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Three Pinoys in Central brawl face police investigation

Posted on 21 June 2018 No comments
By Daisy CL Mandap
Ricky Lizo 

Three Filipinos who figured in a much-publicized brawl in Central on the night of  Jun 17 (Sunday) are due to report back to police tonight to face questioning on charges of fighting in public.

The three – brothers Enrique “Ricky” and Denise Lizo, both family drivers; and Sebastian Chancell Wong (aka Sebastian Yip), a muay thai instructor and Hong Kong resident– were allowed to post police bail while they recuperated at Queen Mary Hospital in Pokfulam where they were taken after the melee.

A fourth person said to have been involved in the brawl, professional boxer Jay Primo Solmiano, reportedly turned himself in at Central Police station on Wednesday, Jun 20, after being earlier reported as having gone into hiding.

Wong posted a picture on Facebook of Solmiano and himself outside the police station, saying it was meant to dispute reports that his friend Jay was in hiding.

Sebastian Wong
An officer of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section Hermogenes Cayabyab, Jr. has told The SUN the Lizo brothers and Wong are being investigated in connection with the incident.

Pictures of all three, with their faces all bloodied and their eyes puffy from the apparent beating, circulated on social media shortly after video footages taken during the actual fighting were posted online.

(Watch one of the videos here: https://www.facebook.com/irene.cobarte/videos/1735163663198692/

According to Ricky Lizo, who said he and his brother have both been working as family drivers in Hong Kong for about 11 years, the trouble started when they saw Wong slap a Filipina companion along D’Aguilar street. The brothers reportedly told Wong to stop, but instead of complying, the younger Filipino allegedly shoved Denise aside.

Fearing for his brother since he knew the alleged assailant as a professional fighter, Ricky said he hit Wong in the head with a beer bottle, which he had taken along from a pub they had just left.

“Pinalo ko ng bote,” Ricky admitted.

His heftier brother reportedly helped stop Wong by elbowing him on the mouth, but the fighter retaliated by hitting Dennis with a belt buckle.

Solmiano, who was seen in the videos initially trying to stop the fight, ended up hitting Ricky to defend his friend Wong, leaving the driver black and blue, his lips busted, and with his nose bloodied and apparently broken.

Jay Solmiano inside Central Police station
But in a separate interview with a Philippine TV news station, Wong denied that he had hit his woman companion. He said the woman was drunk and was out of control so he tried to pacify her by holding her by the hand.

Wong said Ricky must have misinterpreted his actions, but instead of asking what was going on, the driver who was apparently drunk, hit him on the head with a beer bottle. Solmiano went to his friend's rescue when the driver allegedly hit him again with the broken bottle.
Wong showed pictures of his stitched broken lip and head wounds to prove that he was himself badly wounded from the scuffle.
Wong and Denise Lizo were discharged from the hospital after two days, while Ricky had to stay for another day. Despite being allowed to go home, Ricky said he is due to return to the hospital early next month for surgery on his broken nose. He has also been told to rest for a few days before going back to work.

Solmiano, who had posted an apology on his Facebook page for his involvement in the brawl, has since deactivated his account. He has apparently declined all requests for an interview.

Police have yet to respond to a query on the result of their investigation into the incident.


Protect our children, stop child abuse

Posted on No comments
By PathFinders

All children should be protected from harm and be entitled to healthy development regardless of race, birth place and wealth. Unfortunately, the reality is that child abuse happens in all communities, including in Hong Kong.

As many current or former foreign domestic workers are responsible for undertaking childcare duties for their employers and/or have to care for their own children, it is very important for them to have a clear knowledge of the legal boundaries and social expectations related to child protection in Hong Kong. 

In this article, we aim to raise awareness on child protection by sharing child abuse cases and providing advice for FDWs on ways to protect their children and the children they care for.

Child abuse falls typically into four categories: physical, sexual, psychological and neglect.

According to statistics from the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department, 947 cases of child abuse were reported in 2017 in Hong Kong.

Within the community of migrant mothers and children, PathFinders last year handled 23 cases in which the children involved were at risk. Since its establishment in 2008, Pathfinders has helped 2,497 toddlers and children (aged 0-2), of whom 170 were at significant risk of abuse, violence, neglect or trafficking.

In Hong Kong, specific ordinances and legislations have been established and enforced to combat child abuse.

The first case we would like to share involved a current FDW. Last December, the worker filmed three children under her care (aged five to seven) naked in a shower. Unaware that the filming and publishing were illegal, she then live-streamed the 17-minute video on Facebook. The FDW was subsequently arrested for “publication of child pornography”.

Although the regretful FDW pleaded guilty to “obtaining access to a computer with dishonest intent” and her employer accepted her apology in a mitigation letter, the maid was still sentenced to three months’ imprisonment due to the seriousness of the offence.

The maximum penalties for violating these two ordinances are a $2 million fine and imprisonment of 5 years for the first offence, and 8 years for the second.

Apart from the FDWs, migrant mothers in Hong Kong are also at risk of committing child abuse and of unintentionally putting their children in danger.

The second case, which PathFinders handled, was that of a 3-year-old boy who lived in a government-funded shelter with his migrant mother and 6-year-old brother. The abuse occurred when the mother took her sons to visit their father. Angry over a minor misbehavior, the father poured hot water on his younger son, seriously scalding the little boy’s lower torso and thighs.

As a victim of the father’s abuse herself, the mother was terrified. To protect herself and her children from further abuse, she decided not to report the father’s crime to the police.

The migrant women involved in both cases did not intend to cause any harm to the children they cared for. However, their lack of knowledge about child protection, parenting skills and, in the second case, the mother’s lack of confidence and emotional strength, led them to unintentionally violate the law or being unable to act in the best interest of the children under their care.

Given the vast differences in the cultural, legal and social environments between their home countries and Hong Kong, it is very important for migrant mothers and FDWs to have a clear understanding of the laws concerning child abuse in Hong Kong and to develop their overall knowledge of how to protect children’s rights and safety.

PathFinders provides counseling, education workshops and shelter to enrich the FDWs’ and migrant mothers’ childcare and parenting skills, equipping them with the knowledge and resilience to fight child abuse and empowering them to do the right thing in protecting the children under their care from harm.

Child protection is not only the responsibility of parents. It requires awareness and support from all caregivers and the entire community. To report child abuse, please call the Hong Kong Police at 999.

For enquiries and assistance, you may contact Hong Kong Social Welfare Department at 2343 2255 or PathFinders’ client hotline at 5190 4886. For information on PathFinders’ workshops, please visit our website at www.PathFinders.org.hk or call our client hotline.

Placement agency charges —for the Nth time

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By Cynthia Tellez

It is quite disheartening to have the chance to discuss this topic every now and then. We have noticed that migrant workers continuously approach the Mission for assistance for this kind of problem, most of them new arrivals. This means that the information drive in our home country about placement agency fees is not sufficient, if it is being done at all.

Our compatriots leaving the Philippines as household service workers, to any parts of the world including Hong Kong, should be reminded that by law, placement agencies are prohibited from charging placement fees. It is zero-agency-fees for household service workers (e.g. domestic workers, caregivers, caretakers).

As a matter of agreement, the Philippine government has established the Standard Employment
Contract (Contract) with Hong Kong. In the Contract , it is clearly stipulated that the expenses of processing the employment of a new domestic worker in Hong Kong should be shouldered by the employer. This includes the visa fee, plane fare, Philippine government mandatory fees such as the POEA and OWWA, and other requirements either from the government of both countries or by the prospective employer, including medical certificates and the like. (see Clause no. 8 of the Contract)

However, placement agencies in the Philippines have exploited the POEA policy of requiring assessment and training for applicants processing their contract application from the Philippines. The range of fees reported to the Mission alone is from PhP5,000 to PhP150,000! Unfortunately, there is NO standard fee to these two requirements. Placement agencies then have a way of charging their applicants to their heart’s desire. The common practice, therefore, is charging the applicants without issuing receipts or they may issue one but with only the “acceptable” amount written on it.

There are other schemes experienced and shared by migrant workers, such as agencies asking for a “facilitation fee” to supposedly expedite the issuance of a medical certificate by a medical clinic they know (of which some employers are skeptical so they require another medical examination when they arrive in Hong Kong). Some agencies also charge for the plane fare on the pretext that they had not yet received the plane ticket from the employer for the migrant worker’s travel. Indeed, there are many other ways and means that agencies use to extract money from their applicants.

But most of the victims of these unscrupulous agencies do not know anything about the no-placement-fee policy. Most are first timers, or even if they are former OFWs they are simply not aware of it because there is no sufficient and thorough information campaign on it from the POEA, which is supposed to enforce the policy.

If victimized, what can be done and what should be done when applying?
1. Have a good account of every step that you take while processing your employment contract application.
2. Keep a record of every single event, action, conversation and instructions every step of the way.  In other words, keep a diary and actively update it. You may share it with any of your relatives.
3. On your departure for Hong Kong, be sure to bring with you the receipts or any papers that the agency signed, or acknowledged, to prove the payments that you made, and most importantly, the written account of how things went during the process.
4. When already in Hong Kong, the earliest you can go to any service providers for consultation, the better. You will need their guidance on how to go about filing a claim for the illegal exaction of fees by your agency.
5. Remember this. If the illegal fee was recorded in the Philippines but the collection of money is happening in Hong Kong, it is better to refer the claims to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), an extension of the Philippine Labour Department based in Hong Kong, to stop it.
6. At POLO:
a) Present your statement explaining how the illegal exaction of fees happened. Even for those who were forced by circumstances to make a loan and the whole amount was taken by the agency, be sure that you have a good account of what happened You may need the assistance of any service providers to assist you in making your statement.
b) Submit the statement to POLO and ask them to assist you in claiming back the illegal fees collected from you by the agency and if applicable, waive the disputed “loan”.
c) A conciliation meeting might be scheduled. This meeting is between you and the agency representative with a POLO official serving as the arbiter and facilitator at the meeting. Hopefully, the claims are settled at this level.  This means that the agency should give you back the fees illegally collected from you because the agency in Hong Kong is equally responsible for any actions committed by the agency in the Philippines.
d) If the parties fail to reach a settlement at the meeting, you can be endorsed by the POLO official to the POEA in Manila.
e) We know how difficult the justice system in our country is, so let us take the extra step of lodging a complaint at the Hong Kong Labour Department’s Employment Agency Administration (EAA) against the illegal fees collected by the counterpart agency in Hong Kong. This is to record the illegal activities of the Hong Kong agency.
f) Meanwhile, when filing claims in the Philippines against the Philippine-based agency, you may need more assistance to hurdle the bureaucracy there. Let a service provider in Hong Kong, like the Mission, refer you to a service provider based in the Philippines. But make sure that you take note of what you need to prepare: get an Endorsement letter to POEA from POLO and make a Special Power of Attorney naming a person whom you are authorizing to file the claims and to further represent you at the POEA and in subsequent hearings.

It is strongly suggested that when the illegal collection of fees happens, share the information to your employer to make them understand your predicament. They might even help you address the matter with the authorities. If you are unsure on how to go about this, consult a service provider like the Mission.

In most cases, if not all, those victimised by unscrpulous agencies do not have any proof or evidence (i.e. official receipts) that payments were, indeed, made to the agency. It does not mean that you cannot file a case. A detailed account of what happened will be most helpful in place of this evidence. 

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This is the monthly column from the Mission for Migrant Workers, an institution that has been serving the needs of migrant workers in Hong Kong for over 31 years. The Mission, headed by its general manager, Cynthia Tellez, assists migrant workers who are in distress, and  focuses its efforts on crisis intervention and prevention through migrant empowerment. Mission has its offices at St John’s Cathedral on Garden Road, Central, and may be reached through tel. no. 2522 8264.

Dayong katulong sa paningin ng mga taga-HK

Posted on No comments
Ni Vir B. Lumicao

Batay sa tratong-alipin ng di-iilang amo sa kanilang mga dayuhang katulong at sa mga patakaran ng gobyerno ng Hong Kong, ang mga kasambahay ay itinuturing na parang mga walang personalidad sa lungsod na ito.

Mahirap tanggapin ang katotohanang may mga among Intsik na mas mahal ang kanilang mga alagang aso kaysa sa mga katulong na ipinagpalit ang sariling mga pamilya at dignidad upang nagsisilbi sa kanila.

Mababa kaysa sa hayop ang turing nila sa bawa’t Pilipino, Indonesian o iba pang dayuhang naglilingkod sa mga pamilyang lokal na kayang magpasahod sa kanila. Madalas, ganoon din ang turing nila pati sa mga nakakaangat na kalahi ng mga katulong dito.

Halos dalawang dekada matapos umalma ang mga Pilipino sa sinabi ng kolumnistang si Chip Tsao na tayo ay “isang bansa ng mga busabos” (a nation of servants), muling sumungaw kamakailan ang panliliit ng mga tagarito sa mga dayuhang katulong.

Ngunit sa pagkakataong ito, kasama na ang iba pang mga lahi sa nilait ng isang mambabatas ng Hong Kong, si Eunice Yung ng New People’s Party. Ang pinuna niya ay ang pagsisiksikan ng mga DH sa mga liwasan, mga tulay na pantao, at sa ilalim ng mga tulay kapag araw ng kanilang pahinga.

Ayon kay Yung, ang mga nakahambalang na karagatan ang mga dayuhang katulong sa mga pasyalan ng mga taga-Hong Kong ay nagdudulot ng abala at panganib sa kalusugan ng mga lokal na mamamayan.

Nagpanting ang mga taynga ng mga katulong, kabilang ang mga tagasuporta nilang Intsik at iba pang mga lahi. Ayon sa kanila, nababakas sa tinuran ni Yung ang diskriminasyon at panliliit sa ibang lahi at nasasalamin doon ang mga patakaran ng gobyerno ng Hong Kong na nagsasawalang-bahala sa mala-aliping pagtrato at abang kalagayan nila.

Hindi pinakikinggan ng gobyerno ang mga hinaing ng mga katulong ukol sa sapilitang pagtira nila sa bahay ng amo, labis-labis na oras ng pagtatrabaho, kawalan o kakulangan ng proteksiyon laban sa pagmamalabis ng mga amo, at di pantay na parusang ipinapataw sa amo at sa kanyang katulong kapag sila ay parehong napatunayang lumabag sa batas.

Ilan na ang mga kaso ng pananakit, pagmamalabis o pang-aabuso ng amo sa katulong ang matagumpay na inusig sa korte at napatawan ng karampatang parusa ang maysala? Halos wala. Tanging ang kaso ni Erwiana Sulistiyaningsih ang nagtagumpay sa korte. Nakulong ang amo dahil natuunan ng pandaigdigang media ang kaso at puting hukom ang lumitis.

Ngunit sa kasabay na kaso diumano ng pagmamalupit ng amo sa katulong, pinawalang-sala ng korte ang amo ni Anis Andriyani sa bintang na tinangka niyang putulin ang talasinsingan ng katulong matapos nitong iwasiwas ang walis sa alagang aso ng amo.

Ang halos kasabay ding kaso ng pagmamalupit ng amo na dinanas ng isa pang katulong, si Rowena Uychiatco, ay binale-wala ng pulisya dahil daw sa kakulangan ng ebidensiya.

Nariyan ding bantulot ang pulisya na aksiyunan ang mga kaso ng pambibiktima ng mga manloloko sa mga katulong, lalo na kung may kasangkot na salapi. Nakapagtataka ito dahil kapag may na-scam sa mga mamamayang lokal ay kumikilos kaagad ang pulisya at mabilis na nalulutas ang kaso.

Marami sa mga korte rito ang mga kasong panlilinlang sa kapwa na ang mga biktima at maysala ay mga lokal na mamamayan. Mabilis na dininig at dinisisyunan ng hukuman ang mga kaso nila.

Samantala, ilang kaso ng panlilinlang ng mga gahamang recruiter sa mga katulong ang ayaw pakialaman ng pulisya, at kapag naisampa naman ang mga iyon sa hukuman ay natutulog doon. Kapag napatunayan namang nagkasala ang recruiter, pagmumultahin lang ito ng kakatiting lamang ng kabuuang halagang piniga sa mga biktima.

Marami pang pagmamaltrato o diskriminasyon sa mga katulong ang madalas masaksihan ng madla sa Hong Kong, tulad ng hindi pagpapagamit sa kanila sa mga lift na pang-residente sa ilang gusaling tirahan, ang pagbabawal sa kanila sa mga clubhouse ng mga residential estate, ang pang-aaway ng mga local sa kanila sa mga park o mga bus.

Maraming insidente noong nakaraan ang ibinabalik sa alaala ng salita ni Eunice Yung. Kulang na lamang marahil na may magsabit ng karatula sa bungad ng liwasan na ganito ang nakasulat: “Bawal dito ang mga dayuhang katulong.”

Siguro ay oras na para itigil ng ibang bansa ang pagpapadala ng mga katulong dito. 

Nabaon sa utang

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Naawa na naiinis ang mga kaibigan ni Josie dahil tuwing araw ng pahinga ay palagi na lamang siyang nanghihingi ng $5, na pamasahe daw niya sa mini bus. Maaga siyang lumalabas tuwing Linggo para maabangan niya mga kapwa niya Pinay sa sakayan ng bus para makahingi ng barya-barya lang.

Nagtataka ang mga hinihingan niya ng pera tuwing araw ng pahinga kung bakit lagi na lamang siyang nanghihingi, hanggang sa kalaunan ay nalaman nila na sagad pala ito sa utang kaya lahat ng sahod niya ay naipapambayad niya buwan-buwan.

Nagpatayo daw kasi siya ng bahay kaya kinailangan niyang umutang ng malaki. May trabaho naman sa Pilipinas ang asawa niya kaya wala siyang problema sa allowance ng mga anak nila. Nagtutulungan sila na makamit mga pangarap nila para sa kanilang pamilya, pero si Josie ang nagmumukhang kawawa.

Kung kani-kanino siya nakikikain sa simbahan na kanyang dinadaluhan, lumalapit siya sa mga umpukan ng mga Pinay at nakikipagkwentuhan hanggang ayain na siyang kakain. Bago umuwi ay hihirit pa siyang humingi ng $5 para sa kanyang pamasahe pauwi.

Payo naman ng isang kakilala niya, sana naman ay magtira siya sa kanyang sahod ng pangkain at pamasahe para hindi siya magmukhang kawawa. May isa namang nagsabi na maaring ayaw ni Josie na magtagal sa Hong Kong kaya ganoon na lang ang kayod niya. Gusto lang niyang matapos ang ipinatayong bahay, at pagkatapos ay uuwi na para makasama na ang kanyang pamilya. Kahit magsakripisyo na siya ng husto, kahit mamalimos na, ay gagawin para sa pamilya.

Si Josie ay tubong Metro Manila, may asawa at anak, 35 taong gulang, at malapit ng matapos ang unang kontrata sa pamilyang kanyang pinaninilbihan sa New Territories. – Marites Palma

Nang dahil sa spaghetti

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Bago pa lang si Lani sa kanyang amo na mabait naman pero sobrang selan pagdating sa kanilang kinakain. Lahat ng pagkain ay dapat eksakto sa timbang, lalo na yung baon ng mga bata sa eskuwela. Dapat alam ni Lani kung ilang grams ng pasta ang lulutuin kasama na ang gulay at pansahog na karne o isda dahil dapat ay tama lang na mailagay niyang lahat sa lunch box nila na walang sobra. 

Minsan ay nagluto ng spaghetti si Lani at may dalawang subo ng spaghetti na sumobra. Nilagay niya sa isang tabi at tinakpan, at pagkatapos magligpit sa kusina ay kanyang kinain. Nakita siya ng kanyang among babae at pinagalitan siya. 

Sumama ang loob ni Lani na sarap na sarap pa namang kumain. Hindi niya lubos maisip na sa kaunting tira ay pagagalitan siya ng amo niya. Kaya imbes na tumigil ay tinapos nya ang pagkain ng spaghetti, sabay sabi ng, “Sayang itapon kaya kinain ko, kung galit ka na kinain ko ang spaghetti just deduct from my salary.” 

Tahimik na umalis ang amo ni Lani bitbit ang lunch box ng mga bata. Pagod man pero napatawa si Lani sa ginawa nya, sabay sabi sa sarili na “1 point” dahil nakuha niyang mangatwiran sa amo niya. Pagbalik niya mula sa paghahatid sa mga bata sa eskwelahan ay hinanda na niya ang kanyang tenga sa sermon ng amo.

Pero laking gulat ni Lani dahil hindi lang siya hindi pinagalitan kundi ay kinausap siya ng mahinahon at humingi ng paumanhin ang amo. 

Hindi niya akalain na nang dahil lang sa spaghetti ay naging mabait ang kanyang amo. Patapos na ang kanyang kontrata ngayon at kinausap siya ng amo na pumayag siyang mag renew dahil gusto daw nila ang serbisyo niya. 

Laking tuwa naman ni Lani lalo at kailangan pa niya ng trabaho para sa mga anak na nasa kolehiyo. Si Lani, 48 taong gulang, ay nagtatrabaho sa Mei Foo at tubong Batangas. - Rodelia Villar

All-Filipina team Divas grand slam cricket champs

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By Vir B. Lumicao

Jennifer Alumbro delivered three sixes and bowled out three rival players as Filipinas stormed to the championship of Cricket Hong Kong’s Development League on Jun 3 with a clean sweep of all their games in their maiden season in the sport.

he form that carried the team to victory.
The SCC Divas, an all-domestic helper team, formally took the crown via a devastating 141-run victory in 16 overs against their Game 2 opponents Craigengower Cricket Club, which managed only 37 runs.

The Filipinas warmed up for the final match in a 124-run win in 16 overs against United Services Recreation Club’s 48 in the morning game.

“Thank you for making this league very exciting,” head coach British Richard Waite told the Divas players after the final game.

Waiter later handed the team a small, token gold trophy, which he said would be replaced with a big one at the awarding of trophies and medals on Jun 22, at a still unknown venue.

“You easily dominated the league in your first cricket tournament. Next season, we will move you up to the T20 league, where you will be playing against more experienced teams,” Waite said. He urged the Filipinas to invite more of their friends to the sport.

Opposing teams in a T20 game play a single innings restricted to 20 overs.

Jennifer Alumbro was declared the most valuable player of the day, as she scored three sets of six runs against USRC by batting the ball past the border in the first game on Jun 3 and another six in the match against CCC. Ma Luz Madia was also picked as an MVP.

For the entire league that began on May 6, Alumbro was the highest scorer with a total of 193 runs. Close behind her was Divas captain Josie Arimas with 189 runs, and while Zeny Badajos was the third-highest with 140.

“I’m speechless. I can’t believe we are the champions,” Arimas told The SUN after the league. The former Palarong Pambansa baseball player from Bacolod was astounded after the last match.

“Grand slam talaga, walang talo,” she said, digesting her team’s success. “Ang saya kanina. Tapos, ang kalaban (CCC) ay dating naglalaro na sa main league.”

Team manager Animesh Kulkani was not in Hong Kong to watch his wards clinch the championship, but was in touch by phone most of the time during the match asking how the team was faring, Arimas said.

The Filipinas’ cutting edge appeared to be their background in baseball and softball, which made them “strong whackers,” as Hong Kong national team coach Waite has described them. Their experience on the diamond also made them good bowlers.

The left-handed Alumbro, a slugger from Aklan, denied the all-Hongkonger CCC a chance to overtake the 141 runs that the Divas had strung in their innings by dismissing three batters with precision bowling. 
The SCC Divas celebrate their victory in the Cricket Hong Kong’s Development League.

Romina Osabel, a powerful softball and baseball player, took down two wickets while Arimas dropped one as the Divas showed the opponents they were on target even from a distance. Badajos did just that when she recovered as fast ball from the right field and struck down the stump about 20 meters away.

All CCC could score in their innings was 37 runs for 16 overs, after losing some from deductions for the fallen wickets.

Coach Najeeb Amar, who honed up the baseball and softball-oriented Filipinas in this entirely unfamiliar sport, joined the players in savoring their victory.

“You made my life easier, girls,” Amar said, recalling that it was he who at first had some difficulty calling them up for training, understandably because of their jobs. But it did not take long before the Filipinas themselves would call him to come out and train them, he said.

He said in the T20 league, he will divide the 25 Divas players into two teams playing in the same tournament. 
\
For now, the team will have a month-long rest before they begin rigid training for the next season, which will begin in September.

Mahal ang yaya

Posted on 18 June 2018 No comments
Mahigit ng 20 taon na nagsisilbi si Rita sa mga among Indian na mayaman at taga Mid-Levels, at siya na ang nagpalaki sa dalawang anak ng mga ito na ngayon ay parehong binata na. Naging sobrang malapit si Rita sa mga alaga, lalo na at ang ina ng mga ito ay mahilig sa sosyalan at hindi masyadong naalagaan ang mga anak.

Pero dahil halata ng ina ang sobrang lapit ng mga anak kay Rita ay malaki ang lihim nitong galit sa katulong. Noong pareho nang pumunta sa Amerika ang dalawang binata para doon mag-kolehiyo ay sinamantala ng kanilang ina ang pagkakataon at pinaalis si Rita sa kanilang bahay.

Nalaman ito ng dalawang binata, at agad-agad na bumalik sa Hong Kong ang panganay para awayin ang ina, at sabihan ito na kunin ulit si Rita.

Walang nagawa ang ina kundi sundin ang anak, lalo pa at totoo naman na malaki ang ibinuwis na hirap ni Lita para mapalaki ng maayos ang mga binata.

Isa itong malaking patunay ang pagpapahalaga nila sa kanilang kasambahay.

Tuwang tuwa naman na tinanggap ni Rita ang alok na bumalik sa mga amo dahil parang tunay na mga anak na rin ang turing niya sa mga alaga, kahit na may sarili siyang pamilya sa Pilipinas. - LMD

How to stand up for your rights

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By George Manalansan

Ever experienced being treated wrongly because you’re a migrant worker, and a member of an ethnic minority group?

This was what happened on May 31 to Rowena Bustos, 47 and a native of Pampanga, who found herself being overcharged for some grocery items she bought from a store in Shaukeiwan.

After going through the receipt given her, Bustos realized there had been a mistake, and decided to go back to complain to the cashier. But instead of explaining the charges, the cashier took one look at her and ignored her request to go over the receipt with her. The cashier then spoke in Cantonese to another store employee, and the two of them told Bustos to leave the store.

The Filipinas was so upset at the way she was treated. The grocery staff did not even listen to what she was complaining about, even if she tried her best to sound respectful. On the way back home, she weighed things through. Should she let things be, or should she seek redress? She decided to seek justice.

She called up her employer, a former policeman, and he immediately agreed to go back with her to the store.

At the store, the cashier was suddenly meek, and readily admitted her mistake on checking the receipt. She also apologized for the error, and Bustos’ employer graciously accepted the apology, having proved his point.

The former police officer commended the helper for her vigilance and courage in defending her rights despite being bullied.

Bustos for her part, is advising her fellow domestic workers to always stand up for their rights, and to never let anyone degrade them.

Mga taong grasa at OFW

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Mapagmatyag na tao sa kapaligiran si Dindo, 40, taga Maynila, at kabilang sa mga napagtuunan niya ng pansin ang isang matandang taong grasa. Napansin niya na kapag inaabutan ito ng pagkain ng mga nagdaraan, ano pa man ang lahi, ay ayaw nitong tanggapin. Pero kapag iniwanan nila ang pagkain sa ibabaw ng basurahan at kanya itong kukunin.

Kamakailan ay naikuwento ni Dindo sa mga ka-tropa sa Statue Square ang tungkol sa matanda, at ang lahat ay nagtaka sa narinig.

“Bakit kaya?” ang tanong ng lahat.

Ang taong grasa ba na ito ay naninindigan na hindi siya mamamalimos, balik-tanong ni Dindo. Sagot ng isa, ayaw siguro magkaroon ng utang na loob. Biglang napahagalpak ang isa pa, “Aba, mataas ang pride chicken” wika niya. “Maaring may mapait na karanasan ang matanda” sabat ng isa pa. Dito na nabuksan ang usapin tungkol sa mga taong grasa o ang iba pang may problema sa katinuan na makikita sa lansangan.

Sabi ni Dindo, maaring ang mga taong grasa ay may bubog o sugat sa pagkatao na hanggang ngayon ay dada-dala pa.

Iyung matandang “ma pride ay lagi daw niyang nakikita noon na palaboy-labor  sa may Shelter street sa Causeway Bay noong doon pa nakatira ang kanyang mga amo.

May isang Instik din na pilay at may diperensiya sa pangangatawan na laging nakapuwesto sa gitna mg mataong lugar sa Causeway Bay.

May isa pang nakabalot ng masking tape ang buong ulo at nakabalandra sa dulo ng kalsada sa gilid ng tindahan ng Sogo.

Hindi niya tuloy maiwasan ang mag-isip kung sino ang nag-aalaga sa mga ito kapag hindi nagpapalimos o namumulot ng pagkain. Akala daw niya noon, kapag maunlad ang isang lugar katulad ng Hong Kong ay walang nagpapalimos. – George Manalansan

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