Ariel and Laarni Eugenio started their own business planning weddings and events in Dubai. Photo courtesy of My Puhunan Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines - In Dubai, lavish weddings with hundreds, or even thousands, of guests are the norm. And a Filipino couple is helping organize these huge weddings for Dubai royalty.
Ariel and Laarni Eugenio now have their own wedding planning business in Dubai.
But it was no overnight success for this couple who met while working for a TV station in the Philippines.
Ariel worked as a props designer, while Laarni worked as a set designer. They didn't finish college.
"Talagang sa TV station, ang puyat mo, walang tulog. Ika nga 'the show must go on.' Yun talagang hirap na minsan wala ka nang panggastos sa pamilya," Ariel said on ABS-CBN's "My Puhunan."
In 1987, the couple went to Dubai to work for an events company. After 20 years of working for that company, they decided to start their own business, Ariel Wedding and Organizing, in 2008.
"Ang pagtagumpay namin sa ngayon, ay di namin nakuha ng isang araw o dalawang araw or isa or tatlong taon. Nagpunta kami sa Dubai 20 years ago. I could say na after 20 years saka kami nagkaroon ng sa amin," Laarni said.
The couple admits all they had as "puhunan" was their good name and talent. But they were already known in Dubai circles for their excellent work in organizing events, so their business took off.
"Laway lang... Sa awa naman ng Diyos ang mga tao dito sa Dubai eh medyo kilala na rin kami ng mga pamilya," Laarni said.
"Ang puhunan kinukuha din namin sa kliyente. Yun ginagamit namin sa pagbili ng materyales," Ariel said.
Ariel admitted that they did not even have any advertisements when they started the business.
"Wala kami marketing. Wala kami advertisement. So normally, word of mouth kaya kami nakikilala ng tao," Ariel said.
They may have found success in Dubai, but they still return to the Philippines. With their savings, they have built a 4-storey house, bought several cars and sent their four children to private sechools.
Ariel and Lara shared some advice to fellow OFWs or those planning to go abroad.
"Sabi namin sa kanila, wag kang aalis sa Pilipinas ng walang patutunguhan kasi mahirap," Ariel said.
Laarni said one should love their job. "Kailangan mahal mo trabaho mo. Kasi kung di mo mahal ang trabaho mo, di babalik sa yo iyun," she said.