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65 years of slavery

At 81, Nanay Fedelina is still hopeful that she could open a new chapter in her life that was stolen from her for many, many years.

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Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz (rear) introduces Nanay Fedelina (right) to Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez (left).

At 65 years old, adults should just be splurging on the earnings they have worked hard for during their youthful days.

They should just be looking over their children and grandchildren and seeing how they will outgrow the world and not them getting outgrown by it.
At 65, our elders should just be enjoying life and what’s left of it.

But not only was it different for Nanay Fedelina, it was also one of the most unfortunate events one may face — to be in slave-like conditions for 65 tedious years.
“I want to go home to Tacloban and find my family,” she said.

Nanay Fedelina was a nanny who was brought to the United States by the Filipino-American family she was serving when she was just 16 years old.

She squandered 65 years in servitude that could only be described as a case of modern-day slavery.

But recently, she won her case against her former abusers which paved the way for her to get back home and reuniting with her family.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez reiterated the Philippine Government’s commitment to uphold the welfare and protect the rights of Overseas Filipinos at all times at the Philippine Consulate General.

“The President instructed us (government officials abroad) to prioritize Overseas Filipinos. We must do our best to safeguard their welfare,” the envoy said.

At 81, Nanay Fedelina is still hopeful that she could open a new chapter in her life that was stolen from her for many, many years.

Nanay Fedelina came from a time when highly unregulated domestic employment was still commonplace in the Philippines.

She also seems to be one of the few to survive this and gain freedom.

Although transnational slavery has long been abolished, its modern-day incarnations still exist in the form of human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage and unpaid salaries.

The meeting between Ambassador Romualdez and Nanay Fedelina was facilitated by PWC.

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.

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