Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Susan Puno Villanueva

Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Susan Puno Villanueva – Thoughtleader

Susan Puno Villanueva

Design Educator, Contemporary Artist


Perhaps the most influential line of work one could take is that of an educator. Case in point, Susan Puno Villanueva – an educator of such skill and dedication that she has, not only become a true community leader amongst Filipino expats in the UAE, but also a key formative figure for the female Emirati students she teaches and mentors .

She elaborates: “My passion is to propagate learning through different creative means.  May it be, through online learning, face-to-face learning; blended-learning, or simply through art.  I continue to innovate and search for interesting material for my learners, and create live projects that would challenge young minds.”

2016 has been a highly decorated year for Susan, as she received recognition from various institutions, and some of the most prestigious industry award giving bodies for the arts in the region: Excellence Award from the Higher Colleges of Technology, Emirates Skills Award from ADNEC, and “Innovative Champion” from Sharjah Women’s College, to name a few. But despite the accolades that she has received and continue to receive, Susan keeps her eyes on the real prize – that is, playing a pivotal role in shaping and molding the creative mindsets of the younger generation. Susan says, “I have inculcated the understanding that education is none-negotiable deal.  I would risk student evaluations, and shy away from popularity.  They know if there’s a teacher named Susan and she is listed in their schedule, it will be a ‘toxic’ semester. I’m fine with that.  I want to continue and hold my principles in education.  I know one day they will be serving this country and they will be working with fellow Filipinos. It’s my job to help them get ready.”


Photo by Alex Callueng; Photography Assistant – Bethoven Filomeno

Special thanks to – Giordano, Nikon, Liali Jewellery, Lulu, Mitsubishi and Western Union.