Filipino women in UAE urged to be SMART in planning future

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More than 70 participants and volunteers, mostly Filipino women from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain, celebrated International Women’s Day yesterday (March 7), at the 6th FEME Forum where they were advised to set personal goals that are SMART or significant, meaningful, action-oriented, rewarding and trackable.

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Singapore-based Mel Rose Angeles, Director for HR of Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, said that everyone should practice the SMART goals. “Personal goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality,” added the 12-year Overseas Filipino (OF) in the city-state.

Angeles was one of the four speakers invited by the organizers of the FEME Forum which is a by-invitation only networking platform for Filipino entrepreneurs, professionals and socio-civic leaders where impactful and critical issues are discussed with subject-matter experts.

Philippine-based businesswoman Elsie Chua shared her entrepreneurial journey starting at the age of 10 and as founding president and CEO of real estate company CDC Holdings, Inc. Chua also co-founded Melawares which is a tableware brand used by major restaurants and fast food chains in the Philippines as well as in Filipino homes.

“You will not be able to sustain the hardships if you are not passionate about what you are doing. Before others believe in you, you have to first believe in your product and in yourself,” she explained the 67-year old multi-millionaire. “Good times, I am grateful for the blessings. Bad times, I am grateful for the lessons. Always be grateful from above, your staff, your employees, your suppliers, your clients and shareholders.”

Long-time UAE residents Agnes Aquino-Briggs and Cristina Magallon also equipped the participants on Empowered Look and Personal Branding in the Digital World, respectively.

Image and Style consultant Aquino-Briggs said that according to studies it only takes three seconds to make a first impression. “Your business clothing should tell the story and establish your authority, portray  your experience, and reveal your level of success – all in one single glance,” she said.

Aquino-Briggs travelled all the way from Ruwais, where she is based, the night before to share her expertise and passion. She advised everyone that “it is vital to know how to manage the use and effect of your clothing on you and others to achieve your goals successfully.”

Magallon who has 95,000 followers on LinkedIn encouraged the women to have their own accounts on the social media site. “On LinkedIn, people are in a business mindset. If you have a business then this is the platform to be in especially in the UAE which is the most connected country on the platform,” she disclosed. Magallon is editor of www.uaedna.com  that ‘storytells’ UAE-based entrepreneurs’ businesses.

Faye Godinez Cruz who attended the event commented: “From today onwards, we are one step closer to our dreams as empowered women regardless of the path we have chosen as housewives, working mothers or career women. Thank you to all the speakers who braved COVID-19 to share their glorious careers to the Filipino women in the UAE. We are truly grateful and inspired!”

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