'This is for you, Singapura': Filipino helper runs 57km to celebrate Singapore's 57th birthday

Submitted by Stomper Jeanette

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A Filipino domestic helper completed a 57km run on the morning of National Day to celebrate Singapore's 57th birthday.

If that sounds familiar, that is because Stomp had reported earlier this week that four other runners had accomplished the same feat on the weekend before National Day.

Stomper Jeanette said that she had wanted to join those runners, but she was donating blood on Sunday morning (Aug 7).

She set out on her own 57km trek on Monday at 11.15pm.

"I started my run at home, near Somme Road, all the way to East Coast. One time around East Coast Park from area A to H, then one time around Kallang River to Marina Barrage. I ended my run near Gardens by the Bay," she told Stomp.

It took her 8 hours and 51 minutes. 

"This is for you, Singapura," she posted on Facebook and added: "I still can't believe I could do it."

It was the first time she had run such a long distance. She had never even completed a marathon of 42km before.

Jeanette, 33, began running when she was 21 in the Philippines.

"It was a morning jog actually," she said. "Then my neighbour saw me and offered to train me. He was a professional marathoner. That was when I started to join races but only a few as I had to work and needed to provide for my family, instead of spending my money on joining races."

The Stomper, who is not married, has five sisters and her mum. Her father died in 2017.

"I became more active in running here in Singapore. I have enough money to join some challenges without sacrificing my family's budget."

Jeanette has been in Singapore for almost eight years and worked for her current employer for five. Her employer is a French chef with a wife and two children.

"They are the ones who pushed me to be more active. Since I started working for them, I've learnt to swim. I also tried to learn cycling," she said.

"I have every Sunday off. No curfew. But I always come back after my church service. I reach home past 9pm. If I have to attend some event, I would inform my employer earlier that I would be late. They don't mind if I come back at midnight as long as I can do my work on Monday morning. Sometimes they also tell me to go out if they don't need me.

"That was why I did my run on the eve of National Day as my employer and his family were out of the country."

Jeanette completed the 57km as part of the Run For Singapore 2022 Online Challenge, which is a virtual race.

She said that this would be her last race in Singapore before returning to the Philippines when her contract ends on Dec 28.

"I decided not to join any more races as I need to save money. I don't know how long I will be jobless in the Philippines. I need to get a job while I am looking after the construction of my house. That's the reason why I have to go home."

She added: "I will have plenty of time to join any run once I come back to Singapore after my house is finished."