Woman of Change: Vagelyn T. Federico

vagelyn pic 2Vagelyn Tumbaga-Federico is Director of Human Resources at Dusit Thani Dubai.

I am very active with all the social community services in the UAE. When I was the General Manager of Acacia Hotel, I supported the liver transplant of one Filipino Child “ Baby Iya” and all fund raising projects were supported by Acacia Hotel under my leadership.

I always initiated in my company to support the fund raising programs of different associations and communities especially the Filipino Community who were in jail and who needs medical assistance. The last fund raising program that I initiated through Acacia Hotel and Ice Land Water Park was almost 200,000 AED which were given to all Filipino beneficiaries in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

It is my nature to help people. I think of others first before myself. My dad taught me before to give rather than to receive. That’s why I feel I am so blessed because I always share whatever I received from God. I love my profession because it leads me the way to help people and reach out to those who are in need. I have the power and authority to decide what is best for my staff and how I can be beneficial to the community and to others. I have given many jobs to our jobless countrymen way back home and in the UAE.

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.



Woman of Change: Brigette M. Tagure

Brigette Mazo-Tagure is Bariatric Nurse at Rashid Center of Diabetes and Research in Ajman, United Arab Emirates.

brigetteI learned few years ago that every successful person do more than what is expected. It’s true that no one excels by doing only what is required. When one works with enthusiasm regardless of the job size and compensation, the output is always excellent.

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.

As Bariatric Nurse at the Rashid Center for Diabetes and Research, I have been actively involved in most Ministry of Health (MOH) campaigns. Bariatrics which is a small but significant part of a larger facility, deals with the care of obese patients. Out of my busy career, I still volunteer time for the successful celebrations of World Diabetes Day and World Heart Day. I was also involved in lectures and campaigns on health and diabetes awareness to different government offices and public settings, one of which was the famous Diabetes on Tour on Bus project in 2011.

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Woman of Change: Raquel Aquino

Raquel Aquino is Head of Sales for GCC of Trans-Fast Remittance LLC

raquel new picI  implemented a corporate social responsibility program that benefitted six abused Filipino housemaids in OWWA enabling them to return to Philippines

When Trans-Fast entered the GCC in 2009, our goal then is to set up the business and be a part of the remittance market. After being with the company for quite some time, I hear stories about OFWs being abused by their employers.  I feel as a Filipino, myself, I need to do something.  That is when I decided to be involved in extending assistance to my kababayans and convincing our group to do the same. All business aims is growth, to be on top.

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.”

I spoke with my Director and recommended to him my plans of helping people to go home to their families and explained since our company’s goal is to help people value their hard earned money, might as well we include the project of sending home overseas workers as one major corporate social responsibility which even our CEO in New York agreed and commended as a very good project.

This project is not only intended for UAE but also in other GCC countries where Trans-Fast is present. It is not also intended only for Filipinos but also other nationalities such as India, Indonesia and others. . I convinced our management to continue the said program in other GCC countries such as Qatar.

Woman of Change: Anna Marie M. Dawis

Anna Marie Martinez-Dawis is Commercial Manager of Ebtkarat General Trading in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

DSC_9563To be able to find a good job here in Dubai gives one a chance to be a better person in all aspects. 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.

 Months back, I was able to collect an amount from good people and have donated it to UNICEF and Philippine Red Cross for the Yolanda victims. I still have one donation to make because I received a pledge from someone who wants to give as well.

Right now, I am trying to tap a non-profit organization here in the UAE who helps laborers.  I want to share this Christmas some toys which they can send back to their kids in Pakistan and Bangladesh.


Woman of Change: Lou Olvido-Parroco

Lou Olvido-Parroco is a seasoned Senior HR Manager and Life Coach based in Dubai.

Lou2014.2My 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.

During the last five years, we have tried to launch different charity projects each year, and all these turned successful with the help and support of our family and friends. So far some of the major projects that we have successfully rolled out are:

‘Shoot for Shelter’ This was a series of photography workshops ran by my husband who is a respected talent in the field of photography in the UAE.  Out of the workshops minimum attendance fees, we have raised enough funds that provided homes to two poor families in the Philippines through Gawad Kalinga Foundation.

‘Color for Her’ As a way of seeing the realization of my unfulfilled wish of providing my mother the finest of lipsticks that she did not have, I have conceived the idea of collecting lipsticks from friends who have the heart to share.  This project was also aimed at providing an emotional boosts to Filipinas, particularly to Nanays who are unable to afford themselves a lipstick, the smallest measure of vanity every woman desire to have.  This project had gathered more than a thousand tubes of lipsticks which we have distributed to female metro aids, cleaners, street vendors, fish vendors and public school teachers in various places back in the Philippines.

 Color for Her2‘Hearty Party’ In an aim to promote health awareness which is a declining priority for many Filipinos in the UAE, we organized a series of two-hour dance parties featuring Zumba and aerobics.  The proceeds from the minimal entrance fee were donated to the Anawim Foundation in the Philippines, particularly the adopted elders suffering from heart diseases.

 Hearty Party1‘Jumpstart, Kabayan!’ This project was aimed at helping our kababayans who came here on visit visa as a way to find better paying jobs. This is a one full-day free workshop conducted by myself which coached and gave participants pointers on how to make effective resume, how to prepare for interviews, how to answer tricky questions, ways to maximize job-hunting, appropriate grooming during interview, understanding what benefits an employee shall be entitled to as per the UAE Labor Law, etc.   I will be running four sessions of this workshop again in May.


It is not ‘who’ I have become, but ‘what’ molded me to do what I love doing for others today.  It is the difficulties I had been through in my early years that has inspired me to do these charity projects.  I like to give because I feel how it is to have nothing because I’ve been there.

Woman of Change: Amabella S. Ong

Amabella S. Ong is formerly the Divisional Director of International Modern Hospital in Dubai.

8When I joined IMH last 2011, my major goal is to increase the volume of patients coming to the department at the same time it needs to have the impact in the community especially on healthy lifestyle awareness and education.

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.

 I am actively involved in medical missions and health camps in association with different healthcare organizations. Last December, I was with a group who did some fund raising campaign to help 5 destitute kabayans and gave them free airfare ticket home.

Woman of Change: Wella Mañabo

Wella Manabo is an entrepreneur who is engaged in business development, marketing and events.

photoShe is one of the most promising professionals of her time. Young, driven and ambitious she has brilliantly completed project after project of marketing interactive mobile apps while efficiently running her own business in Travel & Arts. She has collected extraordinary pieces of art from around the world, which you can view and purchase at her web page.

During her stay in Sudan, she was exposed to the realities of life.“People were walking barefoot under the fifty degree heat of the sun. It dawned to me that these people needed every kind of help they can get. At first I did not know how or where to start because I just moved there. But later on I was able to help and reach out in my own special way.”

“Since then I have been involved in charity work. Raising funds with friends for worthy causes, one beneficiary of such funds is the “Live, Love & Reach Out” charity institution in Iloilo, Philippines.”

When asked what motivated her to reach out to people in need she answered, “The suffering of the millions of people in Sudan is really an eye-opener for me…” then she came to a long pause.

“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.”