Pinay nanny finally freed from modern-day slavery for 65 years, starts new life at 81, Salbahe silang mag-ina!



Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez and Nanay Fedelina/photo courtesy of Twitter/DFA



She is the living example of modern-day slavery, Fedelina Lugasan, 81, just wants to go home to the Philippines after being freed from a 65-year  form her abusive employer in the United States.

This year, at 81, she’s ready to begin the life of a free woman. She spent 65 years in servitude. She almost wasted her life being taken advantaged of by her Fil-Am employer.



Nanay Fedelina was brought to the United States when she was just 16 years old by the Filipino-American family, she was serving in the Philippines.

When she arrived in the US, her employers confiscated her passport, birth certificate and other identification documents.

In an ABS-CBN’s Balitang America interview last June 2019, Nanay Fedelina narrated her trauma with the family she served for four generations.



Nanay Fedelina became the nanny of the children and then the grandchildren and did all household work with no salary for 65 years.

“Nag-alaga ko ng nanay niya, nag-alaga ako ng anak niya, tapos nanay naman niya, apat na apo ang inalagaan ko. Lahat ‘yun ginawa ko ako lang mag-isa — nagluluto, naglilinis, namamalantsa, namamalengke — ako lahat, kayang-kaya ko, hinahatid-sinusundo, dinadalhan ng pagkain sa eskuwela,” she said in the interview.

“Ang hinihigaan ko ang lamig, ang dumi-dumi, butas-butas pa ‘yong blanket ko, salbahe silang mag-ina,” she added.


“Ngayon, maligaya na ako at malaya. Hindi na ako nakakulong, hindi na ako inaapi ng mga tao (Now, I am happy and free. I am no longer locked up, no longer abused by people)”.
Nanay Fedelina was recently invited to the Philippine Independence Day reception in Los Angeles where she was hailed as “a symbol of courage and freedom, the very essence of the annual celebration of Philippine Independence.”

In 2018, the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC), through the help of US law enforcement, rescued Nanay Fedelina from her Filipino-American employers and helped pursue and win her case in court.



“Today, with the help of PWC, the Consulate General, and many other generous hearts in Los Angeles, Nanay Fedelina is ready to begin a new life at 81,” the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles said.

Nanay Fedelina wants to go home to Tacloban City and find her family. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez hopes to help her with her dream.

"I want to go home to Tacloban and find my family," Nanay Fedelina said, as reported by the Department of Foreign Affairs.



After being rescued from her abusive employers, she has been living in a nursing facility in Long Beach, where she has a private room and her needs provided for free.

“We are working on getting her T-Visa (trafficking victim visa) which will allow her to stay in the US indefinitely. As soon as she gets her visa, I promised to fulfill her wish to get a tour of Malacañang and maybe a chance to see the President,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

Following the meeting with Nanay Fedelina on September 15, Romualdez emphasized the government's commitment to uphold the welfare and protect the rights of overseas Filipinos at all times.



 “The President instructed us to prioritize overseas Filipinos. We must do our best to safeguard their welfare,” Romualdez said.
"Nanay Fedelina came from a generation when slave-like employment practices or highly unregulated domestic employment were still commonplace in the Philippines. She also seems to be one of the few to survive this and gain freedom," the DFA said.

The meeting between Romualdez and Nanay Fedelina was facilitated by PWC last month. It was part of the joint advocacy of the Consulate General and PWC to tell her story in the hopes that no more Filipino would fall victim to modern-day slavery.

Source: Politiko

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