Now You See Us by  Balli Kaur Jaswal

Now You See Us

Balli Kaur Jaswal

This is a tale of the friendship group of Filipino maids working in Singapore, which would be light-hearted but for the unthinking exploitation of their employers, and the threat of execution hanging over Flordeliza when she is framed for murder. Downtrodden girl power at its best!


Angel can't help noticing that Cora is different now, and not just because of the deep age-lines that score the corners of her eyes. She used to show up in eateries like this with fire in her eyes, ready to distribute the free weekly newsletter that she wrote for Filipino workers. Everybody was eager to read those folded pink A3 sheets for tips and useful information from a veteran worker. Around the holidays, she always included a special edition about packing balikbayan boxes, complete with diagrams on space saving and tips on padding breakable items like Ritz crackers and souvenir shot glasses. She advised women about about resolving conflicts with employers too, and she always included all the hotline numbers for places they could call for help. In 2001, there was a famous murder: Marisol Concepcion, a maid from Nueva Ecija who was executed in Singapore for strangling her employer and her daughter. The Philippine newspapers reported that Marisol had been framed. Most women didn't have computer access in their employers' homes, so they began filling the cybercafes to read the news online until Cora offered to consolidate the information into an extra page for no charge.

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