100 MIFG: Educators

100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Rex Bacarra and Rommel Pilapil Sergio – Educators


Through their academic endeavors, teachers are the torchbearers of today’s society leading the young towards a bright future.  In the case of trailblazing educators Dr. Rex Bernard Bacarra of The American College of Dubai, and Dr. Rommel Sergio Pilapil of The Canadian University of Dubai, they also contribute positive change not only to the lives of the youth but also towards the community as ‘servant leaders,’.



The founding President of Filipino Educators in the UAE, recipient of the Presidential Award by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for Outstanding OFW-Individual Category and recipient of international and local academic and community awards too many to mention, Dr. Rommel has always considered service to the people of paramount importance. For the last two years, he has been running counseling programs for both the Assistance to National Section employees’ workshops, as well as for disadvantaged OFWs at the Philippine Consulate here in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. He also built the Dr. Rommel Sergio Scholarship Foundation in the Philippines, which has, since its creation in 2015, benefited the ten towns of the Rizal Province. With great enthusiasm for teaching as well as social responsibility, Rommel says: “We enrich ourselves by teaching young minds.  What is even more challenging (and fulfilling) for any educator is to possess the competencies to touch the learners’ hearts and transform their lives to become responsible and upright citizens of today’s global society.”



Among 2017’s triumphs, Dr. Rex Bacarra, notes that being asked by global group McGraw-Hill Education to be their Digital Faculty Consultant for Europe, and the Middle East and Africa, was truly fulfilling. The American-founded learning science company, and one of the three largest educational publishers in the world, also gave Rex the opportunity to share his expertise in the field at a London conference, bagging a first for Filipinos in the Gulf last August. At the start of 2018, Rex was also promoted to the Dean for General Education at the American College of Dubai.  Still, according to him, his most significant achievement regards being bestowed with the “OFW Bayani Award” (Hero Award) the highest award given to a Filipino expatriate by the Department of Foregn Affairs through the Consulate General, for excellence in the field of community service.  He shares, “Great achivements are a result of great sacrifices that start off with a desire; mine being to leave a legacy of critical learning to future generations. I consider my most significant works to be the ones wherein I was able to share my skills with those who had less, and extend assistance to those abused.”


Exemplifying the ability of Filipino’s to shine in any arena while serving the community, both share how education can ultimately shape the world and its people. Dr. Rex articulates: “Our country’s redemption lies in the education of character. Instructions should focus not just on giving information but on critical thinking and character-building with consistency.” Dr. Rommel shares: “Education always promotes critical thinking, ethics, and well-being – all these redound to the positive psychology of happiness.  Through education, imagine a society that operates on positivity and happiness.”



Photography by: Alex Callueng

Illustrado 100 was made possible by sponsors: GiordanoLiali JewelleryMitsubishi UAE- Al Habtoor MotorsMichael Cinco CoutureMapúa Institute of TechnologyCentro – Amwaj Rotana Hotel , Max’s Restaurant Middle East and GVER – Your Friendly MarketPlace for Sharing

Co-Sponsors: Herschel Supply Co.Rove HotelsThe Medical City – Dubai , Filipino Institute UAEMPQ TourismJAMES Travel and Tours DubaiOff the Hook Seafood RestaurantThe Original Barrio Fiesta Restaurant – Dubai and Tapa King UAE.


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