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Emotional Abuse – Reflection by Zahira

I recall my experiences with emotional abuse with my previous employer. My employers and I had a group chat, but it was not used for communication. Instead they used it to send pictures, to complain when I’d forgotten their instructions or were not happy with my work. Almost every day, they complained about me. That made me feel sad and worried. Every night, I cried. But when I remembered that my son needs me, I told myself to be strong. When I woke up in the morning and opened my eyes for the first time, I wondered what my employers were going to complain about next. I felt very scared thinking about that.

I also had a very strict schedule, and if I did not follow it, I was scolded very badly. I felt so tired and overwhelmed. Even when they were on holiday, they checked in on me to ensure that I was following my schedule. After they returned, I was scolded again, saying that my work was not up to their standards. Eventually, I decided that I could no longer work for them. 

When I asked for a transfer, Ma’am said wait until she finds a replacement. After one month, nothing happened. They thought I was joking, that I wouldn’t be able to find another employer. One Saturday, I told them that I will go for interviews on Sunday. They were shocked that I was serious about leaving, and they still didn’t believe I could find a new employer. One week after that, I told them I had confirmed employment with another family and asked when they would release me. Finally, after much persuasion, I got my release paper.

A few months ago, I started working with a new employer. Thank God this family is nice and I’m happy working here. 

To all my friends, if you have a problem at work, don’t be quiet. You need to talk to your friends or go to a help desk to share and ask for advice. Fight for your rights. Your family needs your support.

Emotional Abuse – Reflection by Bhing Navato

Many domestic workers suffer emotionally. Most of them are new here and not aware of their working conditions. Culture shock, treatment of employers, homesickness, isolation… As a domestic worker for 27 years, I have had experiences with two of my past employers where I felt isolated, afraid and helpless. For my first experience, I thought I had found a good employer because we were both agreeable during the interview. But when I started work, she changed. She will come home from work, and blame me for things I did not do. She will scold me for nothing. I had the same experience with my employer after her. I thought he was happy with my volunteer activities on my off days but I was wrong. “You think you’re smart? No, you’re not.” These were the words he growled into my ear when he was angry because I did not follow his instructions exactly. During those times, I cried every night talking to my family. I tried to tell my friends too but I felt they were not listening. I had every Sunday off and even on public holidays, but I dragged my body back to my employer’s home at night. That was why when I decided to talk to them, my only option was to get out of that situation… out of that house.

As a help desk volunteer for HOME, I spoke to many domestic workers who experience emotional abuse. They were told that they would be sent back home if their employer was not happy with them. There are some who cannot go out and feel isolated. Some are overworked, working till wee hours in the morning. If they complained, they would lose their job. Many new domestic workers were told differently by their agents about the rules.  Some agents will say, “No point complaining because you will still go home.” Confiscating their phones only made them feel more homesick. Not being able to talk to their families, especially their children, worsened their situation. Emotional abuse drains one’s mind and pushes some to the edge. This is what happens to some domestic workers who cannot get help. Emotional abuse on domestic workers should not be taken lightly. Such treatment affects one’s mental well-being.

Our job as domestic workers is our bread and butter. That is why losing it is not an option. We will endure as long as we can to keep it. However, enough rest, off days, communication, understanding… These are very important to us, domestic workers. We are not robots. We are not kids. We are not commodities. We domestic workers are women living away from our families. Most of us are married and mothers, many of whom are single mothers and sole breadwinners of their family. Sacrificing our time for our children in exchange for a job that will help to support the family, not being able to see our families at times for two years or more… Why is it so difficult to understand? Why do some employers ignore our pain?

Bhing Navato

Taking Photographs with a Wow Factor

I have always been in awe of beautiful pictures. For a long time, I wished for an opportunity to attend a photography workshop that would equip me with the skills to capture precious moments. However, the workshops available in the marketplace were beyond my means. 

Last December, I received a message from HOME’s Academy Director, Sisi, to send out an invitation to fellow domestic workers for a photography workshop organized by Holdinghands Studio for free. Thank God for answering my prayers!

Holdinghands Studio is a social enterprise set up in August last year, in the hope of using photography to equip under-resourced communities. It sought camera donations from individuals and lent these units to migrant workers for free. Holdinghands Studio is also the first social enterprise providing a full suite of photography activities and services i.e. skill-building classes, free camera use, opportunities to practice at real-life events while guided by seasoned photographers. The social enterprise believes that through these activities, a photography enthusiast can grow his or her skill set, which will be useful if they wish to pursue photography as a professional career when they return to their country of origin. 

HOME, in collaboration with Holdinghands Studio, held its first in-person photography workshop in December last year. Tan Chin Hock, founder of the social enterprise, was the instructor. Together with his teammate, Benjamin, they conducted a fruitful workshop where the participants learned and laughed a lot. The easy-going personalities of the facilitators made the session an enjoyable one. There were clear learning objectives and we had a lot of room to ask questions. We even won prizes for participating in a quiz. 

At the beginning of 2022, Holdinghands Studio even sponsored Genelyn, one of the migrant photographers in the photography club, to participate in an international photography award.

Last month, Holdinghands Studio organized a workshop on studio photography for domestic workers. Lanie, a participant, said that she learned about the difference between artificial and natural light, and how lighting affects the mood in photography. Lora Jane, another one of the participants, commented, “It was fun and engaging… It is evident that this kind of creative class brings people together. I encourage other migrant workers to join future sessions as it is worth a try.” Domestic worker Sunarmi added, “Thank you, Holdinghands Studio. I enjoyed learning something new with other migrant workers.” 

Since its partnership with HOME, the workshops have received positive responses from the community. Chin Hock then decided to form the Migrant Workers Creative Centre (MWCC) Telegram chat group so that more migrant workers could receive announcements, share their photographs and receive feedback. The membership has ballooned to more than 70 members as of July 2022. 

Why did Chin Hock reach out to HOME? “It all started with the belief that everyone can take pictures with a wow factor,” he said. His life had changed due to his passion for photography and he wanted to share it with under-resourced communities such as migrant workers. He added that everyone should have an opportunity to hold a camera and learn how to take pictures. From past experiences, he learned that working with agencies will help the social enterprise reach more people. That was why he knocked on HOME’s door offering free photography services. “It is one of my best decisions. We have come so far now.”

A monthly photo contest was also organized by Holdinghands Studio as an outlet for members to express their creativity. The prizes are sponsored by HOME and the administration is led by a team of enthusiastic migrant workers.

Witnessing the improvement of the quality of pictures taken by the migrant workers, Chin Hock decided to select a few photos to print on coasters to raise funds for HOME and FAST. The first batch of coasters features photographs taken by domestic workers, namely Kate, Jumaiti, Yunis, Alma and Agnes Tono. There are only 2,000 sets printed. 

Each set of five coasters is selling for $20, and 20 percent of the proceeds will go to HOME and FAST. They can be purchased here. The coasters are as practical as they are beautiful and inspirational. They are waterproof and do not stick to the bottom of your cup when you lift it; they stay put on your table to protect it from drips and cup rings. It is a good gift for your loved ones.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate Agnes, one of the photographers in the group, for having her photo featured at the 17th Ngee Ann Photographic Exhibition 2022. It is one of the largest photographic exhibitions in Singapore. With Chin Hock‘s encouragement and support, Agnes submitted her entry on the last day of submission. Her photo was later showcased alongside the works of professional photographers.

Agnes’ submission displayed at the exhibition

Thank you, Holdinghands Studio and Chin Hock for empowering migrant workers in Singapore. Through your support, we are able to fulfil some of our wishes in life!

Jo Ann A. Dumlao
MyVoice Contributing Writer 

*The featured image is a photograph taken by a domestic worker who attended a photo walk organized by Holdinghands Studio.

New Year Resolutions

 

By: Maria Allen Cellan

New Year is the best time for us to start making meaningful changes in our lives. This new beginning gives us the hope to persevere with our dreams, and to create new goals. For anyone who’s serious about New Year resolutions, making them is a brave step. First of all, it requires an honest assessment of what’s working and not working in our lives. We need to consider what we want for ourselves, and what we want to achieve in the coming year.

For domestic workers, the New Year is a chance to find new opportunities, and to reach new goals, like saving money and eating healthy. In this article, I’m going to share with you my personal New Year resolutions – and most importantly, how I plan to keep them for the rest of the year.

1) Read more

I believe that reading is another way of gaining wisdom and knowledge. The more I read the more I will learn about things. Reading can also help improve my communication skills.

2) Keep myself fit

That means I will exercise twice a day, 6 days a week, for at least 10 to 15 minutes. I will also try to eat healthy foods, and avoid eating junk food and sodas. I believe that in my kind of job it’s good to take care of myself as much as I can. Being sick and away from family is one of the struggles of domestic workers. The fact is that we still have to work even when we are sick, so staying as healthy as possible is very important.

3) Write more

Writing is another way of expressing myself. If I have good writing skills it will allow me to communicate to other people with clarity.

4) Less shopping and more saving

Although I save money every month, I still need to try to save more. Nobody wants to work away from their family for the rest of their lives.

5) Look for other opportunities

Let’s be honest here: nobody wants to work as a domestic worker forever. We all have dreams and we all know that this kind of work is only temporary until we have enough money saved to start a business or until we find a new career.

But how am I going to keep my resolutions? Here are some of my tips to stay on track.

Be realistic.

Before I wrote down my New Year resolutions I had to be realistic about what I could achieve. For example, one of my resolutions is to avoid eating junk food. One way of being realistic is that instead of saying that I will not eat junk food anymore, I can just say that I will avoid eating junk food. That way, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself.

Share my resolutions with my friends

Friends can help us succeed in keeping our resolutions. For instance, I can get one of my friends to be my workout buddy every weekend, and through this I can lose weight and keep myself fit. Friends can also remind me of the benefits I will receive if I achieve my goals (good health, satisfaction etc).

Don’t make a long list of resolutions

Chances of success are greater if I only channel my energy into changing just a few aspects of my behavior, like less shopping and more saving. Instead of going for shopping I can go to church and attend religious group activities.

Create a plan and write it down

It’s important to create a plan so you can stick to your resolutions. For example,

I’m planning to start each day with a 10-15 minute exercise and a healthy breakfast. I’m also going to start a journal so I can track my progress. Don’t forget to give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a goal: it will keep you motivated.

It’s challenging to stick to New Year resolutions, but remember that if you fail, you can always start again. Nobody is perfect; missteps when reaching goals are completely normal. What matters most is that we have a good vision for our lives. Our vision will help us reach our goals, stay disciplined and focused. This New Year, we should keep trying to find opportunities to develop ourselves, so that we never feel devalued as domestic workers. Let’s see 2016 as the start of a new, exciting journey.

 

 

 

 

‘I can’t breathe here’

I am from India, I am married and I have a 2 1/2-year old baby. In my family I have one elder brother and one younger sister, my mom and dad, and my husband. I’m not from a rich family, I’m from a poor family. My family told me not to go to Singapore, but I told them I need to make my future and my baby’s future. I am in Singapore to earn money for my baby for their good study and because I want to make their good future.

Last Wednesday, I went to my employer’s house. I stayed for five or six days. In the house was my boss, my boss’s wife, the wife’s mother, the wife’s uncle, and a 3-month old baby. When I came, I told my agent I cannot eat chicken. They told me not to worry, my employer told the agency that I would only look after a baby. Not anything else. When I came to their house, they totally changed. Every time they made me smell chicken and fish. I told them I don’t eat it because I’m vegetarian, but they threatened to send me to the agency and told me, “The agency will send you back to India and put you on the blacklist.” Because I don’t eat chicken or fish, they only gave me one piece of bread and crackers.

My employer was a very bad person. Every time they tortured me. Every time they told me their house has a ghost, they said, “We closed your room with the ghost and the ghost will kill you and bite you,” and they told me, “We blame you, you stole my gold and you will go to jail for 15 years,” and they never let me take rest. I think they talked to each other about taking my phone, so I kept my phone in my bra. In their house, I never took a shower or washed my clothes on my own wish, only on their wish. I wore one set of clothes for three days. The whole family played politics with me; I go to clean the washroom, they say the kitchen is dirty, go clean the kitchen. I clean the kitchen, they say the washroom is dirty, go clean. I cleaned the washroom, cleaned the kitchen three, four times.

They told me they will push me outside the window, and they said, “The police will not do anything because we know all the officers. You are fresher, our family has been in Singapore since my grandmother’s time. We can do anything to you, but you can’t do anything to us.” They said, “You are not special, you are only a maid.” They think that I’m less of a person, like I have a fever or cancer. Don’t sit, don’t touch, you are a maid. They told me, “If you don’t do this or that, we will put our hot cigarette on your arm.” Every day they abused me, they called me “bitch.” Every time my boss told me, “Go to hell. You bitch, go to hell.” Every time. That’s why I’m very scared and want to go back to India.

I want to find good people and a vegetarian Punjabi family, otherwise I will go home. Now I want to go back to my country, India. Now I am full of stress and I want to go see my family and my child. I miss my whole family very very much. I want to go back to India and hug my mother. I want to put my head on her shoulder. I don’t know when I will go back to my country. I can’t breathe here.

This piece was written last summer during a writing workshop at HOME shelter, by an author that prefers to remain anonymous. After this was written, she found a new job in Singapore, but was unlucky again. She now wishes to return to India permanently.

BE EDUCATED ON HEALTH ISSUES

By: Saturnina “Cute” De los Santos Rotelo   

As we always say: health is wealth. But how many Domestic Workers actually take notice of this? Every migrant has a medical examination when they leave their country of origin, so they think or believe they are healthy. HOME ROSES is a group that educates migrants about important issues relating to their health.

Domestic workers have limited benefits in terms of health issues, and they never pay so much attention to their health, as it costs money for them just to consult a doctor. Besides, they often have little or no knowledge about their health, and don’t know how to live healthily and take extra care not to worsen their physical condition.

health2

HOME ROSES was founded under the umbrella of HOME. ROSES is an acronym, where the R stands for Relationship, O for Obligation, S for Sexuality, E for Education, and S for Social Support. HOME ROSES has a mission and vision to fulfill to the migrants. We do our best to educate them through training and seminars, we give them a certificate of participation and a small gift with information on where to ask help or advice regarding health issues, like Diabetes, Hypertension, Breast and Ovarian cancer and other health matters including HIV/AIDS.

I have been involved in educating migrants on health issues as a Volunteer of HOME for the last 8 years. With HOME ROSES we have conducted training sessions and seminars to migrant men and women of all races, religions, and nationalities. We invite speakers from external parties like Standard Chartered Bank, HIV/AIDS champions, (AFA) Action for Aids, Doctors and also our very own Dr. Win. The topic of many seminars is the prevention of HIV/AIDS, a disease of which many people unfortunately have little knowledge.

The Health Promotion Board Singapore (HPB) is a great help to HOME by providing knowledgeable information, and advertisements to reach out to the migrants, many of whom still have no weekly day off. This is a very interesting education and a great help to the migrants.

health3

The workshops teach migrants how protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases , and also how not to get pregnant, as the law in Singapore does not allow domestic workers to become pregnant.

Working abroad is not an easy job, you miss your loved ones, when you are sick you are alone and as a human you need love, care and even a shoulder to cry on when you are down.health4

As my journey continues as the President of this HOME ROSES, I and my fellow volunteers will continue to fulfill the mission and vision of HOME ROSES as we devote our day off, time, and knowledge to make things possible. More than 2,000 migrants have benefited of this free education, thanks to our generous donors, sponsors, and HOME.

The HOME ROSES would like to THANK YOU ALL for helping HOME and it’s project.

“ Prevention is better than cure. Be equipped with health knowledge as Health is Wealth.”

VULNERABILITY

By: Maria Allen Cellan

I often used to feel envious whenever my friends working abroad shared their photos on social media: they were always smiling from ear to ear, roaming around with their new-found friends, exploring a city where everything was new. Seeing those photos, reading and hearing their stories and being at the receiving end – I just knew that life outside my country was so much better. But when I found myself in their shoes, I realized that being a domestic worker isn’t necessarily always better and it simply isn’t for everyone.

Working abroad as a Filipina domestic worker is a tough experience. Being away from our family and friends is hard to cope with. The homesickness that strikes us every night and the silent crying are just a few of our struggles, not to mention the challenges of how to survive living in another country. We need to learn their culture and language. We need to adapt ourselves to a new environment with no families and no friends. Being away from them is the hardest part. The thought that the grass is always greener on the other side is gone now that I have seen for myself what the real life of a domestic worker is. Some of us don’t have a regular day off, no friends, no proper food, no phones and no proper bedroom. And all of this leads us to vulnerability.

What does vulnerability mean? In this context, it can be defined as the weakened susceptibility of an individual to evaluate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a man-made jeopardy. Vulnerability is most associated with poverty, people who are isolated, insecure and defenseless in the face of risk and stress.

Domestic workers are susceptible to vulnerability. The innocence of our hearts makes us vulnerable when dealing with society and with our employers. Lack of education, lack of knowledge, cultural beliefs and even lack of socialization are some of the factors of being vulnerable to what some call a harsh society. Being a domestic worker is not easy. We are being discriminated against because of our race; low income and other factors can make us more vulnerable. We tend to accept the reality that we are one of those minorities. Some treat us as a weaker group that does not belong in a class society. We are the poor amongst the poorest.

We try to forget our feelings of isolation by getting involved in activities like sports, religious or cultural events to distract ourselves from being different from others, but we end up being discriminated against by harsh people. Photos of our events are posted in social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., but what do we get? Negative bashing from society. If only this society would understand the feeling of being vulnerable in a foreign country, maybe they would treat domestic workers in a fair way. If only they could wear our shoes and walk our steps, maybe they would have compassion for us. We are not asking for more, we don’t even like to be petty; we just want to be treated fairly and not be treated unjustly, like slaves. We wish that society would see us as vulnerable human beings, and not just as domestic workers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VULNERABILITY

By: Maria Allen Cellan

 

 

I often used to feel envious whenever my friends working abroad shared their photos on social media: they were always smiling from ear to ear, roaming around with their new-found friends, exploring a city where everything was new. Seeing those photos, reading and hearing their stories and being at the receiving end – I just knew that life outside my country was so much better. But when I found myself in their shoes, I realized that being a domestic worker isn’t necessarily always better and it simply isn’t for everyone.

 

Working abroad as a Filipina domestic worker is a tough experience. Being away from our family and friends is hard to cope with. The homesickness that strikes us every night and the silent crying are just a few of our struggles, not to mention the challenges of how to survive living in another country. We need to learn their culture and language. We need to adapt ourselves to a new environment with no families and no friends. Being away from them is the hardest part. The thought that the grass is always greener on the other side is gone now that I have seen for myself what the real life of a domestic worker is. Some of us don’t have a regular day off, no friends, no proper food, no phones and no proper bedroom. And all of this leads us to vulnerability.

 

What does vulnerability mean? In this context, it can be defined as the weakened susceptibility of an individual to evaluate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a man-made jeopardy. Vulnerability is most associated with poverty, people who are isolated, insecure and defenseless in the face of risk and stress.

 

Domestic workers are susceptible to vulnerability. The innocence of our hearts makes us vulnerable when dealing with society and with our employers. Lack of education, lack of knowledge, cultural beliefs and even lack of socialization are some of the factors of being vulnerable to what some call a harsh society. Being a domestic worker is not easy. We are being discriminated against because of our race; low income and other factors can make us more vulnerable. We tend to accept the reality that we are one of those minorities. Some treat us as a weaker group that does not belong in a class society. We are the poor amongst the poorest.

 

We try to forget our feelings of isolation by getting involved in activities like sports, religious or cultural events to distract ourselves from being different from others, but we end up being discriminated against by harsh people. Photos of our events are posted in social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., but what do we get? Negative bashing from society. If only this society would understand the feeling of being vulnerable in a foreign country, maybe they would treat domestic workers in a fair way. If only they could wear our shoes and walk our steps, maybe they would have compassion for us. We are not asking for more, we don’t even like to be petty; we just want to be treated fairly and not be treated unjustly, like slaves. We wish that society would see us as vulnerable human beings, and not just as domestic workers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS AWAY FROM HOME

By: Juliet Ugay

The yuletide season is around the corner. The sound of Christmas songs plays on the radio and establishments, sparkling decorations are all over the place, people rushing here and there for their Christmas shopping.  Most importantly, Christmas is the season of sharing.

While we are preparing for Christmas season, have we ever thought about how people feel who are going to spend this holiday away from their home, away from their loved ones?

Domestic workers – the majority of them are spending Christmas away from home, and most will be working during this festive time. Happy are those who are fortunate to go back to their countries or go on a holiday somewhere they want. Some employers send their Domestic Workers home while they are away and some are kind enough to let their workers go home and be with their families at Christmas.

For Filipino Domestic Workers, Christmas is one of the most celebrated events of the year, as the majority of them are Catholics. It is when families get together. For other Domestic Workers, like those from  Indonesia, Myanmar, India or other countries, Christmas isn’t always celebrated as per religion. Some get bonuses, some don’t, some just work, and some will have parties with their friends.

I’ve asked some ladies what are their thoughts about celebrating Christmas away from home.

Pina Lorenzo, 39 and a mother of three has been working here for five years. She said that it is sad being away from her family at Christmas. She misses the warm celebration, the food and the get together. On the other hand, she said that going home during Christmas is costly and even though she wants to go back, she’d would choose to stay because she can save more. She plans to go home another time during the year. Pina said that sometimes being away for long makes a person get used to it, and that Christmas has become just a normal day.

“Celebrating Christmas away form home is really hard, kind of happy but incomplete. I am happy and thankful to have a very good employer and loving friends who will celebrate with me, and incomplete because I can feel deep in my heart that something is missing, and that my family. Nothing really compares to celebrating the season of giving and sharing with my family,” said Rona Javier, a mother of a three years old boy and has been working away for 8 years.

Indonesian Domestic Workers Nani Sunani Nurhalizah, who has worked in Singapore for 15 years, and Sri Niati Ayu Kasimun, celebrate Christmas with their friends, cooking food and sharing it with them. They said that even though majority of Indonesian Domestic Workers are Muslim, they do respect the Christmas tradition.

It can be quite sad to be away from home this Christmas but there are so many things to look forward to and to be thankful for. One of them is that you are healthy and you are  in a better position than some people out there who are experiencing the worst days of their lives.

Christmas Carrot Cake

Christmas is the time for eating great food together with family and friend. Janeth, HOME Academy’s baking teachers, shares with us a recipe for a festive carrot cake that will impress all your loved ones.

CHRISTMAS CARROT CAKE A LA JANETH

Equipment-2 8’’ round or square aluminum cake tins

Baking time-30-35 minutes

Baking temp. -175-180 °

Makes about 2kg round or square cake

christmas cake

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 ½ cups caster sugar
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs-lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins-presoaked, about 5 minutes
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • ¾ cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 ½ cups grated or pureed carrots

For the frosting

  • 200 grams cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted, softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (preferably clear extract)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice –optional
  • 200-300 grams icing sugar, sift

 Note; double frosting recipe for extra decorating if like

 Direction

  1. Preheat oven, grease the baking tins and line them with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon powder, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the walnuts, raisins, coconut, crushed pineapple and pureed or grated carrots.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, combine well after each addition, using wooden spoon.
  6. Divide equally into the prepared tins.
  7. Bake in the preheated ovens for about 30-35 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Leave in the tins for about 10 minutes before turning them into a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.
  9. Place 1 cake on a board, flat side up, spread some of the frosting then top with the other cake. Spread the rest of the frosting. Decorate

 

Direction for the frosting;

  1. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth and no lumps, add vanilla and lemon juice and beat at medium speed.
  2. Lower speed and add in icing sugar a little at a time.
  3. Beat until smooth and just combined. (May use wooden spoon to mix at this point)
  4. Over beating will cause the frosting to be runny.

During the rest of the year this cake is great too, some ideas for decoration are below:

cakecarrot

My Time

By: Jane Sucaldito Supapo

 

Early 2009 I left the Philippines

Because of dreams

Came to a foreign land, Singapore

To fulfil my plan to work and earn a living.

 

At first I couldn’t handle situations.

In my first and second employers’ homes I lacked food and rest.

I left them and found the third

They’re better and I am happily working.

 

I sacrificed and shed tears for my loved ones

It’s this love for them that I am here and holding

Determined I am to pursue my dreams

And fulfil the promise of a better future for them.

 

Being independent and a self disciplined individual

Wise and smart in a crucial world.

A breadwinner and a single mother to a girl

I learned to sacrifice my self-desires.

 

I thank God above all

For opportunities and chances

And facing forward to a better and brighter future

And one day will be proud of myself going back home where I truly belong.