The six recipients of the ‘Marilag Awards’ in Dubai and the Northern Emirates with Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, Labour Attache Felicitas Bay, and Welfare Officer Melvin Caseda.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The two Philippine Overseas Labour Offices (Polos) alongside the two Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai recently honoured 14 Filipino nurses as part of the International Women’s Month and in line with Manila’s Department of Labour and Employment (DoLE) women empowerment programme.
The honouring came by way of the “Marilag Awards” in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General. It was in partnership with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the Northern Emirates chapters of the Filipino Nurses Association in the Emirates (FNAE).
The “Marilag (Tagalog for beautiful, splendid and magnificent) Awards” is an annual prestigious recognition given out since 2019 by the DoLE and OWWA “to returning Filipina migrant workers with extraordinary work, sacrifices, dedication and advocacy to the community they belong.”
The conferment of the recognition for six nurses in Dubai and the Northern Emirates was held at the Polo headquarters in Al Qusais, Dubai on Thursday evening.
On Saturday, Labour Attache Felicitas Bay told Gulf Today that the 2021 edition under the theme “Juana, Laban sa Pandemya, Kaya!” (“Jane, Determined Against the Pandemic!”) was for these women “who have contributed significantly and made an impact during the time of the pandemic.” Guidelines for the selection process and as nominated by the nurses themselves through the FNAE-UAE Chapters are the crucial role combined with significant changes they had introduced, engagement in various activities that inspire individuals, and having become “agents of change during the pandemic.”
Consul General for Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes on Saturday said: “The six finalists were recognised for their dedication and commitment to their profession and to humanity as it grapples through the worst of our history. That they have risen beyond the challenges and constraints of the pandemic reflects the best of women, the best of professional nurses, and the best of humanity. They are exemplars of what a true human being must be.”
The top awardees from Dubai and the Northern Emirates were Juliet Topino Solas and Nenita Domingo Tuddao, 15 years in the UAE who dreamt of becoming a nurse and pursued it by being a Philippine National Integrated Study Grant scholar, with additional financial assistance from her grandfather in the USA. The top awardee in Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates was Joan Asenjo Florendo.
The 12 other awardees across the UAE were Gidget Bohol Retig, Amy Magracia Miranda, Lilibeth Abayon Romo, Carmina Palma Terrado, Ma. Victoria Domingo, Divina Digap, Maricel Villanueva, Mary Companero, Felyn Espina, Amna Beloria, and Lorraine Alvarez.
Terrado was “hopeful that we are rounding the curve of the pandemic and seeing light at the end of the tunnel.” Like Tuddao, Zulekha Hospital (Dubai) Infection Control nurse Romo saw herself wearing the white uniform someday. Dar Al Kamal Hospital (Sharjah) Chief nurse Miranda fulfilled her mother’s wish for her. All 14 have been in the UAE between 12 and 20 years.
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