Spending 29 years of his life in Dubai, Filipino art director Jonathan Paul Aggarao considers the emirate as his second home. He works in a company called Q&A Advertising LLC, a business run by his family members who are also into creative content production.
His father worked for a top advertising agency in UAE for decades and his mother is an accountant and is tasked to look over the financial side. He, along with his siblings, followed their parents in Dubai in 1991 and lived here ever since.
Immersed in creative contents, he and his friends who he grew up with in Dubai, co-founded the Record Box Production, a videography department under the umbrella of his parent’s company. They aim to be part of the era of creative cinematography using small DSLRs.
“We first started with one wedding and one corporate event. They say great work travels fast. And just by word of mouth, we have gained great clients-turned-to-friends,” Aggarao said, noting that they’ve produced contents for big brands such as McDonald’s, Nikon, Ritz-Carlton, Chanel, and Dior, among others.
Before focusing on the family business, he was first part of a leading film distribution company wherein he was given a chance to work with Warner Brother Films. Part of his work includes reworking on huge film posters and artworks such as Batman – The Dark Knight, Harry Potter films, and almost all the approved released films in the region.
“Being in the creative field is a rush. It’s all sort of euphoria. It’s far from boring. Sure, it’s hard. Imagine a perfectionist bride, or sometimes groom. Or a very detailed client or a hard-to-please boss–it’s all part of the game,” Aggarao said.
He added that although some requirements are really demanding, once the final outcome has been approved and they see their hard-work paying off, they always feel the satisfaction bliss that every creative loves.
“That pushes us to excel all the more and look forward to the next challenge,” he further added.
For almost three decades now, he chose Dubai to work and live among other cities. Agarrao describes Dubai as a ‘buffet of world’s best cuisines’ as he gets to taste different ‘recipes.’
“There’s the local Arabic flavor clients, then there’s the familiar Asian flavor of clients and there’s the Western as well. It’s so exciting to work here, you’ll never know who the next client or company will be,” the content creator said.
When asked about his plans after working in Dubai, he said that he’d choose a country that can give the same quality of life as what Dubai has given him and his family.
For struggling overseas Filipino workers, his advice is to find passion and push for what they enjoy doing as nothing in life is easy.
“We need passion in everything that we do. If not for passion, then push for your families. And I think that’s what Filipinos excel in, we are well-known for being cheerful and hardworking–whatever troubles us, we live excellently, and we continue living with a smile on our faces, glad to be given an opportunity,” he added.
Aggarao further added that a lot of countries hire Filipinos due to the quality, professionalism and positivity so OFWs should be proud of being a ‘global Filipino.’