“I'm Not a Hero, I Believe in Collective Energy.”
By Lele Zhang & Lin Yang
HONG KONG (2018) – Twenty-six years ago, Alberto Laconsay decided to leave the Philippines and came to Hong Kong to become a domestic helper. Before coming to Hong Kong he was a designer. Although he enjoyed the job, he said his low salary and the expenses to send his two children to school forced him to leave.
With the help of his mother, who was also a domestic helper in Hong Kong, Laconsay’s first job was to take care of an elderly Chinese man. After the old man died, Laconsay found another position as a gardener, which has been his job until now.
During his time in Hong Kong, Laconsay, 59, became one of the founders of Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union. He said many Filipinos are the victims of discriminatory abuse and get low salaries with long hours of work. He said the union he organized operates as a caring center to help migrants, and it fights against the government to bring their rights back.
Laconsay continues living with his new family, and he said he still prepares to stay in Hong Kong another six to eight years to continue helping Filipinos.