Voyage 15840[i]---Migrants as photographers
Taiwan International Workers¡¦ Association (TIWA)
Overcoming the difficulty of having no regular day off, the hardships of factory and domestic work, and the difficulties of being invisible within Taiwanese society, a group of Filipino workers joined the migrant photography workshops organized by TIWA[ii] in 2005 and 2006.
These people are treated by the capitalist world as nothing more than cheap labor. But it is these blue collar workers, braving economic and legal suppression to cross international borders, whose strength creates the basis for global society.
We want their voices to be heard, their visions to be seen, and their lives to be remembered by history.
Contact address: 3 Fl., No. 53-6, Sec 3, Zhong-Shan N. Rd., Taipei City 104, Taiwan.
While cooking on this old gas stove, I am afraid that it might explode in any second. But still, I am happy because the employer allows us to cook.
This is my table.
A place where I eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner. I cannot join them inside the dinning room.
This is a door leading to my room. It is also the place where I do folding and ironing of their clothes. I don¡¦t have the rights to take away the keys. Which means, I don¡¦t have privacy. Anybody can go inside at anytime even during my sleep. But it¡¦s all right. They are harmless, I believe so. It¡¦s one of many things that I need to deal with while I am working here.
A migrant behind the gate is asking her friends outside to transfer her money. Because she has no day-off.
Here, freedom is the difference.
If I had a choice,
What would I rather be?
A migrant worker or a local bin-lang girl?
* Bin-lang, or betel nut, is, a mild stimulant. In Taiwan, there are many bin-lang stalls where young women in sexy outfits sit to attract customers.
The patient I am taking care of can¡¦t move. He can¡¦t speak either. He is totally bed-ridden. I feed him milk every 4 hours, day and night. I also feed him water and medicine that doctor prescribed. Even it¡¦s in the midnight I must wake up to give him milk. Then change his positions every 3 hours. Take care the old patient is not so easy especially he has asthma and lungs defect. I am just about to help him by suction. It¡¦s so hard.
When I am sick:
When ever I get sick my employer told me that I get from my friend outside, and they always required me to wear a mask, whenever they got sick they said it was because of the weather and they are not wearing a mask.
This is my friend¡¦s kitchen. She used to keep this kitchen very clean or her employer might scold her. She was here as an illegal worker for 6 years before the son of her boss fell in love with her. Now they already married and she no longer needs to clean the kitchen as hard as before. Because she is now the lady boss. But for me, if I were in her shoes, I¡¦d clean even harder than before, because I¡¦d want to show them that they chose a right migrant.
I remember one time, a fellow said to me that if I could find a Philippine flag amongst these various flags. He¡¦d give me $100NT dollar.
Well, I know I¡¦d never find one anyway.
I am impressed by this stairs. The design is very unique as advertisement. I don¡¦t see this style of design in any part of manila.
Ma. Belen Batabat, 2006
Taiwanese has a Taiwanese ID and a credit card; migrant has ARC and ATM card. The only difference¡Xours has limited usage.
How time flies so fast?
Every time I look at this clock tower, I always remember the time when I was in Hong kong for 12 years. You can find this clock tower in Tsim Sha Tsui. Now I am here in Taiwan, and still keep on beating the time, and waiting for the time I finally go back home for ¡§good¡¨.
Everytime, I finish in the kitchen of night, I may stay here inside the toilet. To take a rest. I sit down that sleeper. Sometime I write letter, reading newspaper and listening to hello Taipei. Using headphones and even calling someone else. I just do it here.
At 4:00-5:30 pm¡Krain or shine
I come visit my garden
Planted with different kinds of green vegetables while Akong is doing his routine exercise on the other side of the garden.
* Akong is Taiwanese for ¡§Grandpa,¡¨ and is used to politely address or refer to elderly men.
Take a look at my hand. Don¡¦t you think it¡¦s perfectly fit? By looking at the appearance, it seems alright, yet you may not realized that beyond its appearance, it feels hurt¡Ksometimes numb, moments that I could hardly close my hand or bend my fingers.
After we buring and solder the copper head we keep cooling and ready to tie.
This is one of my favorite food. This are made of balls. You must have patient to cook till done. You neet to turn so that it will not burned.