Overseas Filipinos based in the UAE have shared stories of their utmost support for Jollibee – the homegrown brand from the Philippines that many OFWs have grown to love since their childhood days.
OFWs state that they think that Jollibee’s recent ‘fried towel’ controversy, was just an isolated accident, and highlighted that their fond memories overshadow such incidents.
“Nakalakihan ko na syang kainin. Mula bata, hanggang nung nag aaral nako. Comfort food ko kase siya. Since mostly naman Pinoy ang staff nila dito sa UAE masasabi ko na napakasipag nila. Mabilis ang service nila depende kung gani kadami ang tao. Pero panalo ang service nila dito quality talaga,” said Em Serrano who works as a nurse in Abu Dhabi.
Myra Palermo, an Area Manager working in the UAE for over 13 years states that the quality of Jollibee’s food remained consistent here abroad: “Sa Jollibee, masarap ang pagkain, maganda ang serbisyo at affordable ang presyo.”
Dubai-based OFW Kris Ayuso shared that she orders weekly from the fastfood chain, citing that it brings back fond memories as she grew up.
“Ok naman sila. I’ve always had pleasant experiences pag kumakain kami either dine in or delivery,” said Ayuso.
This is echoed by fashion filmmaker Mangemong Abad, who said that Filipinos support their own brand abroad: “Proud to be Pinoy – at yung Chicken Joy syempre masarap! Service is great as well.”
When Joel Famularcano Jr. graduated in 2008, the 19-year-old found himself among thousands of applicants vying for a job in Jollibee – one of the top homegrown fast food chains in the Philippines.
He said that back then, he only wanted to find out how they cook his favorite menu item – the Chickenjoy, but during his years, he began to instill important work values that he still practices today.
“Crew ako mula 2008 hanggang 2010. Pangarap ko talaga makapagtrabaho noon sa Jollibee kasi gusto kong malaman kung paano nila niluluto yung Chickenjoy. Nang mabigyan ako ng pagkakataong magtrabaho, sa Jollibee ko natutunan kung paano magtrabaho nang maayos, mabilis, at pinakaimportante sa lahat, kung paano makitungo sa mga customers,” said Famularcano.
When he flew to the UAE in 2013, the Abu Dhabi-based OFW said that his experience and expertise in customer service was what led him to find employment within the country.
“Naalala ko kapag may interview ako noon, sinasabi ko lagi na marami akong natutunan sa naging experience ko sa Jollibee. Dito sa UAE hanap nila lagi kung sino ang marunong maghandle ng customer complaints at magaling sa customer service. Laking pasasalamat ko sa Jollibee kaso doon ko natutunan kung paano maging matiyaga sa pagta-trabaho na na-a-apply ko sa trabaho ko sa ngayon,” said Famularcano who now works as an acting manager of a retail store in Abu Dhabi.
For Chevron Colinares, it is the signature hospitality among Filipinos that Jollibee’s crew members have brought here to the UAE which makes his order from the fast food chain once or twice a week.
“Jollibee feels like home. Yung hospitality at top notch quality ay nadala nila sa UAE successfully. Kahit ibang lahi yung staff nila, nandun pa rin yung alagang pinoy trait nila. Simula bata, Jollibee na ang nakasanayang pampasalubong at panghanda ng family namin. May celebration man o wala, chickenjoy ang go-to food namin. Yung quality ng chicken nila ay kakaiba sa ibang restaurant na babalik balikan,” said Colinares.
When Jollibee first opened its doors in the UAE, long queue lines are a common sight for its branches especially in the Dubai Mall. Residents recall that they even had to take a number just to queue whenever they had to order.
Today, Jollibee continues to enjoy the support of many overseas Filipinos who wish to fulfill that craving of the taste they enjoyed back in the Philippines.