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boyee

How does the Ya-ya (live in maid) system work?

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As a westerner the concept of a live in employee is difficult for me to wrap my head around.  All of my wife's family in Manila have help.  Some are absolutely wonderful people and seem to love their life and will never leave their hired family.  I've met others who looked like they were afraid of being fired every moment and never seemed to relax.  Certainly it depends on how they are treated.  How does it work though?  How much does it cost per month?  My wife and I plan on treating our help very well of course, right.  I mean we are decent people.  But family in Manila tell us to be careful not to treat them too well or they will ask for too much and we will end up having to let them go.  I have no experience with cultures that have a clear class system and having employee's who will live with me will be an adjustment.  My Filipino wife has spent her entire adult life in America so I will not be able to rely on her to manage staff.  I'll have to figure it out on my own so anyone with experience and good advice will be my new best friend.  Thanks.

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5 hours ago, boyee said:

As a westerner the concept of a live in employee is difficult for me to wrap my head around.  All of my wife's family in Manila have help.  Some are absolutely wonderful people and seem to love their life and will never leave their hired family.  I've met others who looked like they were afraid of being fired every moment and never seemed to relax.  Certainly it depends on how they are treated.  How does it work though?  How much does it cost per month?  My wife and I plan on treating our help very well of course, right.  I mean we are decent people.  But family in Manila tell us to be careful not to treat them too well or they will ask for too much and we will end up having to let them go.  I have no experience with cultures that have a clear class system and having employee's who will live with me will be an adjustment.  My Filipino wife has spent her entire adult life in America so I will not be able to rely on her to manage staff.  I'll have to figure it out on my own so anyone with experience and good advice will be my new best friend.  Thanks.

I've never had a live in housekeeper since I've lived here. I enjoy my privacy too much. All of the housekeepers that I have had get to the house by 5AM and need to finish their work by 12PM. I'm paying P6000 per month. She eats the same thing we do for breakfast and lunch and most of the time there is enough food left over for her to take home with her to feed her boyfriend. :smile:

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11 hours ago, boyee said:

As a westerner the concept of a live in employee is difficult for me to wrap my head around.  All of my wife's family in Manila have help.  Some are absolutely wonderful people and seem to love their life and will never leave their hired family.  I've met others who looked like they were afraid of being fired every moment and never seemed to relax.  Certainly it depends on how they are treated.  How does it work though?  How much does it cost per month?  My wife and I plan on treating our help very well of course, right.  I mean we are decent people.  But family in Manila tell us to be careful not to treat them too well or they will ask for too much and we will end up having to let them go.  I have no experience with cultures that have a clear class system and having employee's who will live with me will be an adjustment.  My Filipino wife has spent her entire adult life in America so I will not be able to rely on her to manage staff.  I'll have to figure it out on my own so anyone with experience and good advice will be my new best friend.  Thanks.

Yaya in Greece refers to a grandmother, the person who minds young children while the parents are out (multi-generational households).  In the Philippines, the word means "second mother" or the person who cares for your young children.  They have a higher status than "katulong" or helper who is the person doing the cleaning around the house.  There is also the "lavandera" or laundry woman and "kusenera" or cook.  You need to be familiar with the ranking system if there is more than one person in your household to prevent causing great offense and to prevent spats if their roles are not defined.  

We went around during one recent visit to the Philippines looking at the possibility of purchasing a condo.  Every unit had a maid's quarters, the room being the size slightly larger than a closet.  This room is for the helper(s).  The Yaya usually sleeps in the children's room.  She is there to comfort the child who wakes up and cries because of a nightmare.  The cook, driver, laundry woman, etc. nowadays are day jobs.  

While the western sentiment is to share the same food, the household staff may not like it but they won't say so.  The preference is to give them an allowance to buy at the market what they want.  This is one reason many homes have a dirty kitchen.  The Yaya seats with the family at the dining table to help feed the small children and wipe them when necessary.  She may or may not eat your meal, perhaps preferring what the others are eating.  Let her make the decision.

There are employment agencies ready to help.  Watch out for scams.  Their one time fee guarantees finding another one as a replacement within a certain trial period.  The employee remains and departs one week after the trial period.  You have to again pay the fee.  We know a foreign couple living at one of the Makati villages.  Their maid, during the trial period, stole so many household items she called for a taxi.  Security guards checked entering taxis, but not when they depart.  Some gated communities now have their security guards check the trunks of taxis as a precaution.

The tradition is lifetime employment.  In the case of our extended family, everyone came from the same village in Negros.  When we left, our household staff was absorbed by other family members.  One problem was my wife was very generous about salaries and bonuses.  Soon the aunties came around to complain that their staffs were hinting for pay increases after hearing from the grapevine how much we paid.  

 

 

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JJReyes, Thank you for this detailed explanation.  Since we do not have small children anymore, frown face emoji, we will not need a yaya but rather help cleaning the house and cooking and a "boy" to help with landscape projects.  We prefer a live in situation to take care of the property when we are out of town and perhaps help out if we decide to air bnb when away.  

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It was a culture shock for me having a live in maid, but she came recommended and to be honest, could not do without her now, can't imagine how I coped before.... We pay her 6000 per month, and is more like a part of the family 

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19 hours ago, Arizona Kid said:

I'm paying P6000 per month.

 

4 hours ago, Mick said:

We pay her 6000 per month,

What is the going rate for a katabang (helper) here in Dumaguete, does anybody have a figure.  6,000 peso seems rather high to me. (Kuripot, lol).

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5 minutes ago, Eddie1 said:

 

What is the going rate for a katabang (helper) here in Dumaguete, does anybody have a figure.  6,000 peso seems rather high to me. (Kuripot, lol).

I suppose there might be 2 rates - one for local and one for foreigners?   That said, I guess supply and demand also comes into play.  

We don't have a helper, my wife takes care of domestic tasks, but a couple of our neighbours do and pay between 4,000 and 5,000 pesos a month. 

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I'm the helper in our household and the wife the gardener.

Just had a delivery from Shoppe the boy would not give the parcel to my wife, he thought she was the maid. :mocking:

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There is also things like SSS and Philhealth to think about, possibly education as well.

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4 hours ago, Eddie1 said:

 

What is the going rate for a katabang (helper) here in Dumaguete, does anybody have a figure.  6,000 peso seems rather high to me. (Kuripot, lol).

My housekeeper is my GF's Mom. She also gets the 13 month bonus in Jan. My GF said to not give it to her in Dec. cuz she would just waste it. Makes sense so that's what I do.:mellow:

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