We hear so many sad stories about the plight of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East, especially those working in households, that it truly amazes us when we hear fantastic news of workers getting handsomely rewarded for their services!
Dina Tenerife Celo, 47, is one of these lucky OFWs who had the good fortune of getting assigned to kindhearted, generous employers in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Her employer, Melissa McPike, is an American woman married to an Emirati.
Celo had cared for the couple’s two children, Saeed and Saif, when they were still kids. Now that they are adults, she continues to manage the household and helps in the house.
But her long years of service endeared her to the family, with McPike saying that she feels that Celo is no longer a hired help but a family member. Putting her words into action, McPike gifted the industrious worker with Dh23,000 (Php328,600) back in 2017 so she could buy a lot at her hometown in Camarines Sur.
Afterwards, McPike also funded the construction of a 2-bedroom house for the Pinay nanny and her family. It was truly a very generous gift, right?
But McPike thinks nothing of this gift, feeling that it was something that the nanny greatly deserved.
“It was the least she could do for Celo by helping her own her dream home. We do not consider her as an employee. She is one of our family. She has done so much for me and my children when they were young. I wanted to give back something to her,” McPike said.
Now also grown up, Celo’s son is already working in the UAE. During her free time, Celo would sometimes visit her son; though she would need to take two buses to get there.
The arrangement had been fine for the loving mom, until the bus routes were changed last December 2018. Celo now had to take five buses to reach her son, leading to a more challenging trip.
Seeing her worker struggling to stay connected with her son, McPike decided to give her a car! Wow.
“She [McPike] always sees me chasing after the bus to visit my son who lives in another part of the country. It normally takes me two bus rides to pay him a visit which can prove to be tiresome. I am very thankful for this present,” Celo explained.
“What used to be two bus rides now turned into five.”
According to Celo, she was surprised when McPike gave her the car. After all, the employer had already given her a house and lot! She also shared that the car wasn’t the only gift she received for Christmas because McPike and her sons also gave her surprise presents.
She’s truly lucky!