A Filipino domestic worker who won the ‘UAE’s Best Nanny’ award was set to retire in five years after getting the 70,000 dirhams (US$19,060) cash prize.

Melanie Manansala, 45, who moved to Dubai in 1993 when she was 20, was named the UAE’s Best Nanny last year after she was nominated for the award by her employer’s family, the Khaleej Times reported.

“When they told me, I said I didn’t want it because I didn’t think I would win. They insisted, though, and said it would be an honor for them if I accepted the gesture. Next thing I knew, I had won,” Manansala said.

Mananasala also received 70,000 dirhams as a starter for her retirement fund. The domestic worker, who earns 2,600 dirhams a month, said that with the prize money, she could retire sooner and return home to the Philippines for good.

“To save that money on my own would have taken about four years; that’s if I religiously put away 1,500 dirhams each month. So to receive it for my work as a nanny was humbling,” she said.

She hopes to open her own mini-supermarket when she returns to the Philippines. She said the retirement fund, which was worth PHP1 million, would help her achieve that.