MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

2.

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

TALKS ABOUT HER WORK AND GOD

 

At the house of Mrs. Shoshana Aurebach, her employer

Ramat Gan

March 2010


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

I am a simple Pilipina from the Philippines. I am Marylou Muga, with one good husband and three kids.I have been here for already three years, three years. So, last November 22, 2006. Thanks God, I have a good employer. My employer is Shoshana Aurebach. She is so good to me. She has three wonderful children and grand grand children so every time they came here we a have good times, we talk like this and they are very nice, they don’t gave me trouble.

 

I have a good condition here.


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

What are your conditions, working conditions? Can you talk about how you are…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

How is my working condition?


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Yes, if you have off days, you know..


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yeah, I don’t have a colpest. This is my decision. But they allow me to go. If I want to go to the Mount Hermon, to see the beautiful things here in Israel they allow me. But for me, time is so important to me, so we come here to earn good money. There is a handsome dollars here in Israel and for the Filipino people Israel serves as the second home for the Filipino people. So we have a good opportunities here.

During Saturday she allowed me to take colpest from two to three hours like this I have one Filipini to look at her. So I take this opportunity but after that I came back again Saturday night. But I am not so sorry because even I don’t have a long time with some of my friends there, I don’t have some gimmicks that they call the…the gimmicks they sing and dance there and everywhere. They go to a good places in Tachana. It is ok for me because I spend my three hours in the magazine that I am working for.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

We’ll talk about the magazine later but normally a Filipino guest worker in Israel they work six days a week and when is the holy day starting?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Ah, some of the Filipino people they start their day off Friday…Saturday…no, Friday night, Friday night, until Saturday night, like this. We have 26 hours colpest, or the day off, we have 26 hours.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

This is in your contract…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

In our contract. So, we are so lucky because Israel gave us a good policy for the Filipino people. In the Middle East they are so envy with us…other people in the Middle East. They said to us that when they saw our Facebook, they saw the pictures that we can go everyplace, we can take pictures…Not all in the Middle East they have the…the permission to take pictures. Not like here. It’ s like a free country, we can wherever we want as long as there is someone who will take care of our employer. But we cannot leave the employer alone, we cannot leave.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

So when you go…or when any Filipino guest worker takes the day off on Saturday and goes…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Saturday night


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Saturday night


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

It is very important to everyone


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

To Tel Aviv. Who comes here to take care of the employer?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Sometimes the one who takes care of the employer is the children. There is one available to the children…there is one available. They’ ll look for their Ima. Sometimes they will get to the agency. The agency will give the reliever to the Filipino people.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

So the agency will give somebody else for those, just for that 12 hours…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Sometimes five hours, four hours, three. But me only three hours that I get somebody from the agency.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

I see


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Because we cannot get somebody without permission to work here.


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

And most Filipinos guest workers live in the house of their employer, right?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes. There are two types of work here in Israel. The one is you can live here, “live-in”. The “live-in” situation working for the employer. And one is from “live-out”. They are going to, you know Beit Avot? It is the home for the aged.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Beit Avot, yes. Yes, James was working there.


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Ah, James working for Beit Avot? Ok, they can go 7 am in the morning and after that in the afternoon they go out again.


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

To their houses…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

To their houses, like this. In Tel aviv. Most of the Filipino people live in Tel Aviv. Neve Schanan, Levinski… in Tel Aviv. Near in Tachana Merkazit. And Tachana Merkazit is the station, so all the buses is already there. So this is the safest, for us, this is the nearest and safest place for the Filipino people.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

It’s because the Filipino guest workers work all around Israel…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes…


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

…and then they take the bus and they end up in the bus station


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Ok yes. Because there is in Ashdod, in Haifa, in Jerusalem…And you can find the bus or the sharut in Tachana Merkazit.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

And do you go out on Saturday night to Tachana Merkazit?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes, I go out. Just to be situ and to report to the magazine that I am working in.


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

So tell us about your magazine. Show us your first….


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

I am so proud. We are so proud that we have the Pinoyna Babasahiinit serves as the voice of the people, of the Filipino people. And this is a…you can find and read in this magazine the good stories of the Filipino people, the activities that we are doing in spite of working seven days a week…And we are so busy but we see to it that to give time in writing. And it’s good because many Filipino people, many OFW in every place of the world they are asking us: how you can do that? Because you are so busy, you are so working…But here is the deal: everybody is busy, everybody is so busy. It is so hard for us because if you want to make an interview with other people and how ‘s their life in the Balabait or in the employer they told to us “oh, we don’t have time” like this, “we are so busy”. But I am so happy. But the other people they are so good. They want to tell their stories so that you can get a moral lesson. They will inspire to other people…

 

I am so happy to write. This is my passion, I have a passion.


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

This is not the only Filipino magazine for the community, right?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

No, we have four magazines already here in the…. It’s good. But we have a good relationship. We are not fighting, we are not fighting. We have the only style in writing, there is a lot of good Filipino people, they have a good mission in life. It’s very good, it’s very good. So we are not fighting about the magazine, we don’t want….we are family here.

 

It’s so hard to be apart in our family but here what is good to the Filipino people, in every place that you go, you are family. We are big happy family here…we are family.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

And how do you finance the magazine?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Ah, it’s good that we have a good financer. It is Miss Lotta. Lotta Gerbe is a Pilipina from the Philippines and she got married to a very good, very good Israeli named Moshe, Moshe Gerber. They are the ones who finance the magazine. And many people wants to support the magazine.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

So your magazine is privately financed…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes, but we as a writer, we are free. We are free. We do this, we are writing the story, we want to serve the people…


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Volunteering, you are volunteering.


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

We are volunteers here, we are volunteers. And it’s good because it is good that you can share the ideas and knowledge. You gave the good thing, you gave good stories to the people. Everything is already here.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

There are some people here in Israel, Filipino guest workers, who cannot come to Tel Aviv so frequently and they must be feeling very lonely in their home. I know that now there is internet…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

There is a internet…


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Does your magazine also serve the people who cannot come to Tel Aviv?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes, we are so thankful to the people who are supporting us, who are…And we have a people who send the magazine to the every place as here: in Haifa, in Jerusalem…so they can find this magazine. And it’s good because if you are not taking the day off you can read and it’s good that you are…You are travelling when you are reading. Even you are in the home: “ah you see this place…”. “Ah, there are some many good…a good things that the Filipinos…they have good activities.” It’s good, you can read.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

And do you have…In one of the magazines, I’m not sure if it was in your magazine, there was an article about a Filipino guest worker who just arrived in Saudi Arabia.


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Ah yes…


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Riyad…This in your magazine?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes, we have a contributing writer from Riyad.and from the… yes..


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Can you tell us what she wrote about? Because that was very interesting


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes, it is about the life of…how to survive the three months in Saudi Arabia. Because in Saudi Arabia you don`t…there is no freedom for the workers, nakhon? There is a time that you can’t go out, you cannot go there easily…It is…there is a…Just what I said, there is a curfew in everything. You you cannot go there to buy like this…You cannot make noise. It is very strict in Saudi Arabia. You know Saudi Arabia it’s very strict.

 

So this is what you are thinking. You are living in the four corners of your room. How you can survive in this? You can see the desert like this. You only see the buildings. And there is a limit at time to see and mingle to other Filipinos. But what is good in The Saudi or like this… There is a places…you can eat to the Filipino restaurant there. There is a Jollibee….you are proud of promoting Jollibee. So we love Jollibee. So we saw in the pictures: “Oh you have already the Jollibee there, it’s good to go there. Sometimes we are making a joke that we want to go there just to eat in Jollibee.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

So the first three months is the most difficult?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

It’s the most difficult. Specially when this is the very first time that you are living with your family. It is not like…Because in the Philippines we are…most of the people is working in Manila. All the good establishment is in Manila. All the good opportunities is in Manila. So we are living in the province, we are working in Manila. But not like here when you go to the strange foreign country. There is no many Filipino. Sometimes you are working with the India, Morocco, Lebanese. Different cultures, different races.

 

It’s so hard for us. But this is it, this is the deal: Filipinos is the most resilient and happiest person in the world. So we can easily mingle to other person because we have love for the people. We are the hospitable people, nakhon?…it’s so easy for us to mingle, it’s so easy for us to work with other people.

 

But surviving in the Middle East for three months it is the adjustment period. You will adjust to their policy there, the rules, regulations there. You will adjust for the food that you need to eat. You will adjust to the environment.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

So, for example, maybe I will have an opportunity to show this to other Filipino guest workers in Lebanon, for example. What would be your advice for people who have just arrived in the Middle Eastern countries from Philippines.

What should they do for the first three months to be happy, not to be sad.

 

 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Not to be sad…


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Because you are experienced, you know, you can tell us about your experience and how…

 

Because you must be terribly missing your country, your family, your children. What is your advice to the other people who cannot come to big cities, who cannot read your magazine?

 

 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Ok, this is it. Before you go to one country, before you decided that this is it, you want to work to, for example, in a foreign country, you need to study first: how’s the way they live, what is the food that they eat, what like this and then, when you go there, what is the behavior of the people? You need to learn, you need to research. So that when you come here, you will not.. just like an alien in one planet, that you don’t know what to do. And you need to find also, you need to be friendly. Because this is…

 

Before I always cried. My first year…even a year, if until now. Because it’s so hard: a million miles away from your family? But what I did. It’s good that I can write this stories because all the boredomness in my life it lessens. You need to do the things that you want. I also…I have many habits, I love to cook. This is also helps me not to be boredom. And then, it’s only lately that I have internet but before I doesn’t have.

 

So what I mean, when you and your Ima got outside and make some litahiel you need to mingle to other person. Even it is a India or from Nepal, you need to talk to other people, it’s good. There are so many things that you need to do. It’s not only about reading. You have a television…Sometimes I cannot understand because I am not good in hibrit (Hebrew) also, but it’s ok, I see in the pictures, like this. And every time that you have to go…see to it that you have many friends here also. I don’t go our every time but even, even in my neighbours sometimes or they ask me, they love to talk to me when the children

 

So this is it. This is what you need to think; in times of hardship, in times of boredom, you need to think. In the Philippines you cannot earn a good money like this. Because for us many Filipinos who came here they finished their studies. They are teachers. Education is very important to us because for us we believe that education is a key to fight poverty.

 

Our country is very rich. Our country is very nice. We have beautiful lands, we have a wonderful people, we have the positive forces and values. This is what we want to…In everything that we do, we want to do it with love everything. We want to excel. But what we can do? You know that the economy…there is a crisis in economy globally, nakhon? What we can do? We as OFW are the one who save the economy of our country. Our remittances help the country. Until now we are fighting. This is what is good to the Filipino people. Even we go outside the country.

 

In every nations’ success there is a one Filipino behind that. We are working so hard. Even in the Washington…in the…the cook is a Filipino! The Chef cook is a Filipino!

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Yes? In the White House?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes, you know Arnel Pineda? In The Journeys…


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

In Jordan?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

No, Arnel Pineda is now in the famous group…The Journeys, you know?


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Like a music group? No, I don’t know, no…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes! You need to research this! There is one Filipino there. And then even the one…there is a lot of good singers in the Philippines. There is a lot of wonderful Filipinos in the Phillipines so…this is it. I am proud of being a Filipino but they told us why you are here, why you leave your family, it’s so hard. You have a good job there, why you are making poo poo? You know poo poo? Why you are cleaning poo poo?

 

You are cleaning all this things because there is many nurses here. There’s a dentist here. There’s a lot of teachers here in Israel. But because of our love to our family, we survive. We survive here in Israel. It’s no so easy to work here and even in many places. There’s no easy job. Even when you are eating is very hard also. But what you need is to patience. A lot of patience. And we need to ask the guidance of God.

 

This is very important: the guidance of God. You can do and you can walk in the right road, in the right way when you ask the guidance of God. This is the secret, how to survive. And how not to think or to do bad things. You need to ask the guidance of God.

 

Because this is it. Life is like…the cycle of life. It is ups and downs. There’s a happiness, there is a sadness. This is life, this is our life. But always believe that when you are in trouble, what is good to the Filipino people, in spite of trouble, or hardship…whatever that troubles it, we can still stand. We can still dance, we can still sing. This is because of our faith to God. We do believe that in spite of the hardship, of the trouble or the sufferings. There will be no blessings without the sufferings, this is what the Filipino people believes.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

And I experienced this when I came here. And also with my work with the Turkish immigrants in Germany, believing in God becomes very very important. Specially when you are away from home.


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

From the family, yes. Because you will remember that good people will be blessed. Baruch hashem (“Bless God” in Hebrew). I am so blessed, I am so blessed. I can…thank you is not enough, thank you is not enough. But God is so good all the time. This is how we survive, because of God we can take all the trouble, all the hardship. It’s nothing, hardship is nothing for us.

 

 


KÖKEN ERGUN

Did you feel that since you came here you became more…going to the church…more religious in some sense?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

This is…when you are apart with your family, you are much close to God, be-emet (‘really’ in Hebrew)? And Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia. So, this is it. We have a strong faith to God. We are much…I can say that I have a good relationship with God…To all of us..even, just say, just say His name. Just say His magic name and everything will be ok.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Here I realize that many Filipinos, they go to church even on Saturday evenings…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Saturday evenings. Friday evenings, Saturday evenings and there is also the Sunday.


 

KÖKEN ERGUN

But is this common in the Philippines? Go to the Church…


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes, in the Philippines everyday you can go to the Church. This is our life. Our life is going to school, going to the Church…we give time to everything. We are…

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

Here I saw the Filipino community sometimes go to Jaffa because the main churches are there? But some of them cannot go to Jaffa because it’s no so close, so they create new churches also?


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

New churches here. The Divine Mercy here in Tachana Merkazit. And there’s a lot of…There is, it is a big place but…the people, it’s very crowded. There are so many people. I think they need to put another one. But I don’t know it’s so hard also because it’s very expensive to make a church.

 

 

KÖKEN ERGUN

How do you make a chapel? Because some of them were in buildings, how do they do it? It’s not a Church architecture.


 

MARYLOU SULIT MUGA

Yes…it’s not a yeah. But as long as you can pray. This is it. As long as you can pray and there is a mass ceremony. It’s ok. Even in the stairs, the Filipino can… even you are outside. As long as you can read the homily, the good messages, the good messages from God, it’s good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s