Pinoy in Abu Dhabi reveals how dreaming big provides him growth and success


Dreaming big and following his goals with perseverance and determination is his mantra in life to achieve success. Architect Allaine Kristoffer Galang Mañalac, the head of the drafting department of Asqalan Construction and Development LLC, has risen through the ranks—from being an AUTOCAD draftsman to securing a managerial position. 

Architecture, for him, is a fulfilling work as he learns new experiences on a daily basis. Some five years ago, Mañalac was given an opportunity to take the Architecture Licensure Examination. “With hard work and perseverance, juggling workloads and reviewing the exam, I passed the additional bonus placing 9th on all Abu Dhabi examinees,” he said. 

Prior to working abroad, the Filipino architect worked at a local construction company in the Philippines for seven years. In 2005, he and his wife then decided to resign from their respective posts and went to Abu Dhabi on a visit visa and search for new jobs. 

Mañalac was hired in the company that he has been serving for nine years now as an AUTOCAD draftsman. A few years after, he rose through the ranks and became the head of drafting department. 

“There’s great potential in the construction industry here in the UAE. Aside from earning more than triple than in the Philippines, the experience to work international and world-class designs and architecture. Designs that vary from culture to culture makes our work exciting because it explores the complexity of our imagination and visualization as an architect,” he said. 

Countless struggles have surfaced along the way, including the country’s culture and the attitudes of his former colleagues and bosses to top it off. 

“You have to be flexible and competitive and respectful at the same time to earn the respect and your position in an organization. You have to prove your strength and ability without degrading anyone,” he said. 

He said more and more professionals are choosing to work overseas, however, he believes living and working abroad have both pros and cons. 

“I am a blessing that I am here in Abu Dhabi with my wife and daughter. However, being away from your hometown—without your parents and siblings, brings loneliness, especially in times of holidays like Christmas, New Year, and other family gatherings,” he said, adding that working abroad also brings him and his family broad of opportunities to make their dreams come true to life. 

“One of which is saving money to buy land, building our dream house and investments and businesses to sustain our future needs once we plan to retire and return to our homeland,” Mañalac added. 

This story has been featured on the fifth 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


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