From the Philippines to Croatia, Šibenik Wins Foreign Hearts

Lauren Simmonds

With all the negative news of people leaving in their droves, there are much quieter arrivals, too…

As SibenikIN writes on the 23rd of September, 2018, William and Elovelle from the Philippines have been living in the popular Dalmatian city of Šibenik for the past four months, where they’re currently working in the four-star Šibenik heritage King Krešimir hotel. The two revealed just how they happened to come upon their jobs and how they’re adjusting to life on the Dalmatian coast to local portal, SibenikIN.

William and Elovelle arrived at King Krešimir back in May this year, and given the fact that the situation with the labour market has been somewhat problematic over the last few years, in order not have to cope with the standard problems with the labour market, we decided to bring staff in from the Philippines. This is the practice in other hotels owned by our company, and the Filipinos are known as valuable and industrious workers, as they have proved. William and Elovelle quickly got used to things and made themselves at home here, and say they like it in Šibenik,” stated Fabiano Baranović of King Krešimir Hotel.

Twenty-four-year-old Elovelle Llego works as a chef at King Krešimir, and she says that she’s doing well in Šibenik. Given the fact that Filipinos are Catholics and faith is very important to them, William and Elovelle first wanted to see the Cathedral of St. James when they initially arrived in the ancient Dalmatian city.

“I’ve found my feet pretty well in Croatia with the help of my colleagues from the hotel who are very approachable and willing to help, regardless of the fact that we’re the first foreign workers here. Before I came to Croatia, I knew there were a lot of UNESCO sites like St. James’s Cathedral in Šibenik, but when I came to Šibenik, I was delighted with the beauty of the entire city,” Elovelle said.

Prior to working in Šibenik, Elovelle worked in the United Arab Emirates for five years, in both Dubai and in Abu Dhabi.

”Compared to the the UAE, Šibenik is more peaceful for life, everything is nearby and close at hand. If I want to go to a shop or to a hospital for example, I can walk there and that’s great. The hardest part is being away from my family, but I’m used to it because I’ve been working abroad for a long time and thanks to modern technology, we talk regularly,” continued Elovelle.

As she told SibenikIN, she misses only the food from the Philippines and uses every free moment to talk to her family.

“I got to know Šibenik and met a lot of people who delighted me with their warmth and their accessibility. I love this city, the people, and the homemade food, and I’d like to spend more time here in order to experience all that Šibenik has to offer. Šibenik is a beautiful, small, peaceful city to live in,” concluded Elovelle.

William Natividad Altura is a thirty-six-year-old waiter who admitted that he’d actually never even heard of Šibenik before finding a job at King Krešimir, but he pointed out that he quickly adjusted and managed to make himself at home there.

“I used to work in the Middle East, and through an agency in the Philippines I found a job in Croatia. Compared to life in the Middle East, where it’s necessary to adapt to their different religious rules, I’ve adapted with much more ease in Croatia, given that religions and customs are similar to those we have in the Philippines. I quickly adapted to Šibenik, I met a lot of people, and besides my colleagues from my hotel, I met neighbours and colleagues from nearby restaurants. I walk around the city very often and it’s great here,” commented William.

Much like Elovelle, William’s biggest ”issue” is missing his family and friends with whom he is in regular contact, he also said that he is a fan of Filipino specialties such as dry fish and rice.

”I’d like to stay in Šibenik, here at King Krešimir, I found the job I was looking for. My colleagues and [other] people are good and approachable so it’s really nice and I’m grateful I’m here,” William concluded.

Otherwise, King Krešimir received its very first guests back in March, and with its opening Šibenik received yet another four-star hotel.

The hotel has just eight rooms and its luxurious interior is a blend of a classic and modern style that has kept the spirit of the old Divnić Palace, the renovation of which cost a massive two million euro, giving it a special charm. King Krešimir quickly found itself listed among the very best Croatian hotels.


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