It’s Sunday morning near Hong Kong’s Central Station. Hundreds of Filipino women gather on cardboard boxes and blankets to enjoy brunch together on their only day off from work. Shoes thrust aside, the women devour homemade flavors and reminisce moments with their own children who wait anxiously for their return thousands of miles away.
China has become one of the most popular destinations for Filipino maids seeking work overseas as Chinese families are willing to employ them for better household services and for their fluency in English. These women are often the primary breadwinners for their families and send most of their earnings back home to their husbands and children. There are around 200,000 Filipinos living in Hong Kong today.
For those interested, be sure to check out the documentary (Money and Honey, 2011) filmed and directed by the talented Lee Ching-hui. The film explores the lives of Filipino women working in a retirement home in Taiwan and dividing their time between speaking broken Mandarin, caring for elderly Taiwanese, and exchanging silly home videos with their loving husbands overseas.