Abu Dhabi Good Friday road mishap UPDATE 4: Mother of victims distressed over rental shop’s ‘gaffe’; thanks community for support and prayers

The mother of Daniel Paulo Paulino Paraiso and Anna Paula Paulino, two of the victims of last Good Friday’s Abu Dhabi road mishap, has expressed dismay over the car rental company’s alleged gaffe in ensuring proper customer service.

At the same time 50-year-old Baby Paulino, herself an overseas worker in Dubai who had gone home for good in 2014, expressed heartfelt gratitude to embassy and consulate officials as well as the Filipino community in the UAE for their overwhelming support.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa embassy at sa consulate, di kami nahihirapan na maiuwi ang mga labi ng mga bata at tinutulungan nila kaming mapabilis ang process,” Paulino told The Filipino Times in an exclusive Facebook PM interview from the Philippines.

“Sa mga kaibigan namin at mga kamag-anak, at higit sa lahat sa mga hindi namin kakilala na nagbigay ng tulong pinansiyal, moral support at prayers, taus-puso po ang aming pasasalamat,” she added.

Paulino, who had worked as a receptionist/secretary, said the car rental company should have given specific instructions and safety measures to the group should an emergency arise.

“Ewan ko kung sino dapat sisihin. Kasi dapat sinabihan na pag nasiraan, tumawag sa kanila (rental shop),” Paulino said.
Netizens, commenting on a TFT post about the incident, said the car rental shop should be held accountable, even going as far as alleging that the company may have issued a defective vehicle.

The SUV that the group of six overseas Filipinos were riding in on their way to St. Joseph Church in Abu Dhabi from Dubai for the traditional Good Friday “Bisita Iglesia” conked out in the middle of Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Road in Shahama area around 7am, according to reports.

Four of the occupants – 39-year-old, Veronica Dulay, the driver and an administrative secretary; Daniel Paulo Paulino Paraiso, 31; Lord Christian Elli, 29; and Marvin Mendoza, 28 – alighted to check. Moments later, another SUV rammed the stalled vehicle from behind along with the four who were standing next to it.
Police are investigating the incident.

Anna Paula Paulino and Mary Anne Mendoza who were rushed to the Al Rahba Hospital in critical condition are now out of the intensive care unit, according to Baby Paulino.

The driver of the SUV, who was also rushed to a hospital, is already reportedly under Abu Dhabi police custody pending investigation.

Baby Paulino refused to comment on the development of the case. She nonetheless expressed gratitude to the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General for helping them in processing the repatriation of the deceased’s remains.

Paulino said families are now working on the repatriation of the four deceased. “They will be repatriated anytime soon, po,” she said.

The picture of the victims used by The Filipino Times in its online news report of the incident was culled from Baby Paulino’s FB page. The picture, a selfie of the victims believed taken before the accident, was shared to Baby by her daughter, Anna Paula apparently while tragedy laid in wait on the road ahead. (With Jojo Dass)

Photo caption:
(Front L) Marvin Mendoza; (front R) Veronica Dulay; (2nd row L) Daniel Paulo Paulino Paraiso; (2nd row R) Mary Ann Mendoza; (back L) Anna Paula Paulino and (back R) Lord Christian Elli.

Ph to send biggest delegation ever at ATM

Amid a backdrop of growing interest by Gulf holidaymakers to see the Philippines and a record-breaking inbound traffic for January, the country’s government will be sending its biggest delegation yet to the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), a global meeting of key players of the hospitality industry.

The contingent will be led by Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr.

Philippine tourism kicked off 2017 with a surge of inbound visitors in January at 631,639, the highest ever recorded volume of tourists received by the country for a single month, surpassing the Department of Tourism’s 600,000 mark.

DOT’s campaign, taglined, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” will zoom in on six premier tourist destinations: Bohol, Davao, Cebu, Bicol, Boracay, and Subic.

“This signals a strong and invigorated campaign as far as the Philippine tourism is concerned pertinent to the Arabian market,” said Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes.

Rene Salud, one of the Philippines’ iconic designers, will also be part of the team, aiming to showcase his designs at ATM.

Glenn Johnston, general manager of Aviareps, marketing agency hired by the DOT to promote Philippine tourism in the region, said the Middle East “has come of age.”

“We have seen a lot more of tourists from here now traveling to the Philippines than before and everyone is still seeing a lot more opportunities to grow. There’s been a lot more airline services with direct flights from the Middle East to the Philippines. All these elements at this point of time have come together,” he said.

A total of 30 co-participants from the Philippines – the biggest, so far – which consists of travel agencies, hotels, resorts and airlines will complete the group that display their products and services during the four-day exhibition happening at Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), April 24 to 27.

Independence Day Battle of the Bands winners to play for Duterte

Some 28 groups have signed up for this year’s first-ever Independence Day Battle of the Bands, with organizers imposing restrictions to make the event a wholesome family entertainment gig, and as well announcing that winners will perform for President Duterte should his planned UAE visit pushes through in May.

The restrictions include the use of vulgar or cuss words in the songs; excessive shouting and roaring; jumping and diving off stage; very loud distorted music and excessive drum beating.

“We need it to be wholesome,” said Rudy Parilla, vice president of Session Dxb, the group assigned by facilitator for the competition, at a press conference announcing the competition. “This is a family event. Bawal ang magmura. You can’t just do whatever you want on stage,” he added.

FilClub, an aggregation of several Filipino organizations, is spearheading Independence Day celebrations. Its chair, Engr. Maria Fe “Tata” Dayot said the cash prizes are not huge, prompting some band members to propose that the event be turned into a day-long performances by all the bands instead, and turn over the money to distressed Overseas Filipinos under the care of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) .

“I think it’s better if all of us will just do a benefit concert and not battle of the bands if not we should not expect huge cash prizes. Why not present it as Showdown na lang and let all 24 bands play for the entertainment of the audience. The prize could be given as donations to distressed OFWs,” said Francis del Mundo, Rubbersoul Band’s band leader.

Elimination rounds will be held on April 21 and 22 at the Warwick Hotel, wherein 12 bands will be selected to move up to the semi-final round which will be held on April 28. The best four bands will then battle it out in the final rounds on May 12.

Winners will also be given the chance to play for President Rodrigo Duterte, on his upcoming visit to the UAE. (Henri Abenis-Macahilo)

Good Friday Road Mishap Update 3: ‘Nakikiramay kami’ — Netizens

Pinoy netizens in the UAE and across the globe expressed grief over the death of their four overseas compatriots, sending prayers and wishing their relatives well in their emotionally trying times of loss.

News about the tragedy, which was posted on The Filipino Times online editions on the web and Facebook page reached hundreds of thousands and was flooded with comments, with hundreds praying that ongoing investigations by the police established how a rented SUV conked out in the middle of a highway.

“May you Rest In Peace mga kabayan ko.. you're in God’s hands now, no worries, no pain and you did it that day for Jesus "Bisita Eglesia." Lahat naman tayo pupunta doon na-una lang talaga Kayo.. My deepest sympathies to the family…sorry for your loss,” read one of similar comments.

“After reading almost all the articles about this case from different social media platforms, wla akong nababasa na kahit maliit na hint na liable ang nakabangga sa mga kabayan natin. 4 lives po ang nawala and others critical pa. Di po ako imbestigador but there was also negligence sa part ng nkabangga why di nya nakita ang immobilized na sasakyan sa gitna ng daan,” read another.

“Ano na po update sa rent a car company na yan at yung nkabangga?? sana managot sila!!!!!” still another one read.

Good Friday road mishap update 2: Ph Embassy, Consulate Gen’l. work with police, victims’ relatives for assistance

Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi continues to coordinate with the investigating body of the Abu Dhabi police to hasten the repatriation of the victims’ remains. The embassy is also in touch with the victims’ families as to the hospital care of the critically wounded.

Also, the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) Dubai are working together to make sure that the six victims will be given all necessary assistance.

“Since they all worked and lived in Dubai, we will be the one coordinating with the employers for their insurance benefits and all. For the other two victims, since they are still in the hospital in Abu Dhabi, it will be the embassy that will coordinate. It will all be a joint coordination among the government offices concerned,” Cortes said in a press conference held, April 17.

Dulay and Paraiso who worked as a storekeeper, were active members of the Overseas
Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). They will each get the Ph200,000 insurance coverage for accidental death and Ph20,000 for funeral expenses, as soon as their next of kin completes all the necessary requirements for the claim, said Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay.

Bay is currently coordinating with OWWA Manila to check if the Mendoza family will still get any benefit for Marvin, also a storekeeper, as his OWWA membership has not been renewed. Interior designer Elli, on the other hand, was not an OWWA member. Survivors Mary Ann and Anna Paula, were also not listed in the OWWA database.

Bay said OFWs who are non-OWWA members will not be able to claim any benefit from the agency.

The immediate families of the victims said their focus now is on the fast recovery of the two survivors. They said they will work on the repatriation of the remains of the four soon as the Abu Dhabi authorities conclude their investigation.

Many Filipinos in Abu Dhabi attended the special mass that the family and friends have offered for all the victims at the St. Joseph church on Saturday, April 15.


Photo 1 – This photo of the six ‘barkadas’ was taken minutes before the tragic accident.

(front L) Marvin Mendoza; (front R) Veronica Dulay; (2 nd row L) Daniel Paulo Paulino

Paraiso; (2 nd row R) Mary Ann Mendoza; (back L) Anna Paula Paulino and (back R)

Lord Christian Elli.

Good Friday road mishap update: Victims’ rented was stationary in the middle of the road when hit; four died on the spot

The vehicle that the six young overseas Filipinos were riding in from Dubai en route to Abu Dhabi’s St. Joseph’s Church for the traditional Good Friday “Bisita Iglesia” stalled in the middle of the six-lane Al Shahama Highway.

This prompted four occupants to alight and check it when, moments later, an onrushing SUV slammed the stationary car, a rented SUV, from behind along with the four, throwing them and their automobile several meters away.

This, according to Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, citing an official report from the Abu Dhabi Police, which also identified the ill-fated SUV’s occupants as 39-year- old, driver Veronica Dulay, an administrative secretary; and passengers Lord Christian Elli, 29; Daniel Paulo Paulino Paraiso, 31; Marvin Mendoza, 28; Mary Ann Mendoza, 30; and Anna Paula.

Cortes said that according to the report, Dulay, Elli, Paraiso and Mendoza stepped out of the SUV after it conked out and checked. It was at this point when the mishap happened.

The remains of the four were at the Khalifa Hospital morgue in Abu Dhabi while the two survivors, Mary Ann and Anna Paula were still in critical condition at the Al Rahba Hospital, also in Abu Dhabi, as of press time.

The police did not divulge further information pending completion of an ongoing investigation.

Immediate relatives said the four died on the spot.

Caption: This photo of the six ‘barkadas’ was taken before the tragic accident. (Front left) Marvin Mendoza; (Front, right) Veronica Dulay; (2nd row left) Daniel Paulo Paulino Paraiso; (2nd row R) Mary Ann Mendoza; (back L) Anna Paula Paulino and (back R) Lord Christian Elli. (Photo grabbed from Baby Paulino Facebook page)

Career hack: secret ways to thrive in customer service job

The customer is always right. This statement has been used in the business world for so long. For businesses to thrive, they need the consumer and that’s why they created customer service.

Some companies big or small has this, some even have their own department. Customer service is vital for companies to survive. So when you’re working under your customer service department, how do you survive the job? What things do you need you go through the day?

Here are some simple and practical tips to survive a customer service job.


You’re not the boss – It is your job to service the customers and attend to their needs. Listen and pay attention to your customers. Try to understand their requests or better yet, put yourself in their shoes. Always remember they pay your employer, so you get your salary from them.


Always do your best – This applies to your job in servicing the customers. Try to note the details of your customer’s expectations on your job and make it better.

Listen more, speak less – Try to listen to your customers. It can help you understand their needs. Don’t assume anything, listen carefully. Also observe their body-language and try to differentiate the kinds of customers who are shy so you can address their request the right way without assuming anything.

Anticipate their needs – You are not just selling them products; give them a great experience so that they will comeback. If you don’t treat you customer right, maybe your competitors will.

Say yes
– When a customer asks for help and it is reasonable always say yes. Try not to refuse a customer. Figure out how you can say yes the next time.


Customers are your VIPs – As much as possible treat your customers to a best service possible. Treat all you customers equally it doesn’t matter how much they spent on you business. Be sincere and respect your customers.


Say sorry – Humans make mistakes, learn to say sorry and be sincere about it. Be open with their complaints and concerns and try to improve from them. Don’t let your pride ruin your career.

Deliver more than they have expected – Always put some effort to make you customers’ experience better. They remember little things in life. Do more with what you can do.

Never say ‘No’ to a customer. Even what they are asking or requesting is really impossible to for you. Always give them “choices” or “options” so that they will feel they are cared for.

Surviving a customer service job is not easy, still you depend on the customer because they are the reason you have a job in the first place. So treat them well and give them respect they deserve. It’s your JOB.

(Contributed by Carlito Camo)

10 types of Dubai metro riders

Good morning! So you’re off to work and are headed to the metro. Another day, another ride in a state-of-the-art, commuter-friendly urban mass transit system that holds the Guinness World Records title for being the longest driverless metro network – 75 kilometers.

According to most recent reported figures from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the Dubai Metro transported 88.25 million passengers in the first half of 2015.

The metro had a daily average of 450,000 riders, going past the half-a-million mark on holidays, in 2014. Overall, in the same year, Dubai Metro transported 164.31 million people, still according to RTA.

And as in elsewhere around the world, Dubai’s metro riders is an odd cornucopia of quirks bringing together a cacophonous collage of the daily grind that people call city life.

Here then is a list of the different kinds of passengers that make up for a really eventful ride. Have a look-see and find out which one you are:

Design 1- Footballer-01

Footballers. They give literal meaning to the phrase, “pushing your weight around.” Indeed, when push comes to shove, they often end up in a nice, cozy spot unmindful of other people’s difficulties being squeezed in tight spot. Their mantra? “Sorry, just got to do this.”

Design 1- sleepyheads-01

Sleepyheads. This type are amazingly unbelievable. They can give off a soft snore holding on to an overhead strap or leaning to something. If seated, you’d see their heads swinging to which ever direction the train sways. But, as it is not allowed to sleep in the metro, it blows your mind how they could doze for a quick two minutes then open their eyes, look around, then snooze again, repeating that cycle till they get to their station. Remarkable!

Design 1- singing rock stars-01

Singing rock stars. You know who they are. They got headsets or earphones plugged to a mobile phone. Most of the time, they have their eyes shut tight, emoting on the song and suddenly blurting out lyrics like they’re in a jam-packed bar gig.

Design 1- selfie shooter-01

Selfie shooters. The name gives them away. Some even has the audacious tenacity to inch their way to a nice spot despite having to squeeze through it all just so they could have a great shot with Burj Khalifa or Burj Al Arab in the back drop. But hey, can’t complain. Dubai is a wonderfully beautiful city with a gazillion must-shoot sights and scenes.

Are you with us? They talk on their phones like they’re at home or in their office with a voice so loud they’d rather battle it out with the PA system than shut up for a while. “Yeah, yeah. I’m on the metro. Did you blah, blah, blah?” Oblivious to the obvious disdain of the people around them.

Design 1- liar-01

Liar, liar. A slight variation of the “Are you with us?” kind. “Oh yes, I’ll be there in about five minutes. I am now at the DIFC station.” DIFC? We’re at Union station ma’am! Usually this type are people late for appointments or dates and trying to buy time.

Talking heads. They probably were just trying to be nice and make new friends – or stoned bored because their station is 10 stops down the track. The nice thing about them is they make the trip easier. The downside, especially during the evening rush, is that you’ve probably run out of pleasantries and just want to get home but the guy just wouldn’t take no for an answer.

The #ifeelpretty ladies. You’d be amazed at how these vixens manage to put eye shadows or lipsticks on without the lines going crooked despite the train’s twist and turns. In fact, they’re so remarkable you can shoot a video and post it on YouTube with a caption: Warning: Don’t do this at home!

Skunkies. Skunks squirt a fine spray of really odorous bad air. Some riders make like skunks on the metro, you know. And it’s revolting when people start looking at the next guy with that inquisitive stare that could rip him in two, thinking it was him. Indeed, most would agree the culprit more than deserved to be crucified upside down had it not for the fact that we are now in a more civilized world with one wayward guy living in the past.

Design 1- stinkies-01

Stinkies. Most Filipinos have a story or two about the stinkies. This type of riders have body odors so putrid and repulsive at times you’d wonder if they like the way they smell. What’s revolting is that people go the extra mile to hit the shower before going to work and they apparently didn’t.

Homies. These ones are easy to identify. They usually come in twos or threes and talk really loud about domestic affairs or their bosses – and they have the temerity to give you the look once they noticed you’re catching on with their little metro chat.

Gropers. These are the types female passengers pray they never encounter on the metro. Fortunately there doesn’t seem to be a lot of them in Dubai’s metro, thanks to the police who are always on standby for any eventualities, damsels in distress among them.

Runners. Those who jump the line once the door opens and runs in and grab the nearest available seat like a rugby player would for a touchdown.

Barricaders. Lastly, but definitely not less irritable, are the barricaders – people who huddle by the entry way thereby obstructing ingress and egress. What’s so tormenting is that their station is five or 10 stops ahead and they could have just make themselves comfy way inside the train car instead of blocking the way.

So, which one are you?

Dubai Pinoy boxer to fight Ghanaian contender in Al Quoz

DUBAI: Larry Abarra, a Dubai-based popular Pinoy  boxer, will be squaring off with Ghana’s Isaac  “Messiah” Nettey  in a much anticipated match on Nov. 18 at the ADHAAF Sports Club in Al Quoz.

Twenty-nine-year-old Abarra, who said he was a victim of bullying during grade school,   has five wins, one draw, and two losses in his career record.

Abarra, who shared that those bullying days drove him into boxing,  has been a professional boxer for five years and has trained at people’s champ Manny Pacquiao’s training camp. He was working as a boxing trainer in the Philippines before he moved to Dubai in 2013.

Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, at his regular  “town hall” meeting on Nov. 2, threw his support behind Abarra, saying overseas Filipinos should rally behind promising talents like Larry more than those who have already made names for themselves.

The 122-lb boxer is currently being groomed for a continental belt next. He defeated Tony Arema via TKO, when he knocked out the Indonesian boxer after only 54 seconds in the first round at the Pinoy Pride 32: Duel in Dubai at the Dubai World Trade Center in 2015.

Thirty-three-year-old 33yr old is a former IBF Continental Africa super bantamweight champion.

For more information on Abarra’s fight and for tickets, visit www.thefight.ae.

Husband of Filipina murder victim seeks justice for wife

“I want justice to be served for my wife and for the one responsible for her death to be sentenced to life imprisonment.” This is the statement of Police Inspector Salvio de Lima, husband of Maria Normita de Lima, who was brutally killed in May this year.

Salvio arrived in Dubai on Monday, October 31, for the repatriation of his wife’s remains which was found with her head and hands severed.

Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes has promised Salvio that his office will assist him in all the preparations so he could bring his wife home and give her a proper burial. Cortes expressed hopes Normita’s remains will be repatriated within a week.

Salvio came with his elder brother Danny to the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai to meet with Cortes.