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Filipina DH spends annual leave in Thailand with 2 sons, courtesy of employer

05 April 2023

By Daisy CL Mandap

Jovelyn Lontoc with her two sons on arrival in Thailand

When it comes to employers’ kindness and generosity, only a very few can match the Hong Kong couple that has hired Jovelyn Lontoc, a 52-year-old single mother, for the past seven-and-a-half years  

In lieu of paying her annual leave which by her reckoning should add up to 28 days, Lontoc’s employers offered to take her with them to Thailand, where she was to meet her two sons who are both in their 20s.

Lontoc said she got even more overwhelmed when her employers told her they would pay for their seven days’ stay in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, and a further nine days in Hong Kong.

That meant, paying for their 4-star hotel with free meals, plus pocket money of ThB15,000 (HKD3,500); and her sons’ “show money” at the airport (to prove their financial means to travel) of Php60,000 (HKD8,630).

Lontoc and her brood are now in Bangkok where they flew to, after being treated to a sumptuous dinner by her employers on their last day of stay in Chiang Mai.

“They treat us like family, with no boundaries,” said Lontoc, as she shared a picture of their dinner together. “I am not perfect, but I’m lucky to have them as my employers.”

Lontoc's employers treated them to dinner on their last day in Chiang Mai

But as Lontoc herself says, this is not the first time her employers have shown not just generosity, but empathy towards her.

During her first contract with them, she was allowed to go home three times, with her round-trip air fare fully paid for. The first time was when her eldest son graduated from college, the second time, when the younger one finished high school, and the third, when the boys celebrated their birthdays.

These came with thoughtful gestures such as sending her graduating son a pen engraved with his name, and for the younger boy, a brand new Lenovo computer and printer, after Lontoc told her male employer that he was planning to take up computer engineering in college.


At the start of her second contract, Lontoc was given a raise, but this was not all the blessing she would get from them. When she asked if she could borrow money to pay the outstanding balance of Php326,000 for the house in Cavite that she had bought earlier, her employer immediately said yes.

She was also allowed to go home again to personally receive the title to her house. But her joy at completing payment for the house soon dissipated when she saw its rundown state. The house had been unoccupied for two years since she and her husband had an acrimonious parting, and most of the furniture she had bought had fallen into disrepair.

When she got back to Hong Kong and her female employer asked if she managed to get the title to the house, she said “yes” in a sad voice, then showed her photos of how the house looked. The very next day, her employer gave her $10,000 and said she should use it to buy new furnishings for the house, and that she should not worry about paying it back.


Overwhelmed by yet another kind gesture from the couple, Lontoc broke into tears, and hugged her employer while giving thanks.

Mother and sons in their luxurious hotel room in Chiang Mai

Lontoc said she has tried her best to repay her employers’ kindness by working conscientiously, and looking after the couple’s only child with love and care while they are both at work.

Kahit may tatlo kaming CCTV ay hindi ako naiilang gampanan ang aking trabaho,” she said. (Even if there are three CCTVs at home I am not bothered as I do my work).


She said her employers love to party and entertain at home, and she never complains even if she ends up sleeping late on such occasions.

Inilagay ko sa puso’t isipan ko na trabaho ang ipinunta ko dito, para sa kinabukasan ng aking mga anak,” she said. (I have put it in my heart and mind that I have come here to work to secure the future of my children).

Outside the Bangkok hotel where they are now staying

Lontoc has come a long way since arriving here 20 years ago, bright-eyed and full of hopes, but eventually suffering the same fate as many other women migrants before her – being betrayed by their husbands, then going through a painful separation.


But she has been far luckier than many of them, as she has found employers who have not only been generous, but show true care and concern for the kind of life she aspires for, and is now within reach.

(Update: One of Lontoc’s sons is having his wisdom tooth extracted in Bangkok today in an emergency procedure, and guess what  Her ever-generous employers are again footing the bill.)

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