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Should migrant workers be allowed to bring their families overseas?

Rappler, Philippines, 31 March 2021 - In the corner of a room tucked away in the Nara prefecture in Japan, Filipino worker Camile Ferrer clutches her cell phone and presses its screen as close to her face as she could.

“Show me your teeth,” Camile says. Beyond the screen, her 8-year-old daughter Lara opens her mouth wide. Upon examining each tooth, Camile finds stains and warns Lara, “Brush your teeth every time you eat! Okay?”

Since leaving to work in Japan, video calling through Facebook Messenger is the only way Camile stays connected to her home in the Philippines, an ocean and thousands of kilometers away from her room.

Out in Barangay Pulong Norte, Malasiqui, Pangasinan, in Central Luzon, Camile’s daughter and her 5-year-old son Angelo live with her mother Lanie, 56, where they wait for Camile to visit home soon, if only the coronavirus pandemic would let her.

Almost every day, either early in the morning or at night, Camile calls her children for one or two hours. As a single mother, she considers this as her precious time for “parenting.”

As she checks if Lara brushes her teeth regularly, Lara also tells her mom that Angelo did not pay attention to their teacher during class that day. Camile warns her son and tells him to study hard for school.



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