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VIRAL: OFWs picking up trash in HK saluted by netizens

/ 10:54 AM October 26, 2016

A group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) demonstrated civic-mindedness to Hong Kong residents by cleaning the hiking trails of Ma On Shan, one of the autonomous territory’s main tourist attractions.

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Originally reported by Coconuts Hong Kong, Facebook user Edward So complimented the ladies’ initiative to “teach” his fellow Hong Kongers a lesson.

“While exercising on Ma On Shan today, I saw seven or eight Filipino domestic helpers each carrying a big bag and filling them up with trash as they hiked. My fellow hikers, would you be glad to see people from other countries having to tidy your native land? I feel so embarrassed,” So wrote in his post, escorted by snaps of the women.

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He later continued his praise with the comment, “All I did was say ‘proud of you’ to them before going on my merry way. So shameful.”

“Truly top class human beings! Hong Kong people also need to work hard and do good for the city!” one person wrote.

“The visors around their heads are as beautiful as angels’ halos. Sincere thanks,” said another netizen. Meanwhile, a vast number of Facebook users recognized the Filipina hikers along MacLehose Trail.

PHOTO from Nel Lau Oi's Facebook

PHOTO from Ivy Bellones‘s Facebook

The role models behind the environmental cleanup drives include Filipino and Indonesian domestic helpers. Later, they were joined by Hong Kong-based American professor Robert Hayes. Together with Hayes, the all-female battalion divided themselves into six teams, each assigned to different areas in MacLehose Trail to pick up clutter and plastics.

PHOTO from Rema Marimar's Facebook

PHOTO from Rema Marimar‘s Facebook

In an interview via e-mail, hiker Renalda Castillo, who uses the Facebook name Rena Marimar, shared her uplifting experience with fellow hikers. Her team, “Survivor 2016,” began operations last March and since then, a multitude of Hong Kongers and foreign hikers have lauded their strenuous efforts to sanitize the trail.

“Sobrang nakakataba ng puso [yung] mga papuri nila. Sa simpleng pagpulot namin ng basura lahat ng makasabay at makasalubong namin [na] ibang lahi puro ‘thank you’ at ‘good job’ [ang] sinasabi sa amin,” she said, noting that her employer, a friend of So, and her family in the Philippines are proud of her.

(All their praises are heartwarming. In our simple efforts to pick up trash, all the foreign hikers would say “thank you” and “good job”.)

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PHOTO from Rena Marimar's Facebook

PHOTO from Rena Marimar’s Facebook

Castillo, 37, an OFW for two years, manages to balance her hectic schedule taking care of her employer’s family, takingtaekwondo classes with them and joining the hiking activities held every Sunday and holidays.

She continued, “Pagod, oo, pero nawawala pagod namin kasi lahat ng mga nakakakita sa mga supot na bitbit namin, lahat sila saludo sa amin (Yes, we are exhausted, but our weariness vanish when those who see the bags of trash we have collected salute us).”

Castillo concluded with a gentle reminder to Hong Kongers in maintaining their pristine natural parks and mountains: “Sana naging maganda at mabuti kaming halimbawa sa mga taga-Hong Kong at panatalihin natin malinis ‘di lang ang kabundukan pati na din sa city. Disiplina sa sarili [ang kailangan] upang mahalin at protektahan ang kalikasan,” she said. (I hope that we will serve as a good example to Hong Kong natives. We should maintain cleanliness not only in the city but also in the mountains. Self-discipline is necessary in order to treasure and protect nature.)

To inquire about their initiatives, check the hikers’ website here.  Gianna Francesca Catolico

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TAGS: Domestic Helpers, hiking, Hong Kong, Ma On Shan, overseas Filipino worker (OFW)
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