Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Kasambahays

And still, after all this time, the sun has never told the earth

"You owe me."

It's time the planet happily gives back.

We have always seen our helpers as part of the family. We share our food, we hold small feasts to celebrate their birthdays, they get the stuff we no longer need, we seldom raise our voice when they make lapses. As with other helpers, they clean the house still, and cook our meals, wash and iron our clothes, and take care of the little boys - my nephews - when their parents are away. The five of them attend to our needs. Making sure we don't have to do the back-breaking work, which I know, are sacred duties in other homes.

We have the lesbian driver, who shuttles my mom to her sundry destinations. She has been with the family for more than a decade. And for all the chances she could work elsewhere - with a better pay - she chose to serve us for reasons only she can tell.

The lesbian driver is accompanied by her assistant. A middle-age, long-haired guy who used to be my tutor in elementary. He used to be my mom's student in the university and then dropped out of college and lived a life of a drifter until he moved in with us. He doesn't get paid, like the driver. But in exchange for his support - especially when it comes to doing the leg work, he gets free meals and lodging and commission for the tasks he finish.

The head mistress, as I like to call her, is new to the family. She was hired last year, after the previous head mistress thought of returning to school. She is in charge of washing the clothes and taking care of kids - a calling she likes to deny. She avoids being at the fray, but when Baby Lenin calls her name, the head mistress finds it difficult not to heed his attention.

The ex-head mistress studies in the university. She is taking up a non-diploma course equivalent to Computer Science major. Last summer, a family debate ensued after my sister hinted to end her services. The matriarch and I - both seeing that she couldn't stand on her own, decided to let her stay. Like the lesbian driver's assistant, she enjoys free meals and lodging in exchange for doing some house chores when she's not in school.

The last to make up the team is the babysitter. She was hired by the couple (my sister and her husband) a few months ago - and was told, that she is their responsibility. I cannot recall how she came to the family. What I do know is that she has a kid in the province and she works to provide her child's needs. Among the five, she's the least I pay heed.

I understand that more than the kind and considerate treatment we make the helpers feel, they too need to earn more. An energy exchange we cannot afford. That is why we are worried when they get sick or don't eat on time. I do not know how much others are paying. But if my suspicions prove me right, our helpers get less. 

For this reason, I often contemplate about their well-being and tries my best to make their stay comfortable. They can watch their favorite shows on TV and DVD when there's no work to be done. They can eat all the canned goods my mom buys - in case the ones they cook hardly fill their tummies, and yet, these small perks commit to their long-term needs. Better deals must be set in place, so that should they decide to leave, they can look back and say, 

"Hindi kami pinabayaan."

I do not know how this attempt to support the government's desire for universal health care would turn out, but I'm ready to give more to make the backbone of our home a little more confident of tomorrow.

Online Application Approved

The lesbian driver's Philhealth membership will take effect on August. The head mistress and the middle-aged assistant will have their turn in September. Should my idea for their government-subsidy healthcare work, this project would go down as my biggest accomplishment this year.


Justin said...

Good job! Di lahat ng amo nagbibigay ng philhealth.

jetlander said...

Bow ako sa 'yo idol

charles said...

Sir mugeeeeeen! Nakahanda na po ang resume ko. Libreng writing tutorial lang ang hihingin kong kapalit. Haha

Lone wolf Milch said...

Swerte ng maids niyo kasi spoiled sila.

At buti naman at may philhealth na tama si jetlander bow kami sa yo.

Nate said...

this is why people, like me, look up to you, kuya joms. because there's more to you than just being a superb writer/blogger: you're genuinely good-natured and has a heart of gold.. :)

hats off to you, kuya joms.

wandering emo said...

Napakagandang bagay ng ginawa nyo Sir Mugen! Sana ay pagpalain kayo sa kabutihan nyo :)

Mugen said...


Naku, it's actually an obligation. :) Dapat antagal na namin ginawa yun.


Thank you. I'm just trying to do my best to counter my negastar leanings. Hehe.


As long as hindi naman umaabuso okay lang. Besides, minsan yung magandang pakikitungo eh binabalik rin nila sayo. They become more loyal, and do things beyond their duties.

Mugen said...


I'm willing to help you - for free. Send me an email. :)


Salamat sir!


It's an obligation. Dapat nga may SSS rin yung mga kasambahay namin eh. Hindi lang namin talaga kaya. =(

Anonymous said...


Goodness weighs more than money. I guess that's the reason why your kasambahays are staying with your family.

Good job, sir! :)

Ran Perez said...

good job. :) Health is wealth.

MEcoy said...

thumbs up ako sayo dyan hehe
naku sila tlga ung mga maasahang tao na parte na ng pamilya hmm di nmn kme mayamn peo naranasan ko na din magkaroon ng taga alaga naranasan ko na ding mging taga alaga haha aun sna lahat ee katulad nu

Mugen said...


Ito ang nagagawa ng isang inspirational na SONA. LOL. Wala pa, hindi pa ako nagsisimulang mag-hulog ng pera sa Philhealth. Kapag nangyari yun, saka ko masasabing successful ang project ko.


Thank you!


Sana nga, yung pakikisama namin ang dahilan why they are staying. :)

itsMePeriod said...

MABUTI po yang ginawa nyo..pwede na ring isunod ang SS contributions..ahehehe

writing tips kuya joms..writing tips!pwede ba akong magseminar sa iyo ? :)