We, Filipinos, have long been known to be resilient in any difficulty we face in life. Having a strong will to fight may have been running in our veins since time immemorial it has secured a spot on how other nationalities describe our kind.
Dubai-based photographer Lee Temporal recalled how he is now living his dream in the Emirates. A native of Ilocos, Bicol, and Mindoro, Lee has dreamed of becoming a photographer. Working overseas was not new for him, as he had already worked in Saudi Arabia before moving to Dubai in 2013 in hopes of landing a better job.
“I really wanted to pursue my dream not only being a photographer but also being a filmmaker and that’s what I did when I got to Dubai,” he said.
Early life in Dubai
Being based in Dubai for the past nine years, Lee started working as a barista in a Lebanese restaurant in Oud Metha. Despite working long hours, his passion paved the way for him to go to vocational schools and use his free time to study and gain more knowledge in photography and cinematography. His determination to reach his dream of becoming a skilled photographer did not stop there, as he honed his developing skills by collaborating with Filipinos and other nationalities until he could land gigs at local weddings.
Having more confidence now to practice his craft full-time, he worked in a studio. But just when he thought he was finally getting there, the studio closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Being one of many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic, Lee has thought long and hard about what he must do to survive and bounce back. He has to find a way to pay for his food, rent, and the money he must send back home to support his family. With an extra push from his close friends paired with his strong will, belief and passion, he took a leap of faith to become a freelance photographer and videographer.
Soon enough, he found himself working for e-commerce and product shoots as well as with notable Filipino fashion designers in the Emirates.
“I couldn’t be more grateful that I was able to overcome such challenges. I was at the rock bottom and I was really thankful to have bounced back stronger and more determined to pursue what I want in my life,” he added.
Like any other OFW, he has also faced trials apart from the pandemic. Working with many people in the industry, he has learned how to work with those around him harmoniously and be positive about everything.
“You will get to know a lot in this world that will strengthen you as a person. You should learn to ignore those who want to destroy your dreams. Silencing their voice in your mind is the key to gain focus on your goal,” Lee added, giving emphasis on how he was able to achieve his aim.
His dreams don’t stop there, though. He continues to dream big by seeing himself having his own production company. With Dubai having a pool of Filipino talents, he is pursuing his dreams of filmmaking now by establishing OMG Entertainment which he deemed as a new journey for him.
Advice for fellow Filipinos
When asked for advice for his fellow Filipinos, he said to always stand up for what is right and be good to others.“Let us avoid crab mentality that has become a disease to a lot of people. We must pursue being positive in life and avoid the toxicity from gossiping other people’s lives. We must focus on our own and how to help other people,” he concluded.
Read the digital copy of the magazine here:
This story has been featured in the 28th issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr. Raymart Patulot at +971 56 663 4184. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email to us at email@example.com.