Her love of music, books, films, art and her passion for writing, and her exposure to all kinds of people, makes this Filipino achiever interesting and versatile.
Kristine Abante has been with the music and entertainment for over a decade. She’s presently the Sales and Marketing Manager of Rhythm Records LLC, the official distributor of Universal Music and Warner Music in the GCC.
Her work allows her access to the latest music titles from the major international labels to be released in the Middle East via retail partners across the region.
Big fan of music
As Sales and Marketing Manager for a third-party distributor, she’s always on the look out for the next big hit, or next bestselling album. “I am a big fan of music, and I would say getting to know the latest updates and being able to make certain records available for other fans like me in the region is the part of the job that I enjoy the most.
“I deal with the music label executives and our retail buyers on a daily basis, so clear and effective communication, whether in writing through emails, or phone calls or personal meetings is central to my job. At the same time, working in the physical side of the music business nowadays is also a big challenge, since it is not as profitable as it used to be, although we have seen the rise on the sales of Vinyls over the past two years, CD sales has suffered a significant decline, and a lot of digital options are now available to consumers, so we have to manage that. So far, we are able to keep it going.”
Interest is key
A graduate of the De La Salle University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication, Kristine started her career as copywriter for a small independent PR firm and then joined Warner Music Philippines in 2004 as Strategic Marketing Executive. Her five-year stint at Warner led to a career in the music industry and eventually landed her a job offer in Dubai.
She moved to Dubai in 2009. She joined Viva Entertainment FZE to be to be their Label Executive, selling and promoting international music and movie titles, as well as OPM. As an experienced professional, she was then invited to join several music and entertainment companies, among them Music Master FZE and Hungama Digital.
In her 6 years in Dubai, she has met so “many talented, warm, caring and courageous Pinoys from all walks of life, all of them working hard to provide for their families and loved ones” and they “inspire me to write and share their stories with others.”
“I always had the impression of Dubai and the Middle East as strict and oppressive place not suitable for independent women, but now I’d say it’s more of what you make of it. Dubai gives you that opportunity to meet with people from all over the world and learn about different cultures and personalities. It’s up to you how to recognize and use that opportunity. It offers a lot of room for personal growth. I would say Dubai has changed me in a positive way.”
To those who wanted to succeed, she said, “You need to be versatile and aware of latest happenings in the industry. In anything you do, interest is key. If you are interested and dedicated, you will always find success and people who will support you to achieve your goals.”
“Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it. Stay optimistic. Learn to listen more and try to understand where others are coming from instead of just insisting on your own point of view. Know your worth and never compromise yourself. Take it easy and have fun.”
Life is an open road
On top of her official duties, Kristine considers herself to be an aspiring writer. She’s a regular contributor for UAE-based publications Illustrado magazine and Khaleej Times, as well as the online news outlet Rappler. “I write about Filipino events, artists, and general musings on being a Filipina expat living and working in Dubai. I am fortunate enough to be given a voice in these publications and I intend to use that as a platform to highlight Filipino achievements, big or small. It’s my way of giving back to the community.”
She’s actively involved with supporting Filipino artists in the region and women empowerment advocacies.
Despite her success, Kristine, in her early 30s, feels that she’s still a work in progress. “I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish in my career and personal life, but I would say I am happy where I am now. I would love to be able to have my own business, write more, and contribute to our country in my own way, perhaps by motivating others to get involve in creative projects that would uplift the Filipino image worldwide. ”
“I am a rolling stone, always up for a new song, a new adventure, and you never stop learning. Life is an open road!”
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.