Filipino Excellence by Art 'Popoy' Los Banos We will eventually retire one day

We will eventually retire one day


I had been writing every week about reintegration at the start of 2023. I’m sure you, dear readers, would like to read another topic this time. How about retirement? Well, retirement will eventually come for sure. I am not retiring from my current employer, Tristar Group, because I am still far from being a senior citizen, 60 years old, which is also the retirement age of big companies and multinational corporations. 

I am retiring from the activities of Filipino organizations, whether formal or informal, in the UAE. If you see me attend one of their events then it means that I am accompanying my wife, Rachel Salinel, who reports compelling stories for The Filipino Channel. I carry her things and I also hold her microphone whenever she conducts an interview. Or either one of us has been invited to share our best practices as communicators – Rachel as a broadcast journalist and myself as a PR Man.

I was active in the Filipino Community or Filcom in Dubai and the Northern Emirates from 2007 to 2009 when I represented Gawad Kalinga or GK which was then the social ministry of our CFC Community. When I say Filcom I am talking about the alliance of profession-related organizations, regional and sectoral groups, skills development and alumni associations, and sports and cultural clubs, among others. GK in the UAE during that time was raising funds to build homes for poor Christian and Muslim families in Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao.

I even became the ‘accidental chairperson’ of the 2008 Philippine Independence Day (PID) executive committee, a position I immediately gave up in July 2008 or a month after conducting the PID activities at Al Nasr Leisureland. I was also adviser to 1st Bayanihan Festival held in December 2008 and to the 2009 PID executive committee.       

When the Filcom alliance was dissolved in mid- 2018 due to issues related to the strict rules and regulations of Dubai’s Community Development Authority (CDA), I volunteered to organize a meeting among previous PID executive committee chairpersons and vice-chairpersons. The objective was to form a club which will apply for CDA accreditation. It took a whole year to finally get the license to operate. 

June 24, 2019 was the founding date of the Filipino Social Club (FilSoc) with these individuals: Officers Ericson Reyes as President, Cesar Mora as Vice President, Jomana Mohammed as Secretary, Orandantes Delizo as Treasurer, Olympia Pineda as Auditor, and, yours truly, Arthur Los Baños as PRO; Board Members Wendell Castro, Gina Salazar and Ahmad Almatrooshi; and Founding Members Matilyn Bagunu and Marilyn Roscales Kasimieh. In addition, Alan Bacason was adviser and legal representative of the club. 

I resigned from FilSoc in February 2020 as I was not attending the regular meetings which were being conducted almost every other week. Then the following month, in March, the pandemic started and affected all the club’s activities for the next 14 months. I saw the remaining Filsoc originals at the PID celebration in June 2021 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, at the 1st Filipino Women’s and Sustainability Forum in March 2022 at the Pearl Executive Hotel in Deira, at the PID celebration in June 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Center, and at the 2nd Filipino Women’s Forum in November 2022 at the Pearl Executive Hotel in Deira.

The club will be electing its new set of officers and I wish all the duly elected public service-oriented individuals all the best in body, mind and spirit.

I am semi-retiring from dinner gatherings, too. You see I encounter difficulty sleeping whenever I eat a heavy meal. Slow metabolism really comes with aging, I suppose. I am therefore apologizing to our wedding godchildren Joel and Claire Perez who had their first child, Chloe Jalen, baptized last February 4, and to Betchay Mangyao, who celebrated her birthday the other day, February 6. I don’t mind attending a wedding reception in the evening because I am a staunch advocate of strong marriages being with the CFC Community in the UAE and previously with Ligaya ng Panginoon in the Philippines. I will have to control myself and eat small portions only. 

Congratulations to the shareholders of the new travel agency of Pinas Group of Companies. They launched Pinas Travel last February 5 at Reef Mall. Kudos to Geoffrey Salatan who will manage Pinas Cargo and, as always, good work to the Pinas Group Marketing Team led by Rumelyn Aribon.

We will all retire one day. From our employers. From our organizations. From our advocacies. From our hobbies. From our sports. But let’s just do it one at a time. Today, I am retiring from the activities of Filipino organizations. Let us see where God wants me to retire next.   

Art 'Popoy' Los Banos
Art ‘Popoy’ Los Banos is a 21-year Dubai resident with his wife, broadcast journalist Rachel Salinel. He is in charge of Corporate Communications of the fully integrated energy logistics service provider Tristar Group, where he is the only Filipino in the senior management team. He was the former 2008 Philippine Independence Day (PID) organizing committee chairman in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Art ‘Popoy’ and Rachel were named as one of the Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf for four years by Illustrado Magazine. In December 2019, he received the Philippine Pride Awards in Public Relations from the Philippine Business Council-Abu Dhabi chapter for his ‘exemplary leadership and tireless efforts to continuously support, boost and campaign for excellence to uplift the Filipino image.’ Recently in June this year, Art ‘Popoy’ was named as one of the Philippines’ Top 30 Leaders on LinkedIn.

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