Hong Kong has not seen the last of migrants' rights activist Connie Bragas-Regalado, who lost her bid for the Philippine Congress despite receiving an overwhelming mandate from overseas Filipinos. 'I will return,' said Ms Regalado, who flew back to Manila on Tuesday night. Ms Regalado, 50, bade farewell to her employers, led a protest march to the Philippine consulate against the deaths of three domestic workers in the Middle East, and resigned from the Home Affairs Bureau's advisory committee on the promotion of racial harmony. She also was feted at Repulse Bay beach by the Hong Kong chapter of the Migrante Sectoral Party of Overseas Filipinos and Their Families. Ms Regalado, who was a domestic helper in Hong Kong for 13 years, has been a thorn in the side of the government and the Philippine consulate since she took over as chairman of the United Filipinos a decade ago. As chairwoman of the Asian Migrants Co-ordinating Body, she effectively united domestic helper groups from Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Philippines against yearly threats of pay cuts. Her return to Hong Kong has been planned for September to observe the judicial review of the government decision to impose a $400-a-month cut on foreign domestic helpers' minimum pay and impose a $400 levy on their bosses. Saying goodbye to Hong Kong has not been easy. 'My feeling though is that it is time for me to go back home because for the past year my family has been asking me to go home. But I was needed here so I stayed on,' Ms Regalado said. Her Discovery Bay employers, local university professors who have a daughter, also wished her well. 'My employer and I have always been open about each other's plans, and I had earlier told her about my plans for the future. I told her before I left to campaign in March that I would not be renewing my contract,' she said. She worked for the family for nearly four years. Ms Regalado said her candidacy was just the start of a long campaign on another front. 'I was really inspired that even if I did not win, I saw that the Filipino migrants in Hong Kong still have high morale,' she said. 'That's why we were No1 [among overseas absentee voters]. It is evidence that Migrante is being recognised based on their track record that we are the ones fighting for the rights of migrant Filipinos.' She always believed that her work would go beyond the ballot box. 'Our aim was to maximise our base of supporters in the Philippines and abroad. We already have formed 200 chapters in Hong Kong alone and that is a cause for celebration,' Ms Regalado said. She told cheering Migrante members at the beach party on May 30 that the fight for migrants' rights would continue. Expect Ms Regalado to be popping back to Hong Kong as a standard bearer for migrant workers' rights.