From being a big sister at home to become the Credit Manager in three of many International and local 5 star hotels in Dubai is no small feat. Chona Garcia Canimo was able to climb the ladder of corporate success because of sheer determination and faith.
As Credit Manager, she approves credit facility accounts and looks after the revenue of the hotel among many other job responsibilities. This is all because of passion. “I am very much interested in figures, analysis, critique, anything related to accounts.”
She is in love with her job because of the challenges and decision makings that come with it. Though back of the house, she also does site visits in companies they’re dealing with here in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi.
She’s physically petite however, she was able to gain trust from the higher management to do a tough, mainly decision making job. A good dancer, she used to be a member of the Filipino Dance Club in Dubai.
The most exciting project for her was the preopening at The Address, Downtown Hotel in 2008, a flagship hotel of EMAAR. “We have to streamline the hotel’s LSOP, setting up the system, training colleagues at the same time welcoming the guests.”
In 202, she started as Food &Beverage Hostess at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai and while in this hotel, she won the Good IDEA award and nominated several times to the 5 Star Award.
She has been in desert of gold for 12 years now.
Chona comes from a modest family in Quezon. She was born in the town of Atimonan. Her father Danilo who is a Chef at Frabelle Fishing Corporation is from Plaridel while her mom Ma. Belen Domacian Garcia is from Buhangin.
She is a product of Ilosong Elementary School. She took her high school at the Leon Guinto Memorial College. She decided to study hotel management since her father is a chef. Moving to finance is a personal interest. She took her degree in Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management (2002) at the Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation.
Her entire family are here in Dubai. She’s married to Raulito, a bartender and mixologist. They have two kids – Raphael Clywd, 7; and, Raoul Chaz, 2.
When asked about her greatest achievement in life, she said that it all turns back to what she has made of her family. There are too many to mention but she’s happy in the thought that she was able to support her sister’s education and sponsored tem to find stable jobs in Dubai. “I was able to purchase land, cars and built our dream house back home.”
She takes pride in being able to manage her career and family without any assistance from any like nanny.
She’s also proud to note that both her siblings are now independent – Kristine Garcia Yap is a Reservation Executive at Jebel Ali Hotel & Resorts while Michael Jordan Garcia is connected with Holiday Inn Media City.
She believes that giving back to our community is a self satisfaction.
“We officially started this year during our last vacation in July. We distributed a total of three Kabayan Boxes of new and not so old clothes, shoes, toys in Alabat, Quezon. We hope to do these on a yearly basis.”
To her fellow compatriots in the desert, this is her words of wisdom. “Set goals. Work hard. Believe in yourself and be confident. Do not let others put you down. Keep that faith. Be patient and stay humble.”
“We have proven enough and are still proving that other nationalities can always rely and trust us in handling their business.”
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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.