2018 Yearender: Filipinos make headlines abroad


Posted at Jan 01 2019 01:11 PM

From viral videos of fights and racial discrimination, Filipinos made headlines abroad and at home. Here are some of the most read stories of overseas Filipinos this 2018.


In Hong Kong, a local woman was filmed cursing and shouting at a Filipino domestic worker, telling her to "go back to the Philippines."

The woman allegedly got mad and told the domestic helper that it was inappropriate to walk dogs and a child at the same time.

The 5-minute footage of the verbal abuse was taken by a fellow Filipino domestic worker who was also at the park.

Video courtesy of Mel C. Santiago


In July, a video showing a McDonald's employee and a Filipina in a brawl went viral on social media.

The incident in Las Vegas, Nevada started when the Pinay tried to fill up a water cup with free soda.

In an interview with the New York Post, the McDonald's employee said the Pinay was "talking a lot of smack" before the incident.

The Pinay threw the drink at the employee and also hit her in the face with a tray. She was charged with assault.

Video courtesy of Marie Dayag


A Filipino couple received outpouring support from people after their only child was abducted and killed in Dublin, Ireland in May.

The body of Jastine Valdez was found near a golf course in Rathmichael, Co in Dublin two days after she was abducted by a local.

The suspect was shot dead by authorities.

Jastine joined her parents in Dublin in 2015. Her parents are both naturalized Irish citizens.

Photo courtesy of Jastine Valdez Memorial Fund


Another story that struck a chord among many Filipino workers overseas was the controversial comment made by a Kuwaiti social media star in July.

Sondos Al-Qattan made international headlines when she slammed the new law allowing Filipino domestic workers to keep their passports and have rest days.

Her comment prompted some of her sponsors to drop her.

The social media influencer is a make-up artist who has 2.3 million followers on Instagram.

Video courtesy of TRT World Facebook page


Unfazed by his past brush with the law, Justin Casquejo was arrested again in November for hanging off a crane on a roof after he broke into an apartment building that is under construction on the Upper West Side.

The Fil-Am daredevil and two others were seen taking photos and videos, according to a complaint filed by the building management company.

Casquejo is out on a $5,000 bail.

Last year, Casquejo pleaded guilty to trespassing the 1 World Trade Center in 2014 in exchange for three years probation.

Photo courtesy of Justin Casquejo's Instagram account


The couple behind the death of a Filipina domestic worker whose body was discovered inside a freezer in Kuwait was sentenced to death by hanging.

In April, a Kuwaiti court sentenced the Lebanese man and his Syrian wife in absentia for the murder of Joanna Demafelis.

Demafelis' murder prompted Manila to impose a deployment ban to Kuwait.

The ban was formally lifted in May.