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Amy Farol finds Taiwan home

Amy Farol finds Taiwan home

If there is one prayer that Filipinos say before leaving their country, it would likely be, "Lord, please give me a kind employer."
Imelda "Amy" Farol must have prayed non-stop. She got what she wished for -- and more.
"My employers and their children are the most wonderful people in the world," Farol tells the Taiwan News. "They are God's gift to me."
This Filipina has come a long way from her days as a homemaker in her native Mindoro Oriental, Philippines. Widowed when she was only in her early 30s, Farol found herself singlehandedly raising three children.
"It was quite a struggle," she says. "I had three kids to raise and very little money."
She decided to work overseas, and eventually landed a home manager's job in Hong Kong.
"My Hong Kong employer had been good to me," says Farol. "When my two-year employment contract was about to expire however, I found a 'help wanted' ad on a church bulletin board. I responded to the ad, got interviewed, and was hired."
Little did the Filipina know that her life was about to change.
Her employers, Oliver and Heidi Silsby, took her in as if she were family. The American couple only had one child at the time, she says.
"Their eldest was less than six months old when I started working for them in Hong Kong," says Farol. "Today, they have five kids: Jiggs, Laird, Meg, Pauline, and Myles. I have practically raised them, and I love them just like my own children."
The Silsbys are every home manager's dream. Her employers, Oliver and Heidi, are an open-minded, understanding, generous, kind, considerate, and fun-loving couple, says Farol.
"To make a relationship work, you have to keep two things in mind: Respect and communication," says the Filipina.
Heidi Silsby, Farol's employer, agrees.
"Our family was blessed when Amy came into our lives because she helps make our house a home. Amy is very capable, professional, dependable, dedicated, caring, honest and an all-around good person. My children's lives have been thoroughly enriched by her. We were so pleased when she agreed to be the godmother to one of my daughers," Heidi says.
"As with any relationship, the key to the success of our partnership with Amy all these years is respect for one another. Hand in hand with respect is the ability to communicate openly and honestly. Salamat po Amy (Thank you Amy). We love you!"
Farol explains that she and her employers have a give-and-take relationship. She never takes advantage of their kindness, and is extremely protective of the trust that they have given her.
"They have trusted me -- a total stranger -- with everything that they hold dear: Their family and their home," says Farol. "To me, that is such a huge honor and privilege. The least that I could do for them is to be a devoted, loyal, and committed worker. I want to make them proud."
To avoid any misunderstandings, she constantly communicates with her employers.
"If you are having problems at work, you should discuss it with your boss right away. Don't sulk, wear a long face, or throw a tantrum. That's not going to solve anything," says Farol.
But the Silsbys of course are no ordinary employers. They have grown so close that the couple even asked Farol to be a godmother to one of their kids, Pauline.
"They never boss me around," Farol beams. "Often, my employers even tell me to stop working and just chill out. The Silsbys are one cool family."
The perks of her job are enough to turn anyone green with envy.
Last summer, the entire family, including Farol, vacationed in Paris. Every year, the happy bunch also travels to the U.S.
"On top of that, I get to fly home annually. My employers shoulder my airfare," says Farol.
But even without the paid vacations and European holidays, the Filipina says she will still be perfectly content and happy with the Silsbys.
"My biggest bonus is priceless -- it's their fabulous kids," she explains. "Every morning, they give me a kiss and a hug. I'm like their second mom. In fact, their dad told them that if they (Oliver and Heidi) are not home, they have to listen to me because I am the one in charge."
The Silsbys are doing an excellent job raising their kids, Farol says. Every weekend, for instance, the children are assigned household chores.
"As long as it's not a school night, the children set the table, wash the dishes, sort out our recycled items, and throw the garbage. They even work on their garden on Saturdays," she smiles.
"That means I have nothing left to do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights."
Heidi also taught Farol how to bake. The Filipina has become so good at it that she could put up her own bakery in the Philippines if she wanted to. (When Amy and I met last Sunday, she gave me a slice of her heavenly chocolate fudge. The Filipina also donated tons of magazines and books to our Kabayan Book Club.)
"I owe the Silsbys so much. Because of them, I was able to build a home and send all of my three kids to college. My eldest is currently working in Canada," Farol says. "The Silsbys have enriched my life. I guess their goodness has rubbed off on me."