It’s What I Do: Pinoy Talent On-the- Job

It’s all about Filipino progress and diversity at the workfront. Illustrado looks at the changing face of expat Filipino careers and features rising Filipinos who are doing not only different things, but also interesting things that debunk negative stereotypes.  In this maiden column, we look at Pinoys connected to the glam industries of fashion and Public Relations.

Just another shoot day for Michael Amazon del Mar …

Michael Amazona del Mar

Fashion Stylist and Producer; Creative Team Member – IKON, Dubai

My Job

I provide turnkey creative solutions to fashion designers, retail brands, magazines, and ad/pr/event agencies in their fashion photography projects.   As a Fashion Stylist and Producer, I provide my clients with creative concepts and mood boards for their stills campaign, outsource accessories and clothing, recommend photographers to meet the job scope, and provide all the necessary logistical elements to produce the shoot, that may include models, hiring a studio, set designers, session stylists, set catering, etc.

A typical working day for me

Once I have confirmed brief from the client, I usually have a “prep day.” This is basically a day before the shoot where I do all the dirty work. A typical “prep day” for me would be like going to Satwa or Naïf to outsource props and accessories for the shoot; going to retail stores and purchasing items needed for the shoot. My day also includes coordinating with set designers for the set building on the studio, having a pre-production meeting with the photographer and other creatives; discussing the mood boards with clients and having them approved and coordinating the with models for their sizes, steaming all clothing required for the shoot and tagging the pieces together.  I also do a shoot plan, by identifying how many layouts are going to be shot, and schedule the models accordingly.

Career Insight

Passion Drives Talent. I am an accountant by profession but I always thought that I had a passion for Fashion. It took me some time to realize that accounting was not for me.  My accidental encounter with styling happened when I was still working as a model booker.  One time on the set, the stylist that I booked did not show up so I had to take matters into my own hands. I loved it!  I realized that I love making people look good on the photos. I guess the rest is history in the making…

Career Advice

Follow what your heart desires! It’s never too late to do something that you are passionate about.   If you know for yourself that you can put something on the table, just don’t sit there and not do anything about it. Go and develop it!  Sooner you will realize that you will live the life that you have always wanted.


Being in Public Relations keeps Norhida Thata Noor Abas busy with Dubai’s buzzing social scene.

Norhida Thata Noor Abas

Public Relations Executive – Dar Al Sada Press, Dubai

My Job

I’m responsible for the press releases for client’s products, monitoring of competitors activities, and covering events like signature products launches, government activities, exhibitions, fashion shows and press conferences. In such a role, I have good contacts to in PR and advertising agencies.

A typical working day for me

I start work dealing with correspondence, inquiries, and paperwork. I also put effort in cultivating good relationships and networking with colleagues as well as our clients. During the day, I also monitor the media, including newspapers, magazines, journals, broadcasts, newswires and blogs, for any possible opportunities.

If there is an event that I have to attend, I usually leave the office earlier so I can get myself ready. I pull out one of my gorgeous dresses, match it with shoes, bag and accessories, apply subtle but eye catching make-up and I am ready to rock the world while I work!  Otherwise, I go home and spend some on-line quality time with my angel, Jannah, and do some exercise.

Career Insight

The PR profession is one of the most interesting jobs in the whole world. Here, I get to attend different events, meet diverse nationalities, press people and professionals from all levels. In my job, I learned a lot about fashion, current events and built-up my confidence. It’s a great feeling when somebody knows that I am connected with the media industry here and recognizes me as a Filipino.

Career Advice

Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl/ but by all means, keep moving.

To all the young Filipino PR execs out there; your biggest assets are your ideas, knowledge, initiative and passion – and their power can be really amazing. One of your biggest opportunities is to present your assets on the social web through listening to the web, interaction, engagement and networking, etc. It all depends on you to demonstrate your passion to communicate and ambition to learn more about PR. And if you can successfully promote yourself on the social web and build your own professional network of PR pros who know you and what you do, this will be the strongest point in your portfolio.


Pinay beauty Edilyn Menzies is also in the business of beauty in Dubai…

Edilyn Menzies

Freelance Professional Make-Up and Hair Design Artist

My Job

I studied in New York at the internationally renowned Make-up Designory (MUD) school and graduated in October 2009. I provide a professional make-up and hair service to private clients and companies.

I have worked for film and video production companies, some modeling agencies in Dubai and TV Studios.  I was also invited to lecture about makeup and do a demonstration for the South African Women’s Association (SAWA) in Dubai.

A typical working day for me

A typical day for make-up artists may involve standing for as much as 14 hours. However, there is a lot of down time spent watching and waiting. I work under pressure to finish the job within a set period of time, as actors/model need to be ready for scheduled shoot times. Depending on the complexity of the make-up, sometimes it will take hours of work to achieve the desired effect. Also, I travel to location shoots for television or film, and work in all kinds of weather and circumstances. I am also required to supply my own make-up and the bags I carry to worksites can weigh up to 25 pounds or more. Most people think that my job is so glamorous. However, it could also be stressful.

On-the-Job Experience

Recently, a model couldn’t stop complimenting me when she saw how professional I was with regards to being hygienic. In fact, she said she would never allow another make-up artist to work on her again – that was an amazing compliment and probably better than if someone had just remarked on the quality of my work.

Communication is sometimes a challenge as many of the models and staff in the shoots I have attended are of different nationalities and cultural and language backgrounds. But with experience, patience and a pleasant demeanor, you learn how to manage properly with them.

Career Advice

Do what makes you happy and you will be receiving all the happiness in the world. When I left to school and decided to do what I love, my life changed! What we need is a sense of fulfillment. Nothing can replace being contented and fulfilled. The minute you decide to do what you love to do, you have made a life plan for yourself, and a career choice. But what you also do is inspire everyone around you.


  1. Pinoy are known to be talented and multitasking mostly those in abroad. They tend to showcase their talents to be discover. It is their way to come out form their comfort zone. Filipinos are bold and wild – in a right way.

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