Filipino domestic workers documentary screens in Taiwan

“Sunday Beauty Queen” tells the story of Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong finding fulfillment through a beauty contest.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A documentary that delves into the daily dramas of Filipino domestic workers titled “Sunday Beauty Queen” will be screened in Taiwan’s Taoyuan Film Festival Sunday, and ongoing until May 25.

Babyruth Villarama’s documentary “Sunday Beauty Queen” tells the story of Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong finding fulfillment through a beauty contest. She followed five domestic workers as they gear up for the annual Miss Philippines Tourism Hong Kong, a pageant organized by maids in the Asian financial hub since 2008.

The Filipino documentary won the best picture at last year’s Metro Manila Film Festival and will be shown with movies from the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Syria/Lebanon and Australia.

The film gives audiences a closer look at domestic workers’ daily lives in Hong Kong, which includes interactions with their employers, their working conditions, and their relationships with families back in the Philippines.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are around 50 million overseas domestic workers employed globally. They play a vital part of the Philippine economy, sending an estimated US$26 billion home each year – or around 10 percent of the country’s GDP.