Yaya Chronicles: White Lies in the Philippines

Our new yaya messaged me the following yesterday noon:


To translate: “Good morning Ma’m, I have an emergency. I need to go home for 24 hours because my husband was rushed to the hospital. I will finish the laundry and have my lunch, and will wait for your husband to wake up before I leave.”

She has been with us for 6 days.

To be fair, it was nice of her to calmly finish the laundry, have lunch, and wait for my husband to wake up before leaving. It wasn’t as if I was given a choice. But it was something that should be done since of course, her husband was rushed to the hospital and it was an emergency.

When I saw her, she was calm and she had her handbag ready.

All her stuff was in her room, so it sounds as if she just needed to visit her husband for 24 hours, then come back and resume her duties. Apparently, her husband suffered some chest pains and was rushed to the hospital.

For a wife who’s been happily married for 23 years with her husband in the hospital, she was surprisingly calm. In emergency cases like these, many women would be in tears, their hands shaking and struggling to form words asking for leave.

I sighed. After hiring so many women through the years, I knew what was up.

Most likely, it was her husband who wanted to see her to talk. She was a homemaker and has been out of the workplace for 10 years, so he probably missed her. She probably needed to go home, reassure him that this job was right for them, and then come back.

That’s why she had to see him after 6 days of employment, even though I was clear from the beginning what their leaves are.

I know this little white lies dance.

white lies ance.jpg

She’s telling a half truth, but not the whole truth, but didn’t want to confront me with the real story. Which is very normal here in the Philippines.

I talked to her about her husband issue and told her that it’s better for her just to take her things and her pay and to deal with her husband. At the very least, there is no samaan ng loob, and she doesn’t owe me and I not her.

My daughter starts school on Monday, but it doesn’t really matter. I would rather let her go to avoid any issues later on.

Her husband is an issue.

Her not prioritizing her work is an issue for me.

Her telling those white lies are an issue for me.

So I let her go. This was my text to her last night:


Translation: I thought about your question. No need to come back. Because your husband will always be a problem. Let’s just avoid issues like this while still early and while we are in good terms. Thanks for services rendered.

A bit harsh maybe.

But given the offer and our confidence on the type of employers we are, we don’t want a yaya who’s malabong kausap and has husband issues.

The good news is: I found another yaya today.

As they say, if you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Wish me luck that this one is better! 🙂

The search for a unicorn yaya for life lives on.

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