Category Archives: Stories

Writing is Fun

As a member of and volunteer at HOME, I am always open to whatever programme is offered to migrant domestic workers (MDW). So when I received a message that a professional journalist wanted to hold a writing workshop for us, without hesitation, I said, “Yes!”

I love and enjoy writing but I want to learn more. I want to know what writing is really all about. What are the different forms of writing? Are there any rules to follow? I knew I would be learning more from this workshop, so I looked forward to it.

The instructor was Marina Lopes, a Brazilian American journalist currently based in Singapore. She was a reporter based in Brazil for The Washington Post, as well as Reuters in Mozambique, New York and Washington. She also produced TV segments for PBS and BBC.

Excited, I invited participants for the workshop. Many were willing to join but sadly we had to limit the group size. There were 25 participants in all. The workshop started on March 2 and ended on May 29. Every Wednesday, we would meet on Zoom at night after we had completed the housework for our employers.

Ms Lopes had prepared a syllabus for the workshop. Over the weeks, she instilled in us the basics of writing, from emails and resumes to social media and creative writing. She had set expectations and goals for the course as well. It was to teach participants how to write clearly, concisely and with confidence whether it was professional or personal work. All of us were expected to participate in the class, read the homework assignments, ask questions and share our writing if we were comfortable with it. 

As one of the participants, I can say that we have learned a lot and enjoyed the class. The interactions, the sharing of our reflections… wow. Who would have remembered that we are all MDWs in that class?

On our last day of class, we gathered in person. I finally met my classmates and our amazing trainer. Ms Sisi Sukiato, HOME Academy’s Director, dropped by to greet everyone as well.

This was the best session of the workshop. It was a mind boggling time as we were tasked to write one-liners to a few paragraphs of poetry on the spot. But it was fun nevertheless. We did not know whether we could do it, until we read what we had written! It was challenging because if ideas did not flow at that time, you ended up staring at the ceiling or into blank space. 

Let me share with you some of our on-the-spot writing. We wrote about rain, getting lost, and about a person who has left us.

Why does everybody love the rain?
I hate rain, 
I can't play, it is so muddy!
Here, I am, lonely, nah!
Just for today.

- Juddy
On my way to meet love
Run in circles, sweating
Maze lost its beauty, I left.

- Lora Jane
Description of my heart, feel pain
When you left me.

Remember your struggle 
Patiently you teach me, even I can't 
But I believe, I can make you proud.
Now you will leave, leaving a million meanings
You said goodbye that I never wanted
I can only pray that you will always be happy.

Miss you a lot.

- Fatma, My Mentor
 Astray who knows 
 One day, every step of the way
 I'll find the safest place,
 It's in your embrace 
 The beautiful soul of mine.

- Jovi
It's been 5 years dad
But still I can feel
The loneliness and pain inside.
If I could only turn back time
Would hug and hold your tired arms.
How can I overcome my regrets, dad?
The mistakes I made when you were alive
I really wish that even in my dreams 
I can hear your voice
And hug you tight.

I'm sorry Dad!

- Amy, Longing for Dad
Hey Jo, why those eyes
You look sad, in bewilderment, 
Look up, the stars are shining on you!

- Jo Ann

For these pieces, we were given up to five minutes. I liked the challenge! See, we could do it. Hooray to all of us!

Ms Lopes said that we will have a part two of this writing workshop. I can’t wait for it. If you are a MDW, join us!

Here’s what the rest of my classmates had to say.

“Yes to part two! I’ve learned a lot. The lesson is very clear and precise and her feedback was very constructive. She encourages us to do better in our writing. I’d love to have more lessons with her.”

Jhing Jhing

“Our first writing workshop was really helpful. The 10 sessions which covered different topics taught us different writing techniques. From the proper way to write an email to effective ways of writing a narrative, Ms Marina was so patient in answering our questions, carefully checking our homework and replying to them.”

Bhing Navato

“The workshop went beyond my expectations. I learned a lot and appreciated how kind Ms Marina was. She was approachable and had tons of patience in teaching us even when one missed a class.”

Julie

“The workshop was very informative especially on writing emails and resumes. I look forward to the next class.”

Kate

Jo Ann A. Dumlao

Leaving

My eyes watered. My hands were shaking. I felt butterflies in my stomach. You were seated on the plastic chair, head bowed toward the ground and rubbing the palm of your hand on your lap. As I put my last piece of clothing in my bag and closed it, you looked up. Our eyes met, but neither one of us utter a word. I am not sure how I feel leaving you, mother, brother, and my three year old daughter. 

You hugged me, so tightly that my muscles felt a pinch. You combed my hair with your fingertips and rubbed my back saying, “Be careful, my child. I love you.” I let go, grabbed my bag and walked away without saying anything to you. I stepped into the minivan that will take me to the airport. With a heavy heart, I watched you standing there waving as tears fell from your cheeks. I imagined my family without me as the driver took off. 

My heart was pounding so hard, I thought my chest would burst. In an air-conditioned airport, perspiration dripped down my spine, my forehead, my nose, my lips. Reality was kicking in. I was leaving my home country, my family, my friends, my culture, for a different life. A brighter future. 

It is a beautiful city. Big, tall buildings. Clean streets. At night, you feel safe walking outside by yourself as the roads are lit. As far as I know, it is the safest place I have ever been to. Singapore is a place where dreams can come true.

After three years of being away, homesickness was not an issue. I was able to talk to my parents, my brother, and my daughter weekly.

It was a Sunday night. Something was off. At a restaurant where I was having dinner, I kept seeing my father’s image whenever I turned to look at the waiter. I remember his brown eyes staring at me and smiling, nodding as if he was saying, “Hello, my child.” His hair combed back. His wrinkles and gray hair. My heart was happy then, seeing my father’s face on someone else’s. But whenever I blinked, my father’s face faded. I brushed it off as my imagination.

At three that night, my phone rang. I was startled. I picked up my phone as I rubbed the sleep off my eyes. It was my mother, her voice lower and hoarser than usual. She shouted, “You need to come home now!” 

I asked why.

She simply repeated, “Come home now.” 

Angry and frustrated, I asked again. “Tell me why.” 

“It’s Papa. He was in an accident. You need to come home now.” 

She started crying. 

I was confused. “What happened to Papa?!” 

I was getting emotional now. 

“Papa is gone. You need to come home now!”  

I started crying. Tears streamed down my face as my nose dripped. I held my phone to my ear even though I had hung up. I kicked my covers and myself. Finally letting the phone go, I grabbed my pillow. I buried my face in it and sobbed for a long time. Before I knew it, my alarm clock started ringing.

I rose from my bed and washed off the tears from my face. I tried to pretend that everything was fine, but I could not help my tears from flowing. My employer approached me and asked me what had happened. I told her about my father and said, “I want to go home.”

Never would I have thought that I would return home without Papa to greet me. I will no longer hear his stories about my childhood. His hands will not be there for me to hold anymore.

My Papa is in a casket, lying peacefully while the rest of my family mourns for him.

I ask myself, “Why my Papa? Why so soon? Was it a punishment for the mistakes I have made in the past? Why? Why? Why? What is going to happen to my family? How is mother going to get through this without me by her side?”

The biggest question is, what am I going to do now that I do not have him around anymore?

Mary Grace Borjal

Second

I was heading to the baggage carousel when I glanced at the waiting area on my right side. My heart jumped when I saw my parents waving. I stopped at belt 26 to wait for my luggage. While waiting, I kept staring at them. I waved once in a while. My excitement turned me into impatience. “Why is this carousel so slow? It’s wasting my time. It’s been six years!” This was my very first vacation home since I started working as a migrant domestic worker.

I remember vividly how she stared at me. She was a skinny little girl, wearing a pink floral dress. Out of the blue, she asked me, “Are you my mama?” I was taken aback. As I looked at her, tears flowed down my cheeks. I realized she had not seen me for six years. I left her when she was two years old.

“Yes, I am.” I tried to say with a smile.

“You’re beautiful.” She said with excitement on her face.

This was an unforgettable conversation with her 21 years ago. She is now 28, but I am still working in Singapore.

I have three children. Airra is my second child and my only daughter. One night, on one of my vacations home, she came to my bed where I was lying and laid down on my lap.

“Ma, can you help me find an employer in Singapore?”

I was stunned.

“No!” My answer was firm. 

“Why?” She asked.

“Seriously? Don’t be a second me! Don’t follow my footsteps. Look at your children. They’re almost the same age as when I left you and your brothers. It was because your father didn’t fulfil his responsibilities. But your life is different from mine.”

She stared at her three children. They were all sound asleep. Her husband was on his way home from work.

I continued, “You had a second chance in relationships. You have met the right man. He is a very responsible husband and father to your children. They need you here. Don’t leave them. Don’t let them experience the life that you had when you were growing up. Do you understand?”      

She did not say a word after that. As the night wore on, she fell asleep on my lap. I gazed at her with love. She is still my little daughter, no matter how old she is.

“I will not let you be a second me.”  I whispered to her.

Bhing Navato

Courage

I remind myself of my strength often. There were times when I have had to hold on for dear life while working as a domestic worker in Singapore. But honestly, the true test has always been deciding if I should still stay with an employer or leave.

As a domestic worker, I only asked for a clear record. My patience wore thin when I realized that my working situation was against the law. 

I was working in two houses and I was the eighth member of the household. Carrying this heavy workload was tough. The living room was where I laid my tired body each night. During the wee hours, I would hear footsteps to the toilet as they passed by me. Sometimes, they will turn on the television and ask me to turn my body against it. The CCTV in the house never turns off, causing me to feel uneasy during my rest.

I knew for sure from the very first day that I should only be working at the address listed in my Work Permit, but I did not dare to report it. I was bothered by the thought of waiting out a case if I complained, so I remained quiet for almost four years. But there came a time when I could no longer tolerate the situation. I needed to leave. Soon, it was the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. I had to choose between repatriation or renewing my contract. 

But God is amazing. He works in ways we cannot see. I asked a lot of people for advice. They were concerned for me. It was a while ago when I met one of HOME’s help desk volunteers. When I approached her, she told me to stand firm and fight for my rights. I finally found the courage to lodge a complaint, though the process was not easy.

I am very thankful for the sympathy shown to me, and the fair judgement made in my case. For now, I am finally free from my illegal deployment and found a new employer. I feel much better because I am valued as a domestic worker, and a human being. I now have a private space to rest.

It is not easy working as a migrant domestic worker. We face many difficulties but a piece of advice I have for my fellow workers is, be strong and courageous. Remember, you are not alone. There are a lot of people who care, who are willing to listen and offer helpful advice. Never lose hope and above all else, have faith in God for He has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us. 

Lene

Photo is taken from CNA and used for illustration purposes only.

To transfer or not? A difficult question for MDWs

The COVID-19 pandemic has stripped many migrant domestic workers of employment options, forcing them to choose between abusive work environments and the risk of being sent home.  As the pandemic worsened and Singapore’s borders closed, the number of new domestic workers allowed into the country dwindled. Employers began rejecting transfer requests, confining workers to their homes and asking them to work overtime. At the same time, faced with the uncertainty of obtaining a transfer, many workers looking to leave abusive environments decided to extend their contracts or remain with their employers.  In fact, the number of employees requesting to transfer shrank by 80 percent during the pandemic. Many more domestic workers that I spoke to had to take on an increased workload, by working on their rest day with no compensation

I spoke to several domestic workers to learn more about the agonizing decisions they were forced to make during the past two years. 

For many women, the risks of staying in abusive jobs were pit against the uncertainties of transferring. One woman I spoke to had been patiently waiting to leave a difficult employer after her contract was finished, to avoid damaging her employment record. But when her contract finally ended, the pandemic was at its peak and she grew scared of not having her transfer approved or finding a better family to work for. “I have to stay, to renew my contract,”’ she said. Her family depended on her. 

She prayed her employers would treat her better. Instead, the abuse worsened.  One night, six months into her new contract, she decided she had enough and asked to be let go. Her relief after leaving the employers was quickly replaced with anxiety about her future. Luckily, after a week of interviews, she signed with a new employer who she describes as considerate and understanding. She found peace and happiness there. 

Many others described heightened levels of abuse during the pandemic. One worker recounted with tears in her eyes how she lost 8kg and became suicidal after working for an elderly woman whose family became increasingly abusive, forbidding her from eating food in the fridge and monitoring her with CCTV cameras. “I feel so useless and think so little of myself because of the way I’m treated. It’s as if I’m not a human being, like them,” she said. She worried the process of transferring during the pandemic would be too difficult, but ultimately decided to look for another employer. She is now working for a single father who treats her with kindness and respect. There is no more yelling, no more verbal abuse and she gained back the weight she lost, and even a little extra. 

Other women suffered the aftershocks of disruptions in their employers’ lives. One migrant domestic worker I spoke to was given one month to find a new family after her employers found their bank accounts squeezed by the pandemic. “We’re sorry, we have to let you go,” they told her. “Things are not going well for us.”  She scrambled to interview with different families, and get her paperwork to the Ministry of Manpower, but her employment request was denied three times before it was approved. The turbulence caused her tremendous anxiety, but she finally found a great family to work for. 

I hear the despair and agony that these workers went through, but I am also inspired to see their courage in the face of the unknown. In the face of tremendous difficulty, they discovered their voices and sought out better situations for themselves and ultimately, their loved ones. I tell them to keep the faith and to not give up hope.

Jo Ann A. Dumlao
HOME volunteer and MyVoice contributor

Photo is taken from Channel NewsAsia and used for illustration purposes only.

Halloween Filipino Style!

By Miriam Escander

If ever there was a holiday that deserves to be commercialized, it’s Halloween. It comes second only to Christmas and kids and adults can both enjoy it. I am especially attentive to Halloween, because it happens that I was born on Halloween. So for me it has always been a special occasion.

In many countries, Halloween is celebrated on October 31st, but in the Philippines, due to a strong Catholic tradition, we celebrate it on the first two days of November. November 1st is All Saints Day (Araw ng mga Santo) and November 2nd is All Souls Day (Araw ng mga Patay). We spend these two days remembering our dead loved ones and you will find most of us at the cemetery or a memorial park. We don’t celebrate these days with tricks and treats. When we visit the cemetery we bring candles with different designs, different colours and amazing smells, as well as nice and beautifully arranged flowers.

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When you go and live in a foreign country, you might feel amazed at how a favourite holiday is celebrated there, how different. That is what I have experienced here in Singapore. Halloween as is celebrated here started in Britain and other parts of Northern Europe as part of the ancient Celtic Religion. I’ve been working here for 12 years yet only last year experienced my first Halloween celebration with my friends. It was a lot of fun and vey exciting, though I did have some difficulty in saying NO to dressing up and putting on Halloween make-up. That’s the thrill and highlight of having a Halloween party.

 

Here in Singapore, a few weeks before, you can already sense that Halloween is just around the corner. Shopping malls display Halloween stuff. Adults, teens and especially kids are getting more excited every single day. Take for example the 4 year old boy I look after. The whole family was invited by a friend to attend their Halloween party. They started planning their costumes and he was excitedly counting the remaining days left before the big day. Every morning he would tell me “Miriam, 5 more days more to go before Halloween!”

He said that every day until the big event. That morning, when I was making coffee for myself, I asked him, “How many days left  before he Halloween?”

He showed me his clenched fist and said “ZERO”

I could not stop myself from laughing. The excitement on his face made him look even more adorable. When we arrived at the venue, we saw hanging balloons with Halloween designs, amazing food, residents with their kids wearing scary costumes, and a corner for the games they prepared. At the end of the event, everybody was looking tired and exhausted, especially the kids, but I could see the happiness and satisfaction on their faces.

 

When we got home and I was already on bed, I looked at the pictures I took, and suddenly reminisced about the Halloween we used to celebrate when I was a kid.

In the Philippines, a week before, we start to clean up the cemeteries and the graves of our love ones; the graves get a layer of fresh paint and everything is made ready for the visits on November 1st and 2nd. People from other places start going back to their hometowns to visit their dead loved ones. Airports are packed, as are ships and buses.

 

You might think we have a very boring Halloween, I mean cemeteries, graves, prayers and all, make it seem like a serious affair. Not so. Spending Halloween in the cemeteries is a fun event. It is like a mini-reunion for families and friends alike, a chance to be with those people that we see only once a year. Tents, shelters, chairs and tables are set up in front of the gravesites to provide a place for families and their visitors to stay and talk. Best of all, food and drinks are overflowing during this time, with families bringing basket of foods and drinks to share with others. Food we prepare is not the same as food here, we make native delicacies called “kakanin” some of which are only prepared during Halloween. I remember when I was a kid, my grandmother used to tell us not to eat the food that they cooked until it had been offered to the dead loved ones. We do this by taking a small portion of each food and put in a corner with candles.

 

If I am to compare the way Halloween is celebrated today and before, I’ll still choose to celebrate the “BEFORE”, it was so much more fun than these days.

There you have it. Halloween Filipino style. It is definitely different but equally as interesting as the Halloween celebration in other parts of the world…

 

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

By Maria Allen Cellan

I’ve always been scared of making decisions for myself. Sometimes I just want my family to make decisions for me because I am afraid that my decision will be wrong. But I’ve realized that you have to trust yourself and your plans.

It’s been 6 months now since I made a huge decision for myself and left Singapore. Working as a domestic worker for four years was a big challenge for me. From office employee to domestic worker, that seemed like a big shift in my career. From ledger to mop, computer to vacuum, bookkeeping to cleaning windows. But hey, I don’t have any regrets at all. It was a good experience for me. Working away from home has taught me a lot of things, especially how to be independent.

It took me a year before I decided to not renew my contract. I made a long list of pros and cons, talking things out with friends and making choices and sleeping on it. But in many situations, there is no clear “right” answer or even a best one. I kept asking myself: “Who do I want to be?” I lingered on that question for a while. I needed change. I was tired of being discriminated because of the job I was in. And yes it’s important to know and think about all of the practical pros and cons of any given option. I had to consider the benefits of leaving my job as a domestic worker. Asking myself “Who do I want to be” is not easy. But it’s the question that brought me closer to the right decision and to the life that I really want to live.

Six months have now passed and I am perfectly happy with my decision. I admit that I miss my friends in Singapore, the church that I normally go to every Sunday, the kway teow noodles, fried carrot cake, the local coffee shop, and of course the easy transportation. Having a good memory with good friends in Singapore has changed my life.

Now that I am in the next chapter of my life I believe that something exciting is waiting for me as long as I am open to opportunities. As for now I am enjoying my jobless life, discovering myself in paints and canvas while waiting for my next visa from the Australian government.

I would say that if we are not happy where we are, if we want more in life, if we want to pursue our dreams, then it is time to move and make a decision. A decision that can make us happy and satisfy our soul. Let us not be afraid to make a decision for our dreams, let us trust our guts and our heart, and discover who we really want to be. As the saying goes: “The world is a place to explore, and it will embrace you if you embrace it.”

REFLECTION

Juliet G. Ugay

I am writing this exactly a week after I left Singapore, to go back home for good.

A big step, a big change. I spent 10 years working as a domestic worker in Singapore. They have been years of hard work, patience and a lot of courage. Being in this job has taught me many things, not only about people but also about myself. I’ve become resilient in many ways. Every family I worked with – a total of five over the span of 10 years – was unique. Families with different attitudes, different foods, different languages, and different characters. I learned to adjust depending on their needs. Some were difficult to work with, some not too bad, and some just right. Most of the 10 years were not good times, but I survived. How I admire those domestic workers who can last for 25 years or more.

15994378_10210129484027131_7885323168364784719_o
Juliet and her son

I hope that, in those years, I have left something in Singapore for people to remember me.Ten years is a long time, especially for someone like me, who has a son back home. Maybe for those who are single, it’s a bit better, as they have less to worry about, except for their parents or siblings. My son is now 11 and he is the main reason why I made this big change.

He is not young anymore. He is more aware now of the things around him, and he is more sensitive. He is beginning to need more care and attention that I, his mother, can only give. He is entering the stage of adolescence, a time where he needs someone to guide him so he’ll grow up responsible, and thinking like a man.

I spent the first few days of my stay here organising our house. The kids are at school during weekdays, so the house is empty and quiet, just nice for cleaning. Our house is old and small, so it took me only a day.

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Fresh local produce

What I like about being here is the fresh air, and cooler temperature. Our house is surrounded by big trees, so the air is fresh all day and night. The local vegetables are fresh and sweet, most of them can be found in the backyard or at the neighbours, much different to Singapore, where almost everything is imported and by the time you cook it, is tasteless and soggy. Local fishes are also abundant and mango season is around the corner. If you like simple living, you can live here. You just need some extra income to keep it going.

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In the ten years since I left, so many things have changed in our town. Roads are getting better, Internet is accessible, houses are popping everywhere and there are more people. Some of them I haven’t seen in a long time, and some were born while I was away. People smile at you, and you wonder who they are, and you realise you’ve not lived in this town for 10 years. It is funny, but nice.

Here, you see kids, as young as 2 years old, holding an Ipad or a cell phone.I remember I got my first cell phone when I was in college, Motorola brand, the size of a land line telephone, and the charger a size of a medium sized rock. Nowadays, technology has changed a lot of things. People have gotten lazier and people complain about a lot of things. Sometimes I think life was better way back then.

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Though my son is still shy to ask me things or tell me things, I know that he is happy I am here. I brought back my guitar, which he plays now and then after school. My son is unsociable, he does not like taking photo’s and things like that. He doesn’t like someone telling him what to do, what to wear, or what to eat. But he knows what he wants, that’s for sure. He is now in his final year in primary and will finish in early April. The education system in the Philippines has changed too over the years. They have added a few years to the usual time of school. Indeed, time flies.

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Juliet and some of her Singapore friends

I must admit I miss Singapore and the people close to my heart. I miss the conveniences of life there, and the hectic lifestyle. I miss the summery weather and the clean surroundings. I miss the kids I was taking care of. I miss my nice neighbours. I miss my friends and our stories, tears and laughter. It is quite difficult to adjust to life in the village after the working routine I’ve been having for 10 years.

At the moment, I have no definite plan what to do next, but I am thinking of going to another country, and look for better opportunities there. All I want at the moment is to spend time with my son and family, and see what happens after my son finishes school. Or when I run out of savings, haha.

My Struggle and Hope

By Michelle T Cain

My Struggle and Hope

Struggle is the best way to describe my life since I started secondary school up until now.

Struggle is my best friend, struggle never leaves my side.

It started when my father found another woman and broke up our family. When he didn’t support us anymore I could see the pain on my mother’s face. I appreciate how my mother supported our everyday needs. I could feel the overflowing love of my mother. Every time I saw her sacrifice, I told myself that I would try to have a better life and a happy and complete family of my own.

Then I started a family on my own. But struggle hugged me again. My husband’s family didn’t like me to be part of them. They said I wasn’t worthy. The feelings and dreams I had imagined fell down again. I felt so alone. I felt hatred inside, that the world could be so unfair.

That is why I decided to work abroad. I felt that everything would change if I could earn well, even if I had to leave my family. I always thought that my husband’s family would accept me if I had a lot of money and went abroad.

I went abroad and found work in Singapore, and I felt so happy and hopeful. But then struggle hit me again. I experienced abuse from my employer. She shouted at me and I felt so nervous that I couldn’t handle the shaking anymore. Without anyone I felt so alone. I even blamed God for giving me this kind of problem. I always asked God: What have I done?

But I am not going to give up. I try to fight this struggle in me. I never lose hope. I am still praying that I can overcome this struggling life of mine.

 

Michelle is staying at HOME shelter, where she wrote this piece during a creative writing workshop run by volunteers

Treat domestic workers as well as your dog

By: Rosita Madrid Sanchez

One Saturday afternoon while everybody was having a nap, I was at my balcony sitting down while my legs were up against the wall and my hand was holding a pen and a notebook. And this is the story I wrote:

“Liza! Don’t forget to bring my dog Sally outside this afternoon,” said Liza’s employer. “She needs some fresh air and she needs to mingle with some of the dogs here at the condo so she can get familiar with them. Remember you are not allowed to talk to anyone outside, especially with all the helpers in this condo.”

“Yes Mam!” Liza answered quickly.

But by the time Liza finished her work and it was time to bring down the dog, she heard loud thunderstorms, followed by lightning, and the sky was very dark.

“Madam! Madam!” said Liza, looking for her employer. She found her in her room, sitting down while having her food.

“Madam, I think it is better to bring down Sally tomorrow instead as it might rain very soon”, said Liza.

“WHAT?” roared her employer. “Are you a weather reporter ah? You see black clouds it will rain ready ah? Lazy maid! Go and bring the dog for a walk outside!”

Liza couldn’t say anything after those insulting words and just followed what her employer asked her to do. Soon, a strong wind started howling, followed by heavy rain and thunderstorms. Sally got frightened and ran as fast as she could, enough to drag Liza’s small body.

“Sally, Sally stop! Please don’t run anymore! It’s only rain and we are going home soon.”

Liza was dragged to the ground. It hurt her so much that she ended up with bloody knees and bruises on her face and arms.

“Oh my God, oh my God! Sally, please come over here. You are so wet, what happened to you sweetie? Oh my! Come here baby!” called her employer to the dog, not bothered about Liza.

“Liza, go straight to the kitchen!”

Liza was about to change her wet clothes but suddenly she heard her employer shouting, “Where is the towel for Sally? And bring her some hot milk. Faster! Later on Sally will get sick I tell you!”

When everything was settled, Sally was already in her bed and it was only at that time that Liza took a look at her bloody knees and bruises. She felt like crying and told herself, “You are okay Liza, go ahead and change your clothes then prepare dinner for your employer. You are here to work so be strong.”

Thinking about her situation, my tears came flowing from my eyes and I realized what a cruel world we have. Sometimes some people don’t care about others, especially when they are domestic workers. We may be domestic workers, but without us our employers wouldn’t manage going to work, taking care of their kids and their household. Us domestic workers can do all the chores like looking after kids, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the elderly or pets and yet we are taken for granted.

 Why can’t you give us the same love that you give to your animals? Is it because you are only paying us in exchange for our work and you think that you own us? We are humans too, with feelings and emotions and sometimes we feel tired, we feel happy or we feel sad just like everyone else; thus, we deserve your respect.