One of the reasons why Engineer Baby Boy Francisco Boton founded the biggest fraternity of mountain bikers in the UAE is to unite and reach out to the community, especially to those who are in need. To date, the organization has over 1,000 members with 12 different sub-groups.
The founder and chairman of the UAE MTB Juemeirah was formally established in 2012, making them the only biking group accredited by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and authorized by the Dubai Sports Council.
Aside from riding their bicycles off-road or over rough terrain, Boton’s group also promotes and encourages Filipinos to engage in biking and cycling and conducting a series of social and charity works in the host country and in the Philippines.
Get to know more Boton personally:
Tell us something about yourself.
After I graduated in college, I immediately went to Manila to find some good companies to work with. Since I was a newbie with zero experience, I initially worked as a plant electrician from 1993 to 1995. A year after that, I’ve worked as a plant engineer until 1998 for an industrial company.
I then went to Taiwan in 1998 to work in a petrochemical plant. I then decided to work in Saudi Arabia in 2000 as an MEP supervisor then later promoted as a site engineer and finally, an MEP estimator engineer.
It was year 2005 when I was relocated here to Dubai. I was assigned for the construction of the Dubai International Airport and worked as a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) quantity surveyor.
Currently, I am the Senior MEP Quantity Surveyor Engineer of Omnium International Limited in Dubai.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I have worked for three different companies in Dubai since I arrived here in 2005 but the latest one is the best one as I have been with them for 12 years now. As an all-around mechanical, electrical, plumbing senior quantity surveyor, I have already worked with famous landmarks in the emirate located in Downtown Dubai.
The highlight of my professional career in Dubai was when I worked in the famous Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, from 2010 until 2015.
Of all the cities in the world, why did you choose Dubai?
I have already been in Dubai for 15 years and when I compared it with other countries I’ve worked with, this city is quite far ahead from them. Aside from having a much better salary package, labor laws here are great for all workers. We have great health insurance and the Dubai government is offering a great quality of services.
Before you reach this stage, have you also struggled?
The last quarter of 2008 was the start of the recession and many companies have shut down and didn’t survive it. Lots of workers have lost their jobs. In my part, I was just lucky that I was not among of them but our salaries were cut so I had to decide and sent back home my family.
What’s your plan after Dubai?
As of now, all companies in Dubai are affected by Covid-19 pandemic. We all are struggling to survive – financially, emotionally, and physically. If God permits, I have one plat which is to go back to our home country and maybe build a small and less complicated business.
What’s your advice to your fellow kabayans who are currently struggling?
Working abroad and away from your family is difficult. We need to sacrifice everything. Thus, we need to save, save, and save because being an OFW will not last forever.
CHARITY WORKS DONE BY UAE MTB JUMEIRAH
- Donating and installing of deep well water at Haduan Negrito Elementary School in Pampanga in 2019.
- Conducted charity drive and feeding program and distribution of slippers and toiletries for Aeta kids in Bamban, Tarlac from 2016 to 2019.
- Feeding program at Munting Tahanan in Pampanga and Leyte in 2014.
- Held a series of charity rides to help co-bikers in their urgent needs from 2013 to present.
- Consecutively conducted feeding programs for the distressed OFWs housed at the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in 2019 and 2020.
- Sent around 10 balikbayan boxes to the Taal eruption victims in 2020.
This story has been featured on the third issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at email@example.com.