The SUN Writers' Club and supporters pose for a picture after a fund-raising walk at the Peak for Bethune House.
First Aid trainees go through their paces during a seminar at the Consulate, while other participants wait for their turn.
Liza Avelino is closing in on the Everest base camp in the Himalayas in her quest for mountiain-scaling first.
A HK tragedy that could have been averted
It was a tragedy that could have been averted as early as 15 years ago.

That is what support groups for migrant workers in Hong Kong say after news emerged of a 15-year-old girl jumping to her death from her family's luxury apartment in Repulse Bay on Tuesday, Apr. 7.

According to early reports, the teenage girl had been unhappy, apparently because she and a younger sister had never attended school because they did not have identity papers.

Their Filipina mother, later identified as Herminia Garcia but was known to friends as Grace Cousins, 53, was a former domestic helper who had overstayed her visa for 20 years, and was thus hesitant to apply for birth certificates for her daughters for fear of exposing herself. Details...

Listen to:

View print version
of The SUN:

The Sun Part 1

Editor's Note
Scrap the OEC
It was one of the scariest experiences ever. Imagine being squeezed into a lift, and then realizing when you get to your desired floor that every square inch of the space you were supposed to step out on was crammed-full of people?

That was exactly what happened when a number of us braved the queues that snaked around United Centre's ground floor lift lobby on Mar. 15 to make it in time for our appointment at the Consulate on the 14th floor. Details...

Anak Araw
Habol papel
Nitong mga nakaraang linggo ay nasaksihan natin ang ilan sa pinakamahahabang pila sa Konsulado. Ito ay dahil dumagsa ang mga taong kumukuha ng OEC, ang Overseas Employment Certificate, dahil sa sunud-sunod na piyesta opisyal. At dahil sa dami ng tao, mayroong pumila mula alas otso ng umaga hanggang alas sais at nagtiis ng gutom at ginaw upang makuha lang ang isang papel na nagpapakitang sila nga ay OFW. Details...

Migrant's Forum
There is this feeling where you want to do something, in which you keep saying you will do it BUT never actually find the time to do it. I have HAD this feeling and finally it's off my list.

Here's the deal: I've been living in Hong Kong for 11 years and in this course of time, despite the advancement of technology i.e. having the Internet as basically the new form of encyclopedia, I did not really try to learn more about Philippine history even if I wanted to/needed to because of feeling ashamed of not knowing more. Details...

Know Your Rights
Processing a contract with new employer in HK
All Filipino workers abroad are required to go through a private recruitment agency when finding a new employer. While the Philippine Secretary of Labor said in a recent visit that name-hire/direct-hire is still acceptable, what happens in pracrice is different. Labor Departments of Consulate Generals of the migrant-sending countries, especially of the Philippines and that of Indonesia, strictly instruct their nationals to go through agencies when getting a new employer. So we will deal with this existing practice in Hong Kong until the campaign to consider direct-hiring as an option has succeeded. Details...

May kakampi

See this month's stories...

Presidential pick to be based on more than survey ratings
More than ratings in surveys, competence, honesty, trustworthiness and performance record are what President Benigno Aquino III will consider in endorsing candidates for the 2016 elections.
See this month's stories...

Sun Writers raise $6K in walk for Bethune House
More than 100 Filipinos, mostly migrant workers, joined hands in a gesture of friendship and generosity as they took a leisurely walk at the Peak on Apr 6, organized by The Sun Writers Club.
See this month's stories...

Taekwondo contest draws in Filipino athletes

See this month's stories...

No sex since 1955

See this month's stories...

Chinese Horoscope   
Ano ang hatid ng Abril sa iyo

See this month's stories...

Your Daily News   
  Phil. Daily Inquirer
  Manila Times

  Mid-April 2015 HONG KONG NEWS   
Pinay mom of suicide victim allowed bail
The Filipina mother of an undocumented teenage girl who had plunged to her death in Repulse Bay was freed on bail on Apr 9 after she appeared in court to face charges of staying illegally in Hong Kong and neglecting a child. Details...

Number of Filipino domestics in HK at all-time high
The number of Filipinos working as domestic helpers in Hong Kong reached a record high over the past year, as the host government appears to have failed to get Myanmar to fill part of the demand.

Statistics from the Immigration Department show that as of the end of February this year, there were a total of 173,726 Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong. Details...

Busy Baldoz sked delays inauguration of new POLO home
The inauguration of the new premises of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office at the Admiralty Centre won't take place this month, but the annex of the agency on the 16th floor of the tower will be ready for a soft opening on May 3.

Labor Attache Nenita Garcia told The SUN on Apr. 12 that the formal opening of their new offices, originally scheduled for next month, had been put off indefinitely because Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz would not be able to come to Hong Kong. Details...

OWWA lines up Sunday lectures, trainings for Pinoys
Filipino workers with business to transact at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)office in Admiralty Centre will have some gainful activities waiting for them.

Welfare Officer Judith Santos told The SUN about a series of activities being lined up to help OFWs improve their skills. Details...

Aquino urged to act and save Pinay from Indonesian firing squad
Former Filipina domestic worker Mary Jane Veloso, who is facing a death sentence in Indonesia for drug trafficking, is another Flor Contemplacion, and the Aquino government should act now to save her life. Details...

`Early bird' errand girl gets suspended sentence
If you're asked by your employers to make bookings for them at a government facility, don't because it is illegal.

For an extra $500 a month, Filipina domestic worker Violeta V. Morales used to wake up around 4am to wait at the booking window of a sport center in Sai Ying Pun and make an early court reservation for her employer, a tennis coach. Details...

3 Pinoys sentenced for assault, burglary
Three Filipino youth have drawn varying sentences ranging from probation to a total of 25 months in jail for a string of burglaries in two luxury cafes in Central and Causeway Bay. Details...

Serial pickpocket gets 28 months in jail
A female fruit vendor from Manila who had 14 previous convictions in Hong Kong was sentenced to two years and four months in jail on Apr 10 after pleading guilty to charges of theft and breach of a deportation order. Details...

Jobless Pinoy gets 20 months for PolyU burglary
A Hong Kong-born Filipino man with several convictions for theft was sentenced to 20 months in jail on Apr 1 for stealing computers from the Hong Kong Polytechnic Universtiy worth a total of $44,325. Details...

May-ari ng bar inapela ang hatol
Ipinagpaliban ng isang hukom sa Court of First Instance ang hatol sa apelang isinampa ng may-ari ng isang bar sa Li Yuen St. o "ale-ale" sa Central laban sa naging hatol at parusa sa kanya sa sakdal na pagtitinda ng alak ng walang lisensiya. Details...

`Live-out' DH gains concessions for helping probers
A Filipina domestic worker who was arrested last June for not staying in the house of her employer, gained further concessions from the court on Apr. 13.

Diana S. Segui was relieved from reporting to the police daily when she appeared before Shatin court. Details...

The SUN Calendar: What's on when and where

Community Announcements

Iisang pangarap, magkaibang kapalaran
Habang isang kasambahay na Pilipina ay unti-unting umaabante sa kabundukan ng Himalaya sa Nepal upang pagsikapang abutin ang kanyang pangarap sa buhay, isang kapwa babae at kababayan niya ang naghihintay ng malagim na wakas ng isang bigong pangarap.

Iisa ang layunin ng dalawang Pilipinang aming tinutukoy, sina Liza Avelino na taga-Davao City at Mary Jane Veloso na mula sa Nueva Ecija. Pareho silang nangibang bansa upang mabigyan ng maalwang buhay ang kanilang mga pamilya. Dangan nga lang at sa pagkakataong ito ay magkaiba ang naging kapalaran nila.

Applying for OEC online? Set an appointment first
There is no overseas employment certificate (OEC) online. At least, not unless you apply for an appointment at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office or POLO so you get your personal details recorded in its data base.

This was what we experienced when we tried applying for the OEC through the Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) at in hopes of avoiding the long queues at the Consulate.

Hullaballoo over Balesin `yaya meal'
Months after figuring in a controversy over the wedding of Senator Francis Escudero to actress Heart Bautista, the exclusive Balesin Island resort has found itself in the news again over its serving of "yaya meals" in its restaurant.

For more features, click here
For list of features in 2002 and earlier, click here

Pinay DH inches towards Everest base camp--and beyond
As you sip your hot coffee this cool spring morning, spare a thought for Filipina domestic worker Liza Avelino, who should be slogging through ice and snow at about the same time as she closes in on the Everest base camp in the Himalayas.

The 43-year-old mother of two from Davao is set to make history as the first Filipina to climb the base camp solo and the first domestic worker to do so, capping a 62-kilometer hazardous trek to the camp nestled 5,365 meters above sea level on a rock-strewn gully of the world's tallest mountain.

For more People stories, click here

  4 | The SUN Internet Edition | All rights reserved