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“I Tried Eating Banana that Madam Wanted to Throw”: Maid Shares Experience of being Starved by Employers


A Filipino lady working in Singapore as a domestic maid has shared her experience of being starved by her employers and having her salary withheld.

Dowell-Elaine Cabalteja Eugenio said that her employers, whom she describes as “Bengali Indian”, were stingy with food, and as such she had to scrounge for food that was being thrown away, and rely on the help of friends.

“I just wanna share my almost 14 years working here in Sg. I had Bengali indian employers for 4 years. I have finished two contracts even they are very stingy of food, counting the breads and questioning all the snacks, so sad that I was in salary deduction for 7 months. I tried eating food from friends, they hang it in the kitchen back door. I tried eating banana that madam wanted to throw because I was very hungry and no food to eat. I became so skinny but I always pray to God for my strength.”

Dowell-Elaine Cabalteja Eugenio said that she bore with the conditions because she was afraid that if she attempted to switch employers she might be stuck with a employer who would subject her to worse treatment.

And, she also accepted those conditions because of her family.

“I realised my children growing, I need to earn for their studies. My husband also working but not enough.”

But that’s a silver lining to Dowell-Elaine Cabalteja Eugenio’s plight.

She returned home after her contract expired, and after coming back to Singapore to work has since found new employers who treat her kindly.

“I found the opposite of my boss before. My boss now are so generous and kind hearted, they are also Indian but Punjabi, no problem about food. I am getting extra money ,gifts and bonuses including gifts for my two children, my madam bought for them a laptop and each of them received it.”

Dowell-Elaine Cabalteja Eugenio want to let others in her position know that patience pays, and that one should persevere even when faced with difficult situations.



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