Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wanted Helper!

I have lived with my parents and my other family members for 25 years and I can say that we've had helpers every now and then. Why? Because both my parents work and therefore have a busy schedule. My mother worked in a hospital which required her to have a shifting schedule while my dad worked as the head architect of an independent construction firm. I, on the other hand, had to go to school. I have a younger sister who needs some tending to so often times when my parents aren't home, our helper takes care of her and take over all the other chores. It really didn't bother me before for I knew that our helpers may not be related to us by blood but at least they did their jobs well. I lost count of how many helpers we've had through the years. No, they didn't leave us because we were bad masters. They merely left because after a couple of months or years of servitude, they wanted something new. Some became successful while others just moved to another house to serve another master. When we eventually went home to the Philippines, one of the biggest challenges that we've had was to find a good helper who will give us quality service for our money's worth. We've tried countless of different helpers but I guess it was really difficult to trust someone that you don't know especially if you know that you're going to be choosing is the one who will living with you and taking care of your family while you are away. How will you know that this person will do her job while you're away? How will you know if this person is trustworthy enough to be left alone with your home, your belongings or better yet, your children? Nobody knows really. I guess it's merely a trial and error process.

Honestly, I don't remember all the names of the helpers that we've had through the years. The only ones that I do remember are the names of those helpers that definitely had an impact in our daily lives. We've meet so many helpers with different personalities, different attitudes, different goals, different opinions and most of all different methods. Some proved effective in the long run while others didn't. Most if not all were put to the test. My family is really big on trust which is why it's not easy to actually earn it however really easy to lose it. We're not really strict or picky masters. Just do as you are told, do your job well, never gossip and never be violent. If you have something to ask or say then don't be scared to tell us. Our relationships with our helpers have proven to be strong through the years. Let's just say that at first there will always be a feeling awkwardness when they are around and that you still have suspicions of them doing something bad behind your back but eventually when everything settles in time, you'll realize and understand that maybe she felt the same way too at first. After all, she doesn't know us and she doesn't know what we are capable of, yet when we said that she was hired, she moved right in and did what she was told with no questions asked. If we were bad masters, we could have worked her to death or even abused her physically or mentally and yet, she put her faith in us as we did the same. Oh sure, it's because money was also involved but I would like to see way past that. I've always believed that money isn't everything although I know to some people it is but what's wrong with having a little faith every once in a while?

Up to this day, my family has a helper at home, who helps my mother with almost anything and everything. Coincidentally, she is our second helper who has the same name as my mom. We didn't like her much at first but eventually, we warmed up to her. She may be opinionated and she can have a bit of an attitude sometimes that sometimes tends to rub people off the wrong way but I think she's just like an onion. You just have to find time to peel all the layers that she has in order for you to get to the center of who she is. We trusted her despite not knowing much about her and she trusted us vice versa. She's been with us for almost two years now and I know that she won't remain our helper forever but hopefully if in case she leaves, we will find another helper who will be as devoted as her especially when it comes to housework and when it comes to taking care of my younger sister. Sure, helpers don't get paid much but they do all the hardwork. They have families of their own and yet they sacrifice not to be with them and take care of them just to be able to have money to feed them. I feel for these helpers for I have lived among them for a long time now. They have been called so many names from helpers to yayas to maids, atchay, katulong, chimiaa, kasambahay and so on but the fact remains that to those people who have helpers, we owe them a lot mainly because they have been kind enough to fill out the roles that should have been ours to play. We all roles to play in this world and if being a helper means nurturing other people's family for a price then they're okay with that. I just hope that some people wouldn't think of these people are lesser beings. I hate it when people think that way. Just because you are their master and that they are your servants that you shouldn't treat them with respect. They are human beings too and we are all equal no matter what our position, job, class or social standing is. We are all equal in the eyes of God.

So the next time you decide on hiring a helper, think about it first. Are you ready to take in a new potential family member? Are you willing to let somebody else take care of your family and do the things that you are supposed to do? Are you ready for the fact that perhaps your children will be closer to them than to you? Are you 100 percent sure that you can trust this people with not only your belongings, your family but even your life? If you are not sure if you can answer these questions then I don't think that you are ready to have a helper just yet. Sure, you need someone to help you do everything at home but you have to bear in mind that this is not just a one way thing. Just like what the great Confucius said: Do not do unto others what you don't want others to do to you. Meaning if you are going to show kindness to others then they will probably give the same to you. Although, I do not want to generalize though. There are some unfortunate people too who end having bad helpers or bad masters. Just like in Newton's Law Of Gravity: For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. You may be showing them goodness but in the end they repay you with an equal amount of badness which is unfortunate for you. Good or bad, helpers have been a part of our lives whether we deny it or not. I can't imagine what our lives would be like without them. To me, helpers should be considered heroes in their own right. When was the last time you said thank you to your helper? Perhaps, you should start doing so now. Always bear in mind that a simple act of kindness goes a long way. Who knows? With your acts of kindness, your helper might even remember you for them for life. Treat your helpers nicely. Be thankful that you have them for it's hard to find someone who will do what  they do for you and for your family. Learn to appreciate what you have for you are blessed.
                                                   This is so true...


  1. Bravo! I agree to what you've written here dear kittypaws..I can feel the same way about it the fact that my mother is a helper for 14 years to a surgeon and a dermatologist couple in the province with three children. She cooks, she washes the dishes, she does the laundry, she cleans the house, she irons their clothes, she goes to the market, she feeds the dogs etc.etc...with a 2K every month.i really feel pity to my mom because she DID her best so she can pay my tuition in school before I became a recipient to a certain scholarship.However, she eats the same food with them for dinner,lunch and breakfast.She has a 1.5 days off and given grocery packs whenever she goes home to be with us. After I had graduated my college, her masters told me to stay while having my self-review for the licensure exam. I grabbed the chance to play the role of my mother..i helped her in all of the housework...purposely to pay my debt of gratitude to my loving mother..her sacrifices..the best sacrifices she has ever done to mom is one of a kind helper...i know she has a lot of complaints because she is always tired everyday and the last person to sleep inside the house...but she is a survivor...her masters take good care of her, they pay her sss and philhealth. 2 days off now, allowances for watching movies at Robinsons tacloban.

  2. Hey Alex! Thanks for liking this post. :) I know I have been privileged enough from the start to even experience having helpers in my home and I am eternally grateful to these people who served us and became a part of our lives. I appreciate everything that they have done for me and most of all for us. Thank you for sharing your story about your mom being a helper. I know that she had good intentions. She's lucky to have good masters who treat her well and even make her feel like a part of the family. We do the same with our helper at home. I remember her always telling me, my mom and everybody else she knows that she has the best masters in the world and if only she can actually build a statue for all of us because of our kindness, she will. I hope your mother will continue to do her best as a helper and hopefully, her masters won't change either.