“How can I leave these people who are relying on me?” [Juanay, a 45-year-old Filipino woman undergoing on the job training to become a certified caregiver] said.
Fanai is not the only Filipina who chose to stay on at the home despite the natural disaster and the aftershocks, coupled with the ongoing crisis at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Sandra Otacan, 35, said she had no idea the nuclear plant was situated in the same prefecture.
Shirakawa sits well beyond a 30-kilometer radius from the plant, the zone the central government asked people to evacuate or stay indoors due to potential radiation exposure.
Still her family in Mindanao island said repeatedly that Japan is dangerous when they talked to her on the telephone.
Otacan said she tried to reassure them, saying readings of radiation levels are low.
Yoshio Sugiyama, who heads the general affairs division of the home, said he is grateful to the women for staying on.
“I was preparing for the eventuality that they would immediately return to their country,” Sugiyama said. “But none of them said they would go home. They are dedicated, careful and kind. I take my hat off to their approach to their work.”
Yukie Noda, an 88-year-old resident, also expressed appreciation for the women’s devotion. “They must be feeling anxious, being away from their family,” she said. “They are really kind and do their job with passion. I have great respect for them.”