TL;DR – Filipino domestic worker, Graziel, left home for Singapore 10 years ago, she found a second family with the Pehs.
How many of you can imagine leaving your family for 10 years to work overseas? I know I can’t do it. Filipino domestic worker Graziel Bheth Timtim, 38, is one of the many who left their homes to work in Singapore – all in the hope of a brighter future for their loved ones.
A Second Home for Domestic Worker, Graziel
She’s one of the lucky few who have found a second home in a foreign land, with the sweetest employers. 🙂 Graziel came to Singapore in 2012 and has been with them since. The family treats her like their own, and they eat at the same table chatting at mealtimes. By the end of this year, Graziel plans to retire and return to the Philippines. It will be tough for the family…
“We always try to eat together, chatting with each other in one table. I know that not all helpers eat together with their employers.”
On Day one, Graziel had already impressed Lily, the mother of the household. She brought snacks from home for the Pehs to “thank them for choosing me.”
18-year-old Jayne is especially close to “Aunty Graziel”. She remembers going to Aunty one day to ask her to teach her the guitar as she’s a huge Taylor Swift fan. “I needed a guitar to be Taylor Swift.” Jayne Peh started to write songs at 11 when she was in Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School. The pair has been jamming together for almost 8 years.
“Ma’am, let’s bring him home, I will take care of him with you.”
With Graziel’s plans to retire and return home soon, it is bittersweet for the Pehs. Lily recalls that when her dad was about to pass away, Graziel told her, “Ma’am, let’s bring him home, I will take care of him with you.”
“It wasn’t a burden because they are really like family to me.”
Because Jayne has been very close to Aunty since she was 8, Aunty’s living will leave her “absolutely crushed”, but the memories they share will last for a lifetime. Recently, Graziel joined U Dazzle, a talent show organised by the Centre for Domestic Employees, set up by the NTUC in Jan 2016. Jayne joined Aunty in the performance and performed a beautiful song, an original by Jayne!
Today, Graziel has immense gratitude for the family that chose her and treated her as their own. Because of their kindness, her experience has been a worthwhile one. Now it’s time for her to go home to start a family of her own.
*Story first appeared here