Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Matilyn Bagunu – A Leader’s Leader
Equipped with a strong, bold, and cool management approach, Matilyn enjoys a reputation as a paragon of leadership virtues. As Director for the St. Mary’s Filipino Community Choir, she has elevated the organization’s role from church singers to full-fledged advocacy group, with outreach programs aimed at providing education for several scholars in the Philippines. As Former President of the Filipino Community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates under the auspices of the Philippine Consulate General, she consolidated the strength of over 100 pro and non-pro Filipino groups spread across the UAE. Her time as FilComm president is marked with an unprecedented level of unity, and a steady focus on volunteerism and civic mindedness. She is known for her ability to bring people together despite their differing interests, and having them operate within a standard of excellence that offers no room for petty politics or one-upmanship. She says, “I truly value this life that God has given me so no amount of criticism nor politicking can bend me. The love of family and the trust and care of friends is more than enough to keep me going and tell myself that I’m here to stay with a purpose.”
In addition to her achievements as a community leader, Matilyn is also a seasoned financial consultant. She has given countless clients the management skills they need to protect their finances and ensure a stable future for themselves and their dependents. Of her future plans, Matilyn elaborates, “I want to retire early (maximum 10 years), tour the world, write inspirational stories and launch an album with my original compositions to be interpreted by my singer friends,” she says.