Our house helpers or “kasambahay” play an important role in our households. They help us in our everyday lives through their service. However, many of them are still not being given the benefits that they rightfully deserve. Many of them do not have contracts and do not even have day offs. But just like some celebrities including Team Kramer and Isabelle Daza who have given back to their kasambahays by helping them and showing them appreciation, our kasambahays should be treated humanely and with respect.
In its June 6 episode, Iba ‘Yan gave a grand day-off to two dedicated and hardworking kasambahays, Marites “Tess” Alabado and Erlinda “Linda” Gomez. They had the whole day where they were able to just relax and take a break from work. Marites and Linda first had a pampering session where they had a haircut, foot massage, as well as a manicure and pedicure session. Team Iba ‘Yan also prepared a very special lunch for the two special guests. After that, host Angel Locsin was able to talk to Tess who has been a very caring and dedicated kasambahay to her employer and their family. From being a kasambahay, Tess was trusted by her employer to be the caretaker of their apartment complex.
Tess lost her parents too soon - her mother passed away when she was two months old and she lost her father when she was six years old. Growing up, she only had her siblings who guided and took care of her. She transferred to Manila at the age of 16 to find a job. That’s when she started working as a house helper. She first worked for a Japanese employer for 10 years. When her employer went back to Japan, Tess was referred to a new employer in Magallanes.
Now, she is a caretaker from Parañaque and she has been giving her service to her employer for a decade already. Tess told Angel that she considers her employer, Atty. Elenida Añola, as her sibling and mother at the same time. Tess and her husband who used to work as a station loader in an airlines company are renting the apartment she also oversees. She also shared that all the help that Atty. Elenida has given her could not be replaced by anything. Because of the pandemic, Tess’ husband is only on-call when it comes to his work and is only able to go to work thrice a week. That’s why they both want to have a small business, a sari-sari store so they could have a stable income.
To help and support Tess, Iba ‘Yan already provided a sari-sari store business package that can be of great help to her family. Tess also received bags while her husband was given full safety bike gears which included helmet, water bottle, head light, tail light, and long sleeves with reflector. Iba ‘Yan also gave her a mid-year bonus which can also help her and her family as well.
Angel then talked to Linda who is also a loyal, dedicated, and caring kasambahay to her employer. Like Tess, Linda was also forced to work at a young age because her mother couldn’t support them, especially her studies. She went to Manila with her sibling and she was able to work as a house helper for her employer who’s a military man but she wasn’t able to meet him as he was assigned in Korea.
But Linda has been able to give her service for three decades already to his wife, Anie Paraiso and their children whom she was able to take care of. Linda also built a special relationship and bond with the children of her employer. In fact, she would be very happy every time she receives chocolates or biscuits from the youngest child who’s now working in Australia. With her work as kasambahay, Linda is able to provide for and support her family financially. In fact, she was able to support the education of her nephews.
But as much as Linda would like to be with her family, especially her mother, she still could not afford to let go of her job because she doesn’t have any source of income that would support her family. But even though she’s away from her family, there are still many people who love her dearly including her partner of 14 years already. Her employer, Anie, shared that Linda really got a kind heart and is very obedient. And what she appreciates the most about her is her honesty. Anie added that Linda is really part of the family already.
Linda is not only able to help her family, the family of her employers, and her partner, but she’s also able to extend her help to her fellow kasambahays through the organization United Domestic Workers of the Philippines or UDWP Quezon City chapter. As the president of the organization, Linda makes sure that the house helpers in their place receive the benefits that should be rightfully given to them.
Team Iba ‘Yan then gave her gifts including new clothes and shoes, as well as new bike and helmet since she does a lot of errands in her work. Linda also received vitamins for her nephews and mother. Iba ‘Yan also gave her a mid-year bonus.
Angel also met Novelita Palisoc, a former kasambahay and now the president of UDWP. After high school, Novelita worked already as a househelper but she was traumatized with her experience with her employers. Her second employer even brought her abroad where she was exploited. She was then helped by her friend to go back to the Philippines where she became more interested and eventually was enlightened with the rights and benefits that house helpers should be receiving. Her advocacy to fight for the rights of kasambahays was developed when she joined UDWP. Iba ‘Yan gave her a videoke set and additional capital for their bigasan business.
Angel then gathered Linda, Tess, and Novelita together and told them some good news that could help their organization. First was the “Nanny Solutions Training” from Una Casita Learning Center which gives the opportunity to the organization’s members to enhance their knowledge and skills. Next were the urban farming tools that the members could use for their urban farming livelihood training given to them by the East-West Seed Foundation. The organization also received two sewing machines which could also be of big help with their livelihood training program.
Lastly, Linda and Tess received heartfelt video messages from special people who appreciate their care and service. Linda received a message from her anak-anakan Leindon Jesu Boyboy as well as from her partner Sarahnie Boyboy. She also received a very special message from her employers who gave her a ring as a gift of appreciation, as well as a message from her alaga, Alex Paraiso Jr, the youngest child of her employer. Atty. Elenida also expressed her gratitude for the service that Tess has given her through the years and gave her an electric oven.
Get your weekly dose of inspiration by not missing an episode of Iba ‘Yan, Sundays on Kapamilya Channel Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11.