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OFWs join HK celebration of Mother’s Day

12 May 2024


Palma (with mic) addressing her fellow mothers in Saringit ti Laoag group

Mother’s Day in Hong Kong started out fine and sunny in the morning, but dark and rainy in the afternoon. Despite the abrupt change in the weather, many families dared not skip celebrating one of the most joyous occasions in the city.

Queues were seen forming early in flower shops, as family members rushed to buy their moms’ favorite blooms to show their love and appreciation.


By mid-day, the crowds had flocked to restaurants, and according to reports, the boost in patronage made many eateries reach around 90% capacity, the biggest since the pandemic.

Many other families had chosen to celebrate across the border that by early evening big crowds gathered at various ports of entry, including the one in Futian and Shenzhen Bay.

Ptra Edelyn Vallo leads honorees at the Jesus the Living God church
Though far from their loved ones, migrant mothers also celebrated the occasion, mostly through extended chats with family members back home, and special meals or trips with friends in Hong Kong they have become to regard as family.

Several organizations did not miss the chance to celebrate those among them who made the brave decision to go abroad so they could provide a better future for their children.

Among them was the Saringit ti Laoag City Association of Hong Kong, which held its party on the rooftop of Queensway building in Admiralty.


According to their guest speaker, Marites Palma of Social Justice for Migrant Workers, many other organizations celebrated Mother’s Day at the same venue.

Palma told her fellow mothers that they should practice self-love sometimes, and not be consumed by their desire to provide well for the family they left behind.

Once in a while pasayahin din nila ang kanilang sarili. Bumili sila ng damit, at kumain sa restaurant,” said Palma, who is herself a mother to a daughter who just graduated from college. (They should please themselves once in a while. Buy a dress, eat in a restaurant).

She also advised them strongly about standing up for their children who suffer abuse of any kind, even at the hands of their other parent.

Palma gave examples of what she called “ulirang ina” or exemplary mothers by calling on three members of the group who managed to send all their children to school, even if in the process they had stayed in Hong Kong far longer than they had intended.

One of the sharers had worked in the city for 34 years, the other, 24 years; and the last, 10 years.

Soon, magpo for good na sila,” Palma reported quite happily. (Soon, they will be going home for good).

Palma's daughter, Levi, wrote this sweet Mother's Day message for her mother 

One big celebration that did not materialize was the one that Gabriela Hong Kong, a foremost advocate of migrant women’s rights, had planned to hold starting at 4pm on Chater Road.

Gabriela chair Shiela Bonifacio said in her invitation that it was to honor “the greatest mothers” among migrants.

But apart from the rain and the dark clouds that formed across most parts of the city in the afternoon, a bigger problem loomed. Dolores Balladares, one of the honorees and chair of United Filipinos in Hong Kong, suddenly started experiencing pain and numbness in her left arm that Bonifacio was compelled to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

Luckily, Balladares recovered after just a few hours, and has since been escorted back home to rest.

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