This man loves being 'kuya' to Filipino expats in Dubai
Joey is using his spare time to mentor young professionals who are eager to learn the ins and outs of the trade.
Josefino Tiberio, 54, is called 'Kuya Joey' by his kababayan (countrymen) in the Filipino community. 'Kuya' is a term that denotes respect and is used to address an older male relative or a friend. And that is what Joey is - an older brother/friend to a young generation of Filipino expats in Dubai.
With almost 25 years of experience in the travel industry, Joey is using his spare time to mentor young professionals who are eager to learn the ins and outs of the trade.
"I came to Dubai in January 1995, and I have seen how the travel industry has grown dramatically. Now, we are expecting a big boost in people coming to Dubai because of Expo 2020 and this means we need more people to work as travel agents or consultants. In this regard, I can pass on some of my knowledge to help people get hired or to improve their customer service," Joey told Khaleej Times.
The travel industry is not just about booking travels or tickets. It requires good customer service and the best way to improve it is when you have proper mentoring, he explained.
"For starters, I initiated a free consultation for people who would like to polish their CVs. And, together with other senior travel consultants, we have formed a loose organisation where people working in the travel industry can discuss best practices," he added. Aside from work, another thing Joey is very passionate about is the game of chess. He served as president of the Filipino Chess Players League from 1997 until 2000 and he is now a senior consultant at the same organisation.
The group has 50 active players competing in various international, regional and national competitions every year and Joey can be seen at the forefront preparing for the logistics, financial and moral support.
Joey can also be credited in assisting Wesley So, the Filipino-American chess grandmaster rated number two in the world, during his match in Dubai back in 2008; as well as Filipino Grandmaster Haridas Pascua, who participated at the inaugural Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship two years ago.
Joey is also a big brother to Filipino chess players in Dubai. He is someone who is always there and ready to give any kind of support. He said: "I feel happy when I act as kuya to them."