Pinay caregivers stand by wards amid Gaza strikes
ISRAEL - Filipina caregivers at the Israeli-Gaza border will remain loyal to their wards should ceasefire breaks down and hostilities begin anew.
For the first time, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) rapid response team and ABS-CBN Middle East were able to talk to the caregivers living at the border.
From Tel Aviv, it took the team more than two hours to reach the Kibbutz Community Center near the Gaza border.
With the ceasefire on, the DFA rapid response team took the opportunity to visit six Filipina caregivers based at the house for the old within the gated Kibbutz Village.
A native of Ilocos Sur, Sinamar Jimenez has been working as a caregiver for the past 15 years in Israel.
She lamented having seen and witnessed so many bombings and armed conflicts in the past including the Iran-Iraq war in the late 90s.
But Jimenez readily admits the recent bombings at the Gaza border were the most life-threatening and perilous.
“Super po yung ingay,” she said.
Bicolana Rosalinda Remiter has been a caregiver for nine years whose ward is already 90.
Remiter showed the visiting team some cracks on the wall inside their room brought about by powerful explosions.
She can only manage to embrace her ward once the siren wails and followed by loud explosions.
“Sabi ng anak iwanan mo na nanay ko pag ganyan na. Sabi ko di ko maiwan, niyakap ko na lang. Sabi ko bahala na yakapin ko na lang di ko mabuhat. Sabi ko bahala na ang panginoon kung kami ay matatamaan,” she said.
At the height of the bombings, relatives in Manila would not stop calling and texting both Jimenez and Remiter, urging them to leave the border.
With limited space inside the bunker room, they had to carry and lift their wards to safety.
Should the ceasefire break down and hostilities resume, Jimenez and Remiter will remain with their wards.
“Babantayan ko pa rin po siya kasi di naman kami pinapabayaan ng mga amo naming,” said Jimenez.
Kibbutz is barely two kilometers away from Gaza which received 1,500 air missile attacks from Israel.
Many structures inside the community center were hit by mortar fire and some animals flat dead.
Near Kibbutz is the Erez border which Israel army just opened to motorists to allow entry into Gaza.
The DFA response team also visited Richon-le Zion where a Hamas rocket missile found its way into a residential condominium building, but fortunately no one was killed or injured.