A house in Isabella

Our live-in carer comes from the town of Roxas Isabella on the main island of Luzon in the Philippines.  She is a lovely girl, very nice and caring.   She works for us 6 days a week and gets Sat night off.   She does all the cooking, preparing meals, cleaning up, washing clothes every week, and makes sure we take our meds.  Her main job is to go walking with Naomi most mornings, which gives me time to do my own thing.  Part of her salary is paid by National Insurance (Bituach Leumi) and we pay the rest.

She goes out most evenings, since we don’t need her then, and has an active social life.  There are several thousand Filippinos working in Netanya, and they mostly know each other.  She belongs to a Roman Catholic Church group that was meeting in a small hall in Netanya.  But, they wanted a larger hall and I helped them to find one for Sat nights (they choose Sat for their meetings rather than Sun because they are in Israel).  They were very grateful to me.  They have a priest who usually comes from Tel Aviv.

She comes from the town of Roxas (named after the former President) in the center of Luzon in the area called Isabella (there are other towns called Roxas hence the double name).  Since the Philippines were a colony of Spain for 300 years, the Spanish imprint is large.   The very name of Philippines is derived from King Philip of Spain and the area Isabella from his Queen.  The Philippines is quite a poor country and so its inhabitants are spread all over the world because they are renowned as carers.  Our Filippina worked in Taiwan (in a factory), Qatar and Israel.  In Qatar she was treated as a slave, but managed to escape after a year (her employers kept her passport).   In Israel she is treated very well, and is like a member of our family.

I asked her what percentage of her peers work abroad and she estimated ca. 20%.   I asked her how her salary here compares to the Philippines and she said working in a bank there she would receive much less.   Although she has a BA degree it is better for her to work as a domestic here than to stay there.  But, she is able to keep in touch with her family on Skype all the time.  She sends money back to them every month.  Her money is being used to help her brother marry, and also she is building a house there.  Its strange to think that my money is going to build a house in Roxas Isabella.  Life has these strange twists.

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5 thoughts on “A house in Isabella

  1. Thank you so much for that lovely piece of information. I can remember that in Canada we had a Japanese housekeeper. We too, always treated as one of the family. When we were leaving to make Aliya, she cried telling us that we had been so kind to her, and that “we were outstanding Christians ” We know what she meant, even though she knew we were practising Jews.

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  2. Jack–I believe the Spanish royal couple who expelled the Jews were Ferdinand and Isabella. Philip, for whom the Philippines were named, came later.

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