In the Philippines it is common to have house help in the homes. I grew up in a household where my sister and I had Yayas. My parents would hire them exclusively for us and another house help for the general house chores. Our Yaya’s stayed with us for years and even come back as friends. My Mom is a home maker, she even taught one of our house help how to cook. She is now a Chef and is married to a white guy. We treat them like family. We eat dinner and go on vacations with them, gave proper wages and benefits. It was different back in the 80’s.
When I had my own family, we had to struggle finding the right house help/ Yaya. My husband and I decided to live independently from our in laws. It was difficult, I was a new Mom and had to go back for work. We were able to get some help from referrals but none of them fit until we met a couple of good ones.
Our first Yaya only stayed for a week, the one that replaced her stayed for a couple of months and robbed us of our belongings. Then we met Donna who was a widow. She had 3 kids when she started working for us. She was a good cook and all around care taker of our small unit and day time guardian to our child. She got pregnant on her 3rd month working with us and requested that she wants to continue working until she gives birth. We agreed and made it comfortable to work for her to work with us. She promised she will be back after giving birth but we decided that it will be best for her to rest and take good care of her baby. We sent her home to her province and promised to keep connected and when she wants to come back, she can. Unfortunately, she did not come back and I haven’t heard any news from her in years.
We had a run in with a Yaya named Marian. She was a strong willed individual. She was often times “pasaway” and a rebellious one at that. What I liked about her is her genuine care for my daughter, but her own personal problems got in the way. I tried so much to help her to the right path but unfortunately her individualism ruled. She got separated with her husband and is now in a relationship with a new guy. She has 5 kids with her first husband at a young age of 31. There were rumors that she used drugs, caught her not in our unit at 3 in the morning. Our neighbors also caught her lingering around the building at 5am. She will use the other Yaya’s in the condo as an excuse that she’s on a day off but she was really with her new guy. She got pregnant with her new boyfriend while she was employed under us. It was so sad, apparently she lost the baby. I was asking her at one point during her employment with us why she had her period for a month. She asked for some iron supplements which I gladly gave her. I decided to part ways with her as I could not live with a person with a haunting back story.
I had a bad experience with a Yaya Agency. Their modus operandi is they have this replacement clause of 3 replacements in 6 months. Replacements after that will result in additional payment of people sourcing. They control these Yaya’s and the Yaya’s would pretend that they miss their families so they need to go home and get replacement. These Yaya Agency will pretend to be taking your side. They will even charge you with transportation expense with every time they deliver a replacement. The first Yaya was unhygienic and would cry every night. The second one falsified her document resume and confessed that she was advised by the agency to write an impressive resume. I was praying so hard that the third replacement will be a better one. My prayers were answered.
We met Evan, she’s this small pretty girl from Davao. She has been in Manila for years and decided to work as a Yaya since she was waiting for her turn at college. It was an automatic like between my daughter and Evan. She was a great help in the house. She took care of Shumi with great care. My daughter loved her and when it was time for her to leave, my daughter had a hard time adjusting to not having her around. Occasionally we would talk and there was a time when she helped us babysit for a weekend.
After Evan, we didn’t get to have good help. Some referrals were trying to outwit us but you have to know which is genuine to which is fake. The latest Yaya that we had was the daughter of the Mom who initially applied to us. The Mom was very scheming. After two weeks of advances of a months worth of salary, she had her daughter work for us, she was the sickly kind-the daughter, I would get her checked up at the doctor for prolonged coughs, good she tested negative for TB. Last month she got dengue and I brought her to the hospital. I decided to send her home since it is difficult to have someone sick when there’s a small child at home. I took care of her until she was fetched by her mom by feeding her, giving her medicines (complete take home for hydration and vitamins) and sponge baths, those sorts of things. The Mom was threatening us when they got home, complaining about her daughter working for the past 3 months without any increase in pay (WHUTTT??!!). That we should cover all medicines expense (which we already have done – apparently she wants her daughter confined, the doctor at the hospital we brought her to said that there was no need for confinement as long as we continue hydration which we did). I decided to let go of her, it was emotionally draining to feel bad for her while her Mom is making us to feel otherwise. When I was cleaning the house after she left, I saw extreme trash and dirt in the living quarters of this Yaya. I was disgusted with the waste she accumulated and casually threw outside the balcony which landed on the balcony floor. I got goosebumps when I saw human dirt with the pile (think of the worst thing you don’t want to find in the trash and its there). Enough na! No more salaula! I During healthier times, she expressed to me that she was being used by her parents for money. Even cried that no matter how she tried to be a good daughter they just saw her as a work horse. I promised her that if she stayed with us for at least a year, I will have her study so she can have a future. As much as you want to help them, if they don’t think they need it there is really no moving forward from their state of slump. The parents were so consumed with the little money they get that they don’t see the future.
I consider it a blessing to be given a chance to work in the comforts of our home while I am a full time mother to Sophia. We decided to have our laundry done outside except for the delicate clothing. My husband is very supportive. He sometimes helps me around the house, washing the dishes when I need to wash clothes. I generally am OK with the set-up but since work will be picking up in the next couple of days, I might have a hard time coping with the house work. It might become taxing to work with deadlines while I take care of the house (well a small 42sq m unit).
I am in search of a Yaya-All around which I badly need this time around. I only have a decent requirement of having the following:
1. Trustworthy – BIG WORD!
2. Loves Kids – My little girl is a bit animated
3. Knows the basic housework
4. not claustrophobic nor acrophobic
So if anyone out there knows any one who needs a job, we give a good salary plus benefits (SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig) please do send me a message in the comment section or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) where I can contact you.
I know my struggles are not unique and this is the cry of all Moms out there specially, the Filipino working Moms. I share my pains of looking for good help with them. I am hoping that this small entry can make a difference in finding that right person.
We are good employers and we treasure those who are willing to be part of a good family.
Thanks for reading this! 🙂