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It was a Sunday, and usually a time to buy groceries for myself at the nearby mall. Before entering the supermarket area, I stopped by a food kiosk to eat Chinese dim sum. While partaking of the tasteless siomai, I noticed a young woman in her early to mid-20s with a young boy of about 3 to 4 years old who was held by a caregiver or “yaya” as we call them in local parlance.
I noticed that she must have come from a middle income family; by the way she looks and moves. She stood opposite the yaya and the boy, and tried to feed him every now and then. The boy just sat there, held by the yaya, and refused to eat. Suddenly, an old man and woman joined them with each holding Chinese dim-sum, and started to eat with the young mom.
Had it been a regular Filipino household, the caregiver would have been given food too. Filipinos treat their house help as one of the family, and accorded little courtesies like giving them food. That one act of theirs is un-Filipino. They did not even realize that it was that caregiver who held that child in her arms, and as such, should be given little niceties like giving her food when everybody is having theirs.
The Bottom Line
That dim sum fare does not cost much—only about a $1, that most Filipinos have in their pockets, every time. Though they are dressed beautifully and nicely coiffed, what I saw was nothing but a group of impoverished wannabes who was not worth my while.
Artikulo 49-Musings from the Inang Bayan
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