Maine Mendoza tells OFWs: Treat yourself

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Maine Mendoza tells OFWs: Treat yourself
Babaeng Biya(hero) “celebrity champion” Maine Mendoza
Safe and Fair Philippines / Released

MANILA, Philippines (Updated Dec. 4, 2020, 5:54 p.m.) — Maine Mendoza could have easily represented the privileged class, having been born into it. 

But her charm comes from the way the former Yaya Dub relates to the masses. Now, she is channeling that common touch into another advocacy, as celebrity champion for Safe and Fair Philippines, which recently launched a campaign to fight the abuse of female Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The Kapuso host-actress’ soft spot for OFWs stems from two reasons. First, because she was an intern chef for six months in a breakfast station in The Sagamore Resort, New York. 

That was five years ago, when she felt how it was to live away from family and work hard in the kitchen for half a year. Going home to an empty room after a long day’s work made Maine realize how hard it is to be an OFW. So she overcame loneliness by treating herself to simple joys.

“I rewarded myself with simple pleasures: watching movies with friends and buying little things for myself. It’s something to look forward to after a work week,” she said in an online media conference sponsored by Safe and Fair Philippines.

She urges OFWs to be just as good to themselves because they deserve it.

“Don’t deprive yourself. Treat yourself to a restaurant. Go shopping and buy simple things. Watch a movie,” she said.

These little ways, said Maine, are but small trade-offs for the hard work OFWs are putting in for their families back home.

Her close encounters with OFW fans is the other reason why Maine’s heart goes out to her kababayans working abroad. She talks to fans when she joins her Dabarkads in "Eat Bulaga"(her daily noontime show on GMA-7) in live shows abroad.

Hearing OFWs talk about how happy they are seeing Maine in the flesh is music to her ears. It moves Maine to give back to OFW fans through Safe and Fair Philippines’ "Babaeng Biya(hero)" campaign. Maine is excited to boost OFWs’ sometimes flagging morale because of loneliness and physical, emotional and financial abuse.

As a sign of gratitude to OFWs, Maine promised to spread the word about ways overseas workers can help themselves.

“Be strong. Don’t be shy or scared to ask help. There’s someone you can reach out to. Women OFWs who experience abuse or their friends and relatives can send a message to the Safe and Fair Philippines Facebook page,” she said.

Maine is planned to join a still tentative virtual event for May I Help You? kiosk in major airports to entertain questions, give information about numbers to call, and greet OFWs and their friends/relatives on Friday, December 18.

This way, she can help empower the people who made her the star that she is right now.

RELATED: Maine Mendoza named Filipina OFWs’ new ‘champion’ as abuses rise due to pandemic

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