World wide web is all over the news about the “yaya meal.” According to Maggie Wilson, this is what happened : Balesin Island Club’s response : They do not practice discrimination. Mike Asperin, CEO and director said that the yaya meal is just an option for their guests but they still have a choice on what to order.
I don’t know why other people are making a big deal out of the “yaya meal” issue. Isn’t it still a great opportunity to have a vacation, eat on time and have your own meal regardless of the meal’s name? Yes in some point, helpers may think that naming a meal after them is demeaning but it can be otherwise. They can also think that it is actually a good feeling to be recognized by a restaurant. I know a lot of helpers who only eat leftover food and they aren’t allowed to eat with their “mam/sir.” So to some helpers, eating is actually a PRIVILEGE; but for these guests who brought their helpers anywhere they go, eating “any” meal is never discriminating. I just hope that those who criticize this issue, really take good care of their helpers. They may give commentaries about a meal’s name but they’ve never brought their helper with them in a vacation or even treat them in a fine-dining restaurant so they don’t really know the disadvantages of bringing a helper with you in these places. I have my fair share of horror stories from different helpers already. We let them eat in fine-dining restaurants, join us in our vacations, and we even treated them as a family member… but they abused us! Yes treating them well is great but we should also set some boundaries. Our helper doesn’t eat a lot when she’s at home but when she’s out with us in the mall or when we’re on a vacation, she is ALWAYS hungry! Let me give you some incidents so you will understand what I mean about setting boundaries :
It was my birthday celebration in Holiday Inn Makati. At that time, our helper already ate lunch then ate 2 plates of pancit around 5 pm. We went to Holiday Inn around 6 pm. I told her nicely, “Is it ok if I’ll just order a different food for you since it’s not practical to include you in the buffet because you just ate and you don’t eat a lot.” She didn’t answer. Instead, she frowned while we were eating. And so we decided to let her join us eat the buffet as well. What did she do after? She didn’t take care of our son. She didn’t finish the food on her plates. She acted as if she wasn’t a helper and we were the ones who did her job instead. It’s like we paid for a thousand pesos so we can watch her waste food and do her job in return. That’s not the worse part! She got irritated that the servers were looking at her. So she pointed at the server and said in Filipino, “I’m paid. I’m included in the buffet. Don’t look at me! You’ve been looking at me for so long already. You want to fight with me? I will take your eyeballs!” I was so embarrassed that I want to go home at that time. After that incident and after eating for an hour, we asked her to take care of our toddler. She made a face and made us feel that she doesn’t want to do it. Then she said, “I still want to eat more desserts.” See how ungrateful she is? At her expense, I wasn’t able to eat properly and yet that’s what she did in return. Another incident was when we ate at Yabu. It was our Valentine’s Family Date. Again, she already ate lunch and chicken with rice as a SNACK. So when we came to Yabu, I asked her, “Is it ok if we eat first since you just ate?” She didn’t answer and she started to frown again. This situation happens every other time we eat out. I can’t forget the time me and my friends had to meet in food court for a bible study. We need spoon and fork so we asked her to get some. She proudly said, “Im sorry I don’t eat here. I don’t know where it is.” I was shocked on how she refused to follow and how she bragged about her not eating in food court. To help her out, my friend took the spoon and fork for her instead. Because my friends saw her attitude, they suggested to just give our helper some money for food instead of letting her join us. After the incident, we asked her to wear a uniform. There were times that we let her buy her food from KFC but most of the time she still eats with us. But she never learned. Once in awhile, she’s still ungrateful and demanding. We are spoiling our helpers too much; but what do they do in return? We too should have our own law to be protected from them. But what did the Senate do? They are attempting to pass another bill called House Bill 4448 or informally known as the “Equal Opportunity Bill.” Why? Truth is, ‘yaya meal’ actually exists. In some establishments, guests send their helpers to the employees’ cafeteria to have a cheaper meal (as low as 75 pesos). Some establishments don’t allow helpers in their elevators and they even assigned some quarters for them. This is the reason why they want to protect the rights of the helpers. But how can they be protected if it’s the guests who actually requested for it? Besides, in some point helpers should still learn their boundaries. Not ALL helpers are ungrateful but most of the time they tend to get more from you.
At the end of the day, this is just a meal’s name. It won’t define you in any way. It’s not the meal but your treatment to your helper that will still define the experience. How can the word “yaya” be discriminating if it is defined as a helper. In fact, if you think this issue is discriminating then I should assume that you don’t call your helper “yaya” because that is MORE discriminating. It is only wrong when deep in our hearts we know we ordered it because we don’t want to treat them right. Let me remind you that it is Maggie’s mom who wants to order the “yaya meal” but the waiter didn’t allow her to avail it. That is just the issue — it seems like if you’re not a yaya, you cannot order the controversial meal. Maybe Maggie’s mom find the “yaya meal” interesting. It is just a NAME. Let it go already!
On that note, Rufa Mae posted a photo that she was able to try THE famous and delicious (at least according to Rufa Mae) “yaya meal.” I guess the resort is trying their best to make up for the bad comments they had from this incident. Bad publicity is still a publicity. Because of this issue, some are curious to visit Balesin and order a “yaya meal” while the others want to boycott Balesin Island Club because of the issue.
How about you? Would you order a “yaya meal” for yourself? If they would change the name of the said meal, what will you suggest?