Life of a maid – Enalin Santiago

In the Straits Times, a story has been told about a maid. The maid’s name was Enalin Santiago, who worked for the writer’s family for the period of her contract.

Ena’s family has experienced tragedy – Typhoon Haiyan and Yolanda swept through her hometown, leaving thousands dead and many property and homes destroyed. But that did not phase her. Slowly by slowly, she used the salary earned from her work as a maid to slowly reconstruct her house each and every time she returned home on a yearly basis.

Eventually, Ena decided to invite her employer’s family with her back on her way home. The result will surely bring a tear to anyone’s eyes if they could experience it themselves. Her reconstructed house, though made of simple concrete, linoleum and roofed tiles, was built on the strong bonds of love that she shared with her family. Both families met and immediately hit it off – they shared a meal of roast pork, steamed crab and duck meat.

Throughout their time in the village, Ena jokingly referred to her employer as her “daughter”, as she had taken care of her when she was young. Indeed, it is probably more of a surprise to learn that they weren’t, considering their close ties together.

After reconstruction of the house, Ena turned her sight onto preparing an education for her daughters, in hopes of securing them a better future. Her husband is supportive, toiling on the farm in the day, while looking after the children at night.

As the visit winded to a close, they shared a tearful hug with each other. Truly they are extremely appreciative of all the time spent together with each other.

What a touching story on how a maid can develop familial relationships with her employer’s family. It’s almost as if they were not different families in the first place but one and the same! If only all of us could be so blessed to achieve such good fortune in finding people who are willing to support us in our daily lives!

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