Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Susan Puno Villanueva – Thoughtleader

Susan Puno Villanueva

Design Educator, Contemporary Artist


Perhaps the most influential line of work one could take is that of an educator. Case in point, Susan Puno Villanueva – an educator of such skill and dedication that she has, not only become a true community leader amongst Filipino expats in the UAE, but also a key formative figure for the female Emirati students she teaches and mentors .

She elaborates: “My passion is to propagate learning through different creative means.  May it be, through online learning, face-to-face learning; blended-learning, or simply through art.  I continue to innovate and search for interesting material for my learners, and create live projects that would challenge young minds.”

2016 has been a highly decorated year for Susan, as she received recognition from various institutions, and some of the most prestigious industry award giving bodies for the arts in the region: Excellence Award from the Higher Colleges of Technology, Emirates Skills Award from ADNEC, and “Innovative Champion” from Sharjah Women’s College, to name a few. But despite the accolades that she has received and continue to receive, Susan keeps her eyes on the real prize – that is, playing a pivotal role in shaping and molding the creative mindsets of the younger generation. Susan says, “I have inculcated the understanding that education is none-negotiable deal.  I would risk student evaluations, and shy away from popularity.  They know if there’s a teacher named Susan and she is listed in their schedule, it will be a ‘toxic’ semester. I’m fine with that.  I want to continue and hold my principles in education.  I know one day they will be serving this country and they will be working with fellow Filipinos. It’s my job to help them get ready.”


Photo by Alex Callueng; Photography Assistant – Bethoven Filomeno

Special thanks to – Giordano, Nikon, Liali Jewellery, Lulu, Mitsubishi and Western Union.

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Author: Illustrado

From the Middle East to the rest of the world, IllustradoLife shares the stories of Filipinos expats from around the world, providing a global venue championing the world class Filipino. IllustradoLife features articles on fashion and beauty, travel, lifestyle, business, events and other topics of interest to the international Filipino community from its mother publication, Illustrado Magazine.

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