Luz shared a villa with Filipinos in Satwa.


Expats seek help for Filipina with ‘nervous breakdown’ in Dubai


DUBAI – Family and friends of a Dubai-based Filipina who went into a “nervous breakdown” during the pandemic are seeking help for her recovery.

Luz (full name withheld), 37, is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Sharjah for a medical condition. She is expected to be referred to a specialist hospital in Dubai for further treatment.

The Filipina hadn’t slept for days and was “acting weird” before she had a “nervous breakdown” in front of her housemates at a villa in Satwa. She was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance.

“She must have had a lot on her mind, but didn’t want to tell us,” said Mary Anne, one of Luz’s housemates and confidantes. She said Luz was in her usual good mood last weekend, cooking for everyone her favorite bilo-bilo, a Filipino dessert.

They had no idea it would be the last time they would spend with her under normal circumstances. “Before her episode, she hadn’t slept for days. She also didn’t eat,” Mary Anne told

Luz, a single mother, talked about missing her daughter in the Philippines. The pandemic made it harder for her to return home and be reunited with her family. She eked out a living cleaning houses and doing odd jobs in the UAE where she has lived in the last seven years.

“She had a lot of plans for herself and her daughter. She just graduated from a short course in caregiving. She also wanted to buy a house and lot in Davao,” said Mary Anne.

“I hope someone can help her get back on her feet when she recovers and is repatriated to the Philippines, so she can at least have livelihood to fall back on, like running a small neighbourhood store,” Mary Anne said.

Luz’s relative in Ras Al Khaimah, Florites Magdagasang, told that her cousin never showed any indication of mental distress.

“I was shocked about what happened to her because she never showed it, and she only showed her happy side,” said Magdagasang, who added that they usually catch up with each other every Friday and sometimes visit the malls.

“She wanted to have her own house and secure her daughter’s future and help her siblings because they don’t have parents anymore. That’s why she worked so hard,” she said.

“She always wanted to go home so she can be with her only daughter, but couldn’t afford to buy a plane ticket home. She told me she’d rather just send the money home for her daughter’s needs,” Magdagasang said.

The only time she saw a tinge of melancholy in her cousin was a few weeks ago. “I saw her sadness when she received a message from her daughter on Mother’s Day. She said she wished she could hug her daughter then,” she added.

She described Luz as a “kind and happy” person who was “always thinking for her family’s future”. Luz never showed she was depressed, she said.

She said Luz’s family in Davao Oriental in the Philippines are hoping she can recover quickly and be reunited with her family. As of Sunday (May 16), it was not clear how long she would remain admitted in the hospital.

“We are hoping people with kind hearts can help her get another chance of rebuilding her dreams,” she added.

Update: reached out to Philippine Labour Attache Felicitas Bay in Dubai who coordinated with the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) section of the Philippine Consulate to look into the case. An ATN case worker has contacted Magdagasang to arrange repatriation assistance for Luz when she is fit to travel. PIA/Expat Media


To reach out to Florites Magdagasang, call +971 558028570. To reach out to Mary Anne, call +971 504749381. 

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