Literally eating momos in one hand, while filming Kathmandu with the other. Filmed this during breaks at the Asian Investigative Journalism Conference. (Sept. 2016)
Director: Pete Sabine
Editor and Associate Videographer: Stephanie Burnett
Cinematographer and Sound: Kevin Cureau
Translations and Producer: Lorrin Shao
Domestic helpers in Hong Kong are known for the challenges they face – like having low wages and only one day off a week. But ironically, many Filipina helpers are also feeling liberated. That’s because they feel they can be more open about their lesbian partnerships, with some inspired to come out to their families back home.
Produced and written by: Stephanie Burnett and Georgia McCafferty
Voiceover: Stephanie Burnett
Honey Grace Minaves follows a herd of hundreds of Filipina women, all navigating their way through a maze of back alleyways in Hong Kong’s Central district. Eventually they turn into the narrow lobby of an unmarked building, where Honey Grace patiently waits her turn to squeeze into one of the small elevators.
A dozen pint-sized Filipinas cram into the lift that would be a tight fit for five grown men. The elevator ascends past floor after floor, each with a distinct theme: shoe warehouses, consignment shops, beauty pageant rehearsals, and – for Honey Grace – a hair salon.
“I don’t have a boyfriend, that’s why I cut my hair,” says the raven-haired woman as her hair is styled. “I cut my hair so that I can find someone.”
Honey Grace is one of tens of thousands of Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong who pamper themselves in hopes of finding love on Sundays – the one day of the week when they are usually off.
But one day a week is not enough time for romance, and the women are resorting to online dating sites to be courted.
Meet a few of us, and see what we’re reporting on.