Maryann Paglinawan is getting a trip to Armenia courtesy of Pinas Tourism.


Filipina philanthropist in Dubai wins UAE award for Filipino workers


DUBAI – A long-time Dubai resident and philanthropist won the first Dakilang Manggagawang Pilipino sa UAE award (Greatest Filipino Workers in UAE) in Dubai on Friday (October 8).

Maryann Paglinawan, who has worked for a Dubai-based chemical trading company in the last nine years, won Dh8,000 worth of cash, vouchers and gifts, including a 3-day trip to Armenia in the inaugural award organized by Pinas Cargo.

Speaking to, Paglinawan said she never expected to be included in the award. She has been living in Dubai largely under the radar in the past 16 years.

“I was going to nominate my friend [for the award], but I wasn’t aware that a good friend of mine also nominated me. I guess what I have been doing for others meant a lot to her,” said Paglinawan, whose volunteer work with local churches and communities in the UAE and the Philippines has spanned 12 years.

Paglinawan bested 258 nominees, and nine other finalists to win the first Dakilang Manggagawang Pilipino sa UAE award. She received top scores from a panel of judges that included Charmaine Yalong, Commercial Attache of Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Dubai; Yasmin Balajadia Cortes; Joseph Arnie Garcia, ABS-CBN Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Kabayan Bluebird, radio jockey of Tag 91.1.

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Paglinawan, a single mother of two, has been sharing a good chunk of her salary to give financial assistance to distressed compatriots in the UAE. Up until her nomination and subsequent win in the Dakilang Manggagawang Pilipino sa UAE award, her charity works have always been something she preferred to keep private.

When the pandemic hit, she was one of the Filipinos who distributed free grocery items to distressed residents in Dubai.

“It’s from my own pocket. It’s like you always give back what you received from God. So for me it is giving back what I have right now,” she told

It appears the Filipina received good karma for the innumerable help she has given to others. Apart from the all-expense paid trip to Armenia courtesy of Pinas Tourism, she also received 18k gold jewellery, an entry ticket to Burj Khalifa At The Top, a mini karaoke set from MediaCom, a TV set, Dh1,000 from Pinas Cargo, gift vouchers from Clover Medical Centre and Right Health, vouchers for free dinners, groceries and salon services, as well as a hamper of groceries. ICA/Expat Media

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