OFW Lessons: Engr. Lilian S. Bautista on learning

6Lilian BautistaLilian S. Bautista is Design and Application Engineer at Daikin-McQuay Middle East FZE.

“Learning is a continuous process as they say. And true, there are more to learn and it’s a good exercise for the brain. Developing ability to think logically and to solve problems are skills that will be valuable all throughout. On personal level, these skills can help you undertake tasks such as planning a vacation, finding a job, organizing a fund-raiser, purchasing a house, or writing a book.”

  • One must understand what hard work really is.
  • Preparing oneself through acquisition of technical knowledge is very important. Those learned in school and in books are not sufficient, but definitely help you ‘exercise’ your brain logically and analytically.
  • In order to learn and grow, go on with on-the-job training and formal training. These will take part into developing a successful career.
  • Take pieces of advises from experienced engineers from your organization, or sometimes even from outside, for they have undergone and understand the challenging tasks of being into technical field. In one way or another, they will serve as your mentors and role models.
  • Try to understand the needs of the organization and work with colleagues harmoniously and professionally. Offer support whenever necessary, for you never know when to need some help, too.
  • Absorb helpful advises and tips from others; these will help you move more progressively. Be attentive and assertive, then implement.
  • Also try to attend seminars and short courses related to the field of interest as much as possible, to increase knowledge.
  • Always remember that the best learning stage is experience… nothing beats hands-on experience.

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OFW Lessons: Richmond Austria on persistence and determination

5 richmond 2Richmond Austria is Senior Health Data Performance Officer at the Ambulatory Healthcare Services, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)

“I need to have multiple knowledge and skills in my fields. This requires at a minimum level a commitment to life-long learning as these sciences rapidly evolve in a knowledge-based economy. This is very evident in the health sector as new ways of developing health services become more dynamic and influenced by global information.”

  • Be persistent to do more, be better and become more committed in seeking your dreams. We define who we are and not on what other people think of us as no one else knows us better than ourselves. Life may not be fair but that is life. You learn about life, its limitations and opportunities as you seek to know yourself better. So if you persist that you can do it and reach your dreams, you can inspire people and become a much better person by influencing others.
  • I don’t even consider myself as successful because the moment I think about it, that  would be that time when I would stop seeking it.
  • Our quest should be a never ending one. There are so many things we need to learn and it requires our commitment, persistence and determination.

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OFW Lessons: Alexie T. Rieza on creating opportunities

3 AlexieAlexie T. Rieza is Manager / HR Business Partner – Global Business Services (UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar & Kuwait) of The Nielsen Company

“I remember hearing this feedback from a non-Filipino who is also an HR practitioner, that the reason why Filipinos usually go to the bottom of the list for being selected for any leadership role is because we never assert ourselves and we are so timid to express our views. He added that we are perceived as better followers than leaders. But of course, on the other hand, overestimating oneself is as bad as underestimating so we have to just keep a sense of balance.”

  • Never underestimate your skills and capabilities and never stop dreaming. Filipinos are naturally modest and meek especially in front of other expatriates who are non-Filipinos. These wonderful cultural values that are inherent to us sometimes or most of the times, believe it or not, hinder our opportunities for higher positions. Now, I am not saying that exhibiting these values is wrong but what I am saying is that sadly, those values of ours are being taken advantage by others and worst, they even perceive those as signs of weakness, which do not conform to the notion of what a leader should be.
  • The best way to succeed in getting into the top of the corporate ladder is not by waiting for the perfect opportunity but rather by creating it. And how do you create opportunities for yourself? Study and learn. Instead of buying the latest and the most advanced gadgets available in the market today, why not invest your money in education? There are hundreds of universities and colleges all-over the UAE that offer various courses and degrees. I really do hope that Filipino expatriates would soon realize this golden opportunity.

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OFW Lessons: Hotelier Vagelyn Federico on professionalism

2 vagelynVagelyn Tumbaga-Federico is Director of Human Resources at Dusit Thani Dubai

“I can say that my heart and attitude makes me unique. Whatever I reached in my career and in my life I remain as humble as I can and the same person from the first time they knew me. My heart is always for the people and I always treasure everyone as part of my success that’s the reason I think God continuously shower His abundant blessings on me.”

“My job requires a high level of professionalism, excellent communication skills and outstanding writing   skills, ability to work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment, strong organization and management skills with the ability to prioritize multiple functions and tasks while managing work time efficiently.”

  • The most important thing in any job and in my job is the commitment, dedication and passion to work and all the rest of technicalities in the job can be learned along the way.
  • Be prepared in all aspects of life, physically, emotionally and psychologically as it really needs a lot of expectations from the management and owner of the company.
  • You have to love what you do and do what you love. Whatever you are doing you have to be passionate on it, nothing is hard to do when you love what you are doing, when you put all your heart, mind and soul on it. As the saying goes “follow your passion and success will follow you.

“Honestly, yes indeed I felt that I’ve arrived. Not even in my dreams before I thought that I will become a General Manager at the age of 28 and also with great pride that I am the only Filipino General Manager from all over the Middle East who became part of the most prestigious event The Great GM Debate 2011 of Hotelier Middle East which I consider as well as my greatest achievement in my life.”

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OFW Lessons: Lou Olvido-Parroco on doing things outside the comfort zone

Lou Olvido-Parroco is life coach and a global Human Resources expert.

“I take pride in my ability to foster team cohesiveness through open-communication, by applying a friendly and encouraging1 lou parroco coaching approach, by walking my talk, by being objective, and by rolling my sleeves and work with them as a peer and as a manager at the same time.”

  • I would encourage everyone to start with big clear goals in mind and believe that you can do it.  How?  Just do it.”
  • Be ready to do things outside your comfort zone.  Find opportunities to learn, take the challenges to lead, be brave to live on the edge as these are the only way to grow.
  • As much as possible, do what you really enjoy doing.  When you grow older, you will realize that money is not everything.  Don’t forget that you’ll be living and working for many years more before you retire.  Pick up a career that you are passionate about, enjoy and make the most of it.
  • For you to excel and shine from the rest, strive to always give more than what is asked.  Master the art of exceeding expectations, no matter how small or how big the expectation is.

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2014 Review: UAE-based Pinoy bags NCCA Ani ng Dangal

As 2014 comes to a close, we remember with pride the many events and undertakings which shaped the Filipino community in the United Arab Emirates. Early this year, a Filipino photographer based in Abu Dhabi was chosen as one of the Ani ng Dangal awardee by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

163353_411915095497328_30085676_nEmmanuel “Manny” Fajutag, a native of Simara Island in Romblon, was recognized for achieving the highest levels of artistic excellence in visual arts and bringing honor to the country. The award was presented by NCCA Chairman Prof. Felipe M. De Leon Jr.

The Ani ng Dangal or “Harvest of Honors” is an annual affair in the Philippines celebrated as a highlight and concluding rite of the Philippine Arts Festival. With this award, Manny joined the ranks of  former recipients Nora AunorSarah Geronimo, Jericho Rosales and Lea Salonga.

The Ani ng Dangal is given to a natural-born Filipino artist or group that has reaped top honors in international events. Its coverage includes the seven art disciplines: Architecture and Allied Arts, Cinema, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Literary Arts, Music and Visual Arts.

PROUD FILIPINO

Married to the former Juvy Anne Roco with three children, this photographer finished in 1994 his Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Philippine State College of Aeronautics at Fernando Air Base Lipa City. In 1998, he joined the Philippines Air Force. He was assigned as Flight Crew and Mechanic at 20th Attack Squadron at Sangley Point in Cavite. After ten years, he decided to leave the military service with the rank of Sergeant.

He moved to UAE in 2007 and worked in Dubai Air Wing as helicopter mechanic. Since 2009, he’s connected with the Global Aerospace Logistics. His fascination for photography started three years ago with a simple point and shoot camera. A self-taught photographer, he attended photography classes on Creative Photography, Wedding photography and Creative Lighting.

Of his achievement, Manny humbly said: “Photography has always fascinated me. When I moved to UAE, I found a lot more time to further develop this hobby and passion. I am extremely grateful to Sony for hosting a competition that allowed me to showcase my talent on a truly global level.”

ani ng dangal

Manny (5th from right) with fellow awardees

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SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY

Manny won in the Open Travel category of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. He competed with the nine other open category winners for the Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year title. The overall winner was announced at a gala ceremony in London and received US$5,000.

The World Photography Organization announced this year’s contest received over 54,000 entries in 10 categories. Representing the best single images in the competition’s ten categories, the winning images span countries as far apart as Chile to Vietnam and capture a range of subjects from the moment before a couple get married to the Mangystau night sky in Kazakhstan, and the ‘Fung Shun’ fire dragon dance in Southern China.

He took the image while on vacation at Sibuyan Island last year. Titled “Rush Hour”, Manny made the shot from a passenger jeep. He said the image in essence captures the fading sunlight in the backdrop of a dusty, bumpy road typical of a remote island. It is further accentuated by the coastline and the gentle mountain range in the background.

Fajutag’s winning image along with other winners was on display at the Winner’s Exhibition in the famous Somerset House in London for the period April 26-May 12, 2013. It was also included in the 2013 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

manny's winning entry

RUSH HOUR. Shot on a Sony NEX-5, this is Manny’s winning entry to the Travel Open Competition in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. The Winners’ Exhibition was held on 26 April-12 May at Somerset House, London.

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OFW Lessons: Irene Corpuz on dreaming big

Irene Corpuz is Head of Planning and IT Security Section of Western Regional Municipality, Abu Dhabi.

Irene Washington DC

Irene in Washington, D.C.

“My first work in the UAE is a Business Analyst/Consultant for 1 year then I moved to a government entity as a Corporate Strategy Analyst for 3 years. After 3 years, I lost my job due to emiratization.  Then, I joined my current company as Supervisor for the Consulting Center.  I resigned after 1 year, but after a month, they recalled me for special projects arrangement & as Operations Adviser on part-time basis.  So all together, I’ve been here for 6 years!”

Her lines of advice for her fellow Filipinos and expats:

  • Filipinos are very humble, yet very hard working. Most of the time, we don’t get the treatment that we deserve, not even the right compensation for our contributions to the company.  It is not bad to dream and try to reach for your dream.  But we also have our families to consider.  It is one of my shortcomings.  Missing important events with my family.
  • Don’t stop learning. Read a lot.  Expand your connections even if you think you won’t need them or they won’t need you.
  • Maybe the best valuable lesson that I’ve learned … just let my dreams flow.  Let fate and faith lead me there.

“Age is just about numbers.  I’m young forever.  I am here, not where I wanted to be, but where God wants me to be.   I believe far more than what I dreamed of.”

Irene Conference speaker

Irene as Conference Speaker

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Pinoy Pro: Ian Paul Medalle

Ian Paul Medalle is Manager for Data Base and Data Quality of Oetker Collection, the most inspiring selection of masterpiece hotels in the world. It is privately owned and headquartered in Baden-Baden, Germany. 

His post allows him to look after the entire collection’s portfolio including those of Hotel Le Bristol, Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, Château St Martin and Spa, Palais Namaskar, St. Barth Isle de France, Brenner’s Park Hotel and Spa, and L’Apogée. He has been in the hospitality industry since 1996 way back in Mactan, Cebu.

Ian Paul Medalle pixAmong the different fields, why did you choose your profession? – I love to see people happy and feel great when I see people smile.  Also the love of beautiful architecture and interior design, amazing locations, and the finer things in life being offered in luxury hotels.

What do you like about what you do? What do you dislike? – I currently like the challenge of going into details, setting up guidelines, looking for new technology to improve systems.  There is nothing I dislike about what I do, but maybe the slow response of some of the people I work with.

What do you think are the advantages of being in your profession? – I get to travel a lot, enjoy experiencing beautiful and amazing hotels, sample delicious cuisines, and meet all kinds of people. I grow personally by these interactions and knowing that there is so much to do in our line of work.

 What are the qualifications or skills needed in a job like this?  What advice would you offer someone considering this career? – Being in the hospitality industry, you need to be open to change, have perseverance, the ability to multi-task, and most importantly have a real passion in serving people.  A degree would be great if you want to achieve higher management but from my experience, I learned by life’s greatest teachers – Experience, Hard Work, Patience and believing in yourself that there is always an opportunity to do better or the best.

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Pinoy Pro: Ace Roger Labuac

ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE ADMINISTRATION

Ace Roger Labuac is  Business Analyst of Goodyear Tires MEA (Middle East & Africa). He is  in charge of financial planning and pricing of the commercial business unit, supporting the Business Unit Director in achieving volume and profit targets. 

“The company has been driven by a clear vision and mission, coupled with open communication and transparency from the top management all the way to the ranks. Everyone is treated with respect and dignity, and each one’s opinion is being listened to and heard.”

Ace YachtPlease mention just one of the most exciting projects you’ve been involved to. Why? – I am involved in the annual operations planning process and this have been an exciting journey for me as it shows how teamwork and cooperation can produce outstanding results. Even if the group consists of people from different backgrounds, a clear sense of purpose sets everything straight and makes everyone accountable, hence the excellent outputs.

Among the different fields, why did you choose your profession? – I enjoy numbers and being able to influence decisions because of what the numbers say. I have been working for 6 years already since 2007.

 What do you think are the advantages of being in your profession? – The advantage of being a finance professional is the satisfaction that one gets, it is a critical role in the organization, being the interpreter of the company’s financial results. Also, it’s a career that is present in all companies regardless of the industry… they all need accountants and finance professionals.

What are the qualifications or skills needed in a job like this?  What advice would you offer someone considering this career?For someone considering to be in the field of finance & accounting, assess yourself as to whether you enjoy “playing” with numbers to drive business performance.

Ace Pic Kazbegi

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Pinoy Pro: Francis Rey Apo  

OFFICE ADMINISTRATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE

Francis Rey is currently working for Hitachi Consulting located in Dubai Internet City. “We are a global consulting company, with operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Hitachi Consulting is a recognized leader in delivering proven business and IT strategies and solutions to Global 2000 companies across many industries. The company earned Diamond level partner status, the highest ranking available in the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) Specialized program.” 

“My main tasks as an Administration Executive are in line with my duties as PRO and HR – visa processing, flight and hotel bookings for our UAE staff and visitors, company trade license, office license and insurance renewals; Finance duties such as salary processing, bill payments, bank transactions, transaction reporting; Purchasing office supplies; Facilities Management; and Events Coordination.”

4 Leisure time 2013Among the different fields, why did you choose (your profession)? In choosing a job or profession, I look for something that is available and in-demand, something where I’m qualified, something I enjoy, something where I would grow and something where I could earn and provide for the family.

What do you like about what you do? What do you dislike? I love everything I do in my current job. I don’t have any dislikes but I find it challenging dealing with difficult people.

What do you think are the advantages of being an Administration Executive? Being an Administration Executive in our company gives me the opportunity to learn more about office management. The experience and skills that I’m learning may help me in the future if ever I decided to put up my own business. I also get to work directly with a wide range of individuals at all levels – regular staff, management and directors, external clients and suppliers.. so this can make the job varied and interesting.

What are the qualifications or skills needed in a job like this?  What advice would you offer someone considering this career? In an administrative role, leadership, organization, time management and people skills are needed. An administrator must have good communication skills both in oral and in written; must have excellent knowledge of computer applications; must have the ability to multitask and to prioritize tasks; has excellent record keeping and attention to details; and ability to handle pressure. For those who are considering a career in Administration, I advise them to develop their confidence by practicing speaking skills and dressing smart. Practice by being self organized, sorting out every detail of your life. If you enjoy paper works, filing, coordination, placing orders, reporting, sorting out hotel and travel arrangements, then this is will be a career you will enjoy.

1 Washington DC Tour - 2010

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