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by | Feature

An Abu Dhabi-based Filipina shared a moving story about her employer’s generosity.

Dina Tenerife Celo, a 45-year-old domestic helper from Sagñay, Camarines Sur, was gifted by her employer with Dh23,000 (P320,000 approx.) last Oct. 2017 to buy a parcel of land in her hometown.

Her employer, Melissa McPike, also promised to help finance the construction of her dream house back home. And as soon as the construction is over, she said, her employer’s whole family promised to be her first visitor.

She narrated to The Filipino Times Online: “Mangiyak-ngiyak ako sa sobrang tuwa… ‘Di ko yun inaasahan. Randomly, inabot nalang ni Ma’am Missa ‘yung pera sa akin. Sabi n’ya alam daw nilang wala akong naipon man lang dahil tumutulong din ako sa pamilya ko.”

“Sabi ni ma’am, pati ng mga alaga ko, hayaan ko daw namang sila naman ang magparamdam sa akin ng pagmamahal na ibinigay ko sa kanila.” she added.

She decided to declare the property in Tigaon, Camarines Sur under her only child’s name, Ryan, 21 years old.

She is also set to fly home on January 18 with her employer’s son, Saeed, to visit the property and plan the construction.

Leaving the door open

It was sometime in 1994 when Celo decided to leave the Philippines to try her luck in Saudi Arabia. But her dreams went quickly downhill for a reason she did not disclose.

Celo temporarily went back home while waiting for her application to the United Arab Emirates. With the help of an agency, she landed a job as McPike’s household helper in Khalifa City in 1998.

Dina Tenerife Celo (right) with her employer Melissa McPike

She was tasked to look after her two kids named Saeed and Saif, who were then 6 and 4 years old, respectively.

Saeed and Saif when they were young

Saeed (left) and Saif

When her two-year contract with the family ended, she tried other jobs in other emirates until 2014.

“May mga kumatok kasing oportunidad noon. Naging waitress ako, naging cashier din,” she said.

But the Filipina knew even then that life as an OFW is unpredictable. All too often, some expats here, she said, get so wrapped up in their next opportunity that they fail to leave their employers on a good note.

For Celo, she maintained a constant communication with her former employer and her two wards.

“Marami rin akong mga naging ibang trabaho. Kaso dumating ‘yung time na nagkasakit ako,” she said.

She thought it meant over for her in the UAE. But just when she was already determined to settle for good back to the Philippines, McPike reached out to her, and took her in again.

“Nagdesisyon na ako noong bumalik sa Pinas. Pero laking pasasalamat ko na kinuha uli nila ako pagkatapos ng 14 taon,” she added.

Single mother

At 45, many women are happy and content with their marriage and family life. But for Celo, that phase of life remains an elusive one.

In 2016, she married a Filipino but their love story ended too early, way too early in 2017. She admitted that it became a great emotional blow for her.

As an OFW who has been through a lot, the Filipina is ever grateful for her kind and generous employer.

“Madam Missa, maraming maraming salamat sa lahat ng ibinigay mo sa akin… sa mabuting pakikitungo sa akin.

(“Madam Missa, thank you for all the things you’ve given me… for how you’ve treated me.)

Saeed

Saif with her mother, Melissa

“Kay Saeed na ngayon ay piloto na at kay Saif, maraming salamat sa pagiging mabuting mga alaga. Hindi ko makakalimutan itong niregalo niyo sa akin,” she said.

(To Saeed who is now a pilot and to Saif, thank you for being behaved. I’ll never forget this gift from you.)

Saeed, now a pilot

Saeed

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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