All of you know that I have been looking for a yaya (stay-in babysitter) ever since my old yaya didn’t come home for the holidays last December.
While the experience has been very frustrating — we treated her like family, and she didn’t even have the decency to inform us she won’t be returning after we paid for her holiday — I decided to look at at the positive side of it, and rolled up my sleeves to find my daughter another yaya.
Since my yaya left last December, yayas were in short supply as many were also on extended holidays. Agencies couldn’t supply us with any, leaving us with no choice but to find one on our own. Here was my experience in looking for a yaya online.
The yaya I found during the first round only lasted 6 days.
On her sixth day, she texted me saying that her husband was in the hospital and she had to visit him as it might be an emergency. When she started, I made it clear that her first rest day would be after a month, so this request was already out of the ordinary.
As I have many experiences with the help, I knew this was a white lie and decided to simply let her go to her husband, with paid salary, packed bags and all. Here was my experience in handling this yaya.
My point is, despite my best efforts, it was really hard to find a reliable yaya in the Philippines.
Many yayas were malabong kausap: this meant that their words mean nothing. They will promise you the moon and the stars and will miserably fail.
The next yaya I found online was Tessie, 52 years old, who worked as a housemaid, nanny and caregiver abroad.
I interviewed her on January 4, and we agreed for her to start n January 8.
On January 8 morning, here was her text to me:
Long story short, she was backing out.
This was very annoying because it was done in the last minute. I had waited 4 days for a yaya who didn’t plan on showing up.
The next one I got was interviewed on January 14 (Tuesday). We confirmed to start on January 16 (Thursday) so that she can pack up and spend time with her kids.
On January 15, she asked me if she could start on January 21 (Monday) instead since she needed to get her daughter’s report card in school that Saturday.
I replied to her in Tagalog, “Can’t your husband get the report card? Because we already agreed that you will start on Thursday. It’s difficult if you keep on changing your mind.”
She told me that it was always her husband who gets it but her daughter has requested that she do it this time around. However, given that she had word of honor, she will still arrive as agreed on Thursday.
At 9:57am on Thursday, she sent me the following text complete with photos:
There we go — she can’t make it on Thursday because her son had a fever. If so, she will just start on Monday, which was her original revised request.
This was my answer, “Why are you looking for a job if your family affairs are still not in order? During my interview, you told me that your mother-in-law and husband are the ones who take care of your children so that you can work. Now, you are telling me that you have to be there for your son because your husband is MIA.”
I understand that she needed to work and she cannot leave them when they are sick. But the problem is not the child. I was okay with her taking care of the child if the children was said to be her priority during the interview. However, she already told me her children would not be a problem, even if they are.
The problem is that she had no word of honor. And I do not like to deal with people who were malabong kausap.
So I told her to take care of her kids and to just manage her household instead.
Ironically, on Monday, she texted me again saying she wanted to work for me.
After receiving disappointing news, I renewed my search for another yaya. This time, I found someone on Facebook once again.
Zeny was 50 year old, from Mindoro, and was an all around yaya. She served in a family of Manila for 4.5 years.
I talked to her on Thursday, January 15, the same time that Mitch backed out. And we agreed that she start on Sunday, January 20, evening.
Her daughter would buy her ticket from Mindoro to Manila, and she is to go direct to our condo.
We waited with abated breath. After frequent disappointments over Arlene, Tessie and Mitch, we had low expectations. If Zeny did not show up, we would not be too surprised anymore.
Surprisingly, she showed up at 6:30 am on Sunday, just as agreed.
So far, so good. It’s been at least a day, and she’s still here.
She is a bit quiet, but caring and seems serious about the job. I hope she’s already the One for us.
And if not, the search continues — Just this January, my daughter has had 3 yayas in quick succession. It is so depressing that it’s now amusing.
At the end of the day, if we need a yaya, we need a yaya. I will go through as many yayas as I can so that I can find someone to take care of my daughter.
Let’s hope that this is already the one we are looking for. 🙂