Memoirs of a Mummy · Wanted: Perfect Yaya

Yin Yang Yaya

May I just rant? My current mood does not match the new look of my blog.

Today went really went until a few hours ago when I discovered that we do not have water because Ate Dorina broke the knob of one of the water pipes. Oh shhhhhhh!   I spent the first hours of today playing around the features of the WordPress. Then, off we went to SM to watch Iron Man 3. While waiting for the movie to begin, I scored several brand new top 100 children’s books which I intend to give as birthday gifts. When Aki said he was thirsty, we went to this milk tea stall that we like and to the Zagu stall. The lines for both were long so we just transferred to McDonald’s.  While waiting for our float, I saw their Kiddie Crew Summer Program poster. To my pleasant surprise, they accept 3 year olds. Hooray! Next, all three of us watched Iron Man III. Franco who happens to be Tony Starks’ biggest fan, has been telling me for months that IM 3 should be Aki’s first movie. Now, I am wishing I did not insisted that we celebrate Aki’s Moving Up by watching Croods. It would had been cool if Aki had the bragging rights that his first proper movie was c/0 Marvel. (My first movie was Kabayo Kids. What’s yours?) After the movie,  I had a haircut but a little before that I spotted a buy one take one poster in Marithe Francois Garbau Gaurbo Gerbod GerGer. I am now  a happy owner of 2 more bags. Another yey! Now, I have  a white, a brown and a black. My next mini project is to buy my very first genuine leather bag. Any leads?  For dinner, I made giniling na baboy carinderia-style. I was excitedly reviewing Leah’s post on how she transferred from WordPress blog to a self hosted one. My wish for this blog is to be able to have Nuffnang ads. Just that.

And then, Ate dropped the big bad news that we don’t have water. Hassle!!!!  This was around 8:30PM  so it was impossible to get a plumber. My blood pressure rose and I could not hide how pissed I was. For the first time, I scolded Ate Dorina, for not telling me immediately (she noticed something was wrong for 2 days already) and for breaking another item for the nth time.  After asking our neighbor for water and organizing my thoughts, I told Ate what  we appreciate bought her and what concerns me and what needs to be done moving forward.

If there is anything good that this experience gave me is the world shattering news that water (given that the pipes are A-ok) is available 24×7 in this part of Paranaque. How come no one told me that we don’t need to fill our water tanks anymore??!!

So what do we don’t like about Ate Dorina?

In Laguna, we call people who often breaks things as mabigat ang kamay ( heavy hands, in English). That’s Ate’s biggest opportunity for improvement. She also needs to be more thorough

I used to be a proud owner of this I-mop. This is the only I-something that I own.


Continue reading “Yin Yang Yaya”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Ate Dorina’s Pork Tapa

It is been a while since I last blogged about my yaya woes. That is because our current helper is much better than the last five that we had. I have come to accept Ate Dorina’s shortcomings. So what if she has broken 2 faucets, at least 4 glasses, 3 plates and 2 of our dining chairs? We are only four in the house so we only need 4 dining chairs anyway. Plus, I switched to melaware plates so I don’t think she will be breaking any new ones soon. She is been with us for 9 months now and based on what she’s been telling me, she has plans to stay. I hope I don’t jinx myself.

I blogged before that since helpers in this house have the tendency to evaporate into thin air faster than acetone, I try to document their best-loved recipes while I still don’t hate them. Hehe. In October, I posted Ate’s eggplant burgers here. Today, I would like to share Ate’s homemade tapa recipe.

Continue reading “Ate Dorina’s Pork Tapa”

Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

DIY Haircut Gone Bad

There is a special place in hell for parents who cut their toddler’s hair

… so I delegated the task to Ate Dorina! Hehe. She probably did not understand my instructions. I only asked her to trim the few strands above the right eye.

Say hi to the little Mr. Bruce Lee of Bicutan

Continue reading “DIY Haircut Gone Bad”

Memoirs of a Mummy


As I mentioned in my previous post, our third helper for the year, let’s call her H, left a couple of weeks ago. At 18 years old, she is the youngest helper we ever had. I realized that younger and older helpers have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. For H, her best trait is her playfulness with Aki. Her worst trait, though, hmmmm, is too many to mention. She loves to watch TV and was glued to it the whole day, leaving Aki in the care of my in-laws. Because she is a growing child, she likes to eat… our food! I let her choose her snacks everytime we are in the grocery. And time and again,I tell her not to touch any unopened food. But no, I discovered that she ate my instant icing, my chocolate chips for baking, Aki’s yakult, the noodles that my SIL brought from Korea  (it was a pack of 5 noodles and she cooked it before we learned about the pasalubong) etcetera etcetera.

A few days before her last day, I told her that I will inspect her bag before she leaves. I did not find anything. However, after she left, when I went to her room, I saw this.

Continue reading “Betrayed”

Memoirs of a Mummy

Puke-puke ala Nikkie

I have come to accept that we will probably be forever looking for a perfect nanny and a perfect helper. With Manang now gone, I don’t think we will ever be able to find someone like her. 

For memories’ sake, I have started a new project. From now on, I will ask each helper or yaya (nanny) who will join our family to teach me how to cook their specialty dish. I started this project with Nikkie.

This is Nikkie. She is 18 years old. She graduated salutatorian in her high school batch last summer.  One time, she could not sleep and asked me if I have a dictionary that she can read! Unfortunately, I don’t have one so I just let her one of my finance books.  She came into our lives last Feb 13 and left last March 5. 

 She taught me how to cook puke-puke. Don’t laugh because that really is the name of this Ilocano veggie dish.

Continue reading “Puke-puke ala Nikkie”

Mrs. Monologues

If Lemons are to Lemonades, then Pork Fat

then pork fat

is to homemade chicharon!

 To my dismay, our neighboorhood meatshop has been giving me super fatty meat lately. Instead of throwing them, my latest househelp, Ate Nida, who by the way has been on AWOL since Monday, made these yummy crunchy sinful chicharon.

 I wish Ate Nida would come back. In case she doesn’t, she would be my 4th attrition for the year! I am still feeling positive, because it is Christmas and it is the time to believe in miracles.


Mrs. Monologues

Lotlot Makes Me Simangot

Lahat ng taong kilala talaga ako, alam na hindi ako kumakain ng manok. Hindi ako allergic. Basta ayoko lang.  Nung unang nakausap ng mudra ko si Lotlot, ang unang sinabi sa kanya ng nanay ko, hindi ako kumakain ng manok. Nung una kong nakausap si Lotlot, ang una kong bilin sa kanya, kung magluluto ng manok, siguraduhin may iba pang ulam para sakin.
Alam niyo kung anong unang ulam na niluto niya para sakin?
Tinolang manok. Naman! Syempre, imbyernang imbyerna ako nun. Isipin mo, kakagaling mo lang sa opisina. Nagbyahe ka  mula Ortigas hanggang Paranaque. Antagal kong nakatayo sa pila ng shuttle sa Ayala. Pagdating sa Bicutan, usok ng mga tambucho ang tiniis ko, makauwi lang ako.  Gutom na ako. Tapos, ang dadatnan ko  sa mesa, manok. Nakanaman!
Pero dahil unang gabi yun, mejo mabait pa ako. Pinaalala ko na lang  HINDI AKO KUMAKAIN NG MANOK. Tumango naman siya. Tapos,  nung lumapit si Aki sa kanya, sinabi niya, “Kawawa naman ang mommy mo, matutulog ng walang laman ang tyan.” Teka teka teka, Baklita. Taragis ah. Magluto ka ng ibang ulam para sakin noh!  Syempre, sa isip ko lang yun sinabi.  Kinuha ko yun sausage sa freezer at pinaprito sa kanya. Ayun, matapos ang ilang minuto, hinain na rin sa wakas ang ulam kong  Italian sausage na malamig pa ang loob! Potek!
Hay hay. Lunes yun nangyari.  Martes,  mukhang nagtanda na kase parehong baboy ang ulam as umaga at sa gabi.  Nakatulog namang ako ng matiwasay. Tinanghali pa ako ng gising kinaumagahan. Usapan namin ni Lotlot, dapat 6:30AM nakaluto na siya. Aba, 6:45AM,  pagbaba ko, nasa kusina pa. Tinanong ko kung matagal pa, sabi niya, sandali na lang daw at matatapos na yun niluluto niyang ulam ni Franco. Para di ako ma-late sa opisina, naligo na muna ako. Pagkatapos ko maligo at magbihis, tapos na rin mag luto si Lotlot. Dapat lang. Ang aming agahan? Fried chicken! Nakampuch! Tinanong ko kung anong ulam ko. Ang sagot ba naman sakin “Walang nga eh” Sabay tawa.  Punyemas talaga!
Sa puntong yon desidido  na ako na kumuha pang isa  kasama sa bahay. Sa nuknukan naman ng kamalasan, di rin pala pasok sa banga si Me-an.  Kaya ayan, tiis tiis nanaman ako kay Lotlot. Pero sabi ko nga, in fairness, nung dumating si Mea-n, mejo nag-step-up itong si Lottie. Biruin mo, siyang laging sablay na ang nagbibigay ng mga tips at paalala.
Nung pumunta kami sa binyag ng anak ng kaibigan ko, may inuwi kaming mga lobo. Sunod na araw, meron nang centerpiece ang aming mesa. San ka pa! Kita niyo naman, in-effort pa talaga pumitas ng dahon at lagyan ng bato ang loob vase.
Nito lang Linggo ng gabi, nag heart to heart talk kami  ni Lotlot. Umuwi kase siya nung Sabado. Ako naman, text sa mudra ko na uuwi siya at ipadala na yun pinapabili kong manaog-ka-irog na halaman. Itong nanay ko , nakausap  si Ate Ganda, yun nakatira sa likod bahay na suki niya sa isda. Si Ate Ganda ang nagrefer kay Lotlot. Mag hipag sila. Tapos, itong si Ate G, ay nakausap yun byenan niya na byenan din ni Lotlot. Pagdating ni Lotlot, winarla daw siya ng byenan niya. Ewan ko kung anong nangyari pero  ang nakarating daw sa byenan ay naiinis ako dahil mahilig magday off itong si Lotlot. Hindi naman totoo yun. Buong puso ko siyang pinayagan umuwi. Alam ko yun pakiramdam na malayo sa anak kaya naiintindihan ko siya. Wala rin naman lakad, kaya keri boom boom basta babalik siya sa hapon ng linggo. Nung nag-usap kami ni Lotlot pagbalik niya, sinabi niya na kung may mga di ako gusto sa kanya, sana sabihin ko sa kanya ng derecha. Mas masakit daw kung sa iba niya pa maririnig. Totoo naman yun. Ang sabi ko sa kanya, kung may problema ako, sasabihin ko sa kanya. At ang problema ko talaga sa kanya, ay kailangan ko pa lakasan ang boses ko para marinig at maintindihan niya ako. Sinabi ko sa kanya na di ako sanay na nilalakasan ang boses ko at magpaulit ulit.  Dun niya lang sinabi sakin na sipunin daw siya. At tuwing may sipon daw siya, mas lalong wala na siyang naririnig.
Medyo tinganggap ko na na mahina ang pandinig niya. Sana lang, di siya tumatango kung di niya naaintindihan. Kase simpleng utos na tulad ng “ilagay mo sa mangkok na ito ang kanin” o kaya,” wag mo na isalin yun mainit na tubig sa balde” , di niya pa masunod. Kanina lang, isang silya lang ang pagitan namin, sinabi ko sa kanya, “kalhating baso ng tubig lang ang ibibigay mo kay Aki”. Ayun, punong puno yun basong binigay sa anak ko. Haaay. At isa pang Haaaaaay.   Ako na lang nag-a-adjust. Kung importanteng bilin, sinisigurado ko na sinasabi ko sa kanya ng harapan at naintindihan niya talalga.
Nung Lunes, tatlong  linggo makaraan ang tinola incident, umuwi ako salubong ng isang batang tumatakbo papunta sakin, ang mga braso niya handang ng umakap ng mahigpit. Inamoy amoy ko ang naka-pajama kong anak tapos saka nya naman ako tinadtad ng mga halik. Kulang na lang talaga  background music galing sa Sound of Music. Kung sinabuyan kami ni Lotlot ng mga petals, ay, pwede na talaga kaming mag audition para sa next commercial ng Surf Floral Scent.   Pawi talaga ang pagod kapag nayakap na ako ni Aki. May pasalubong pa akong colored chalk kaya siguradong masayang gabi ito.
Perfect na talaga sana….
……kung hindi friend chicken nanaman ang ulam.
 PS. Ang title talaga dapat nitong post na ito ay Si Lotlot na Nakakasusot kaso sabi nung katabi ko, hindi niya raw alam ibig sabihin ng susot. Tinanong ko kung yun salita bang buraot, alam nya. Hindi rin daw. Wala na akong  maisip na salitang katunong ng Lotlot na ibig sabihin ay imbyerna. Pangit naman kung nakakakulot o kaya salot.  Ayan, simangot na lang.  Wala namang salitang nakakasimangot kaya wag niyo nang chakahin ang makes me simangot ko kase matagal ko rin yang pinag isipan.

Mrs. Monologues

Ako na ang malas

Pwede maglabas ng sama ng loob?

Ako na! Ako na talaga! Ako na ang sinakluban ng langit at lupa ng kamalasan! Sa dami ng walang trabaho sa Pilipinas, bakit napakahirap maghanap ng matinong kasambahay? Siguro dapat magkaroon din ang gobyerno ng mga libreng training sa iba’t ibang probinsya para sa mga gusto mamasukan.

Di ko pa nga natotodo ang mga masakit sa ulong kwento kay Lotlot, eto nanaman, may bago at mas malaking sakit sa ulo. Nung nabanggit ko sa mudra ko na ito ngang si Lot ay may pagkabinge at medyo mahina ang pick-up, sinabi niya na kumuha na ako ng bago.

Pasok, Me-an!

Sandale, di ko pinaalis si Lotlot ha. Ang plano ko, kung itong bago ay mas maayos, saka ko papauwiin si Lotlot.

Katulad ni Lotlot, taga samin sa Los Banos rin si Me-an. Kilala ng pamilya namin ang pamilya niya kaya sa tingin ko di naman niya kami gagawan ng masama. Ang nagustuhan ko kay Me-an ay mukhang masipag. Sa umaga naglalako siya ng puto bumbong. Sa gabi, balot naman. Meron siyang apat na anak at byuda siya. Kailangan niya talaga kumita. Sa puder ng byenan siya nakatira kaya may mag aalaga ng mga anak niya. Saka, malalaki na yun mga bata. Limang taon na yun pinakabata. Di na alagain. Namasukan na rin si Me-an sa Bulacan at sa Alabang kaya marunong siya sa gawaing bahay.

Nung nakausap ko si Me-an, huling araw na namin yun sa Los Banos. Dahil mukhang ok naman siya at gusto na niya magumpisa agad at desperada na ako, sinama ko na siya sa pagluwas namin.

Natuwa ako nung nakita ko na nakuha niya agad ang loob ni Aki. Di ko sinabi sa kanya pero natutunan niya agad na si Aki, gusto laging hinaharot.  Dahil mukhang marunong siya sa bata, ang ginawa kong hati ng trabaho, Me-an kay Aki, Lotlot sa bahay. Di hamak na mas mahalaga si Aki kesa sa bahay kaya yun mas matinong kasama, yun ang bantay ni Aki.

Dun. Dun ako nagkamali. Unang umaga ni Me-ann sa trabaho, huwebes, sinabi niya, na nung binuhat niya raw si Aki, naramdaman niyang kumirot ang tahi niya. Huwat!! Nakanaman! Kala ko ba five years old na ang bunso niya. Yun pala, tahi ng appendicitis yun tinutukoy niya.  Iniwan ko silang magyaya sa sala para makaligo na ako. Pagbalik ko, hinahapo! Josko!

Habang naglalakad kami papunta sa bahay ng byenan ko, ( dun naglalagi si Aki buong araw habng nasa trabaho ako), sinabi ni Meann na di niya inaasahan na ganun kabigat si Aki. Yun alaga niya raw kase na ka edad  ng bagets ko, di hamak na magaan daw. Wala akong pake! Buwiset! Ang aga aga sinisira mo ang araw ko. Siyempre sa loob loob ko lang yun. Di ko pinarinig sa kanya. Tinanong ko siya kung kaya niya ba alagaan ang anak ko. Nuon lang sinabi ni Me-an na sana sa bahay na lang siya. Fine! Me-an sa bahay, Lotlot kay Aki.

In fairness kay Lotlot, mejo nag step-up siy nung dumating si Me-ann. Sabi nga ng kumare ko, baka kailangan lang ng threat para magtino.

Byernes. Bumungad sakin ang nakangiti ngunit kulang ang ipin na pagbati ni Meann ng Good Morning!. Meron pa siyang, “Sana magustohan mo ang luto ko”. Ayos.  Magandang simula.  Bago ako umalis, nakita kong nililinis niya ang sneakers ko. Di naman kadumihan at di ko rin pinapaalinis kaya natuwa naman ako. Sinama ko siya palabas para bumili ng toyo at asukal sa tindahan ( said said na ang pantry ko at wala pa akong oras mamalengke!)  Habang naglalakad, tinanong ko siya kung maliban sa appendicitis niya ay meron pa siyang ibang sakit sakit. Eto ang sagot niya sakin. Yun pagkakasabi niya parang wala lang sa kanya. Para bang  sinabi lang niya na meron siya tatlong tutang malilikot. ” Maqui, meron nga akong high blood eh. Nito lang sumakit yun batok ko. Dito o.”  P$^&^*&#q naman! Gusto kong mahimatay. Tinanong ko naman siya nung nasa Elbi pa kami kung meron b a siyang mga nararamdaman. Wala naman siya nabanggit. Di niya siguro napansin na nagbago ang mukha ko kase kwento pa siya ng kwento. Ang nasabi ko na lang, “Hay Meann, ipapamedical exam kita sa Linggo ha”  Natawa lang siya. Sinabi lang niya, ” Ikaw naman. Kayang kaya ko ang trabaho” . Continue reading “Ako na ang malas”

Mrs. Monologues


Before Cheryl left, I asked her to prepare the house for our impending departure. Whenever, we do not have helpers, our family of three migrates to my in laws’ house.

Aki’s colorful playroom became depressing.

Our things were packed already when my mom told me the good news that she found someone for us.   Our new helper is Lotlot.  We liked her right away because she smiles a lot. She needs to earn a living. She lives near my mom’s house so we can hunt her down if she does something bad.  She has a valid police clearance and medical exam results.  Yey! We didn’t even had to transfer to my in laws’ because she was available to start AZAP!

However, yey soon became ney. She is been with us for less than 10 days and I think I already have so many stories to blog about her.

Let us start with this one.

Last Thursday, I was packing my husband’s clothes for his business trip.  I took out several tops so he can decide which one he wanted to bring. After he has chosen his top 7, I called Lotlot who was in room across ours.  The doors of both our rooms were open.  My house is incy wincy. No need to shout if you want to be heard in the next room. Aloud I  just said, ” Lotlot, itong mga damit ni Franco paki kuha na”. (Franco’s office tops are hanged in the cabinet in the Japanese slash guest slash helper’s room.

Five minutes passed and she has not came to get the clothes.  I did not mind since I was busy packing and stopping Aki from unpacking Franco’s clothes. After I rolled the shirts and put them in the luggage, I called Lotlot again so she can remove the clothes that Franco would not be bringing. I needed her to remove the shirts so I can have see which of the other items lying on the floor, do I need to pack.  I continued packing while waiting for her.  

Five minutes. 10 minutes. 15. She is 4 steps away and she has not yet arrived. I finished cleaning the room and called her for the last time. I was starting to get irritated. My voice was a little louder than usual to make sure she would hear me.  Still no answer. 

I just read books to my sleepy boy.  I think we only read 3 that night.  When Aki was already sleeping, I picked up the clothes and brought them to Lotlot’s room myself. She was fixing her bed. I told her ” Itong mga damit, paki lagay diyan sa cabinet”.  I left  the clothes on her sofa bed.


I went to Aki’s room to pack his clothes for our mini-vacay in Elbi. As I was  searching for the swim diapers, Lotlot popped into the room and asked ” Ito bagang mga damit ni Prangko, eh, paplantsahin ko?”

Continue reading “Haaaayyyy…Lotlot”

Mrs. Monologues

When your yaya tells you that she’s leaving in two days..

Warning: long post ahead. I wrote this yesterday.
What do you do?
I have a lot of happy posts lined up. I am excited to blog about them. I just don’t have the time and energy yet.
The drafts are half finished in my head. I usually mental blog during the commute  to and from work. Let me list them down so I won’t forget. I will be blogging about
– our trip to a secret zoo/park in the heart of Paranaque
– how we finally got Aki to brush his teeth
– our ritual on how to cure boo boos
– the most effective family planning method
– the new games that we like to play
– more “This toddler can”… tidbits
– a yummy and healthy way to practice fine motor skills
– the birthday traditions we started this year
– the super fun morning of Aki’s actual birthday
– the action packed whole day birthday celebration we had last Oct 12
– Aki’s letter A themed intimate birthday party last Sunday
– my reflections on the mother I was and the mother I am now
Whew! When will I have the time?

For now, let’s go back to my first question, shall we?
So what do you do when your yaya tells you that she is leaving in two days.
Apparently, Cheryl’s  pregnant sister in Bacolod has been bugging her to come home and help her. Her sister is due to give birth  on December and has been finiding her second pregnancy difficult. The sister’s first child is months younger that Aki. I understand how difficult the situation is but I am no charity institution.  Manang mentioned  this to me in passing before she left. When I confronted Cheryl months ago if she has plans of leaving soon, she said she would be staying because she wants to save and she is enjoying her stay because she is learning a lot.  I was planning to get a second househelp but she said there is no need because she can handle the job all by herself. FYI, Aki stays with my in laws while she is busy with household chores. By 10AM, she is done already.
Last October 12, oh yes on Aki’s very birthday while I was on a birthday high, she told me that I should look for a replacement already. She said she wants to rest and her sister is asking her to come home. She said she will be leaving on Oct 24. I was stunned. This was when I was dressing up Aki at 10AM. Imagine, I had a great day planned, only to be ruined by bad news that couldn’t wait. I told her that she really needs to render 30 days  like what we agreed upon when I hired her. I told her that I don’t want to ruin my mood so I will talk to her after the party. Continue reading “When your yaya tells you that she’s leaving in two days..”