Mary Jane Bernardez Cayme in happier times with colleagues in Satwa, Dubai.


OFWs in Dubai pay tribute to Filipina who died of breast cancer


DUBAI – Filipinos in Dubai paid tribute to a Filipina who died of breast cancer days after arriving home in Manila to spend her last moments with her family.

Mary Jane Bernardez Cayme was buried in the Philippines on Sunday (November 8) at 8am.

Friends and colleagues in Dubai pooled their money and sent it to Cayme’s family in the Philippines to buy flowers and candles for the Filipina they fondly called their “nanay” (mother) in the UAE.

As first reported in October 22, the 55-year-old flyer distributor for Blue Dream Salon in Dubai’s Satwa area kept her illness a secret from her family and colleagues until she was repatriated.

She didn’t want her family or her colleagues to worry, her co-worker, Jejie Recel Leal, told Leal had accompanied Cayme on the trip home, with the duo arriving in Manila on October 18.

She said Cayme was feeling happy ahead of the flight. “Before we left Dubai, our boss at the salon gave her money, gold and clothes. She was happy to know a lot of people love her,” Leal said.

Unfortunately, Cayme’s breast cancer was already full blown. While Cayme was on mandatory quarantine at a hotel in Manila, health workers from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) visited her regularly to dress up the abscess on her right breast.

Leal described Cayme as a selfless individual who never tired of inspiring the people around her and never wanted anyone to worry. “When I asked her where it hurt, she would always reply that nothing hurts,” Leal said.

“She asked me every day if the swab test result was already out. She missed her family so much and wanted to be with them,” she said. It was Cayme’s first time to fly home after eight years of working in the UAE.

“In the nine days we spent at the hotel, I never imagined that she would die five days after we parted ways,” Leal said. Cayme died on November 2.

Salon workers sent tributes to Cayme, thanking her for her love and advice. Cayme had led a band of Filipinos who hand out flyers for salons in Satwa. The group had become her second family in the UAE.

“We loved you so much. Our happy memories of you will stay in our heart forever,” said Hiltory.

“Thank you for all the goodness you showed us, and all the advice you gave us. We won’t forget it,” said Flor.

“We will always remember our happy moments with Nanay Mary,” said Karen.

“No more pain, Nanay Mary. Just rest and watch over us,” said Merlina. ICA/Expat Media


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