Everyone, please welcome Gabriela Lee, one of the many fantastic authors with a story in Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories. “End of Service” focuses on Aya, whose mother, an overseas Filipino worker, dies while abroad. We are very excited to have Gabriela here at Rich in Color to talk about OFWs, her experiences in Singapore, and writing “End of Service.”
Be sure to enter to win a copy of Kaleidoscope at Rich in Color! Giveaway is open to people with U.S. mailing addresses only.
Imagine being told by your mother or your father that you need to grow up with just one parent, or that you need to live with your aunt or uncle, your grandparents, some distant relative. And that it’s not because your parents are splitting up, or because they aren’t getting along. It’s because they have to work. And their job requires them to be overseas: cleaning someone else’s kitchen, driving someone else’s car, sailing someone else’s ship, looking after someone else’s children.
There are about 96 million Filipinos, according to the 2013 census. Roughly 2.2 million of them are overseas Filipino workers, commonly abbreviated to OFWs. Out of these, about 51% of them are women, and most of them are working as laborers or unskilled workers. This means that many of them are working as domestic helpers, caretakers, and other service jobs — the jobs that many people are not interested in doing. And because these are jobs that pretty much scrape the bottom of the barrel, it’s not surprising to know that they’re not treated well.
We hear stories about them all the time: how an OFW was beaten by her employer, earning her bruises that stretch across her back like continents. How they are underfed and overworked, denied a single day off to rest or to socialize. How stricter measures are in place: to deny them entry in a mall because their congregation frightens other shoppers, to bar them from meeting in public places because it sullies the streets. Their services are sold legally (for the most part), but it’s easy enough to commodify them; after all, many agencies reason, there are more desperate men and women willing to do anything to work abroad and give their families a better life. Bodies of OFWs are sent back in boxes, kept in refridgerated storage in Manila, waiting for their families to come and pick them up.
Some of them have been waiting for a long, long time.
Rot & Ruin author Jonathan Maberry has confirmed that actor Louis Ozawa Changchien will play Tom Imura in the movie adaptation of his popular YA zombie novel. Tom is “one of the sword wielding, zombie killing brothers. His younger brother Benny Imura has yet to be cast.”
Three cheers for
1) No whitewashing of a main character in a book-to-film adaptation
2) This face onscreen for 2+ hours.
NO WHITEWASHING!!! This feels like a major victory….