Top Pinoy Photographers in UAE

eros goze

Eros Goze

In the world of fashion and photography, one has to stand out somehow. This has been the guiding principle in the life of a promising Filipino artist who has chosen Dubai as his second permanent home. It was not surprising after all when Eroz Goze, 39, was recently chosen by PAMAS as Photographer of the Year.


Chito Pachica

This Filipino achiever who is an expert on club photo shoot, model portfolios, wedding photography  and architectural photography, was one of the winners of 2012 The Spirit of Ramadan Art Contest organized by the Dubai Culture and Arts. His winning entry was titled Fanouz Light.

benny guzman

Benny de Guzman

Photography is an expression of other side of your world that other people do not see. Benny de Guzman uses DSLR Full frame camera and same brand of lenses. He’s a freelance Creative Exhibition Designer, Freelance Photographer and Freelance Interior Designer. His shots graced the cover of significant cultural books in the United Arab Emirates. This is a feat that makes this Filipino achiever proud.


Filipino Achievers and Trailblazers in the Emirates

Ed Cabading: Teaching Pinoys for Free

He is a certified Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) in MS Excel. Yet, he teaches for free every Friday for computer classes organized by the Filipino Digerati Association (FDA) in Ajman, Sharjah, Deira and Karama.

Joan Alcudia: Life is Beautiful

Life is beautiful no matter its complexities. This has been the motivating factor, on a day to day basis, when this business executive and career woman wakes up at 7 in the morning. Joan dela Victoria Alcudia is an astute professional with over 15 years of rich and diverse experience in customer service, administration, hospitality and training proficiency in overseeing smooth operation to maintain minimal or zero customer complaints.

Lou Olvido-Parroco: A Lady of Vision and Integrity

I am happy that I have the ability to listen more — with my heart; this is because most people nowadays tend to talk more and hardly listen.  I am happy to see myself enjoy more when giving than receiving, perhaps because I know the overwhelming joy of receiving especially when one has nothing simply because I’ve been there.

Laarni de Leon-Eugenio: Filipina Entrepreneur 

Confident and fully aware of her capabilities, she and her better-half teamed-up and established in 2007 the Ariel Wedding and Organizing, also known as Ariel’s Design, mostly a design business for wedding stages. There had been frustrations but they never gave up. With one warehouse, their company has matured and expanded into three warehouses with more than a dozen staff.

Filipino artists in Middle East and USA

Flor Pesigan: Award-Winning Pinay Artist Makes Mark in Dubai  Flordeliza, who has been in Dubai for 15 years now, finds fulfillment in being considered as one of the respected artist in Dubai art scene. Her works now adore the offices of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi amongst other private collections internationally.

Filipino Organizations in UAE

Filipino Digerati Association The motto that brings Digerati to greater heights is “Connecting Filipinos through Technologies.” Digerati members are keen to the goals of the organization and all volunteers are genuine to go for the objective. Hence, the club continues to strive and reach out to all Filipinos in UAE and provides free services through sharing knowledge about digital technologies, personal and professional developments. True to its mission, it offers high-quality computing, office procedural, speaking and personal development programs that help students and members to further promote and advance careers in all professions.

Proud Filipina Professionals at Work

Franceska Marie Monfero is Account Manager for Marketing and Public Relations of Gulf Reps. Marie has been in the industry for more than 5 years now. She started her career in 2006 but entered the travel and tourism industry in 2007 when she moved back to Dubai.

Jennifer Malapitan-Aguinaldo  is a Senior Analyst at MEED. Jen works for the research and advisory arm of a British firm providing business intelligence in the Middle East. The company was founded in 1957 so it’s among the oldest and most reputable companies in the region.

Laarni de Leon Eugenio is Chief Executive Officer of Ariel’s Design. Confident and fully aware of her capabilities, this Dubai-based royal wedding stage designer and event planner and her better-half teamed-up and established in 2007 the Ariel Wedding and Organizing, also known as Ariel’s Design, mostly a design business for wedding stages. There had been frustrations but they never gave up. With one warehouse, their company has matured and expanded into three warehouses with more than a dozen staff.

Roleth Fernandez has been in Dubai for the last 5 years starting as a Personal Assistant to the Managing Director then she was promoted as a Sales and Procurement Coordinator. This year, she was hired in Ecolab Gulf as Customer Service Executive which is under the Customer Support department.

Karen Bisana-Tolentino is HR and Administratiion Manager at TEKAB CO. LTD. Celebrating 11 years of continued service to one company, she started working with TEKAB from 2003 as a Receptionist-cum-Telephone Operator and Secretary in which after 3 years, was promoted to become the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director where she served another 7 years and now once again has moved to a higher post as the HR and Administration Manager of the company.

Tekab's Iftar

Women of Change: Pinays work to make this world a better place to live in

Vagelyn Tumbaga-Federico The advantages of being in my post is that I can able to train, motivate, empower and recognize people in my organization. I believe it is very important being a leader to see that your employees progress in their career and they develop themselves to be somebody like me in the near future. I love to see others succeed in their career through my guidance and leadership.


Vagelyn Tumbaga Federico

Brigette Mazo-Tagure Personally, doing a service for the community helps obtain the opportunity to interact and meet new people. I once worked in the remote places of UAE. Surprisingly, there are quite a number of elderly people, sick, and never sought medical attention, regardless of the country’s free medical services for locals. My former job was a test out on my career field, and I saw that this fits my own personality. There is nothing as comfortable and satisfying than giving yourself, whether it for time or money or both.

Amabella S. Ong We have come up with the idea of doing a walkathon in conjunction with the world heart day celebration of that year. It was the first time for the hospital to have that kind of event and there were a lot of challenges. We were able to tap both government and private institutions in partnership with us. In summary, we were able to have around 800 participants for the walkathon, started an awareness campaign on how important walking is on ones cardiovascular health and that the community has a partner on their way to health and wellness and that is IMH.

Anna Marie M. Dawis You work hard and you get paid well, you can send money back home everyone is happy and you sleep well at night. But to be able to find a good job and good employer is another story.  A good employer to me is a blessing.This is one of the many reasons why I try to share in my own way quietly from time to time.  We need to give something back somehow, no matter how small.


Anna Marie Martinez Dawis

Raquel Aquino During my three years of stay in Dubai, I was able to see and feel how difficult life is. I don’t go and visit the consulate that much that’s why I am not that much aware of our unfortunate OFW’s being held in OWWA’s care. “God thus use people as instruments for others…a very close friend of mine told me about the situation of our kababayans in OWWA and the moment I knew it, I thought that indeed I am lucky that I have landed in a very good company.”

Lou Olvido-Parroco My husband and I are both passionate about getting involved with humanitarian and community projects since our university years.  Here in the UAE, we are active members of the Couples for Christ community and of numerous Filipino organizations where we get the opportunity to be a part of many humanitarian projects.

Color for Her2

Lou Olvido Parroco

Wella Manabo I work so hard and really strive to be successful because I came from a poor family. Therefore, in many ways, I am able to relate to people who suffer from the harsh realities of life. I understand their pain. I also understand that if I manage to succeed in my chosen career and in my business ventures I will be able to help and reach out to those in need in a more substantial way, and I fervently hope that I may inspire people to do the same. I have learned to give not because I have too much, but because I know the feeling of not having.


Wella Manabo

Digerati: Connecting Filipinos Through Technologies

Self-fulfillment and sharing of abundant blessings are two relying factors that make the volunteers alive in this multi-awarded Filipino organization.

The Filipino Digerati Association or better known as Digerati was founded by Engr.  Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi, Justino A. Arciga, Sr., Arnel G. Ramos, Rizalina Abuel,  Lani B. Braga-Reyes, Willy Aguilar,  Lilian Bautista, Granel Juanay and Arlene Pulido.

Its legal existence in UAE started after the oath taking ceremony of the founding Executive Committee held at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai on December 28, 2007. Its founders were bounded with one thought in mind – to fill the gap between Filipinos and technology in Dubai and Northern Emirates and create an impact to Filipino community through sharing and volunteerism works in the field of technology, personal and personal development.

Bayanihan Spirit

 As a non-profit organization, it operates under the auspices of Philippine Consulate General (PCG), Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Dubai. In its fold are volunteer trainers who have come from various backgrounds such as Department Heads of universities and colleges, Dean of AMA University, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Business Woman Award 2008 awardee,  professional trainers,  Microsoft Certified Professionals, Microsoft Office Specialists – Expert Level,  Microsoft Certified Trainers and  Company Managers and Telecom Senior Engineers.

The association is purely volunteering in nature and all serve during their off days from respective jobs. All activities are done in no relation to professional work or careers of volunteers.

FDA chairperson Lilian Bautista said they seek to recruit and retain highly qualified volunteer-trainers who do premium research that benefit students, and members. “We shall establish and maintain close community involvement through Digerati, UAE and Philippine government and other community clubs rigid interactions to address various issues within the community as a whole.”

 Record Breaker

For six years, the group made remarkable strides –  the graduates grew to about 17,000; from the original one branch to five branches in UAE; from 8 courses to more than 30 courses currently offered; from original 18 volunteers to about 100 circa active volunteers in the current year.

Since 2005, it issued more than 2500 certificates on various computer disciplines.

The sacrifices of all volunteers were recognized when FDA garnered the “Banaag Award” at The Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas. By winning, FDA now holds the title as the first and only Filipino organization in the UAE to receive such prestigious award and even more when personally awarded by His Excellency President Benigno Aquino at the Malacanang Palace last December 2012.

Excellence Among Filipinos

The motto that brings Digerati to greater heights is “Connecting Filipinos through Technologies.” Digerati members are keen to the goals of the organization and all volunteers are genuine to go for the objective. Hence, the club continues to strive and reach out to all Filipinos in UAE and provides free services through sharing knowledge about digital technologies, personal and professional developments.

True to its mission, it offers high-quality computing, office procedural, speaking and personal development programs that help students and members to further promote and advance careers in all professions.

“We are also being invited by professional and non-professional organizations to conduct a free training workshops to their organizations, we are doing fund raising to help distressed Filipinos in Dubai, Outreach Program, participate in the yearly Independence Day and Bayanihan Festival.”

Digerati is determined to strive and uphold its mission of excellence for a common goal among Filipinos through proficient development in computer literacy, foster solidarity among Filipino communities, and Philippine Government though continuous support to any project initiated by the latter, and advocate with the escalation of unity and help to supplement the development of the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.

Expanding Network

FDA expects that the group will prosper and grow even more in no time. Qualified and technically inclined trainers are growing, too. Hence, scouting of additional venues would be necessary in the near future. Good option is to bring FDA trainings to a Filipino-dominated area, rather than the Filipinos to go to FDA venues which might be considered ‘far’ for them.

Currently, FDA is strategically situated in different emirates to reach out more of Filipinos and with five (5) operational branches:

Sharjah Angels

Crystal Hotel (Near Megamall) Sharjah, UAE

Ajman Falcons

Pastry Chef Café and Restaurant Ajman, UAE

Al Ain Mavens

Al Barjeel Restaurant Town Square, Al Ain, UAE

Deira Cares

2nd Floor, Business Village Deira, Dubai, UAE

Ras Al Khaimah Stars

Zein Hotel, Nakheel Road, Road, RAK, UAE

However, being a non-profit, non-political organization, FDA is surviving only with a very limited resource. Despite of this, officers will not compromise the quality of trainings and services offered to members. With the help of few sponsors, Digerati aims to purchase new training equipments (projectors and laptops), add more training venues and/or shift to better locations. This will indeed cater to the fast-growing population of FDA.

Focus on courses in-demand, is as important as the locations. Digerati leaders always seek for improvements and add new courses for learning advancement. Technically-inclined trainers opted to focus on technologies, and administrative/relationship/recruitment experts focus on personality development and improvements.

“For this year 2014, new courses are in line. For some, course manuals are in preparation; others are under discussion. Whenever ready, these will be implemented and be offered to all members, volunteers included. Additional and continuous assistance by the trainers to members are also provided even outside training sessions and workshops. The catch is to provide quality training to all members,” Bautista said.

Beyond Boundaries

Nonetheless, an extended program focused on livelihood courses is also offered due to the global economic crises that hit most of Overseas Filipino Workers since the last few years. Purpose is to help and support those who are greatly affected by the recession, and somehow help their respective families back home indirectly. It is absolutely rewarding to see members elevate themselves into a higher position and acquire better status in life.

Digerati is not only for members alone, but also spares time for external affairs. There are  exchange programs, inter-organization support to causes and advocacies. Volunteers help the needy in cash or in kind, and organize community services such as Clean-Up Drives, Walk-For-A-Cause, and many more. Digerati also continues the “Lapis at Papel” project by sending of few boxes of school supplies to the Philippine schools through Commission of Filipinos Overseas (CFO).

Dissemination of information, through any form of advertisement or simply word of mouth, is indeed a big help. As long as the organization is doing and showing its best, volunteers and members will walk hand-in-hand to success.


Engr. Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi
Engr. Justino Arciga, Sr.
Arnel G. Ramos
Rizalina R. Abuel


Chairman – Engr. Lilian Bautista
Vice Chairman – Mr. Wilfredo Aguilar
Member of the Board
Ms. Maria Lani Braga-Reyes
Ms. Arlene Pulido
Mr. Granel Juanay

Ube Macapuno Roll –Made Easy

by Fiesta Pinoy Pastry Chef Lou



  • 9 pcs of Extra Large Eggs
  • 150 gm of White Sugar
  • 150 gm all purpose flour
  • 1 table spoon of Baking powder
  • 1 Tea spoon food colour (Violet)

For the cream (Ube Cream)

  • 1 condensed milk
  • 10 pcs of Extra Large Eggs
  • I Tea Spoon Vanilla
  • ! Tea Spoon Food colour (Violet )
  • 1 Table Spoon Ube Halaya

6Add ons:



Mix the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes in the mixer, then add flour, baking powder and food colour then continue mixing until fluffy. Pour the mixture in the moulding pan and place inside the oven for 25 minutes at 160 degrees farenheit.  Afterwards, let it cool for 10 minutesthen spread theUbe cream and macapuno all over, then roll. Cover the entire roll with ube cream then Add garnish ( Flower Icing, Macapuno )

Procedure on preparing the Ube Cream / Frosting:

Mix all the ingredients and steam, place the mixture in the boiler for approximately 25 minutes until mixture is thick and let it cool.

Discover the mouth watering menus, cuisines and wide range of services at Fiesta Pinoy – your authentic Filipino restaurant along Abu baker Al Siddique Road corner Al Rigga Road, Dubai.




Pink Medics …Women in Action


Do you still wonder why some ambulance in Dubai is painted pink and more amused seeing it manned by all female medics in pink uniforms?

The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) began operating the so called Mama Unit ambulances sometime in July 2009. The agency aimed to provide both quality service and to respect traditions which are often very difficult combining in the field of medicine.  Initially, DCAS trained eight female nurses to be assigned in two ambulance units especially dedicated to female patients. The primary function of these units is to cater Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatal related emergencies but, oftentimes these Mama units served as a backup unit to any case having female patient requesting female medic for assessment and treatment.

Now, the almost all Filipina team has grown. Nurses of other nationalities were also trained to become pink medics. Citizens in theemirates also honored the innovative idea of DCAS though different commendations and awards. In the same similar way, let us tell more stories of women in a man world before.We should honor their services and commitment as part ofthe 2014 International Women’s Month celebration.

Two of the admired pink medics, Jenifer Rufino and Hazel Margarita Parado  flew from Philippines to Dubai in the eve of New Year’s Day in 2006. They were part of female nurses hired to work as ambulance nurses. That night, they shared anxious feeling of leaving their family to surpass in a men’s world only armed with hope and wishful mind of good fortune. For eight years, they survived different trials and laughers. The two both agreed that equality for women can contribute of bring progressive society.

jenniferJenifer Rufino

Jenififer, 37, a native of Palawan, is now an airport medic and once part of Mama Units. “Equality for women can be achieved if there will be acceptance. Although it seems that equality play a small and not so critical role in progress, it is still essential.”

“I am saving the life of others, minutes before the ambulance arrived. Whenever someone needs medical or trauma assistance and dialed the emergency number 999, dispatchers like me are the first responder” said Jigs when asked to describe her vital role in Dubai ambulance.

“With this kind of work I don’t need the masculinity of a man, moreover the women’s intuition helped me a lot to be more compassionate with the caller” she also told.

HazelHazel Margarita Parado

Hazel grow up in Ilocos Norte. She studied in Mariano Marcos State University High School and took the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at United Doctors Medical Center in Quezon City. Known as Jigs, she also worked as Firefighter/Rescue-Medic from the Bureau of Fire Protection Philippines for six years with the rank of Fire Officer 1 before going to Dubai.

contributed by Geoffrey Panganiban, RN

mama 2mama U2

Cassoulet of Gosse Confit with Veal Sweetbreads

chef felix

by Chef Felix Pontejos


  • 2     kg Goose Leg
  • 200 g Veal Sweetbread
  • 200 g Broad Beans
  • 100 g Carrot (diced)
  • 50   g Onion (diced)
  • 50   g Garlic (minced)

Curing mixture:

  • 30 g Maldon or Rock Salt
  • 30 g Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Thyme (chopped)
  • 1 ½ tsp Lavender (dried)
  • 2 ½ tsp Black Pepper (grind)
  • 1 ½ tsp Coriander (grind)
  • 1 pc Orange (zest)

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp Confit Fat
  • Chicken Bones (roasted)
  • 100 g Garlic (minced)
  • 150 g Onion (quartered)
  • 100 g Carrot (sliced)
  • 240 ml Enriched Chicken Stock
  • 30 g Tomato Paste

Combine all the ingredients of herb and salt mixture. Coat the goose with the mixture, cover with film and set on to the chiller for at least 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Remove the meat from the chiller and dry the goose with towel and placed on a pan with fat or corn oil. Roast or confit till cooked and soft for about 90 minutes.

Sauté garlic, onion, carrot and bones till golden brown on a pan with the goose fat. Add the tomato paste and chicken stock. Boil and simmer. Strain the stock and reduce till right consistency.

Sauté the garlic and onion in butter and add the goose. Add the beans, carrots and sauce.

Sear in a medium hot pan the veal sweet bread till cooked. Fold in gently the sweetbread. Serve.