How a Pinay helper in Singapore became her own boss in PHL

Jeanilyn Bermudez is one of the many Filipino domestic helpers in Singapore, but in the Philippines, she’s her own boss.

“Here in my village, I feel I am the big boss … Here, I’m the one who is telling, do this and that and they call me madam,” Bermudez told Our Better World, a digital initiative of Singapore International Foundation.

Bermudez, a single mother of three, manages the Lyneth Grace Metal and Boxes Junk Shop in Nueva Vizcaya, employing five adults and 17 students to gather junk from neighboring towns for her recycling shop.

singapore maid story

Due to her meticulous business planning, her business prospered. She was able to buy three motorcycles to speed up collection. She even gives a small food and clothing allowance to her employees.

The recycling shop also gave her family a steady income, and lessened the pressure on her as their main breadwinner.

“This is my treasure, all the junk here. I’m very proud to have this junk shop because it makes me very happy, and helping people here in my village, especially these jobless people here and the children,” said Bermudez.

Help from Aidha

The entrepreneuring mother started working in Singapore in 1984 at age 19, thinking she would become “famous or very rich in a few months.” But years of employment rendered her “very, very desperate and disappointed.”

She credits part of her success to her studies in Aidha, a Singaporean non-profit organization teaching foreign domestic workers financial and computer literacy, business management, and entrepreneurship skills.

A big game-changer for her was learning how to say “no” to relatives who asked for money, a challenge which Veronica Gomez, Aidha ambassador, identified as the biggest challenge for all their enrollees.

Gomez said their students generally had “little or no savings” and similar understanding on how they may save their earnings.

#What A good story to share !!