A Filipina domestic helper was recognized as one of Hong Kong’s “unsung heroes” in the 8th Spirit of Hong Kong Awards on Thursday.
Rodelia Pedro Villar became the first Filipina to bag the Lion Rock People’s Choice Award, a recognition given to individuals who have done philanthropic work in their respective communities.
The Filipina was recognized for her efforts to provide psychological and material support for Hong Kong domestic workers through her Domestic Workers Corner group.
Villar’s group also provides assistance to domestic workers who are victims of romance scams, contractual disputes, and sexual harassment.
“The spirit of Hong Kong is not limited to nationality, I hold the same notion as all Hong Kong citizens, to help others,” Villar told the South China Morning Post, which co-presents the annual award with property company Sino Group.
Villar, who has been in Hong Kong for over 17 years, said being nominated for the annual awards was out of her expectations.
“It’s an honor to be the first Filipina nominated,” she told SCMP. The award was presented to Villar by SCMP CEO Gary Liu.
The 8th Spirit of Hong Kong Awards was held virtually on Nov. 26. The event was also graced by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
The Spirit of Hong Kong Awards is an annual award started in 2013 which aims to recognize the remarkable achievements of ordinary citizens of Hong Kong.