LOS ANGELES — They’re calling it both a miracle and happy ending.
After six decades of enduring human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the hands of her US-based Filipino employers, and being kept from seeing her family in the Philippines — Nanay Fedelina is not only free: she’s finally reunited with her sister, niece, and grandniece.
And after their tearful reunion, they visited Los Angeles Philippine Consul General Adelio Cruz, to thank him and his staff for aiding the 87-year-old survivor of abuse.
“Naliligayan ako Uma apaw ang akin kaligayan, ng na kita kami, ang akin kapatid,” she said.
“I am so overwhelmed with happiness that I’m reunited with my sister.”
“Pinanako at si Ambassador Romualdez gagawa natin ang lahat kung hidi kayo maka dalaw sa Pilipinas sa ngayon na punta dito sa America,” said Adel Cruz, Los Angeles PH Consul General.
“Ambassador Romualdez promised that he would do whatever it takes to make this happen. If you couldn’t go to the Philippines, the reunion would happen here in America.”
In the two years since Nanay Fedelina’s case was brought to light, the LA Consulate has worked with the Pilipino Workers Center and the Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. in assisting Nanay.
During their consulate visit, they talked about the isolation that Nanay endured.
“Hindi alam natin bakit na hindi pa sya tumatawag sa atin, hindi na po sya sumusulat, marami hinap ko din po sya.”
“We didn’t know why she wasn’t calling or writing. We also looked for her.”
Since the consulate began assisting in this case, they’ve been also able to help Nanay with legal services.
Last month, with the help of Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez, Nanay’s Family was able to secure visas.
“It was clearly a community effort… it’s a call for everyone to be mindful that this still exists all over the world and would like to ask for everybody’s help in making sure that this must not happen again. This must not continue wherever we are.”
“We’re just very happy that the story of Nanay Fedelina will end with a happy note.”
The next few days are expected to get happier as the family spends some quality time in Los Angeles, personally thanking more of the community members that played a role in Nanay’s journey towards freedom.