Human trafficking victim reunited with family after 65 years

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2020 04:44 AM

LOS ANGELES - A Filipina human trafficking victim in the US finally reunited with her family on Monday after more than 6 decades of waiting. 

Nanay Fedelina, who had been kept as a domestic servant for a Southern California Family for 65 years before regaining her freedom less than two years ago, has reunited with her younger sister.

The sister, along with her daughter and granddaughter, secured visas this past week and surprised Nanay Fedelina at the Pilipino Workers Center in Los Angeles, California.

After media reports about Fedelina’s life story surfaced, a mutual friend in Los Angeles managed to connect them to each other last year.

While the two had communicated through video chats since, this is the first time since Nanay Fedelina met with a family member face to face since her traffickers brought her from Manila to Los Angeles in the 1980s, and eventually cutting her off from communication.

“Ngayon nandito na ang aking kapatid at tsaka pamangkin at apo ko nagkita kita na kami. ‘Wag mo patatawa wala kong ngipin,” Fedelina said. 

At age 16, the Leyte-born Fedelina found work as a domestic helper for a family in Manila. She was never paid, and was physically and emotionally abused.

When the family she served brought her to southern California in the early 1970s, her passport and IDs were confiscated and she was also isolated from her own family.

Fedelina only tasted freedom at age 82. 

Her family is now looking forward to catching up on some long awaited quality time in Los Angeles.