15 moments that created buzz in the UAE Filipino community in 2015

The number of significant events happening for the 900,000 strong Filipinos in the UAE are growing dramatically in the recent years. With that population, our presence in this global spot is obviously influential in so many relevant ways.

Let's take a look at what transpired and those that created buzz, caught our eyes and ears and even those that got under our skin this year:

15. J.Co is fake
The long queues in the first few days suddenly disappear upon rumors of the franchise being 'fake' circulated in social media. Not too long while, a verified disclaimer from the real J.Co company discredited J.Co Dubai. Surprisingly, they are still operating today with the same name, same donut flavors but slightly-modified logo. Juan Dela Cruz is disappointed.
Read: Is J.Co in Dubai fake?

14. Balikbayan Box Bruhaha
Filipino expats in Dubai are united with other OFWs around the world in condemning the new stupid airport policy of the Philippine Customs that will allow them to open and inspect the contents of our balikbayan (cargo) boxes.  BoC chief Bert Lina totally lost all respects from the overseas Filipinos and their families back home. Maria Clara is pissed off.

13. Book for OFWs launched
Atty Barney Almazar launched a book called, "Essential OFW Guide to UAE" - a comprehensive reference book that promises to share relevant info about whats, wheres, whens, whys and hows for every Filipino living in the country. Pedro Penduko expects a lot.

12. Lea Salonga all over Dubai
A controversial Etisalat campaign, #EtisalatChallenge had Lea Salonga along with Gerard Butler and other Bollywood and football stars endorsing the telecom big time. She is all over Dubai, literally.  Huge billboards were on main roads, building facades and Dubai metro.  The campaign however turns out to be a flop. Super Inday is feeling meh.

11. Dampa opens
This casual dining restaurant became an instant hit and people were queueing for hours just to savor one of the tastiest seafood gourmet in town prepared with a twist Filipino fusion. Pepeng Agimat is drooling.
Read: Dampa, the newest fancy restaurants Filipinos will love

10. Second Filipino radio station launches
Wow 107 FM launches in UAE as the second all-Tagalog radio station.  Inday Bote has high hopes.

9. Philippine delegation impresses in National Day Parade
The Philippine School showcased the Filipinos' great talent in drum and lyre during the UAE National Day Parade in Downtown Dubai. Super Inggo is jumping for joy.

8. 100 most influential Filipinos in the Gulf named
Illustrado magazine named 100 individuals and groups around the region that creates significant influence in their own fields. Kapitan Awesome is proud.

7. The Medical City (TMC) opens in Dubai
One of the well-known hospitals in Manila opens business in Dubai boasting of all-Filipino medical staff and doctors.  Teodora Alonzo is thankful.

6. Fight of the Century "that never happened"
Thousands of Filipinos troop to cinemas and hotels as early as sunrise to witness what's expected as epic battle. Everyone came to work late and disappointed that the much anticipated fight didn't live up to expectations. Gagamboy feels short-changed.
Read: Where to watch Pacquaio vs Mayweather in UAE
5. Chico Loco joins Maria Maldita at TAG
The popular RJ from Yes FM Manila now adds fun and pun to the already wacky Uwian Na show of Maria Maldita. With Lola K also in the mix, being stuck in traffic will never be a dull and stressful drive.  Fantastic Man feels fantastic.

4. Cramming for voters' registration
Either we want to eliminate evil or really push for stronger change of leadership, the bunch of presidential candidates this time around has encouraged more voters to register.  Captain Barbel feels optimistic.
Read: OAV last day of registration in Dubai

3. Philippine Basketball in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Four PBA teams - Barangay Ginebra, Rain or Shine, Globalport, Alaska and Mahindra flew in to play 2 back to back games in separate PBA conferences. NLEX also came to participate in an invitational tournament while a 4-member Manila North team played FIBA 3x3 championships in Abu Dhabi.  All of which drew significant Filipino basketball crowd in attendance.  Enteng Kabisote is starstruck.
Read: Interesting numbers and records set in PBA Dubai

2. Pacquiao Mania in UAE
Manny Pacquiao was in Dubai not for boxing, but to play (and coach) for his PBA team, Mahindra Enforcers. While many are happy seeing him in the hard court, as many are disappointed that the aspiring senator did not show up to some of his commitments for some 'unseen' reasons. Darna is at lost.
Read: Manny Pacquiao coming to Dubai

1. Jollibee opens in Dubai Mall
Probably the biggest news of the year in the community. One of our favorite, if not our only favorite, chicken and spaghetti joint since childhood FINALLY opens a 'genuine' fast food outlet in Dubai. Watch out for the opening of its second branch in Burjuman next month. Encantadia is chicken-joyous.
Read: Pandemonium as Jollibee opens...

Did Boy Dubai miss anything? Please feel free to comment below.

May we all have another fruitful year and less disappointments ahead 2016! Happy New Year!

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