Middle East

Former Filipino Housework Helper Recalls War Experience

Ben Garcia

Kuwait: Kuwait will celebrate its 31st anniversary tomorrow from its liberation from the invasion of Iraq. Filipino expatriates Rosalinda Daganboy and Emenda Bonilla are former domestic helpers who came to Kuwait in 1989 and witnessed Iraq’s invasion of Iraq a year later. Both are currently in their early 60s. One received compensation, but the other did not. Early in the morning of August 2, 1990, Bonilla remembered the sound of bombs and guns that awakened her once-serving family. “At that time, we were at her boss’s house in Jahra and were sleeping. We suddenly woke up in a big explosion, followed by sporadic firing sounds,” she said.

“I heard that the oil depot was bombed that morning, so I went to my boss’s parents’ house, Sliveihat. We were on the same grounds as the other members of the family. Everyone was scared. The situation outside our facility was horrifying because he was afraid of what was happening and what would happen next, “Recalls Bonilla.

“We were stuck in the house of Saudi Arabia for days. Thank God, we had us deliver food, but there was no electricity or water. Water on the premises. There was a tank and it supported me for a few days, which I remember until I left Kuwait on August 9th for safety in Saudi Arabia, “she recalled.

On the way to Saudi Arabia by land, the family had to deal with many checkpoints. “When the boss’s family decided to leave for Saudi Arabia, they asked me if I was willing to join them. I told them I had nowhere to go, and I They didn’t want to stay at our embassy, ​​so they took me with them. There was no phone or means of communication available to return to the Philippines and contact my family. We stayed in Saudi Arabia for 8 months. We returned to Kuwait in April 1991 before Ramadan. Kuwait was still burning and the smoke from the oil well was still very noticeable. Is my unforgettable invasion of the Philippines. It was a huge challenge for my boss and our others, “Bonilla told the Kuwait Times.

Bonilla continued to work with her boss until she was released from household chores in early 1993. Then she started her new job at the bakery and she works to this day. “About six or seven years later, I received war compensation. It helped me buy my land and home in the Philippines. The total reward I got was 200,000 pesos (about 1,200 KD). ), “She said.

Daganboy helped with the housework of Sabaal Salem during the 1990 invasion of Iraq. She had a different experience than Bonilla because she stayed in Kuwait during the War and during the Allied Operation Desert Storm. “I’ve been here all the time, but in the midst of the occupation in December 1990, my sponsor decided to send me to the Philippine Embassy. At the Embassy, ​​by land to send me back to the Philippines. I was planning to go to Jordan, “she said.

“It was hard to get back to Manila, so I left the embassy and went to my friend’s house in Salmiya. I had no electricity or water for over a month. Intermittently, Iraqi soldiers searched for Kuwaiti. It was hard because we knocked and checked our apartment for. Some Filipinos were captured by Iraqis but returned in a day. The good thing is that we have food. I couldn’t have been without it, “recalls Daganboy.

After the war, Daganboy said it was easy to get a job. “I stayed in Kuwait for about a year without my boss before I got a job in Al-Yasla. I stayed in Al-Yasla for five years before I got a job in Al-Shaya in 2000 and retired in 2020. I retired and returned home. I was planning to do, but I couldn’t easily leave Kuwait. I love this country because it is my second home. Children also work here. I too. I haven’t left Kuwait until now because I’m taking care of my grandchildren, “she told the Kuwait Times.

When asked if she received compensation like Bonilla, she replied negatively. “No, I didn’t get anything. They told me to bring all the paperwork I provided, but I didn’t receive Phil,” said Daganboy.

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/former-filipino-domestic-helpers-recall-war-experiences/ Former Filipino Housework Helper Recalls War Experience

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