Hailing from the town of Camiling, Tarlac, Romeo Duque Jr. studied Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the prestigious University of Santo Tomas.
A licensed engineer in the Philippines and one of the top-notchers in the 2004 Civil Engineer Licensure Exam, he arrived in Dubai some 15 years ago to work as a draftsman in one of the biggest facade manufacturing companies in the world. The core business of the company is the facade or building envelope. Today, he is the Chief Engineer of the same company catering to projects, not only here in the Middle East, but also in the USA, Europe, Russia, Asia, and Australia.
“I consider myself fortunate to work here in the Middle East which some consider as the ‘architect’s playground’, this is evident in the diversity of the shapes and sizes of buildings in Dubai’s skyline,” he said.
Throughout his career, Duque was involved in a number of notable buildings here in the Middle East like the Aldar Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Hamad International Airport in Doha, the iconic metro station in Riyadh, and most recently, the Mobility Pavillion in Expo 2020 Dubai.
“I am always proud to be part of these landmark projects, and what makes it special is that I can always tell my children that their dad is a Filipino who persevered and helped build world-class architectures,” he added.
Most of the buildings he had worked on are from traditional shapes and can be considered as the forefront of architecture. The company that he is currently working at, Facade Engineerings, produces products for the outer shell of the building. He said that he is always fascinated when he sees unique buildings cladded with glasses of different shapes, colors, and patterns.
“Our company has a lot of talented Filipino engineers and architects. I always take pride and honor to collaborate with my fellow countrymen on foreign soil and help produce world-class buildings,” he added.
As the eldest among three sons, Duque has decided to work abroad to help his aging parents financially and send his siblings to college. “Being an OFW, away from loved ones, is not that easy, and is only temporary, and the only way I can ensure that the fruits of my sacrifices would last is when I see my siblings attain their college degrees, so they too can make a living for themselves,” he shared.
A father of three wonderful kids, during his free time he plays badminton and fishing. His wife is working as a teacher. The couple serves in a family ministry in their church in Jebel Ali. The religious group where they belong teaches children to enhance the relationship of parents to children and inspire kids to make a difference, among others.
Duque’s mother was just a simple chicken vendor in their province. During college semester breaks, he used to help her mother to sell chicken to finance his college tuition in Manila since he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
“I always remember during the Christmas season, while my peers are busy attending Christmas parties, I would spend the holidays assisting my parents in the market. These experiences taught me how to value the hard-earned money of my parents,” he recalled.
He said he was not among the brightest students when he was in high school, however, sooner he realized that he needed to study more diligently during college as they could not afford to pay for remedial in case he failed a subject. While excelling in the academe, he developed a passion for teaching his peers. Duque led a small review group with his classmates for the exams. His diligence paid off in the end because he started being a consistent dean’s lister.
Currently, he is pursuing to be a chartered engineer in Australia.
This story has been featured on the 14th 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 us at email@example.com.