OFW Plays Lead Role in HK film on the life of Foreign Domestic Helpers

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Philippine Consul General Antonio A. Morales delivers the opening remarks during a film screening of  Martika held at the Philippine Consulate General on 25 March 2018.

05 April 2018 HONG KONG The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong SAR held two free public screenings on March 25 of locally produced short film Martika, which featured a Hong Kong-based Filipino household service worker (HSW) in the leading role, at the Conference Room in celebration of the Philippines’ National Women’s Month.

First time actor Minpa Gervacio, originally from El Nido, Palawan Province, plays the eponymous lead role in the TV movie about a Filipino helper hired by a Chinese social worker, played by Patrick Tang Kin-wang, to take care of his ailing grandfather who is suffering from dementia.

The 60-minute film, which was produced by RTHK for Below the Lion Rock, a long-running series that depicts the different social issues in the lives of Hong Kong citizens, was directed by Hong Kong film maker Wong Fei-pang.

Martika highlights the phenomenon of struggling Hong Kongers who outsource the care of infirm family members to foreign domestic helpers (FDH).  These FDHs are duty-bound to look after strangers at the expense of their own personal problems.  The often turn out to be the most reliable companions of the persons under their care.

Martika’s experience shows how FDHs have to overcome cultural differences, language barriers and the lack of special training as caregivers and social workers, while at the same time juggling financial problems and family concerns back home in the Philippines.

The film received strong support from the Filipino community. A post-screening session led by Philippine Consul General in Hong Kong Antonio A. Morales together with Vice Consul Fatima G. Quintin, Director Wong and Ms. Gervacio allowed the audience to ask questions and share views.

Wong said he hopes that his film will serve as an inspiration to employers to build harmonious relationship with their domestic helpers. END

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One of the audience members asks a question to the team composed of the Philippine Consul General Antonio A. Morales (2nd from right), Vice Consul Fatima G. Quintin (1st from the right), Film Director Wong Fei-pang (2nd from left) and Lead Actress Ms. Minpa Gervacio (1st from left) during the Q& A session after the screening of “Martika,” a TV movie produced by RTHK, held at the Consulate Chancery on 25 March 2018.

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Philippine Consul General in Hong Kong Antonio A. Morales (1st row, seated, 4th from left), Deputy Consul General Roderico C. Atienza ( 1st row, seated, middle), Vice Consul Fatima G. Quintin (1st row, seated, 2nd from left), film director Wong Fei-pang (1st row, seated, 4th from right) and lead actress Ms. Minda Gervacio (1st row, seated, 3rd from right) pose audience members at the conclusion of film screening of  “Martika” on 25 March 2018 at the Consulate Chancery.