One global Filipino achiever, who brings honor, prestige and recognition to the Philippines and whose notable achievements in the field of social and community service thru hospitality and human resource has been recognized far and wide, is a modern-day hero based in Dubai.
Vagelyn Tumbaga Federico, a native of San Fernando City, La Union was awarded as Hotel Professional of the Year 2015 by The Filipino Times in ceremonies at the Asiana Hotel in Dubai.
This distinguished Icon of Womanhood is a trailblazing lady of charity, community patroness and a world-class hotelier.
She reached the epitome of success at a very young age of 28 when she was named the General Manager of Acacia Hotel, the largest inventory of rooms (371 rooms) in Ras Al Khaimah. She has established a name overseas as the only Filipino and youngest General Manager of a 4 star hotel to participate in the Great GM Debate. No other Filipino has ever participated in such a prestigious event for record reveals that she’s the only Filipino to have ever assumed the post of a General Manager of a posh hotel in the whole of UAE.
She has been acknowledged by various institutions for her achievements in the field of human resource and hospitality industry; for her sincere involvement in promoting the good image of expats in Middle East; for her steadfast commitment to the welfare of her fellow beings as demonstrated through community outreach and humanitarian efforts; and, for being an inspiration to Filipinos as an icon of professional competence and exceptionally outstanding leadership.
After finally landing a job as secretary, she began the slow but deliberate climb up the corporate ladder with patience and a lot of hard work. Today, Vagelyn is also known as “Sheikah” within the Filipino community given her influence in the emirate of RAK in executing work then for the Sheikh.
When she was a GM, she used this opportunity to help our countrymen, including the Liver Transplant of Baby Iya. All the fund raising programs for the operation were supported by Acacia Hotel.
Vagelyn was also able to raise AED200,000 for various projects (roughly Php2 million), a feat which remains unsurpassed in the Filipino community in the entire UAE.
She took the leadership and initiative as well to help the Filipino prisoners in RAK by giving them financial support through different fund raising programs. She also traveled with Sheikh and Sheikhas and other high profile people to represent their companies in different conferences and seminars in different parts of the world. She literally knocked on the doors of Emiratis so she can help her fellow Filipinos.
She loves to help people and always take into consideration first the welfare of others before herself. She is the founder of the “HeavenLyn’s Foundation” with 30 disabled children under her sponsorship and patronage. A woman for God and country, she has been actively involved in the Filipino community for many years. She has organized many social, cultural, religious and fundraising activities for her chosen charities.
While many successful Filipino migrant workers abroad ventured into lucrative business, Vagelyn, who started out as a secretary, had chosen a more rewarding path. She sustained her lifelong commitment of providing jobs to Filipinos and expats especially those from poor countries. Her passion is to look after people that’s why she concentrated to be in human resources. She worked as the Cluster Director of HR of Al Hamra Beach and Resort for 2 years and moved as the Deputy Director of Ice Land Water Park, heading the entire operation of the largest water park in the Middle East.
She is now currently working as Human Resource Director of Dusit Thani Dubai, the only Filipino Director in this leading international Asian hospitality hotel. She has been entrusted once again to be back in the company after she left four years ago as Assistant HR Manager in Dusit Residence Dubai Marina.
Vagelyn is an inspiration and a precious jewel awarded by her alma mater with Alumnae Award of Distinction during the 50th Golden Anniversary of Saint Louis College in La Union.
In UAE, she holds the rare accolade as the third Filipino to have won the annual search for Kabayan of the Year or Filipino of the Year (2014) given during the 3rd Anniversary of Kabayan Weekly. The same award was given to Ambassador Grace Princesa in 2012. During ceremonies at The Address Dubai Marina on 15 May 2014, she was honored with the first-ever Al Habtoor Motors Excellence Award.
She was also recognized with City Excellence Award by her hometown of San Fernando.
She came to the UAE 8 years ago and started her career as a Secretary/ HR Assistant with 1,000AED salary in a construction company, shared bedspace with more than 10 people in one room and took a public transport in the midst of the hottest season.
She never gave up and pursued her dreams. She saw failures and successes and always grateful to Almighty God for whatever blessings she has right now. She has been on top and down the line but now she reached the peak of it and revolve on its light and brightness.
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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.