[Cebu City] June 17, 2022— Ester Vargas Castillo, a Cebuana domestic helper in Dubai, UAE, self-published a collection of poetry about her life experiences.
“Biriterang Makata” (Diva Poet) is the title of the book, which relates to her magnificent soprano singing voice. It is a compilation of 136 award-winning English and Filipino poetry.
The book was launched at the Studio M Arabian Plaza Hotel in Dubai on May 14, 2022.
Since 2017, Ester Vargas Castillo has worked in Dubai. She is a member of Kapanulat (Kapatid sa Panulat) and other prestigious literary and poetry groups, as well as the choral group Filipino Social Club (FilSoc) Chorale that performed during the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Ester is a true inspiration to all Filipinos living overseas, especially given her life narrative. Her poems are about her experiences with poverty and bullying, and they are more than simply a story to tell.
She also shared that being a household helper has helped her provide for the needs of her children, especially necessities and education.
“Ang laman po ng aking aklat ay mga tulang nagwagi sa iba’t ibang pahina ng panulaan na sinalihan ko. Mga makabuluhang akda na may mga importanteng mensaheng nakapaloob na magbibigay kalakasan at inspirasyon sa mambabasa,” she said.
Castillo is one of the founding members of the Self Published x Movement (SPxM), an advocacy group of McKinley Publishing Hub, which published Biriterang Makata. She is also the administrator of the Bigkis ng Panitik page, a group of poets; an honorary member of Horizons +, a home for talented migrant workers in Hong Kong and around the world; and a member of Kapanulat (Kapatid sa Panulat), Septon Poetry, Poetic Hearts, and SSTT (Sari Saring Tulang Tagalog).