Philippine Catholic nun given ROC citizenship

After just 27 years, devoted nun is awarded dual citizenship

Devoted nun O Anuna receives ROC citizenship.

TAIPEI, (Taiwan News)-- Catholic nun O Anuna ( 滿詠萱 ) from the Philippines, who has devoted almost half of her life to taking care of children with disabilities in Taiwan, officially became a Republic of China (Taiwan) citizen on Friday.

"I'm the most joyful when being with the children and I'm happy to be able to stay in Taiwan forever," the 58-year-old sister said after receiving her ROC identification card from Chiayi County Magistrate Chang Hwa-kuan ( 張花冠 ).

Despite the challenges involved in taking care of children with disabilities for the past 27 years, Anuna said she has really enjoyed taking care of them.  Her decision to become a naturalized ROC citizen gained the support of her family. She said the fact that she was given a ROC identification card symbolizes that her love for the children is appreciated.

Born in 1959 in the Philippines, Anuna first came to Taiwan in 1990 to serve at Sacred Heart Home, a Catholic charitable organization located in Chiayi County's Dongshih Township, dedicated to caring for individuals with moderate or severe multiple disabilities. In 2014, she was transfered to Francis Home in Puzi City, which provides similar services.

Chang said although Anuna is only 143 centimeters tall, her devotion to the disabled children has been gigantic. "From the age of 31 to 58, she has dedicated all her youth to children with disabilities," Chang said.

Deputy Interior Minister Chiu Chang-yueh ( 邱昌嶽 ), who also attended the ceremony, said that besides serving at Francis Home, Anuna has spent her spare time helping foreign spouses in Chiayi's coastal areas adapt to life in Taiwan. "Her indomitable attitude and spirit to serve the disadvantaged deserves our admiration," Chiu said.

Anuna is the first foreign missionary in Chiayi to be naturalized as an ROC citizen since the Nationality Act was amended in late 2016 to allow foreign nationals with special contributions to Taiwan to obtain ROC citizenship without having to renounce their original citizenships.

So far, there has been no change in the law to allow ordinary long-term foreign resident tax-payers in Taiwan to become enfranchised.