It’s the highest honor given to exemplary Filipino expats in the UAE
Noted Dubai-based Filipino couturier Michael Cinco was given the Dakilang Bayani (Noble Hero) award last June 11, 2021, a day in advance of the celebration of the 123rd Philippine Independence Day. The award was bestowed by the Office of the Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to outstanding overseas Filipinos.
“Honored and humbled.” That’s how the international fashion designer described what he felt upon receiving the award. At a young age, Michael has dreamed of dressing Hollywood muses, which he made happen when he moved to Dubai in 1997 and eventually establishing his own brand in 2003.
“Moving to the Middle East was a big leap for me, the region is a haven of haute couture,” he recalls. “In my first job in Dubai, I reinvented the image of a slightly staid fashion house and succeeded in injecting new fashion nuances.”
A destiny fulfilled, Michael, with his flair for the intricate design and dramatic and regal style, has dressed Tinseltown’s brightest stars, from music royalties Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Mariah Carey to modern leading ladies Jennifer Lopez, Mila Kunis, and Aishwarya Rai. Some of his works were featured in many “Top Model” show franchises all over the globe, and had graced many international red carpets.
Prior to being awarded with the Dakilang Bayani title, Michael was conferred with the Presidential Award for Outstanding Filipino Overseas in 2014 by then President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino Jr.
Apart from Michael, the recipients of this year’s Dakilang Bayani award are Dr. Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi, group CEO of Prime Group of Companies; Angel Tesorero, journalist; Vhie Laurilla, entrepreneur; Lalaine Chu-Benitez, founder of Illustrado Magazine; Josie Conlu, community champion; and Ace Quijada, financial consultant.
“I’d like to share this award to all the Overseas Filipino Expats who worked hard, struggled, and sacrificed for their families and to our country,” Michael said. “You are the real Dakilang Bayani.”