Celebrations can be bittersweet for Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) in Hong Kong who are unable to be home to celebrate with their families.
Many migrant workers are mothers. For mothers, not being able to see our children on these special days can be particularly tough. In the past two years the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated things further, making it more difficult for most MDWs to visit their families back home. Jean Bulac – one of PathFinders‘ Ambassadors – shares with us how she and her daughter Thayana celebrate Easter.
The Q&A is part of the #PathGuardiansHK campaign. From 4 April (Children’s Day) to 8 May 2022 (Mother’s Day) Hugill & Ip supports PathFinders’ cause. Together we can ensure that some of most vulnerable and unsupported children in Hong Kong are protected and respected, and their migrant mothers are empowered to find a path to a bright future. Every dollar counts!
For contributions and to receive a Deed of Guardianship by Hugill & Ip’s Estate Planning team of solicitors, you can access PathFinders’ “Donate” link.
Q1. How will you be celebrating Easter in Hong Kong?
When everything was still normal without COVID-19, my friends and I usually attended mass and ate together.
Once we also joined an egg hunt at K-11 Musea and we won a discount voucher. We enjoyed a meal at a Japanese restaurant. That was a good accomplishment.
Q2. How did you celebrate Easter before you came to Hong Kong to work?
When I was in the Philippines, there were a lot of memories during Easter. It was a 4-day event, and very traditional especially in our province, Antique.
“Semana Santa” means Holy Week, the re-enactment of the Passion and “Pagsalubong”. Our family went together to watch that event. We usually walk. It’s awesome to be with family on Easter. That’s what I miss.
Q3. How is Easter special for you and your family?
Easter is really special for me. Thinking of it makes me want to go home. We have family bonding, go to church together and have traditional food to share with everyone who comes and visits.
Q4. When was the last time you celebrated Easter with your child?
The last time was in 2018 when we went for a 2-week vacation. We went to a farm and stayed there for a day, enjoying local food and the scenery.
Q5. Do you know how your child will be celebrating Easter?
My daughter still does the same traditions together with my cousins attending the event yearly. But because of the COVID situation now, I don’t have any idea if the same events happen this Easter.
Q6. How does it feel like to be away from your child during Easter?
I have a daughter who lives in my uncle’s house. So far I have not been bothered by it much, though I miss her. I know she’s okay, I only feel sad thinking that I’m not with her. But I have no choice, I need to work for her future.
Q7. How do you stay connected with your child when working in HK?
Every day we exchange messages on Facebook. Sometimes I call her on video calls. Need to monitor her everyday, helping her as well in some research work for her online classes.
Q8. What can employers do to help you stay connected with your child?
My employers are supportive. They give me some time for my daughter. If I really need to, even if I’m at work, they give me time to chat with my daughter.
For information purposes only. Its contents do not constitute legal advice and readers should not regard this as a substitute for detailed advice in individual instances.