and savory pork belly stew) and lechon, which is a whole roasted pig cooked over an open fire and stuffed with a mixture of savory herbs and spices. “Imagine an atomic bomb of herbs and spices in your palate,” is how Max describes it, and my mouth is watering already.

Max's mom's humba

Then again, says Max, if you’re looking for a delicious and authentic Filipino meal, he is happy to cook it for you! He recommends trying both his mom’s humba recipe or his dad’s recipe for lechon, both of which are sure to satisfy your taste buds. 

And speaking of mom and dad, Max is the youngest child (and the only boy) in his small family of five. 

“My family is very close-knit,” he shared. “My parents are both very loving and supportive. They have always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and I know that I can always talk to them about anything.”

Rockie and Panda

Max’s family also includes two four-legged members: Shih Tzu and poodle mixes Rockie and Panda. Although the two pups are brothers, it sounds like they could not be more different; one loves belly rubs and cuddles and the other prefers chasing cats and causing havoc. 

Hobbies help Max "relax and de-stress."

Max playing badminton

Max says he’s always been a person who enjoys having hobbies, so it’s no wonder he doesn’t limit himself to just one or two.

In addition to cooking and experimenting with new recipes, Max also enjoys photography. He says the hobby first captured his interest in high school, when he worked as a photojournalist for his school paper. 

“I quickly fell in love with the art form,” Max admitted. “I love the way that photography can capture a moment in time, and I enjoy the challenge of trying to capture the beauty of the world around me.”

He also loves badminton, especially the challenge of the game and the camaraderie of playing with friends, and he is currently learning graphic design and computer programming on the side. 

“Hobbies are an important part of a healthy lifestyle,” Max explained. “They can help us to relax and de-stress, and they can also give us a sense of accomplishment.” You have to admit, that’s some pretty good advice.

Max in the pool

Travel is also a big part of Max's life.

A self-proclaimed “wanderer,” he has been fortunate enough to travel to many different places in his lifetime. Two of his favorites so far have been Korea and Canada, because both offer a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural history, and friendly people. 

“I first visited Korea in 2017, and I was immediately struck by the country’s stunning scenery,” Max recalled. “From the snow-capped mountains of Seoraksan National Park to the lovely autumn colors of Nami Island to the bustling streets of Seoul, there is something for everyone in Korea. I also loved learning about Korean culture, from the traditional art of kimchi-making to the modern K-pop scene. I even binge-watch K-dramas on my free time, they’re just so good with plot twists and they really have great cinematography.”

Max fell in love with Canada when he spent two months there on a temporary work assignment for his previous job. He enjoyed the change of pace from life back in the Philippines, and he says the country is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. 

Paris, though, is on his bucket list. 

Max says he has always been fascinated by French culture, cuisine, and fashion. His dream is to one day bring his family to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and other must-see landmarks, so if he ever wins the lottery, you can bet that’s where he’s going first. 

“A Euro trip with my family would be the trip of a lifetime. It would be an opportunity to see some of the most amazing places in the world, learn about different cultures, and make memories that will last a lifetime.”

Max enjoying life

Days off are never wasted.

For as hard as Max works, he definitely knows how to enjoy his days off. 

“I love spending my days off doing things that make me feel alive and connected to the world around me,” he shared. “I’m lucky to live in a place where there are plenty of opportunities to do that, from the beach to the mountains.”

So if you’re looking for him, check the beach first. He loves the feeling of the sand between his toes, the sound of the waves, and the saltwater air. And get this—he’s even learning how to free dive because he says there is something incredibly peaceful about being underwater. (In case you don’t know, free diving is diving without scuba gear, and experienced divers can descend up to 40 feet… on just a single breath!)

When he’s not by the ocean, you can often find Max heading to the mountains for a walk in the cooler temperatures or a long hike to clear his head. Then again, he may just be chilling at home with a good read. 

“No matter how I choose to spend my day off, I always make sure to relax and recharge,” he told me. “I might read a book, take a nap, or just spend some time enjoying the peace and quiet. It’s important to take some time for myself each week, and my days off are the perfect opportunity to do that.”




Pamela Sapio

Pamela is the Senior Content Writer at Solutions 8. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking in the woods with her dogs. She is currently on a quest to visit every national park in the United States.