It’s What I Do

JHOANA NELISSEN – Freelance Make-up Artist/Stylist

Filipinos in Dubai: It's What I Do

I was a flight attendant for almost nine years with Qatar Airways before moving to Dubai to live with my husband. Currently, I am a freelance makeup artist/stylist and a contractual private flight attendant catering to VIPs, diplomats and celebrity clientele, based in Abu Dhabi.

My fascination for cosmetics and beauty made me decide to enroll in Makeup Designory School (MUD) back in the Philippines. Since then, I have been enjoying every transformation I make. I even had the privilege to be part of the Damac Akoya project launch, where I had the opportunity to meet Donald Trump and his entourage. I was also lucky to work with a Bollywood singer shooting a music video in Dubai.

Seeing my creations on billboards, print ads, TV or on runways gives me a different feeling of fulfillment. Being an artist is a never ending journey. Every day you learn new tricks and techniques and that’s how I continuously sharpen my skills. I continue to attend workshops with top makeup brands to keep up with current fashion and trends.

The best thing about this job is not doing the same thing every day. One day you’re in a studio doing portfolio shoots and the next, you’re outdoor doing advertisements.

Filipinos in Dubai: It's What I Do

However, the desire to fly is still very  much a part of me and that’s why I don’t want to fully give up on that. It’s too close to my heart! It was the job that has taught me to be independent and see the world in a different way.

EDWIN RICO – Makati Bar Manager, Asiana Hotel

Filipinos in Dubai: It's What I Do


For almost two years now, I have been managing Asiana Hotel’s Makati comedy bar. As a comedy bar manager, I have to maintain the energy of happiness in our outlet.

When I took over, there was a big challenge to improve daily sales, as well as the concept of the bar.  It was not easy, but I never stop listening for suggestions and comments from my guests.

Every day I maintain the required daily sales and relationships with our clients. My task is to talk to different Filipino groups and organizations like the PHILCOM community.  I am active in social media to update them about our daily promotions and activities.  I involve our outlets in all events and activities, especially charity projects of Filipino volunteer groups in Dubai.

Filipinos in Dubai: It's What I Do


Working in a high pressure environment makes me organized and efficient. My favorite part of the job is planning daily promotions and monthly events, especially if I see my guests satisfied with my idea.

Training my team and making them feel that they belong are keys to our success. I always have or make the time to listen to them, to support them in their dreams and to make a decision for the good of everyone.

With such an opportunity, I thought on how to give back the support of our friends, regulars and walk-in guests. The idea was to have a charity mini solo show of my Makati Master. Through the support of the management, we decided to get a percentage of the sales revenue from every show to raise enough money to buy a return ticket to the Philippines for distressed Filipinos in POLO – OWWA.

The response of our kababayans and foreign guests surprised me. After our three shows, we got tickets, which were awarded during a January 19, 2014 show at the Philippine consulate. We cannot explain what we felt that day when we saw the laughter, tears and excitement of the awardees to see their family back home. That was a heartwarming moment for all of us and we will not stop in doing shows to help them.

For my kababayans, my advice is to make GOD as the center of everything in our life. God for me means G- Goals in our life, O- Obedience to do it and D- Determination to achieve our dreams. We should believe in ourselves, be honest all the time and give our hearts in all that we do. Success in life will start in one’s self and to achieve it, share your happiness with others.


It’s What I Do
By: Illustrado