Filipinos in UAE: It’s What I Do

Filipinos in UAE: OWEN SANCHEZ

Human Resources Manager – SDV International Logistics

Owen Sanchez at work

My job

I work as an HR Manager with one of the well-known multinational companies in the UAE involved in aerospace logistics and warehousing. I am a result-oriented senior executive and have played a key leadership role in many strategic initiatives for the company’s growth and profitability including establishing, steering and managing strategic ventures, alliances and consortiums. A major part of my 23 years of working experience in Human Resources has been in the Middle East and within GCC. I led efforts in building company organizational structure with focus on the development of business solutions and cost effective management of operations and projects.

My work day

I usually arrive between 8:00 to 8:30am to prepare for the day and have my cup of coffee! I will usually have a short meeting with my team to talk through what they are working on at the moment or to share ideas and plans for what we are going to do next. I check my voicemail and e-mail and try to respond to urgent messages which were not handled the previous night.


Then it’s off to my first meeting of the day which is usually with the customer service team. At mid-morning, I perform one-on-ones with employees needing my attention. Thereafter, I tend to communication once again and ongoing projects like the 360 degree performance appraisal system we are proposing to implement this year.

I usually have lunch colleague at the common Employee Lounge. I’m always networking! After lunch, I work on presentations for our forthcoming restructuring meetings – a very critical project for the company.

I always ensure to have the time to meet the CEO and other senior managers. I am very friendly with them and sit on the company monthly board myself and we often use few minutes to chat about sensitive issues pertaining to personnel as well as company plans in general. HR is a very important function in my company and we value our people very highly here. Their welfare, loyalty and engagement is of paramount importance to us, hence the importance of the HR function.

At around 6:00 pm we normally have a random employee gathering in employee lounge cafeteria. These get-togethers for employees are part of our networking and team-building strategy for employees and are organized by HR.  At 7:30 pm, Head out the door. It’s time to go, and I’m sure as usual, it’s going to be a long night! No day is the same and that’s why being an HR manager is so challenging and rewarding.

My message to Filipinos

For all Filipinos who have tried their kismet and seek their greener pasture in this deserted land, there is no such thing as can’t, only won’t. If you’re qualified, all it takes is a burning desire to accomplish, to make a real change. Either you go forward or go backward. Whatever it takes! But never can you blame other people or society in general if you give up on things that you impede to pursue. It only comes from your mind that you cannot do things. When we are able to execute the impossible we’ll just then smile and realize we are special people. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. The secret of success is consistency of purpose.




Architect – Damac Properties

MAX CALINGACION JR. Architect – Damac Properties

My job

I am a licensed Architect and I mainly deal with Architectural design in all aspects and technicalities – from the point of sales or marketing to the painful submission and approval to the authorities. My job also includes coordinating with various project team members to ensure project progress with utmost efficiency. Speaking of which, we just don’t do designs, we go by numbers, the profitable and effective design without sacrificing the aesthetic aspect and brand is our main goal. It may sound as easy as that, but being inside Damac Properties is really a different story. But then again, no regrets, I get to know the other side of being an architect, I am learning a lot and I am gathering more ammunition in my future endeavor as an architect. Two of my most hated words in the office? Over time and deadline! I guess most can relate to it. Sometimes ten hours of work per day is not enough and staying late with work is not so unusual. Even on the weekends I still date my office computer. I call it my love affair with my job. I’m one proud Pinoy architect here.

My work day

I travel the busy streets of Dubai for almost less than an hour before reaching the Damac building at 8:30A.M. That is the only time I get my and start my daily date with my computer. I usually respond to emails from my superiors while having breakfast, a little chat with my grandpas/titos/kuyas in the office (they are all older than me, ssshhh!) to warm up our jam-packed day ahead. There will be several meetings with the bosses (yes, several of them from different departments) in a day where new project planning are made or revisions from old projects are tackled up and manned down.  A little intervention of jokes and laughter with Pinoy colleagues especially during lunch breaks and snack time! I spend my day creating/revising designs, figuring out the best development planning, drawing tiny buildings or landscapes and then dashing colors on the black and white perspectives, clashing with some colleagues for defense of design and the list goes on and on. From 8:30 in the morning till 6:30PM is just like a wind that will blow swiftly, when you’ve got tons of work to do. In a blink of an eye, kalas! The day is done.

My message to Filipinos

Maximino Callingacion Jr


The only things you can take with you when you leave this world are the things you’ve packed inside your heart.  Simple phrases that I keep in mind every time I miss home especially my beautiful wife, daughter and son.  I primarily focus on my dreams for them. It is the fuel that keeps my engine going when homesickness kicks in.  In times like these, I get to unleash my emotional side for I always wish that I am with them having memories driving off somewhere or travelling out of the country like we used to every time I am on vacation. Next, I also have pondered that it is in this land where I learned to respect other religious beliefs, I came to a point that I realized how to value my own religion and give it a tighter grip and only that in Him I could gain my daily strength and know that I am never alone in this land of dreams.  And lastly, work when you have to work for us to be able to reap the joys it entails.  Summing it up it my fellow Pinoys, start dreaming, work hard and enjoy its rewards, offer it to your family and never forget to ask for guidance from above.


Filipinos in UAE: KAREN “KIM CIA” S. PISON

General Account Executive/Administration – Al Salam Ins. Services LLC

KAREN S. PISON General Account Executive/Administration – Al Salam Ins. Services LLC

My job

I work as General Account Executive/ Administration at Al Salam Ins. Services LLC. I also assist other International Corporate Partners in Shipping, Trading, Events, Brokerage and Reinsurance. My job entails negotiating with clients, helping to produce successful campaigns, solving any problems and making sure deadlines are met. I traveling to meet clients, attend conferences, seminars, and trade shows to get new business opportunities. I also train and am responsible for monitoring their daily performance, while at the same time taking care of general accounts and administration.

My work day

My typical day is spent managing and monitoring staff, reviewing financial and confidential data, coordinating with potential clients, answering questions from non-actuarial parties about actuarial concepts, travelling, visiting our branches and attending meetings, seminars & conferences to discuss the results and future of the business.

KAREN S. PISON General Account Executive/Administration – Al Salam Ins. Services LLC

During working days, I wake up at 5:00 in the morning, and start my day with prayer, meditation and a big smile. I always try to enjoy my challenging day dealing with old and new faces. I consider my day more complete when I finish doing my gym and fitness activities as health is a very important consideration to me. I retire to bed with a happy heart.

At work, I experienced one situation that made me believe that even challenges are beautiful opportunities in disguise. The fact is that, some of the worst experiences in my life are blessings that changed me for the better – i.e. being away from my loved ones for 10 years, being an independent woman and to experience delays in getting a meaningful job. I even consider all my previous layoffs and challenges in my present company to be a good thing. In return, I realized how lucky I am and everyone realized how important I am to the entire team. I was given utmost respect in my company and how people loved me a lot not just as a person at work but as a true friend and someone they can hold on and can be trusted. They are always there ready to support me for the betterment of my life.  If we can find the strength within to see our misfortunes as opportunities, we can open the door to the possibility of greatness.

My message to Filipinos out there

Karen S. Pison

Be warm-hearted, be accommodating, be presentable, and always make sure that whenever you connect with people, no matter who they are and no matter where you are in the world, always show them respect and they will respect you back even more. Prove that you can do better. Leave something good, inspiring, memorable and meaningful with each person you meet.

Never ever change to please people but change to be a better person.

Stay strong and always stand for what you believe! Never ever compare or underestimate yourself and your potentials!

We have loads of talents and uniqueness to offer .Use these talents to show the world that we Filipinos can always make huge difference!

Mabuhay Pilipinas! Taas Noo Kapwa ko Filipino!!!

Filipinos in UAE: It’s What I Do