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by | Feature

Jan. 09, 18 | 5:54 pm

DUBAI: A Dubai-based overseas Filipina tells tales about how her employers treat her with extraordinary kindness, respect and great warmth.

The story of Elizabeth Elizarde, 48 years old, reminds us that no matter what life fires our way, there are people who will be more than willing to help us through it all.

Most of the time, they’re strangers, people we’ve barely met but leave us stunned at how quickly they put their trust in us and welcome us as part of their family.

Elizabeth was one of our overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) who shared their heartwarming stories with The Filipino Times Online. She narrated that when she came home to spend some time with her family in 2015, she was amazed upon learning that her employers were also preparing for their trip to the Philippines all along.

Her employers, Jaime and Brenda Church, along with their two kids, decided to fly to the Philippines to visit the Filipina and her family.

“I met and welcomed them at the airport with my kids, and I even brought a tarpaulin with their names on it. After that, we drove them to a hotel in Makati,” she told TFT.

“On the very same day, they took me and my kids out for lunch and we went to a fancy restaurant. My kids and I were shocked because a single hamburger costs Php750, and I didn’t spend a single penny. They told me they would care of everything” she happily recalled.

Elizabeth started working for the Church’s family in 2013. Her job is to look after their two children, named Chloe, now 5 years old, and Zoe, 3 years old.

The following day after they arrived in Manila, the Church family visited Elizabeth’s home in Antipolo to celebrate the 3rd birthday of Chloe, one of her employer’s kids. Her employers, she narrated, gladly invited her neighbors to eat and party with them in a simple feast.

Jaime and Brenda also brought her kids to Enchanted Kingdom, an amusement park in Santa Rosa, Laguna. The couple had a great time riding the humble Philippine tricycle for the first time, Elizabeth shared.

“I felt overjoyed not only because I got to see my children happy, but also because of the friendship and trust that the Church family has given me,” she said.

Some things don’t last forever

The 48-year-old Filipina got married in 1995. She recalled having a good start and enjoyed their new life together as a couple. They were gifted with five children.

However, some things don’t last forever, indeed, just like their marriage. As the years passed by, their pursuit of money became an end of itself. It tested the strength of their relationship, which lasted after almost a decade.

The last straw was in 2004. She revealed that she had been trapped in an abusive marriage without enough money to provide for her children’s needs.

But she did not falter. After separating from her husband, she tried to raise all of her five children on her own. To give them a better life back home, she started applying for household jobs in the Middle East, although this meant she would have to leave her children behind.

First-timer in Dubai

Starting over on her own, Elizabeth did not land a job overnight. She had to borrow cash from her neighbors for her employment expenses.

With God’s help, she said, she got employed by an Emirati couple as a babysitter. She admitted that, at first, she had to overcome the aching pangs of loneliness every day.

“I was praying to God to give me a kind employer and, in turn, I promised to serve them in the best way I could,” she said.

With her dedication to her work, she stayed with her first employer for five years.

A second home and family

In 2013, Elizabeth and Church family crossed paths. The Dutch couple based in Dubai hired Elizabeth to take care of their two daughters.

The couple is easy to please, according to Elizabeth. She considers them as one of the greatest blessings an employee could ask for.

“I was never treated indifferently, rather they always make me feel that I have a place in their home and life,” the Filipina said.

Elizabeth said that her most memorable experience with her employers was when the couple brought her to the Netherlands and toured her around the country. She was also able to meet the rest of the Church family as well.

Greater plans ahead

Elizabeth told TFT that her employers will return to the Philippines later this year, 2018, to help her build her own house.

She said that it has been one of her ultimate dreams. Ahead of this great plan for her, the Filipina is more than thankful to Jaime and Brenda in helping her fulfill her dream for her family.

Trust, not to be broken

Elizabeth left a short message to her employer through The Filipino Times:

“Dear Sir and Maám,

Thank you for trusting me to take care of your two princesses.

I also want to thank you for being there with me through thick and thin.

I wish you all the best. May God always bless you.”

She also has a few words for her fellow OFWs: “Trust yourself and God. Do your best in everything that you do. Remember not to take advantage of your employer’s kindness,” she said.

Despite persistent news about OFWs who are abused by their employers, stories like this restore our faith in humanity that there are people out there, willing to take care of and give importance to our modern-day heroes in the absence of their families, and sometimes the government.

Did this article inspire you? Please share it and help us to give hope and inspire others.

If you got a story to tell, please feel free to drop us a line on Facebook or in the comment section below.

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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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