HoRP#14: Norhadja

norhadja_3_mervin
(c) John Mervin Borja

Get to know Norhadja, a 29-year-old single mother from Mindanao, who is willing to take her fair share of hardships in life as she anticipates her flight to Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic helper.

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norhadja_1_mervin
(c) John Mervin Borja

“Gusto ko talagang mag-abroad. Baka five years ako roon [Saudi], walang uwian. Kakayanin para sa pamilya. Depende naman sa tao yan. Di naman ako kakabahan. Excited lang ako. Kasi iniisip ko lang naman ‘yung pamilya ko eh. Kaya ako excited para sa kanila.”

Norhadja has already worked as a housekeeper in Manila, but she hasn’t been to Saudi before. As a first-timer, she surprised us when she expressed her excitement for what the foreign land has in store for her.

“Syempre excited. Di naman ako natatakot.”

norhadja_2_mervin
(c) John Mervin Borja

She’s willing to risk it all for her children. Raising four young little kids may be one of the most challenging roles for women, but being a single mother is a job that only a woman with a heart of a lion can do. When we asked her about how her children reacted when she broke the news, she said:

“Syempre nalungkot sila. Doon muna sila sa kapatid ko habang wala ako.”

Norhadja dreams of starting a business for her family when she returns to the Philippines.

Words by Airen Petalbert

Photos by John Mervin Borja

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