SINGAPORE - An emotional Auntie Terry touched down at Changi Airport early Saturday morning to attend the Singapore premiere of the award-winning film, Ilo Ilo.
Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen won the prestigious Camera d'Or prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for his film, about a family of three and their new maid Teresa, from the Philippines.
Set against the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the heart-warming film was drawn from Anthony Chen's own experience as a young boy with the family maid, known as Auntie Terry, when she worked in the Lion City almost two decades ago.
Ilo Ilo's success prompted a search for the real Auntie Terry, whose real name is Teresita Sajunia, in Iloilo City, the Philippines.
It led Anthony Chen and his brother to a heartfelt reunion with Auntie Terry eventually.
Shocked that Chen would make a movie inspired by their story and that his family would come looking for her after so many years, Auntie Terry was deeply moved.
"I'm so touched and thankful," she said. "It must mean that they loved me as much as I loved them."
The film's official airline partner, Cebu Pacific, sponsored tickets for the reunion in Iloilo, and Auntie Terry's trip to Singapore.
"We are honored to be part of this wonderful reunion. Auntie Terry is the epitome of the hard work, sacrifice and selfless love of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)," said Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Distribution, Candice Iyog.
"Like her, our OFWs leave a lasting impact not only on their families back home, but also on the people they work and care for abroad."
Cebu Pacific currently operates twice weekly direct flights between Iloilo and Singapore, aside from direct flights from Singapore to Manila, Cebu and Clark.