A Pinay maid who’s been a domestic worker in Hong Kong for over two decades made headlines after she successfully climbed the highest mountain in Africa in August. According to Liza Avelino, she has been planning to visit Tanzania to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro for over a year before she finally pulled it off.
Liza says it has always been her dream to climb the world’s highest mountains, so instead of lazing around in malls during her day off, she goes mountain climbing. “Doon po ako sa bundok, lagi hanggang maghapon po 'yan. Doon po nauubos ang day off ko,” she told GMA News.
She said being a maid was never a hindrance for her to achieve her dreams. “Naisip ko mayroon naman akong trabaho, mayroon naman akong suweldo, so posible pong magagawa ko 'yung dream na 'yun. Very supportive po 'yung local community, employer ko, at saka 'yung ibang mga kaibigan ko,” she said.
Liza added that people looking down on her chosen profession pushed her to prove naysayers wrong. “Hindi po acceptable sa akin na sabihin ng iba na ganito na lang kasi kami kasi ito na 'yung role ko sa buhay. Gusto ko pong patunayan sa sarili ko na kaya ko pong gawin 'yung gusto kong gawin,” she said.
In 2015, Liza conquered the 6,189-meter-high Island Peak during a grueling 22-day hike after saving up her salary for two years. The mountain in Nepal is a neighbor to Mount Everest, the world’s highest point which she also dreams of reaching one day.
Liza also left an inspiring message for her fellow overseas Filipino workers, particularly the domestic workers who’ve lost sight of or given up on their dreams. “We can be the same as everyone else. May trabaho, kayang makapag-travel kung saan. Hindi lang 'yung trabahong bahay,” she said.