The Global Filipino Magazine Issue 16 Former call centre agent now a multi-business owner in...

Former call centre agent now a multi-business owner in UAE


Right after taking a Bachelor of Science in Biology and graduating from Central Philippines University, Donna Mae Josephine Magno Carillo has already intended to work in Iloilo City. She worked in an immigration consultancy firm for nearly four years.

Coming from a ‘not so perfect family,’ Carillo’s parents were never married. She has several siblings from both sides, however, she is still thankful to have them as her family members in spite of negative comments that come from other people saying that she is a ‘fruit of wrong and mistaken love.’

After hearing successful overseas stories, she started to move out of her comfort zone. She left the Philippines in 2013 to work in Qatar as his brothers helped her to find a job in his company. In Qatar, she worked as a cashier. Carillo has stayed there for six months only.

With the help of her friend, without hesitation and fear, she transferred to Dubai. She was only 23 years old when she worked in Dubai in a waterproofing company as a secretary and a receptionist at the same time. She then transferred to a different company as a sales representative and to a popular and now-defunct e-commerce company.

Unfortunately, her father got sick so she had to go back to the Philippines and see him. After returning to the UAE, her father died from an illness and she never had a chance to bid goodbye for the last time. “At that time, I felt I was so broken and a piece of me was lost and nowhere to be found,” she said adding that she lost focus on work, and started not going to the office until she found herself back in the Philippines.

The time when she decided to go back to the UAE, she got offloaded three consecutive times. In her mind, it shouldn’t have happened to her as she is not yet finished with what she wanted in life. She returned to the country with full strength and determination and immediately worked for various online companies until such time she realized that maybe, just maybe, she could do so much better.

Carillo took a risk, invested AED1,500 and AED2,000 from her life partner to start a buy-and-sell business and use her skills in selling products online. Together, they created the D&R Pure Jewels, a gold jewel business that operates both in the UAE and in the Philippines. They were able to manage and build it from scratch and currently, they have several employees who are well-trained in the field.

“As a company owner, a lot of responsibilities are entailed but I am glad that I am not alone because I have a long-time partner with me all throughout. He is the brain and I am the heart of it all. What I enjoyed about having this kind of business is that I never stop learning–learning from people, from employees, from customers. We enjoyed every single day interacting with different kinds of people,” she said.

Carillo never thought to be her own boss. She’s a frustrated doctor but due to lack of finance, she was not able to pursue medicine.

Passionate about what she’s currently doing, they also offer a competitive price to their fellow Filipinos, especially to those who are unable to shop outside.

“Their happiness is our happiness. This gives me the courage to continue and help OFWs in the UAE,” she said, noting that during the pandemic, her team has launched an initiative to provide the needy with some food and essentials.

Carillo, now 32, said that she looks forward to building her own family a community full of love. She also intends to promote her advocacy, which is to never stop chasing dreams, to those who have goals and wanted to be better.

“For my fellow kabayans struggling abroad, do not be afraid to dream, set your goals upfront, and never stop believing that you can do it. God will always be there for you from light even to the darkest hours of your journey,” she concluded.

This story has been featured in the 16th 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 to us at

Ryan Namia
Ryan Namia spends most of his days reading over drafts of new written content and determining which ones make the final cut for online and print publication. He received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism in 2015 and has been writing since 2016. Got a story to tell? Email him at Or follow his IG @rtnamia.

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