WOS 2012: Love for Country – Marietta Morada, The True “Iskolar ng Bayan”

Story by: Toni Loyola

Photography: Eros Goze

Hair and Make-Up: Frankie Melendez


Her gift of wisdom helped her rise beyond the status she was born with. Not one to be hampered by circumstances, Marietta Morada used her knowledge to serve and give back to the Philippine government and Filipino community here in the UAE, proving very well that other than being gifted with superior intellect, she is also blessed with a good heart.

Marietta “Ayet” Morada’s story is perhaps a common one. Born a farmer’s daughter, Ayet had to weave ‘buntal’ hats so they could put food on the table. Some of her siblings (a total of six) even had to work as helpers and seamstresses. But this poor family was gifted with a child with remarkable intelligence, something Marietta said, she got from her father.

Excelling in academics opened many doors and opportunities for Marietta. In 1964, she was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Philippine Science High School in Quezon City.  Known for its rigorous curriculum, studying at PSci meant that academic excellence was not only expected, it was demanded of it students.

For Ayet, it provided to be a conducive environment where excelled even more.

Graduating from PSci, Ayet became a full scholar at the University of the Philippines where she studied Mathematics. With her passion for knowledge and impressive credentials, many more doors opened for Ayet; this time to lucrative positions in the corporate world.

Instead of joining the private sector, Ayet decided to take a job at the Philippine National Statistics Office (NSO) in order for her to pay back the government that gave her the opportunity to finish her studies.

A big fan of numbers and having the knack for digging up and managing data, Marietta joined the said government agency as a statistician. There at the NSO, Marietta’s career flourished fuelled by her unquenchable thirst for information and knowledge. There, she also met Hector, who shared the same interest, and later became her husband.

Throughout her career, Ayet would be invited by multinational corporations and major conglomerates to join their ranks, but Ayet politely declined each time.   It was not a high profile corporate career she aspired for, but to give back in the Filipino tradition of “pagtanaw ng utang na loob”. To Ayet, being an Iskolar ng Bayan (a name given to all UP students because their tuition fees are subsidized by the government) had a deeper meaning and significance.

“I would not have been able to study if not for the help of our government. It was my time to give back.”

Marietta came to a crossroad when her husband, Hector received and decided to take a job offer in Dubai. After almost thirty years of serving the government, Ayet finally bid goodbye to the NSO. It was a fulfilling career, but she knew that in order for them to pursue their personal interests, it was time to leave Manila for Dubai.

Here in the land of gold, Marietta joined the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Back in 2003, when she started with the organization as researcher, she was the sole Filipino working there.  Combining talents and dedication to her job, she has risen over the years and now holds the manager position at the Data Management Center.  She has become to her colleagues an example of a true talented, respectable and hard working Filipina. Now, the 61-year old diminutive and young-looking Marietta is still an active contributor to the attainment of the objectives of the organization.

Career achievements and accolades never made Ayet forget to look back to the chances she was given and the doors that were opened for her through her education. She was always mindful of looking for ways to continue being of service to the Philippines.

In 2004 Ayet and Hector joined the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) UAE chapter and became instrumental in helping put together the organization’s constitution and by-laws, as well as supporting the club’s objective of providing scholarships to deserving underprivileged youth, and facilitating workshops and training for Filipino youth in the emirates.

The couple also serves as informal advisers to the FILCOM, the umbrella organization of the Filipino associations in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Currently, the couple is also exploring projects with the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) to bring licensing exams to Filipinos in the UAE and hopefully around the world.  In the future, she dreams of establishing a Filipino club for women where Filipinas can help each other and discuss issues.

Ayet’s life and career is testament to the fact that intelligence doesn’t diminish when shared. Rather, it is multiplied a thousand fold as it opens opportunities for others who, like Ayet, chose to give back by paying it forward.