‘Rakitera’ in Dubai now a make-up specialist in prestigious beauty brand in Dubai

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A former ‘rakitera’ or a person who has a lot of income-generating activities, Arlie Villarmia’s reason why she worked abroad is to help her family and provide them the assistance that they deserve. Started working as a freelance worker in Dubai, Villarmia has collaborated with numerous agencies to work as an events usherette, events coordinator, beauty brand promoter, and freelance commercial model. 

She revealed that through her earnings for almost four years, she was able to help her mother pay up loans and send money to family members left in the Philippines. As someone who wants to pay it forward, she used to give her salaries to her mother and only ask for a certain amount to buy essentials. 

“Masaya na ako doon. Hanggang sa dumating yung point na I wanted to be independent,” she said until she was hired as a make-up specialist for a prestigious beauty brand in the emirate. 

She lived independently, tried to live as a bed spacer, moved to a partition until she gets to finally live in a decent room. At first, according to her, living alone was difficult especially in terms of managing her expenses. She got overwhelmed with the situation–she purchased a lot of items here and there, sent a big amount of money to the Philippines, until everything got out of hand. “Masaklap mgkakautang ka pa dahil wala ka nang pangkain kasi wala nang natira sa pera mo. Kadalasan kasi tayong mga Filipino, habang lumalaki income, lumalaki din expenses natin,” she said. 

Admittedly, she learned her lessons. She found herself again producing income-generating activities while working as a full-time make-up specialist. Villarmia has been to paid photoshoots, pageants, and ‘muse’ to several basketball leagues. “Go lang nang go basta may TF [talent fee]. Lalo na sa panahon ngayon uso na online, nagbibenta din ako ng mga food, pre-loved clothes, bags, and shoes,” she added. 

Accomplishments, plans

With over 10 years of work experience abroad, among the accomplishment of the Dubai-based make-up specialist is a vehicle, properties and investments in the Philippines, and managing a number of flats in the UAE. 

Villarmia also plans to have their ancestral house revamped and tour her family members in their favorite places. 

When retirement comes, the rakitera plans to spearhead a business in the Philippines so she can bring her family members in Dubai back to their province. “I am not staying to plan here longer, pag nakakita nako ng right opportunity for me, uwi na rin ako good good kasama family ko,” she said. 


This story has been featured on the eighth issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at tgfmfi@gmail.com.