The sun on Sunday
by Karen SONG Keyi
HONG KONG_It’s an ordinary Sunday in Hung Hom. Aries Valle and her sister are taking pictures of each other in turn against flowers and the blue sky.
Around them in the public gardens are groups of Filipino workers gathering to enjoy their only day off on Sunday.
Aries, 31, is one of those Filipino workers. She lives in her employer’s house in Tsuen Wan and travels a no short distance to Hung Hom only to meet her sister.
This is Aries’s fifth year in Hong Kong. Besides the nitty-gritty household chores based on a regular and fixed schedule, a top priority of Arise is to take good care of the two children of her boss.
Aries always gets along well with kids. She gets her current job just because the kid likes her. “The boy pointed at me and said to his mom ’I like this woman, ’ ” Aries recalls. Then she went back home with her current employer.
Aries spends most of her time with the kids, much more than her boss does. “On Saturdays when my boss is still at work, I play puzzles or do some readings with them for a whole day.”
Gradually, the children developed strong attachment to Aries. “Of course sometimes my boss is jealous, but he can somehow understand because it is me who spend more time with their kids,” Aries adds.
Actually, she spends much more time with her boss’s children than her own ones. She left Philippines nine months after giving birth to her first child. And she went back home every two years. “Yes, the two children here are closer with me than my own kids. But I have no choice, I have to make money.” Now, with nearly 4000HKD monthly salary, she sends her children to private school for better education.
Aries loves shopping. She bought her favorite lipstick by Christian Dior last year. “It was on sale so I bought it with my bonus,” she says. The lipstick is almost done with its end dented. So she can only reach it by a small brush. “I don’t like wasting so I just kept it.”
Aries says overseas workers are regarded as heroes in her country. “I feel proud and happy that I can help with the economy. ”
Life may seem tough and difficult, but never to Aries.
She knows how to let sun shine in her hearts.