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Domestic Workers, Helpers, House Keepers, loving and caring people
who take care of you, your children, your house while taking care of their own
life and their own family. Loving and Caring workers who exchange the warmth of
their own family and home to give them a good future. Domestic workers, women
,loving and caring, but why women? Women gives love and care that men cannot
give, women with unbelievable strength and wit, women with their gentle hands
and soft heart, women giving their all to give you warmth..

We interviewed a domestic helper in the Philippines to find out why
they entered this kind of job and the kind of experience they get from this.
Diana C. Soriano who is now a TESDA graduate all thanks to her passion to study
and her employer she finished the two year course. Being a domestic helper is
hard but through this she finished her studies and at the same time learned
from her employer. Learning such as taking care of a child and treating even
your employer as a part of your extended family.

            Domestic workers
are those who work in and for a household or households in an employment relationship.
They perform a wide range of tasks; they cook, clean, wash and iron the
laundry, watch over the children, and even take care of the sick.

            Work in any form
should be equal because if we will look at in any angle everybody exerts
energy. However, in 2011 things were different, work was different, domestic
work is different. The fight for equality was shattered; men and women once
again created borders just like how a nation is divided into Norths and Souths.
Two Thousand and Eleven tallied 1.9 million domestic helpers/domestic workers
in the country (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2011). If we will break it
down, 15.5% were male and a massive 84.5% belongs to the female sector, why,
because as how most people see it domestic services are female services. In
terms of those live in workers or those stay-ins a gigantic difference is seen
92.1% are women and 7.9% are men.

            Most of the
domestic workers do not reside within their motherlands instead; they find a
safe haven where progress, hope, and prosperity can be achieved, in the
National Capital Region (NCR). NCR is the common destination to those women
domestic helpers who seeks to emerge and defeat poverty. Majority of these
domestic workers came from Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas with a
percentage of 41.7%. The provinces within Visayas are the ones economically
depressed due to the lack of job opportunities, scarcity of livelihood and
unskilled work force. This is the main reason why women of the nation enter
domestic work to escape the cry of poverty, the calling of poverty, and the
clawing of poverty within their skins and deeper.

            Nevertheless,
there are still those who seeks for more, who seeks for greater heights, who
seeks for the betterment of their families, a true mother’s heart. Mid 1980’s
sparked a different phenomenon in the Philippine history. Before men dominated
exporting workforce, whom are usually sent to the deserts of Middle East as
construction workers. However, domestic workers registered a great number in
the exportation of labor force in the mid 1980’s. In 1975, 12% of total labor
outflow from the Philippines were women. By 2002, women accounted for 73% of
total labor outflow. In the end, the main question is how or when did the
feminization of domestic workers started?

            In the history of
the Philippines, slavery is already part of the economic system. In the
Southeast Asia, the slave trade already exists in the past and there are
already name for slave raid that the tribes called “Pangangayaw”. Also, selling
slaves in the different parts of South – East Asia are also already part of the
system in the past.

Movements
of people searching for a better life, livelihood or refuge, or rushing to flee
natural disasters, are as old as humankind. People migrate within their own
countries, mainly from rural to urban areas, as well as across borders. Whilst
the vast majority of those who move today are still internal migrants,
international migrants reaches the figure of 200 million people. The share of
international migrants in the world’s population has remained remarkably stable
at around 3 percent over the past 50 years, despite factors that could have been
expected to increase flows. However, in some regions the percentage is higher:
for example, in Europe it is 8.8%, and in North America 13.5%. According to
Chammartin (2009), Since the early 1980s, increasing number of women – both
single and married, and often better educated than men – have been moving on
their own to take up jobs in other countries. The most obvious reason for
addressing inequality issues of migration processes is that women workers
dominate the international migration of care services workers and tend to be
concentrated in the most vulnerable jobs of global production systems. Women
and men are differently, often unequally, positioned in the economy, perform
different socially determined responsibilities, and face different constraints;
thus, they are unlikely to respond in the same way to policies and market
signals. According to Conway (2005), Female migration not only changes the
economic role of women, but also, and above all, their role in the family. Some
studies of migration processes and impacts today recognize that migration
influences not only the person herself but also her family, especially those
left behind. Their lives are reshaped in a complex manner by the departure of
key household members. The lack of clear concrete policies to preserve the
family unit, and poor implementation of family reunification provisions,
increase and magnify the detrimental social consequences of migration. Most
families cannot take their children with them due to overly restrictive migration
policies.

Another
interview we had was with a domestic helper who tried her faith in a foreign
land.

            Consequences of migration had
experience of the female immigrants in the Philippines. Like how Brenda Dela
Cruz experience when she migrate to Saudi Arabia at the age of 30. October of
2008, she went to Jeddah, a place where there is desserts and it is so hot when
the sunrise comes and so cold when the moon comes. She serves as a nanny to her
employer’s daughter 5 hours a day and the remaining 19 hours is her task to
clean the entire house for the salary of 1,090 riyals or 12,000 pesos. She
graduated as a police officer in 1996 but got pregnant after. She cannot pursue
her job because of his father that did not agree to what course she finished.
At first, Brenda wants to go home because she misses her family so much but
then realize that she needs to work for her family’s future. She experience
multi – tasking like she cleans the living room while cooking and cleaning the
bathroom while washing the clothes. For her, it’s so hard to do all the things
but does she have a choice? She signs for two year contract and yet she wants
to go home? It gives her pain whenever she hear the voices of her children
wanting her to go back and be with them. And after 2 years of contract that she
feels it is two decades, she go back to the place she was born and decided to
never go to Saudi again to the reason she doesn’t want to leave her family craving
for a mother that they did not have for 2 years again.

            Bee,
bees and bees as enticing as it is. It moves at easy, flower every flower,
pollen every pollen, garden every garden. It will not stop until there’s enough
nectar to bring back to hives. Domestic workers like are bees; who flies
to far flung places to collect their nectar of hope but will surely return to
their home. Due to life’s unending challenges domestic workers arise, they go
from place to place in search of an extended home, a home not theirs but can be
a part of them, a home that they will serve. 

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