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We continue to enrich our dossier on nannies with yet another testimony, hoping to help everyone to see more deeply in such a sometimes complex situation. Here is the testimony of Marjonette, Philippina working in Tokyo.

Love greetings to everyone! My name is Marjonette, I am a 25 years old Philippina, married with one daughter. I’m presently working  in Tokyo as a housekeeper. I’ve been here since Sept 15, 2001 working for a French family who hired me from the Philippines. They’ve known about me through my mother who has been working here in Tokyo for 15 years now. I am also working as a part timer for other French families.

The salary is really good here comparing to other nations which is what I like most about my job. I’m staying with my mother in a small rented room (house). There I can have my privacy after my 10 hours long working day. At least I can rest calmly and quietly compared to a live-in maid.

When I first came here it was really hard for me especially when I thought of my daughter, she was only 9 months old then. My employer had to train me for all the household chores because it was the first time I worked for a foreign family. It took time to adjust myself to a different point of view, the environment here in Tokyo, especially the culture. I also had to adjust my relation to their 3 kids (5, 3 and 1 year old at the time).

In most Philippino families especially in mine, our parents teach us to respect, obey and love others especially older people and I want to emphasize this to the children I’m taking care of.

In the morning I get ready for my part time jobs, in the afternoon I work for the family that helps me to stay here legally (my sponsors). I have to do the work before I go fetch the 3 kids in school. It’s only walking distance from the house but still it takes time to go back and forth especially with the kids ! When I come back I have to continue the work undone. I know that sometimes my employer is not happy because I can’t really do all the work. At 6 o’clock I have to prepare the children bath and dinner and at 7:30 I go back home !

Sometimes I stay overnight if I have to babysit when my employers go out for dinner, I can continue some of my ironing before going to bed. There are times also when my employer is mad at me but I’m trying to understand her and after a minute or an hour she’s ok with me again. I never argue to her and just keep calm whenever I know that I made a mistake.

I’ve always been patient until now because I believe that you never “loose” yourself if you accept that you are only a maid, still the most important thing is to be treated as a human being. With the families I work for as a part timer I never had problems only working there for 4 hours every other day, just doing the cleaning and the ironing. I can say that I am lucky to have them as they always understand everytime I ask them for payment in advance of my salary, same for my sponsor.

A little advice to my co-housekeepers : Accept that you are only a housemaid even if you had another job in your country of origin. I say this because a lot of nannies around me can’t accept that. They still think that they are working like office ladies when they came here in Japan to be nannies or housemaids !

To employers : Treat your maids well ! Show them you trust them so she can know she is a trusted woman in your family. Always give her time to learn everything in your house especially cleaning and operating all the machines. If she makes a mistake, tell her in a nice way, don’t use bad words so that she will not be hurt. Have in mind that hurting somedody’s heart is hurting God’s heart. Also God created us all equal !

I can say that I’m still lucky compared to other Philippinas. My employer-sponsor always understands me. Ever since the first time I was with them, that’s why I appreciate and cherish all the things we shared for all these years. I’m always happy with the blessing God gave me for these 5 years with this family.

I’m planning to go back for good after another 5 years and I hope to have more blessing for God so I can fulfil my plan for my family.

That’s all for now, I hope that all nannies or housekeepers will be inspired to do the task we oath to do!

Thank you and God bless us all!

May 2006

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