Filipino UAE: It’s What I Do
A look at the professional lives of Filipinos in the UAE
Business Development Director
Gulf Publishing, Dubai
I work as a business development director for Food and Travel Arabia. My job as a director can be very stressful, with monthly sales targets that I need to achieve, weekly sales reports, having to explore creative ideas to offer clients and of course, to say the least, one-on-one meetings with the owners of the company. However, it is also very rewarding and uplifting especially after finishing another month’s issue of the magazine and knowing that I have contributed something to the company and that I have achieved my sales targets.
My typical work week routine comprise of meetings with advertisers – hotels, tourist board authorities and advertising agencies; attending hotel events; and traveling to other GCC countries to meet with potential clients and present the magazine. Being in this industry gives me so many opportunities such as meeting interesting people and building relationships with them, career growth and learning experiences.
I started as a client servicing agent for Gulf News back in 2005 and climbed up to account group manager in 2009.
The road leading to where I am now was far from easy, but every tiny bit of experience, good or bad, is worth it.
To my fellow Filipinos out there who are aspiring to achieve their goals, just remember – hard work and dedication. Whatever it is that you are tasked to do, always give it your best! Confidence, in this day and age, is very important especially in an environment of mixed cultures, with different points of view. You need to be able to speak up and do not be afraid to voice your opinions or ask for what you think you deserve. Finally, be grateful to those people who have helped you. Be grateful to HIM and believe that HE will guide you to through.
Art Director for Grey Group
As an art director, I give life to creative concepts and develop the look and feel of the “big idea” for broadcast, print and online media applications. My work is far beyond design, as part of my role is also to inspire the team, mentor designers, interns and actively participate in building strong bonding between the creatives in our agency.
Work is fun. I get to meet lots of people, from clients, photographers, models, suppliers, artists and the likes. No dress codes. My work environment is like a big playground where everyone is young at heart.
There is no typical day at work. It always varies, depending on the project or phase of the project were in. But as the day goes by, bunch of work comes in. Life in an advertising agency is way different than life in other industries. It is not the usual 9 to 6 job. There is no idle time. It’s work and fun at the same time. You have to learn how to juggle between projects, and between clients while doing the daily nurturing of your creative side.
Having worked on the same office environment for almost 12 years now has taught me to love my job. I have learned good work ethic, patience and the value of hard work.
Being a Filipino, it gives me great pride to share our culture, and show how a Filipino worker is honest, humble, responsible, hardworking and has the ability to listen, think and adapt to any situation.
To our fellow OFs, keep the passion burning! Never stop dreaming. Don’t be afraid to take the risk. Remember that those who risk can possibly find out how far they can go.
Corodex Industries, Dubai
I work as an Application Engineer for Corodex Industries. My profession has allowed me to work with various different technologies and environments while making the world better for our future generations. Somehow, I can say that I have a bond with the environment. Choosing a path least travelled especially for a lady in a male-dominated field is very challenging.
As a woman, especially in the Middle East, sometimes you have to work harder to prove yourself. However, once you have proven that you are knowledgeable and hardworking, as a woman you may even have some advantages over men and this is what I like in my job.
My typical day consists of meeting with people and getting updates on existing projects specifically related to Odour Control System. Some days I need to go to the site and do some site survey in order to have a proper and appropriate design. Considering the weather here in Dubai during summer, it could get tough.
I would say that it’s not a fancy task – looking into wastewater treatment with all the waste and malodorous smells. But there is such a joy in my heart knowing that I am designing a system that will treat all that waste and convert it into useful resources. Moreover, controlling and preventing pollution are the main goals of my job.
There are also days where I will be staying in my cubicle doing calculations to design biological reactors used in the wastewater treatment plant.
After a hard day’s work, I always make sure that fitness is always on my list. I am into sports such as, running, swimming and dragon boat. Belonging in a group of like-minded individuals who are passionate in sports will encourage you not only to do sports but to make it an integral part of your life.
I have always believed that everything can seem difficult at first; however, having the faith to step out of your comfort zone and not giving up can make it easier and makes you get better at it. It challenges me to learn something new every day, be it technical or leadership skills, such as decision-making, problem solving, communication and time management skills.
Working in the engineering field makes me realize that life is about learning and realizing that anything is possible if you have faith and put your mind to it. Once you realize that, everything else will follow. You will have courage to take the step towards your dream. On the one hand, mistakes and failures are inevitable, just part of being human, but learning from mistakes align yourself with your goals. There is a proverb that says sometimes the wind is against you, but remember, although you cannot change the wind, you can adjust your sail and as long as you persist you will succeed.
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