Former Filipina “family slave” honored at Kalayaan reception

LOS ANGELES — As the Philippine consulate held its annual independence day gala, they made sure to honor a person, who has not taken her newly found independence for granted.

A night of Pinoy Pride as the consulate hosted its annual Kalayaan reception — this year they celebrated it with the launch of Filipino businesses and a fashion show.

Local elected officials as well as batangas governor, Hermalindo Mandanas, the festivities celebrating the 121st anniversary of Philippine independence.

“We love our county, our fellow men and our environment, mabuhay kayo lahat.”

Of the 400 guests here, the word independence had a special meaning for one person.

“Ladies and gentlemen let us all stand up and welcome our beloved Nanay Fedelina,” said Adel Cruz, Consul General L.A. “Nanay Fedelina, so many people here in this room love you, we will always be here to help you and support you always remember you are loved by the Filipino community.

Consul General Adel Cruz invited Nanay Fedelina as a guest of honor.

After living for decades as a so-called family slave of a Filipino family, both in the Philippines and here in the U.S., she was only rescued last year.

For her, this celebration was a coming out party, and a chance to share her story.

“Maligayang masaya maraming nag mamahal sa akin.”

For the attendees, for Nanay who lived most of her life in the shadows was the star of the community.

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