News The Global Filipino Magazine searches for first ‘Global Filipino...

The Global Filipino Magazine searches for first ‘Global Filipino Icon’ 2021


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On its first anniversary next month, The Global Filipino Magazine is all set to choose the very first beneficiary of the ‘Global Filipino Icon’ 2021. 

Of the more than 100 feature stories published in its magazine since April, a total of 12 Filipinos who have shared notable contributions in the international arena will battle it out for the highly coveted global recognition. 

According to Mr. Gabriel John Rimando, the publisher of the monthly magazine, it is one way to recognize those Filipinos who continue to shine abroad and boost the morale of every migrant Filipino worker. 

“This is the very first time that we’re doing this. Through this venture, we will be able to give these global Filipino icons what they deserve,” he added. 

The editorial chose 12 from the over 100 features from last year. The 12 finalists will undergo a stringent evaluation from highly respected officials from both government and the private sector. 

Initially, the team will hail a UAE-based Global Filipino Icon. The awards will be extended to Filipinos outside the country who are really deserving of the accolade in the coming years.

Below are the finalists for the first Global Filipino Icon:

Ericson Javillo, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

1. Ericson Javillo 

Ericson Javillo is undoubtedly considered to be a dynamic leader and seasoned global educator. Through his over a decade of work experience in the academe, he mastered connections that make one’s career and life richer. He possesses a strong commitment and selfless dedication in the continuous development of students, co-educators, staff members, and the whole community by providing a stimulating environment. 

Read his full story here: 

Jesse Garcia Estrada, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

2. Jesse Garcia

Seasoned logistics professional Jesse Garcia Estrada has a very inspiring story. Before reaching the pinnacle of success, he, too, has also a fair share of hardships. However, despite all the struggles and trials that he has been through, he proves that one can hold on to the Almighty’s word and trust the process. 

Read his full story: 

Dandin Vergara De Vera, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

3. Dandin Vergara De Vera

Nothing you ever want to achieve will ever become a reality if you always want to quit. This is what Dandin Vergara De Vera is projecting for his fellow Filipino migrant workers in the Middle East as he himself has started from scratch. He has over two decades of contributions in trade, retail, shopper marketing, sales, and retail operations for global multinational firms. Today, Dandin works in the Global Trade Marketing Unit, PanzerGlass ™️ Regional Office in Dubai. 

Read his full story here: 

Rhona Morada, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

4. Rhona Morada

Dubai-based Filipina entrepreneur Rhona Morada has lost her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite all the problems that hit her, failure has never overtaken her determination to succeed in life. Fast forward, Morada is now one of the owners and the CEO of COUPOONSHOP UAE, a business model based on subscription and discount offers for various business services in the region. The platform is aimed at offering high-quality deals and discounts for its subscribers at

Read her full story here: 

Jenie Vi Batalla, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

5. Jenie Vi Batalla

For Jenie Vi Batalla, UAE has been an avenue to fulfill her dreams and goals in life and even surpassed what she admired in life. Currently working as a business development consultant in a consulting firm that has been in the industry since 1988, Batalla’s 15 years of total work experience overseas proved that one can achieve his or her dreams if he or she is determined and has the ability to adapt easily. 

Read her full story here: 

Michelle David Menor, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

6. Michelle David Menor

Miss Michelle David Menor has been chosen as one of the 12 finalists of The Global Filipino Magazine’s The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Awards. In a recent interview with her, she said that there are many reasons why she opted to work abroad, including to seek better opportunities and start a new job that will push her out of her comfort zone. From being a cashier, she had to through the eye of a needle to achieve her current status. 

Read her full story here: 

Eirene Suchy, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

7. Eirene Suchy

In an effort to help those Filipinos in the UAE who have been displaced by the pandemic, Dubai-based entrepreneur Eirene Suchy has established a portal where she bridges the gap between job hunters and employers in the UAE. Through the job portal Gohuntr, which was born from just a casual chit-chat with a friend, COO and Co-founder Suchy aims to help and reach out to a wider and more diverse community and gears towards an equal employment opportunity.

Read her full story here: 

Lilac Schonberg, The Global Filipino Icon 2021 Finalist

8. Lilac Schonberg

Miss Lilac Hosalla Schonberg holds the real meaning of being a Global Filipino. An international educator, wife, mother, and cancer survivor, her vision is to build new quality education and bring it to the table of educational institutions and organizations that can put education and businesses together. 

The STEM robotic teacher has been raising the national flag in the UAE academe. 

Read her complete story here: 

9. Alberto Opena

“If you keep chasing on your dreams, one day you’ll catch them.” This has been said many times by successful people and this has been the mantra of UAE-based professional flair bartender turned to founder and CEO Alberto Flores Opena. Opena, with 21 years of combined work experience abroad, owns OUNCE, a leading event management solutions, facilities management, and consultancy specializing in food and beverage in the UAE. 

Read his full story here: 

10. Anz Soza

Anz Soza, a Filipina based in Dubai who has started doodling on disposable coffee cups, is now an art company owner. An interior designer in Singapore before moving to Dubai some six years ago, Soza said her friends are always fascinated with her art. Her first believers, her friends, then requested her if she could print on their passport holders and tumblers.

Read her full story here: 

11. Mars de los Santos

A true world-class and global Filipina, Mars Yabut De los Santos came to Dubai in 2006 when the emirate was still a diamond in the rough, much like her. She was only 25 when she embarked on an overseas journey. De los Santos wanted to test the waters and thought it was better for her to work on her ambitions in a country like the UAE while she was younger so that if things don’t work out as planned, the Philippines will always be there to welcome her back.

Read her full story: 

12. Doc Angelo Santos

A clinical advisor in the UAE, Dr. Angelo Nino Santos, fondly called ‘Doc Gelo’, did not only find love in medicine. Aside from having an extremely challenging and cerebral work at the NOW Health International, an international medical insurance company, he also found love in blogging and snapping travel photos.

Read his full story here:

The qualifications followed during the selection conducted by the editorial team include:

  • Has earning the respect, trust, and confidence of his or her empower, superiors, and co-workers;
  • Has proven his or her competence by being promoted in status or in rank, or awarded citation or recognition for distinguished and outstanding performance of his or her work duties and responsibilities, which in turn contributed to the growth or well-being of the company he or she works or have worked for;
  • Has manifested love for work, concern for the company, and his or her co-workers;
  • Has initiated or has been sincerely involved, whether in the Philippines or abroad, in the community or socially relevant services or activities aimed at either helping or extending assistance to fellow workers or their families or promoting the Philippines as a business or tourism destination;
  • Has selflessly offered his or her time, skills, and/or resources, in a collective or personal capacity, to engage in such community services or activities that are beneficial to the people; or
  • Has performed heroic act or deed, or has saved life or property, the performance of which is beyond the normal call of duty.

Share your inspiring story with us and get featured on the next issue. Email us at

The Global Filipino Magazine is the only Filipino magazine in the UAE that prints on a monthly basis. Its goal is to champion the success of every global Filipino across the globe.

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