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Pinay nanny recovers from Dh121,000 debt with help from employers

by | Feature

“I will forever be grateful not only for their being the best employers I have ever had, but for the lifelong friends I have found in them.”
By Neil Bie

ABU DHABI: Every once in a while, stories of Filipinos being in dire straits with debt pop up.

One such is that of Madeline Palustre, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), who got herself entangled in a Dh121,000 debt eight years ago from various creditors for a deal gone sour.

But Palustre’s story has a different, if not at all unusual, twist in it. At around the time she was running desperate because of her financial travails, Palustre, then on her second year in the country, having taken jobs from teaching assistant to cook and saleslady, found what would turn out to be the proverbial light at the end the tunnel.

“Sila yung, from the first day na nakilala ko sa interview, natanggap naman nila agad at magaan ang loob ko sa kanila,” said Palustre of the moment she was hired as a nanny to an expat couple of three children.

Madeline Palustre together with her employers and their kids

“After ng interview, pagkauwi ko, nilabas ko lang yung mga naisip ko dahil stressed ako dun sa mga problem ko. Nagawa kong mag email sa kanila at sinabi ko yung problema, not expecting na mabasa agad nila kasi bago din sila ditto at wala pa silang internet sa bahay,” she added. (When I first saw them during my interview, they immediately hired me and personally, I felt at ease with them. When I got home after the interview, I wrote them an email releasing all of my thoughts as I was really stressing out on all of my problems. I didn’t expect for them to read it immediately as during that time, they were still new to the country and didn’t have internet connection at home.)

Palustre said everything was just casual and work as usual the next day when she went to her employer for work – but before the day ended, they told her they had something to discuss with her.

“Ipaliwanag ko daw yung problema ko, yung mgautang 5-6. At yun lahat binayaran nila. Pero di nila binigay sa kin na pera – yung mga taong hiniraman ko, tinawag nila, pinagsabihan na dapat di nila to ginagawa sa ibang tao, lalo na sa mga nagigipit. Sila nagbayad tapos kinakaltas nila sa sweldo ko, ” Palustre said. (They asked me to explain my problem and all my debts from the loan shark. All that amount, they paid for in cash. They called all of the people whom I owed money to and they paid them in cash, but not without telling these people how wrong it is to take advantage of other people’s circumstances. My employers deducted everything from my salary.)

Palustre prepares a small farewell party for her employers

Over the years, not only did Palustre managed to work off her debts to her employers – she also managed to gain the trust and sympathy of her employers as she built for herself a very healthy working relationship with them and their whole family.

“Mahilig sila sa Asian na ulam, mga Indian, Thai na pagkain. Ang hilig nila sa pagkain natin ay yung Kilawin na Tanigue,” she’d say. (Their favorite dishes were mostly Asian cuisines – Indian, Thai food. Their favorite Filipino food was fish ceviche)

Palustre is still in touch with her employers even though they have already repatriated two years back. Just recently her employers told her that they’re going back to Dubai but will this time just keep in touch with her and visit her regularly. “More than the financial assistance, I am more thankful for their moral support during that difficult time of my life. I will forever be grateful not only for their being the best employers I have ever had, but for the lifelong friends I have found in them,” Palustre, who hails from Apayao, said.

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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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