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Jan 17 18, 8:15 pm

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Here’s how UAE employers reward their Pinay nannies

by | TOP STORIES

Jan. 17, 18 | 8:15 pm

The world may not know it but the issue of overseas Filipino domestic helpers (DH), maids and nannies is an emotional one for most of our compatriots, especially that women in the Philippines are treated as a significant pillar, not just of families, but in the wider spectrum of society, including politics, business, and the media.

One in every 10 families in the Philippines bear the brunt of the social cost of the yaya phenomenon, as per Philippine authorities estimate. It is perhaps the same reason why each time a heart-rending news about a Filipina nanny being maltreated overseas, Filipinos across the globe howl an avalanche of emotions; it’s a topic that concerns nearly eight million other Filipina DHs. And so each time, a curse or a hand lands on a Filipina nanny’s face, it does not only bruise our egos as a people, but torment the heart of the whole nation as well.

In The Filipino Times commitment to change how the world should see Filipina nannies, it has published a couple of stories that aim to provide a window of how they should be treated overseas. It might strike a chord to say that the country’s strategy to dominate the world is to take over homes and nurseries in the world. But let us not forget what book author William Ross Wallace once said: “The hand that rocks the cradle also rules the world.”

In fact, the story that gave TFT Facebook the most number of likes in 2017 was the humber story of “Pinay nannies of five influential personalities in the world”, including Ellen DeGeneres, Princess Diana and her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Robin Williams, and Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen. The TFT video has now garnered more than 3,800,000 views on Facebook and counting.

Bahay at lupa para kay Dina

Just a few days after as we ring in the New Year, TFT has published several other articles focusing on employers love for their Filipina nannies. One of them, the story of Dina Tenerife Celo. She was gifted by her employer here in the UAE with a plot of land and promised to help her fund the construction of her house in Sagñay, Camarines Sur. When this newspaper first broke this news, it was picked up by various international news organizations in the Middle East and Asia.

The 45-year-old domestic helper’s employer, Melissa McPike, who got her UAE nationality after marrying an Emirati, gave her Dh23,000 (P320,000 approx.) last Oct. 2017 to buy the land in exchange for her gratitude to the Filipina.

Celo started working for McPike in Abu Dhabi in 1998. Her job was to take care of her employer’s two children, Saif and Saeed. More than 20 years later, the little boy (Saeed) she once took care of now works as a pilot. This week, he is set to fly with Celo to the Philippine to help plan the house construction.

Celo’s service was shortly cut in year 2000, she told TFT, when she decided to try other jobs in the UAE after her two-year contract with the family.

“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 in the UAE, 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.

McPike said that Celo has always been easy to reach every time her two sons would miss their nanny. “They would ask why she wasn’t coming out with us because Dina is already a part of our family.’’

In 2016, when she was already determined to settle for good back home, McPike reached out to her and took her in again.

“I had never met someone like her. She is so honest and humble,’’ said McPike.

When asked about her pieces of advise among other employers in the UAE on how to treat their nannies, McPike said, “It’s not necessary for them to give their housemaids a house or any material things to pay it forward,” she said, adding that, “All it takes is treating someone with respect and kindness.”

Melissa McPike, UAE employer who gave her Pinay nanny a house and lot

Na-miss ka namin agad, Liza

Another heartwarming story of a UAE-based Filipina and her employer that has touched the hearts of many was the story of Elizabeth Elizarde, 48 years old.

There’s a kernel of truth in what she told TFT. Sometimes, she said, there are people we’ve barely met but will leave us stunned at how quickly they put their trust in us.

Elizarde shared 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.

Her employers, Jaime and Brenda Church, along with their two kids, decided to fly to Manila to visit the Filipina and her family. During her employers’ stay in the Philippines, they met Elizabeth’s family, took them out to fancy restaurants and amusement parks – things that her five children never experienced.

On the night the article about her was published, the Filipina told TFT, “Naiyak po sila ng sobra at ‘di nila inakalang ganun pala ang pagmamahal ko sa kanila.”

Hanggang sa muli, yaya

Goodbye is probably one of the hardest things faced by Filipinas when they finally bid goodbye to their employers and wards whom they have shared wonderful memories with for many years.

Last week, three generations of a Saudi family gathered at an airport in Saudi Arabia to bid their farewell to a Filipina nanny who had been of service to them for 33 long years.

As seen in the videos posted by netizen Anthony Enriquez, the Filipina was seated in a wheelchair as she and her employers shed tears together because at the moment, she already had to leave them behind after three decades.

Filipino netizens expressed their admiration towards the OFW’s employers for treating her with so much love and respect.

Why Filipina nannies rule the world

Abroad, Filipina nannies’ wards and employers come first. They work beyond 24/7 on tasks that require more just physical strength. No wonder why the UAE’s Best Nanny award has been given to Filipinas for consecutive years since its inception.

Last year, 44-year-old Melanie Manansala bagged the annual award given by Rise, a wealth management platform for migrants workers, and bested 500 other nominees from across the UAE. More than twenty years ago, the Filipina decided to fly here to work as a nanny for a Lebanese family. Even though she’s now with a new employer, Manansala said she has kept a good relationship and still in touch with them. She took home a retirement fund worth 1 million pesos and a plane ticket back home.

In 2016, three Filipinas were also recognized, including then 29-year old, Lorina Bunio, who took home the UAE’s Best Nanny award.

Working as a nanny in a foreign land is not easy. Imagine taking care of other people’s children while leaving your own behind. Indeed Filipina domestic helpers, caregivers and nannies represent our nation as a country of selfless, caring, loyal people with so much emotional quotient—a far cry from what others perceive as a nation of second-class citizens.

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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.

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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.

FOLLOW US

SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER

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