Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

70-year-old Filipina surrenders after being OS for 28 years

27 March 2024


Aida (in white blouse) is interviewed by Mission volunteer Rain

A 70-year-old Filipina former domestic helper has surrendered to Immigration authorities with help from the Philippine Consulate, after overstaying her visa for 28 years.

Ana, who is also getting help from the Mission for Migrant Workers for her board and lodging and case, was allowed to post $500 bail on Tuesday, Mar 26, when she reported back to the Immigration Department’s office at Skyline building in Mong Kok.

Both the Consulate and the Mission are asking Immigration to allow her to just go back to the Philippines, given her age and frail condition.


Under Hong Kong laws, overstaying is a serious offence, which could merit a sentence of up to two years in jail and a fine of $50,000, depending on the length of the overstay. It is only very rarely that an overstayer, especially one who has been underground for a considerable period, is allowed to skip detention before being deported.

The penalty may be higher if the offender is found to have committed another offense, like doing illegal work.

In Ana’s case, she said she mainly survived after going underground through the help of friends. She admitted falling for a Western man who took pity on her and supported her for a time, but he left Hong Kong several years ago.


At some point, two of her adult children came to Hong Kong to also do domestic work, and they sustained her financial needs. However, they have since returned home and started their own families.

Despite being repeatedly advised by people around her, including her children, to surrender so she could go back to the Philippines and live a normal life, Ana resisted, citing her mortal fear of her abusive husband.

Hindi naman niya ako sinasaktan, pero ang sakit magsalita. Laging pinapamukha sa akin na sinusuportahan niya ang mga pangangailangan ko at ng pamilya naming kaya ako napilitang magtrabaho sa Hong Kong,” said Ana. (He did not hurt me physically, but he always used hurtful words with me. He always reminded me that he was providing for my and our family’s needs so I was forced to work in Hong Kong).


The tremor in her voice and the visible shaking of her hands suggested the kind of fear, even if unfounded, that drove her to live underground in Hong Kong for nearly three decades.

Despite this, Ana admits it was wrong for her to have spent the best part of her years hiding in the shadows, and said it is not the kind of life other people should have.

“I would say po na huwag na silang mag OS (they should not turn OS). It’s hard to be in that situation,” she said.

Just before the pandemic, her husband died in the Philippines and their children began urging Ana again to go home, but she hesitated, thinking that it would be dangerous for her to be locked up with a lot of people, as she was unvaccinated.

Because of her visa status, Ana has never been to a doctor for the past 28 years but she said she has remained healthy as she seldom ventured outdoors.

But more than a year since all travel restrictions were lifted in Hong Kong, Ana decided to finally go home, no matter how bleak the future that awaits her in her hometown of Dasmarinas, Cavite.

Her three children who have tried their best to send her money in Hong Kong despite their meager resources, are not in a position to help much as they have their own families to look after. Providing for an elderly parent who chose to stay away for so long is something they couldn’t sustain for long.

But Ana is not even looking that long into the future, and would just like to appeal for help from kind-hearted people so she could pay for her day-to-day needs, at least until Immigration decides on what to do with her case, and she could fly back home.

Don't Miss