Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

Filipina domestic worker launches book of poems

21 June 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Ailenemae Ramos reads a poem from her newly published book, 'Beyond the Sunset'

Filipina domestic worker Ailenemae Ramos launched her collection of poems, “Beyond the Sunset,” on Sunday, Jun 20, at the University of Hong Kong, marking the revival of literary writing by overseas Filipino workers in the city.

The volume, which contains 105 poems written by Ramos since she came to work in Hong Kong in July 2010, embodies her reflections about sadness, anxiety, hope, love and self-confidence which she admits are a tale of her life experiences.

“Beyond the Sunset” is the first published work of a member of Migrant Writers of Hong Kong, a Facebook-based group that was founded by Ramos, Maria Nemy Lou Rocio and Liezel Fernandez Marcos on Mar 30.

Call us!

The group has attracted 158 members from Hong Kong and overseas in barely three months and has revived interest in poetry by providing aspiring Filipino domestic worker poets a platform for their literary creation.

The book is the first poetry collection of Ramos and is one of a few books written and published by an individual Filipina helper-poet.

Last year, another Filipina former domestic worker, Rolinda Onates-Espanola, who helped found the group Migrant Writers of Singapore, also published her own book of poems called “No Cinderella.”


And much earlier, Analyn Aryo, a former Filipina helper in Hong Kong who is now based in Canada, published a collection of essays, poems and vignettes on the challenges and hard life of Filipina migrant workers abroad. Her book, “Nanny Tales,” has just been released online by Amazon.

The author says her new book is all about hope

Ramos, a mother of a 16-year-old “young lady” and a 15-year-old “young man” says she wants to emphasize hope in her book.

“I grew up with hope in my heart that my mother is watching me beyond each sunset. Many times I found myself crying and talking in the dusk as if it was alive and I asked for guidance,” the poet says in her introduction.

Having lost her mother when she was just two years old, Ramos says she knows that her mom is just nearby watching her, quietly guiding her as she navigates the sea of challenges in life.


The book launching was co-hosted by the MWHK, Share HK and HKU Sociology Department, which provided the venue, a conference hall in the Jockey Club Tower for the event that was attended by about 30 people.

Consul Robert Quintin, guest speaker at the launching, praised the author and her fellow domestic helper-writers who, despite the challenges of their daily chores, have turned their free time into opportunities to write and gain recognition.


The event also featured a reading of six selected poems in the book by Domestic Workers Corner founder Rodelia Pedro Villar and Ramos’ fellow writers Chalyn Brioso, Maureen Esperidion, Veronica Pingol, Janet Roe Licudo and Margie Belardo.

Ramos herself read the second piece in her collection, “I Am Woman,” while her co-founder Rocio declaimed a special migration poem.

The Migrant Writers of HK with HKU's Dr Ham (leftmost  and Consul Bob Quintin

After the book-signing, Ramos said in a brief conversation that her interest in writing started by religiously making daily entries in her diary when she was young.

When she came to Hong Kong, she found time to write during her rest hours, normally late at night. During the pandemic, she would rather stay in her room and write some poems or hold online poetry reading sessions with Migrant Writers members here and in Singapore.                                                                                                              


Ramos said she and others in the group were initially members of the Arts in Me Facebook group founded by the Migrant Writers of Singapore.

“We are inspired to create a platform in Hong Kong and Maria Nemy Lou Rocio and I are continuously asking for guidance and support from Dr Julie Ham of the Department of Sociology in HKU to fulfill our mission/vision for every talented domestic helper,” said Ramos.

Ham, who for long has been supporting and helping the foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong improve themselves, said the writers group is a new activity that helps lift the image of the migrant domestic workers.

She said her department is preparing an online exhibition of the works of the migrant writers and artists shortly. This will be followed by writing workshops for the migrant writers this summer in cooperation with the HKU Department of Comparative Literature.   

Don't Miss