Book on Filipino heroes in the Gulf now off the press

Copy of 20160625_131203

MANILA – The book entitled Filipino Heroes in the Gulf, the first of its kind in the Arabian peninsula, is now available in the market. The book was printed on July 2016 in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

Published by Central Book Supply, Inc., the compilation chronicles the struggles of 36 Filipino trailblazers from five countries belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. These are Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

This is the second book of Ulysses Viriña Espartero, who finds fulfillment in documenting the untold stories of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the desert. He said, “I have been into challenges and sacrifices these past few months. I was afraid this second book would not materialize. God is so good that I can’t refuse to carry the heavy burden that lies on my shoulders. Book writing is a tormenting challenge for us in this digital age but if this is the best way that I can be remembered, so let it be. Pen is the only sword I have as a lonely soldier. With this, I shall always emerge victorious.”


Espartero hails from two Philippine jewels. His father is from Antique while his mother is from Laguna. He moved to Dubai in 2012 and enjoyed the next three years of his expat life documenting the achievements, struggles and victories of migrant workers in Middle East and North Africa. 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. Published by Al Hilal Printing, Publishing & Distribution LLC, it was officially launched on July 31, 2014 in Asiana Hotel in Deira, Dubai.

His articles about Filipino pacesetters also appeared in Kabayan Weekly, the first and the biggest Filipino community newspaper in the United Arab Emirates. He was also designated as the Head of the Executive Committee which organized the first-ever Search for Kabayan of the Year and Search for Nurse of the Year in the UAE (years 2013 and 2014), two award-giving initiatives which became templates for other organizational and corporate endeavors of the same significance in Middle East.


In completing this project, Espartero said, he has been asked many times. “What have been my guiding terms in the selection of the achievers to be featured in the book? For me, you can’t just measure one’s level of success by the sheer look at his or her personal appearance. But for the sake of argument, allow me to cite these measures – leadership, career or profession and character. Of the three, character deserves to be gaining more weight.”

He further stressed, “While it is beyond my capacity to assess a person’s trait, I have asked few good people to help me complete the list of personages who deserve space in this compilation. The Infinite Maker has given me this wonderful opportunity to knock at the door of the achievers. People come to our life for many reasons. They melt our hearts for reasons we can never understand. God will never give us answers – only another empty road for us to traverse to meet again another person.”


Espartero wishes to thank the achievers for their trust and confidence in allowing him to look into their struggles as migrant workers. “Small and big achievements – they all matter to every OFW. Let their untold stories continue to inspire multitude of flocks from around the world who seek refuge in territories then unknown to their respective families.”

The 36 Filipino achievers and trailblazers featured in the Filipino Heroes in the Gulf are, as follows:

Engr. Mary Jane Al. Al Mahdi, Multi-awarded CEO
Dr. Roel P. Anicas, Researcher and Educator in Saudi
Archt. Suzette Peachie B. Bayonito, Architect and Photographer
Edmundo A. Cabading, Filipino Community Leader
Larry E. Carumba, Visual Artist of Global Fame
Donna M. Garcia-Cordeta, IT Core Expert
Liezl M. Quiliza-Cruz, Financial Literacy Advocate
Evangeline Mallari-Cubero, Royal Photographer
Dr. Niño M. Decenorio, Influential Educator
Engr. Orandantes M. Delizo, Structural Engineer
Emmanuel “Manny” F. Fajutag, World-renowned Lensman
Dr. Josefina N. Omalsa-Farah, Multi-Awarded Nightingale
Archt. Jeffrey R. Faranial, Architect of Global Influence
Vagelyn Tumbaga-Federico, Hotel Executive and HR Expert
Frank C. Jamandre, Outstanding Nurse in Qatar
Dr. Wafa R. Kasimieh, Sister to Expatriates
Ace Roger A. Labuac, Admirable Finance Wizard
Engr. Randy M. Legaspi, Hardworking Engineer in Oman
Genesis Kelly S. Lontoc, Outstanding Business Executive
Dr. Eduardo P. Malagapo, Father of OFWs Education in Middle East
Jeanette Bocobo-Marco, Journalist in Fujairah
Amy V. Magracia-Miranda, Nurse in Umm Al Quwain
Ramon D. Naguita, Honest Hotel Worker in Al Ain
Cesar Julius V. Parroco, Jr., Admired Asian Executive
Engr. Manuel “Mike” B. Perito, Jr., Comics Artist
Engr. Ransam S. Pirote, Inspiring Leader in Dhahran
Rosilita P. Sunga-Rajeh, Successful CEO in Dubai
Paula Franchesca S. Ramirez, Young Leader
Geoffrey P. Salatan, Travel Industry Expert
Gina Tuazon-Salazar, Outstanding Cultural Patron
Dr. Rommel P. Sergio, Harvard-recognized Educator
Engr. Jeffrey F. Singson, Mechanical Engineer
Henry Ryan V. Sope, Admirable Travel Executive
Walter “Wallei” B. Trinidad, Footwear Master
Mary Jane Pajarillo-Tupas, Epitome of the New-Age Heroine
Dr. Celerino “Doc Chie” L. Umandap, OFW Leader in Kuwait


It is always satisfying to look back at the past years with so much pride and sense of gratitude. “Life in the desert is all about pains, sufferings and sad memories. Sacrifices even strengthen our resolve to rise above. We don’t easily give up for we believe that it would be dishonorable for us to step down without even putting up a fight. In the gulf, it’s not about what you know of the Arab laws though it counts. Sometimes, fate intervenes that you become hopeless. All you have to do is to submit your tired soul to His merciful hand and wait for his sign.”

The book is now available in the market. For inquiries, contact the author thru any one of his email addresses: or or connect with him on Facebook.


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