Filipino UAE: It’s What I Do

Filipino UAE: It’s What I Do

A look into the lives of professional Filipinos abroad



English Editor – CommuniGate Middle East, Dubai, UAE













I work as an English Editor for CommuniGate Middle East, a full-service integrated Public Relations (PR) agency based in Dubai, with a wide network of offices and affiliates located across the GCC, Arabian Gulf, Levant, Egypt and North Africa. I am in charge of developing and creating editorial content—press releases, feature articles, Q & A’s, brochures, catalogues, ad copy and speeches—for a diverse list of clients, which includes leading brands in IT, Travel and Tourism, Banking and Finance, Oil and Gas, Government, Aviation, Construction and Real Estate to name a few. Aside from this primary task, I am also part of a team that helps develop social media-based activities for clients like doing twitter messages, managing Facebook group pages and even writing specialized blogs. It’s an exciting job that allows me to be up-to-date with what’s new, what’s hot and what’s trending in the Middle East region, in particular and the UAE in general.

My day usually starts at 8AM. I peruse various print and online news publications; taking note of the latest technology trends, reports from various industry verticals and timely forecasts from business research and intelligence firms. I then line-up client editorial requirements and meet with a team of editors to distribute work assignments for the day. It’s all writing, editing and proofreading written content from that point on. Fortunately, having worked previously as a correspondent for helped in honing my skills as a writer and an editor.

After a hard day’s work, I try to relax with a good book or a movie—spending a quiet evening with my wife and son. Weekends means hitting the local bowling alley and also meeting up with my frat brothers from the Order of Demolay.

I have been in the UAE for almost eight years now and have since then, enjoyed working with different nationalities. Filipinos, however, are admired and usually singled out for their efficiency, industriousness and ability to adapt to any working environment. With the UAE winning the bid to host Expo 2020, I am upbeat with the notion that Filipinos will play a large part in the preparations for this truly global event—something that we can all be proud of.

Looking around, you will notice that Filipino’s make up a large share of the UAE’s workforce, a feat that is truly fantastic if you ask me. Each of us here are ambassadors of goodwill — let us remain world class in the work we render and continue to showcase our talents and skills to the wide international market that is the UAE. At the end of the day, it all boils down to skills and talent — something that we Filipinos are abundant of.


Singer and Songwriter, Former Resident Singer at the Hard Rock Cafe, Dubai


Most people would think that singing is a cool job – most people would be right. Working as a professional singer and songwriter is every bit as awesome as it sounds, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world! I consider myself very blessed to have found a way to make a good livelihood out of my passion for music. As the saying goes, find a job that you love and you wouldn’t have to work a day in your life. I can honestly say that this is the perfect job for me.

Currently I perform six days a week as lead singer for a band called the Smooth Criminals, at one of the most popular nightspots here in Dubai. I am also the band leader, which means that I’m responsible for preparing the set lists, updating the repertoire, facilitating rehearsals, and coordinating directly with the bar management. Performing every night can be very tiring, but once I hit the stage, I automatically forget every ache in my body. Even after years of singing professionally, I still get excited about being in the spotlight, meeting people and making sure that they are having the best night of their lives.

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My typical day begins with a few laps in the pool or a dip in the beach. I am fortunate enough to live near the sea so I normally kick-off my day with a swim to help me wake up after a long night. At sundown, I begin to prepare for the night’s work. Choosing my outfit and putting on make-up doesn’t take me very long, as I am the type of person who knows what she wants. Plus, I’ve been a singer for such a long time, I already have the pre-performance ritual down to a tee! I travel to work at around 7:30 pm to prepare the set lists and brief the band about any additional requirements for the night as specified by the management.  At 8:30 pm the show begins, and we play four highly entertaining sets, finishing at around 1:00 am.

Part of my job is to look polished and composed at all times, but I’ve had more than a few embarrassing moments onstage. For some reason, I have a funny tendency to break the heel of my shoes mid-performance. One time, I tried to do the moonwalk and my heel snapped. I tripped backward, right smack into my poor unsuspecting guitarist and we both fell down, much to the amusement of the audience. It’s an occupational hazard, but I will never, ever give up wearing stilettos. A girl’s gotta have her shoes!

I take great pride in representing the Filipinos in the highly diverse entertainment industry of the UAE. In my time here in Dubai, I’ve had the opportunity to work with other nationalities, and I can honestly say that the Filipino artists are truly at par with the world’s best and brightest talents. My advice to my fellow kabayans who are trying to make a mark here in the city: enjoy the experience, and persevere! Don’t give up on your dreams, no matter the challenges that come your way. Any good singer will tell you that no performance is perfect. Sometimes, it’s all about holding your head up high and putting on a brave face. Find your voice! I did.