The Filipino community in countries such as Hong Kong is predominantly comprised of domestic workers who chose to live away from their families to support other families in a foreign country.
Interestingly, we know that Filipinos are a people with strong familial and community ties. It is for this reason that it’s not so hard to find a friendly kababayan wherever you may be in the world. And when bonded by a common passion or goal, Filipinos can also achieve great things despite the circumstances they are facing.
Filipino Dynamos: Dragon Boat Racing Maids in HK Aim for Gold
Filipino household service workers in Hong Kong are making waves in dragon boat races. The 29-member Filipino Dynamos Team regularly meet every Sunday, on their only day-off from work, to train and compete in the traditional sporting event held in China and in Hong Kong for many years already, as shared in a report by Business World Online.
The tradition brings together people of all ages from various walks of life to compete each year in colorful, long, narrow boats across the Asian financial hub’s busy waterways. But for the OFWs who are turning this sport into a passion in life, a purpose for having been bonded by fate in a foreign country, with a family away from their own families, this is more than simply competing or making a name for themselves.
According to team founder, Liza Avelino, “I want to integrate the Filipino helper community and represent the domestic helper as part of Hong Kong, part of the community, and we don’t want to feel excluded.”
“When we’re racing, there’s no employer, there’s no helper. Everyone is equal,” Avelino explains.
At present, Hong Kong is home to some 300,000 domestic workers who come mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, of which many are the main breadwinners for their families back home.
Dynamos teammate Geraldine Inabiohan, who moved to Hong Kong in 2012 to pay for her siblings’ education in the Philippines, shared that more than competing, the group wanted to encourage women to push themselves beyond their circumstances, limits, and “boundaries” in life.
Inabiohan explains that their team’s objective is to empower other women (helpers), inspiring them to push boundaries, and to do something more for themselves and their community.
She muses, “I think, as the season goes, we see ourselves as champions.” And rightfully, they are and so they will be. These women are championing their sector, their families, and in the process, both Hong Kong and the Philippines, as well.
Catch a video report on the Philippine Dynamos Dragon Boat Team below courtesy of StarTV YouTube Channel: